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Dartford v Whitehawk

League leaders Dartford will host bottom of the table side Whitehawk this weekend in the National South.

The Darts, who are three points clear at the top convincingly beat the Hawks back in September at the Enclosed Ground. The 4-0 victory was Dartford’s biggest win over the Sussex side since they first met in 1982.

Alfie Pavey was on the end of a goalmouth scramble to score the opener and Ryan Hayes doubled the lead, cutting inside before smashing the ball beyond Alex Tokarczyk in the Whitehawk goal. Captain, Elliot Bradbrook netted the third of the evening just before half-time. The fourth came in the second half when Lyle Della-Verde hit a shot across goal into the far corner.

Dartford increased their lead in the National South last weekend when they travelled to Chippenham Town. Alfie Pavey moved on to 20 goals for the season in all competitions with a brace but on each occasion the Bluebirds equalised as the game ended 2-2. Pavey volleyed home from close range for the first and nodded home the second, but manager Tony Burman was left with mixed feelings at the result.

Burman spoke to www.dartford.com after the match and said: “Once again I think we have played at a difficult away venue, and I felt for long periods of the game especially in the first half I was happy with the performance”, he added: “I think the most disappointing factor of the game was that if you take the lead away from home you should keep it”.

Having failed to stay in front, Burman reflected after the game: “Once it went to 2-2 Chippenham could have taken all three points but we seemed to click into ‘over my dead body mode’ and defended much better”.

The draw extends Dartford’s unbeaten run in the league to six and although they have opened a small advantage, the two closest title rivals had their matches postponed giving them games in hand. Hampton and Richmond sit in second place having played one less fixture, whilst Havant and Waterlooville are third, four points behind the Darts having played two games fewer.

On Tuesday night, the Darts arranged a friendly with VCD Athletic, the squad included Richard Sho-Silva, Lee Noble, Duane Ofori-Acheampong, Lyle Della-Verde and Alex Brown. All of which have been looking for more game time recently. Burman also took the chance to look at some of the academy players who are making their way through the ranks.

Dartford’s home record remains strong with eight victories and four draws in the 13 outings at Princes Park. On the contrary, Whitehawk have lost 11 of their 13 away fixtures this term.

However, the Hawks unbeaten this calendar year, have seen an upturn in fortune having waited until their 24th game to record their first win of the campaign. That maiden victory came against local rivals Eastbourne Borough on New Year’s Day in which they won 4-1. Since then the Sussex club have drawn 2-2 at home to Bognor Regis Town and beat Oxford City 1-0 away from home.

On the weekend, the Hawks grabbed their tenth point in four games with a 3-2 triumph against Truro City. The Sussex club had to come from 2-1 down, but goals from Kodi Lyons-Foster, an own goal and Gold Omotayo secured victory. The result leaves Whitehawk six points adrift at the bottom and 12 points from safety.

Omotayo is grabbing the headlines at the moment with six goals in as many appearances since joining the Hawks. The Swiss born 23 year-old arrived from fourth tier side Wettswill-Bonstetten in his home country and is looking for a professional deal in the summer.

In the space of 19 months, Whitehawk have gone full circle by re-appointing Steve King as boss. He managed the Hawks between 2014 and 2016 and enjoyed league success by keeping the club up on the final day of the 2014 campaign, led Whitehawk to the National South playoffs in his first full season and took them to the F.A Cup second round in 2014/15. Since leaving, the Sussex club have tried their luck with seven managers before returning to King hoping for stability again.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 4 /Whitehawk wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Dartford (DWDWWD) Whitehawk (WWDWLL)
Chippenham Town A 2-2 Truro City H 3-2
Havant & Waterlooville H 1-0 Oxford City A 1-0
Concord Rangers H 1-1 Bognor Regis Town H 2-2
Welling United H 4-1 Eastbourne Borough A 4-1
Welling United A 3-2 Eastbourne Borough H 0-1
Braintree Town H 1-1 East Thurrock United A 2-4

Previous Meetings

05.09.2017 Whitehawk 0 Dartford 4
04.02.2017 Dartford 3 Whitehawk 1
10.08.2016 Whitehawk 1 Dartford 0
12.03.2016 Dartford 2 Whitehawk 4
19.12.2015 Whitehawk 0 Dartford 1
28.11.2015 Dartford 1 Whitehawk 2

Stats
Ronnie Vint made his 100th start for the club last weekend, the defender came through the academy ranks and has now appeared in 106 games in total for the Darts.

Dartford have 34 league goals at home this season, the most in the National South.

Whitehawk have conceded the most goals home and away this campaign in the National South.

On This Day
Nine years ago, a goal from Brendon Cass and a brace by Cody McDonald sent Dartford through to the Isthmian League Cup fourth round. The Darts defeated Concord Rangers 3-1 before losing to Horsham at the next stage of the competition. Dartford last tasted league victory on 27 January 28 years ago in a 1-0 victory over Bromsgrove Rovers in the Southern Premier League. Sandwiched between that triumph and the cup win, Dartford lost 3-0 away to Bashley in 2001 and 3-2 at Horsham YMCA in 2007. Dartford have not lost at home on this day since 1951, the run of five matches include a 5-1 F.A Trophy replay win versus Newcastle Blue Star in 1987.

Whitehawk v Dartford

Dartford aim to close the gap on fifth place when they visit winless Whitehawk on Tuesday night.

The Darts showed their fighting spirit on the weekend by coming from two goals down and earn a draw against Hampton and Richmond Borough. The story was the same for the Hawks who hosted Poole Town and recorded the same score despite finding themselves two down as well.

Tony Burman watched on as Hampton and Richmond Borough’s Max Kretzschmar netted a pair of free kicks in the second and 28th minutes. The Darts for the second time this term found themselves two down and like their away trip to Braintree Town they came up with the goods. Andy Pugh pulled a goal back, his first goal of the season and once again Elliot Bradbrook netted, to remain the club’s top scorer in this campaign with five goals.

Dartford need to find ways of turning draws into victories having picked up the most draws in the division. On their travels the Darts have picked up a point in three of the four fixtures and twice they have had to come from two goals down. Currently six points behind the leaders and in sixth place, Dartford have plenty of time to make up the ground, however a more clinical attack could be the difference between an automatic promotion spot and a place in the playoffs.

Deren Ibrahim will return after representing Gibraltar in World Cup qualifying against Belgium and Bosnia. Duane Ofori-Acheampong is still out injured and Warren Mfula was missing from the matchday squad on the weekend. For the first time the squad is almost fully available for selection giving Tony Burman plenty of options.

The Darts will hope to reverse the result just over a year ago when Whitehawk ran out 1-0 winners. A fourth minute penalty by Ahmed Abdulla settled the match, Keaton Wood was sent off just before half time.

Whitehawk have drawn their last two matches at the Enclosed Ground, their only two points of the campaign. Sitting bottom of the National South, the Sussex club have had a turbulent few years. The 2014/15 playoff runners up have faltered of late and are desperate for some kind of stability. Last term, the Hawks went through a staggering five managers and almost fifty players finishing seventeenth. In the summer they lost regular top scorer Danny Mills to Dartford’s rivals Ebbsfleet United in the National League, the experienced Sergio Torres to Eastbourne Borough whilst Michael West and Elliot Omozusi to Chelmsford City.

After the 4-0 away defeat to Havant and Waterlooville, the Hawks parted company with manager Jimmy Dack who resigned. On the weekend for their 2-2 draw with Poole Town, Dan Harding stepped up as caretaker manager. The former defender gained lots of experience in the Football League during his playing career with the likes of Brighton and Hove Albion, Leeds United, Southampton, Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 3 /Whitehawk wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Whitehawk (DLDLLL) Dartford (DLWWWD)
Poole Town H 2-2 Hampton & Richmond A 2-2
Havant & Waterlooville A 0-4 East Thurrock United H 0-1
Braintree Town H 1-1 Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-0
Concord Rangers A 0-1 Oxford City H 7-1
Bognor Regis Town A 2-6 Concord Rangers H 2-0
Oxford City H 0-3 Havant & Waterlooville A 0-0

Previous Meetings

04.02.2017 Dartford 3 Whitehawk 1
10.08.2016 Whitehawk 1 Dartford 0
12.03.2016 Dartford 2 Whitehawk 4
19.12.2015 Whitehawk 0 Dartford 1
28.11.2015 Dartford 1 Whitehawk 2
04.09.1982 Dartford 5 Whitehawk 2

Stats
Dartford have not lost from a winning position so far this season and have picked up two points after falling behind. The Darts have only failed once to turn a game around when they lost to East Thurrock United.

The Darts have the third best defence in the National South conceding five goals in the first half and just one in the second half. Out of the 16 goals scored Dartford have netted ten in the second half making them formidable after the break, scoring ten and conceding just once.

On This Day
Dartford last conceded a goal on 5 September in 1987 winning four out of their last five games on this day. The last fixture may have been a 0-0 with Bath City in 2015, but the three previous resulted in 14 goals without reply for the Darts. In 2009, Hendon were blown away 5-0 in the Isthmian Premier League with goals from Lee Burns, Robbie Haworth, a brace from Jay May and Lee Noble. Five years earlier, Horsham YMCA suffered the same fate in the F.A Cup when the Darts won a preliminary round tie 5-0. In the F.A Vase first qualifying round some 22 years ago, Dartford won 4-0 away to Steyning Town.

National League South Season Preview 2017/18 – Part V

 Wealdstone | Welling United | Weston-super-Mare | Whitehawk

Wealdstone

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Vale Stadium

A late surge coupled with Poole Town and Hungerford Town unable to participate in the playoffs, almost saw the Stones sneak a shot at promotion. However, the Middlesex club were unable to nudge past Hampton and Richmond Borough so ended the campaign in a respectable eighth. Wealdstone will feel they have a greater chance this time around as the top seven will take part in the end of season playoffs.

Last Season

National North: 8th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

County Cup: Runners Up

League Top Scorer: Elliot Benyon (16 goals)

Average Attendance: 734 (5th in league / 43rd in non-league)

The Manager – Gordon Bartlett

The longest serving manager in the National South having joined the Stones in the Summer of 1995, playing in the Isthmian Division Three without a home. Bartlett was put under pressure last term but still managed to almost gatecrash the playoffs. An experienced manager with three promotions and an F.A Trophy semi-final appearance whilst with the Middlesex club, Bartlett’s chances of guiding Wealdstone to the National League have increased now finishing seventh is good enough to reach the playoffs.

The Summer

Experienced heads have been retained with the likes of Eddie Oshodi, Elliott Benyon and Ricky Wellard signing for another year. Former Dartford full back, Josh Hill made a switch from Chelmsford City, Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick moved from Hampton and Richmond Borough and Jerome Okimo from Braintree Town. Looking towards the league’s below, Bartlett has also signed Benji Crilley from Chesham United and Abobaker Eisa from Uxbridge. Returning to action after time out from the game will be defender Liam Harwood.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 12 / Wealdstone wins: 13 / Draws: 12

Previous Meetings

28.01.2017 Wealdstone 0 Dartford 4
06.08.2016 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2
26.01.2016 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 2
03.10.2015 Wealdstone 2 Dartford 1
21.02.2012 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0
14.02.2012 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2

Next Meetings

Saturday 4 November 2017 at Princes Park

Saturday 17 February 2018 at Vale Stadium

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Welling United

Founded: 1963 / Ground: Park View Road

Relegated to the National South just over a year ago, the Wings were probably expecting to perform better last season considering they gained three years National League experience. The goal scoring form of Adam Coombes who netted 20 times was missed in the latter stages of the campaign. Stability is a word the Wings would welcome after managers have been and gone over the last year.

Last Season

National South: 16th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

County Cup: Runners Up

League Top Scorer: Adam Coombes (20 goals)

Average Attendance: 536 (11th in league / 68th in non-league)

The Manager – Jamie Coyle

A former full back with Dartford, Coyle has been part of successful teams including the Darts title winning campaigns in 2008 and 2010 making 140 appearances under Tony Burman scoring 19 times. He also experienced promotion with Maidstone United and played for Welling United six years ago. Coyle started out coaching whilst with the Darts working with the academy and now he’ll be eager to impress in his first managerial role.

The Summer

Welling United will have a familiar look about them to Dartford fans. Coyle has kept in contact with his former club and signed Alfie Pavey and brought back Tom Bradbrook to the world of football, after his brief retirement. Chairman, Mark Goldberg will be overseeing his son’s progress as Bradley Goldberg joins from Bromley. Returning to Park View Road will be Joe Healey and Jack Parkinson both previously with Dover Athletic. Conor Dymond also joins from Bromley whilst Jack Parter and Ian Gayle come in from Tonbridge Angels. After a spell in Ireland with Cork City, Cristian Nanetti signed to join the Wings squad.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 17 / Welling United wins: 7 / Draws: 10

Previous Meetings

28.02.2017 Welling United 0 Dartford 0
22.11.2016 Welling United 2 Dartford 2
06.09.2016 Dartford 2 Welling United 1
19.10.2015 Dartford 3 Welling United 1
11.11.2014 Dartford 2 Welling United 1
30.09.2014 Welling United 2 Dartford 2

Next Meetings

Tuesday 26 December 2017 at Park View Road

Monday 1 January 2018 at Princes Park

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Weston-super-Mare

Founded: 1887 / Ground: Woodspring Stadium

If there is one team guaranteed to be in the National South, it’s Weston-super-Mare. The only side to have taken part in every National South campaign since its creation in 2004. Apart from being reprieved on two occasions they have rarely threatened to leave the second tier of non-league. Last term they finished strongly rattling in the goals, but still finished in the bottom half.

Last Season

National South: 15th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Runners Up

League Top Scorer: Dayle Grubb (19 goals)

Average Attendance: 435 (15th in league / 91st in non-league)

The Manager – Marc McGregor

Excited by his new role as Seagulls boss, Marc McGregor returns to the Woodspring Stadium having played for the club. He’s been player coach at Worcester City and represented Oxford United and Notts County on the pitch too. After a spell at Forest Green Rovers McGregor earned a move to Queens Park Rangers but injury cut his full-time career short. The new Weston-super-Mare boss managed to have playing spells with Tamworth and Hinckley United before going into coaching.

The Summer

Danny Greenslade will be playing in Weston-super-Mare shirt after joining from Bristol Rovers. The Seagulls will miss Bradley Ash who was on loan from Barnsley last season and has returned to his parent club. It took a while for the summer activity to come to fruition and when it did the Seagulls secured the services of Jarrad Welch, Ben Seymour, Jake Mawford and Tristan Plummer.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / Weston-Super-Mare wins: 2 /  Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

17.01.2017 Dartford 3 Weston-Super-Mare 2
26.11.2016 Weston-Super-Mare 2 Dartford 4
20.08.2016 Weston-Super-Mare 1 Dartford 2
05.03.2016 Weston-Super-Mare 2 Dartford 1
13.09.2015 Dartford 2 Weston-Super-Mare 1
12.11.2011 Dartford 1 Weston-Super-Mare 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 23 September 2017 at Woodspring Stadium

Saturday 7 April 2018 at Princes Park

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Whitehawk

Founded: 1945 / Ground: Enclosed Ground

Tough times have hot the Sussex club highlighted by the managerial merry-go-round last season. The Hawks went through five managers and almost 50 players last term alone. For a club that made F.A Cup headlines just over a year ago, Whitehawk have fallen rapidly with a former club president imprisoned and rumours of cashflow issues. The 2014/15 playoff runners up hit their peak in that season almost making it four promotions in six campaigns, now progress has halted the Sussex club need to find stability.

Last Season

National South: 17th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

League Top Scorer: Danny Mills (16 goals)

Average Attendance: 297 (21st in league / 139th in non-league)

The Manager – Jimmy Dack

A former midfielder who knows his way around the non-league scene, Jimmy Dack spent his playing days in Surry and Hampshire with Sutton United, Carshalton Athletic, Aldershot Town and Farnborough Town. Spells in Sussex with Crawley Town means he has already travelled most of the Southern counties. Dack was appointed in January after being Andy Woodman’s assistant and he will be hoping to last longer than the last four managers of the Hawks.

The Summer

The loss of top striker Danny Mills is a huge blow for Whitehawk, the 26 year old has joined Ebbsfleet United. Experienced midfielder Sergio Torres leaves for Eastbourne Borough and Michael West has gone to Chelmsford City along with Elliot Omozusi. Academy players have been given the opportunity with no less than seven under 18’s joining the senior squad, perhaps a sign of the budget cuts at the Enclosed Ground. Connor Tighe has signed from Brighton and Hove Albion, Alex Tokarczyk from Basingstoke Town and Ed Sanders from Gosport Borough. Boosting the squad number another four signed, defenders Tom Cadnam and Ed Wakley as well as forwards Papa Gueye and Bayan Fenwick joined the list of Hawks players.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 /Whitehawk wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings

04.02.2017 Dartford 3 Whitehawk 1
10.08.2016 Whitehawk 1 Dartford 0
12.03.2016 Dartford 2 Whitehawk 4
19.12.2015 Whitehawk 0 Dartford 1
28.11.2015 Dartford 1 Whitehawk 2
04.09.1982 Dartford 5 Whitehawk 2

Next Meetings

Tuesday 5 September 2017 at Enclosed Ground

Saturday 27 January 2018 at Princes Park

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Dartford v Whitehawk

Dartford’s promotion push continues at home in the National South when they host relegation threatened Whitehawk.

The Darts know a fifth consecutive league victory will continue to apply pressure on the top two. Meanwhile, Whitehawk are desperate to halt a run of five defeats in a row.

Last weekend, Dartford recorded their first win over Wealdstone in 26 years scoring four goals without reply. Once more, the scoresheet showed a variety of players finding the net starting with Luke Wandio’s second in his last two appearances. Ryan Hayes put the Darts two up as he edges closer to his 100th goal for the club and Elliot Bradbrook made it three before half time. Andy Pugh scored on the hour to also score in his second game running.

With Tom Bonner missing and Lee Noble injured, Dartford recorded another impressive result. Duane Ofori-Acheampong returned to the bench coming on as a substitute. The Darts have now scored 16 goals in their last four league games and in each of those fixtures different goalscorers found the net.

The Darts will hope to reverse the result back in August when Whitehawk ran out 1-0 winners. A fourth minute penalty by Ahmed Abdulla settled the match, Keaton Wood was sent off just before half time. Last season at Princes Park, despite Pugh’s double the Hawks won 4-2, the Sussex club also beat Dartford 2-1 in the F.A Trophy.

This campaign, the Hawks are a long way off from the form they showed in the tail end of last season. Reaching the playoffs last term and almost earning a third round F.A Cup tie with Everton before then, Whitehawk are trying to avoid dropping out of the National South.

Stability will be welcomed by the Sussex club with so many managerial changes since September. Pablo Asensio was the first to go and in came Richard Hill, who left in November. Alan Payne and Ben Strevens took joint charge until December when Strevens returned to Eastleigh. Up stepped defender Paul Reid until last weekend when he stepped down again following the 2-0 defeat to Weston-super-Mare, leaving Payne at the helm. Currently in a poor spell, the Hawks have lost five league games in a row and also went out of the F.A Trophy to Dulwich Hamlet of the Isthmian Premier League. Recent results has meant another change took place when Andy Woodman was appointed the new boss.

Danny Mills continues to be their top man in front of goal but Whitehawk now have experience too. Former Charlton Athletic striker Kevin Lisbie is part of the squad and Brian Howard, the former Barnsley midfielder who netted a winner against Liverpool in the F.A Cup. Former Dart, Marvin Hamilton is regularly making the starting eleven as is Micheal West, formerly of local rivals Ebbsfleet United.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 2 / Whitehawk wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Current League Form
Dartford (WWWWLWL)
Won 4-0 v Wealdstone (A)
Won 3-2 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Won 3-2 v Weston-super-Mare (H)
Won 6-1 v East Thurrock United (H)
Lost 0-1 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 2-1 v Ebbsfleet United (H)
Lost 0-5 v Maidenhead United (A)

Whitehawk (LLLLLD)
Lost 0-2 v Weston-super-Mare (H)
Lost 1-3 v Hungerford Town (A)
Lost 0-1 v Chelmsford City (A)
Lost 2-4 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Lost 0-2 v Bath City (H)
Drew 4-4 v Gosport Borough (H)

Previous Meetings
Whitehawk 1 Dartford 0 (10/08/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Whitehawk 4 (12/03/2016 – National South)
Whitehawk 0 Dartford 1 (19/12/2015 – National South)
Whitehawk 2 Dartford 1 (28/11/2015 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 5 Whitehawk 2 (04/09/1982 – F.A Cup)

On This Day
It’s been 14 years since Dartford last played on 4 February in the Southern League Division One East, the Darts lost 1-0 away to Tonbridge Angels. In 1995, the only other time Dartford played on this day since reforming, the Darts beat Canterbury City 2-0 in the Kent League.

Whitehawk v Dartford

Looking for a first win of the season, The Darts play their opening away game of the campaign against Whitehawk on Wednesday night.

Dartford faced the Hawks three times last season and both teams got the upper hand away from home, with the Darts winning at the Enclosed Ground back in December. Andy Pugh’s first half strike turned out to be the winner, however the striker did miss this season’s opener through injury.

The Darts opened their National South campaign on Saturday with an agonising 2-2 draw against Wealdstone. With Pugh ruled out with a calf injury, Tony Burman choose winger Danny Harris to lead the line on his own. Alex Brown and Luke Wanadio made their first starts for the club whilst Duane Ofori-Acheampong made an appearance from off the bench.

Elliot Bradbrook’s afternoon was mixed when the captain put the Darts in front after good wing play from Ryan Hayes and Luke Wanadio. Bradbrook was later stretchered off resulting in seven minutes added on at the end of the match. Wealdstone equalised early in the second half when a counter attack was finished off by Elliot Benyon at the far post. After Dartford’s skipper was taken off, his replacement Lee Noble won a penalty which Ryan Hayes scored. Deep into injury time the Stones grabbed a point when Eddie Oshodi headed a corner into the top corner.

Away form for the Darts last season was mixed with a lack of goals at either end. Whilst the defence was tight the side lacked goals in attack. Burman will hope new striker Ofori-Acheampong’s fitness reaches the expected levels required to start, especially with Pugh feeling the strain in training prior the start of the season.

Whitehawk’s new boss Pablo Asensio has used his South American influence and contacts to build virtually a new squad. The Hawks line up this season with an international look including six Brazilians, four English, three Spanish, two French, two Argentinean, an Albanian and a Saudi Arabian player.

Danny Mills remains the main man in front of goal, top scoring for the Hawks last term with 23 goals. Sergio Torres was the only other player retained whilst Marvin Hamilton, who made one substitute appearance for the Darts re-signed for the Hawks as did Ahmed Abdulla. Former Ebbsfleet United midfielder Michael West turned his loan into a permanent deal. The only other player to be familiar with football on these shores is Duncan Culley, the striker was part of Hampton and Richmond Borough’s title winning squad last season in the Isthmian Premier.

The Sussex club opened their National South campaign with a defeat at Weston-Super-Mare. The Hawk’s universal squad suffered a 3-1 reverse after taking the lead. Jason Pope put past his own goalkeeper in the sixteenth minute but the Seagulls recovered with a Jake Mawford goal on half-time. Hamilton became the second player to score an own goal before Shawn McClousky sealed the three points for Weston-Super-Mare.

Rising through the non league pyramid over a six year period, Whitehawk are amongst the favourites to push for promotion after finishing their last two campaigns in the playoffs. The Hawks have reached the final losing to Boreham Wood in extra time and last term lost to Ebbsfleet United on penalties in the semi-final.

STATS

Head to Head

Whitehawk wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 2 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings

12.03.2016 Dartford 2 Whitehawk 4
19.12.2015 Whitehawk 0 Dartford 1
28.11.2015 Dartford 1 Whitehawk 2
04.09.1982 Dartford 5 Whitehawk 2

Dartford have won one of their last six first away games of the season (Won 1 Drew 1 Lost 4)

The Darts had the fifth best away defence last term but fifth worst attack

Whitehawk were the second highest scorers last season behind champions Sutton United

The Hawks have won one of their last five first home games (Won 1 Drew 1 Lost 3)

On This Day

Dartford opened their National League campaign three years ago with a 1-0 victory over Alfreton Town. Adam Birchall joined the Darts with so much promise netting on his debut from a tight angle. Before the win in 2013, Dartford last played on 10 August back in 1968 recording a 5-1 triumph over Corby Town in the Southern League First Division.

National League South Season Preview 2016/2017 – (Final Part)

Wealdstone | Welling United | Weston-Super-Mare | Whitehawk

Wealdstone

Founded: 1899 / Ground: The Vale Stadium

The draw specialists of the National South were difficult to beat last season, the Stones lost the same as promoted Maidstone United but only bottom side Basingstoke Town won fewer. A slow start last term left the Middlesex club second from bottom with just a point in their opening six fixtures. The next seven matches set the tone for the rest of the season when they won four and drew three leaving them in mid-table for the remainder of their campaign. 

wealdstoneLast Season

National South: 13th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Bradley Hudson-Odoi (11 goals)

The Manager – Gordon Bartlett

Wealdstone were homeless when Gordon Bartlett took charge in June 1995 and playing in the Isthmian Division Three. The long serving manager won back to back promotions and was denied a third consecutive one due to the standards of the ground the Stones were sharing. Bartlett was in charge when the Middlesex club returned home in 2008 and since then guided them to a F.A Trophy semi-final and two playoff semi-final defeats. Finally, Bartlett won another title to earn promotion to the National South where Wealdstone finished twelfth in the first season and fifteenth last term. Now about to begin his twenty second season with the Stones, Bartlett is by far the longest serving manager currently in the National South. 

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 11 / Wealdstone wins: 13 / Draws: 11

Previous Meetings

26.01.2016 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 2
03.10.2015 Wealdstone 2 Dartford 1
21.02.2012 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0
14.02.2012 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2
20.04.2010 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 1
29.08.2009 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 6 August 2016 at Princes Park

Saturday 28 January 2017 at the Vale Stadium

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Welling United

Founded: 1963 / Ground: Park View Road

When the Wings won four National League games in a row at the end of September, Welling United thought the tide had turned. The Kent club were second from bottom but pulled themselves out of trouble temporarily. In truth, the victories masked a season of struggle. From their highest point of the campaign the Wings slumped into the relegation zone and went on a 23 match winless run. The Kent club finished five points adrift at the bottom of the National League and ended up fourteen points shy of safety. They now return to the National South after a three year absence. 

Last SeasonWelling

National League: 24th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Sahr Kabba (6 goals)

The Manager – Mark Goldberg

Once owner now manager, Mark Goldberg purchased Crystal Palace in the mid-nineties only for the adventure to end in administration. Since then he has managed Bromley on three occasions and is their most successful manager taking them to the National League. The winner of three senior cups, Goldberg won promotion with Bromley via the Isthmian Premier playoffs and as champions of the National South. In his second spell he left due to an internal disagreement but was brought back when a new Chairman was appointed. In February, Goldberg decided to step down under pressure from Bromley’s owners. Towards the end of Welling United’s campaign in last season’s National League, Goldberg was in charge and now he will be aiming for immediate return to the top flight of non league with the Wings. 

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 16 / Welling United wins: 6 / Draws: 9

Previous Meetings

19.10.2015 Dartford 3 Welling United 1
11.11.2014 Dartford 2 Welling United 1
30.09.2014 Welling United 2 Dartford 2
10.01.2014 Welling United 1 Dartford 1
26.12.2013 Dartford 1 Welling United 2
03.09.2013 Welling United 2 Dartford 3

Next Meetings

Tuesday 6 September 2016 at Princes Park

Saturday 21 January 2017 at Park View Road

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Weston-Super-Mare

Founded: 1887 / Ground: Woodspring Stadium

The Seagulls looked nailed on relegation candidates halfway through November. Weston-Super-Mare had won just three of their opening sixteen games sinking to second from bottom. Suddenly, the Seagulls found their scoring boots in a nine match unbeaten run including three 3-2 wins, a 5-2 and 4-1 triumph and an incredible 5-5 draw with Hemel Hempstead Town. Although the Somerset side returned to inconsistency they ended the campaign strongly beating runners up Ebbsfleet United then winning five of their last seven fixtures. 

Weston-super-Mare_AFC_logoLast Season

Conference South: 16th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Semi-final

League Top Scorer: Scott Wilson (19 goals)

The Manager – Ryan Northmore

A rookie compared to the majority of the managers in the National South, Ryan Northmore has playing history with the Seagulls as a goalkeeper. Making over 200 appearances for Weston-Super-Mare he won Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons for the club. Initially drafted in as Caretaker Manager when the Seagulls were in the middle of an eight match losing streak, the 35 year old steadied the sinking ship earning his role permanently. Last term was the former Torquay United goalkeeper’s first full season. After a tricky opening to the campaign he managed to guide the Seagulls one position higher than the previous year. 

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Weston-Super-Mare wins: 2 /  Draws: 4

Previous Meetings 

05.03.2016 Weston-Super-Mare 2 Dartford 1
13.09.2015 Dartford 2 Weston-Super-Mare 1
12.11.2011 Dartford 1 Weston-Super-Mare 1
13.08.2011 Weston-Super-Mare 0 Dartford 4
08.02.2011 Weston-Super-Mare 0 Dartford 1
04.09.2010 Dartford 4 Weston-Super-Mare 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 20 August 2016 at Woodspring Stadium

Saturday 14 January 2017 at Princes Park

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Whitehawk

Founded: 1945 / Ground: Enclosed Ground

A 6-0 win in October over St Albans City put Whitehawk in a strong position, third place after a dozen games and just one loss. An entertaining 5-3 F.A Cup win over Lincoln City followed by a 1-1 draw away to Dagenham and Redbridge in the next round, the Hawks were gaining national coverage then they drew Everton. Unfortunately, the Sussex club lost the replay and during the cup run league form dipped. After the second round exit, the Hawks went nine games without victory. At the start of April, Whitehawk had seven fixtures to fulfil and were in fifteenth, and then they pulled the trick out of the hat. Winning six of their last seven, dropping just two points they grabbed the final playoff spot only to lose on penalties to Ebbsfleet United in the semi-final. 

Whitehawk_F.C._logoLast Season

National South: 5th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Semi-final

League Top Scorer: Danny Mills (23 goals)

The Manager – Pablo Asensio

Born in Argentina and a former professional footballer, it is no surprise Asensio will call upon his knowledge of South American football when recruiting for Whitehawk. The former midfielder took his coaching badges in England and held roles at Droylsden and Accrington Stanley. The 43 year old became an observer to Gus Poyet at Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur, briefly managed in the Spanish Segunda División B and continued his learning in the North West with Southport, who he took to seventh in the National League. Asensio didn’t have to move far for his next job when he joined Macclesfield Town but now he will work on the South Coast with Whitehawk, where he was Caretaker manager last term.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 /Whitehawk wins: 2 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings 

12.03.2016 Dartford 2 Whitehawk 4
19.12.2015 Whitehawk 0 Dartford 1
28.11.2015 Dartford 1 Whitehawk 2
04.09.1982 Dartford 5 Whitehawk 2

Next Meetings

Wednesday 10 August 2016 at Enclosed Ground

Saturday 4 February 2017 at Princes Park

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Dartford v Whitehawk

Dartford hope to end a three match winless run against Whitehawk this weekend, in a bid to keep in touch with the playoff race.

The Darts host a Whitehawk side in freefall and without victory on the road for three months. Having played two games more than fifth place Truro City, Dartford are three points adrift of the playoffs.

Slip ups against Weston-Super-Mare, Hayes and Yeading United and Concord Rangers means the Darts have taken one point from the last nine available.

Last weekend, a controversial match with Weston-Super-Mare ended in a 2-1 defeat, a mass brawl, Elliot Bradbrook being dismissed and penalty shouts turned down. Despite being two down and reduced to ten men George Sykes scored which turned out to be a consolation goal. On another sour note, defender Callum McNaughton fractured his foot and is likely to miss the rest of the season.

On Tuesday night, the Darts reached the Kent Senior Cup final by beating Greenwich Borough 2-1.  Dartford took the lead in the first half when Barry Cogan’s free kick was flicked on by former Dart, Peter Sweeney and into the path of Ronnie Vint who coolly finished. George Sykes scored the second before Borough pulled a goal back. Tony Burman fielded a strong team and tried out Danny Harris and Kaka Dembele at full back in the second half. The decision may have been influenced by McNaughton’s injury and with the pending suspension of Elliot Bradbrook in mind.

Burman’s hope of a F.A Trophy run was ended by Whitehawk, in the last meeting between the two sides at Princes Park. Mark Onyemah’s handball gifted Whitehawk a penalty which Sam Deering scored. Three minutes later Ryan Hayes’ corner was turned in by a Hawk’s defender. The Sussex side grabbed the winner when Danny Stevens scored from the edge of the box.

Whitehawk have fallen from fourth to eighteenth since Dartford last played them in December. The Darts won at the Enclosed Ground thanks to an Andy Pugh goal in the first half. For the Hawks, defeat was the start of nine matches without victory in the National South, leaving them two points above safety.

After the loss at home to Eastbourne Borough, Steve King was sacked and now interim manager Pablo Asenio is in charge. Asenio drew his first match but witness his side get a 6-0 drubbing against relegation threatened St Albans City.

Last weekend they were beaten 3-2 by Bishop’s Stortford with all five goals coming in the first half. Sam Rents and top scorer were on hand for the Hawks to overturn a 1-0 deficit. The Hawks conceded twice to lose from a winning position.

On Tuesday night, Whitehawk took on Hayes and Yeading United and went ahead in the second half through Deam Leacock. The lead was short lived when United equalised with Ashley Lodge’s twenty yard strike. Elliot Benyon then nodded Hayes and Yeading United in front and Ismael Ehui made it 3-1. In their last nine games, The Hawks have taken just two points from 27 available.

The squad has had a mini facelift over the past week, Sam Deering signed for Ebbsfleet for undisclosed fee, the midfielder played 75 scored 28 for the Hawks. In return they welcome back defender Craig Braham-Barrett and Michael West, who scored against the Darts in August 2010 for Ebbsfleet Utd. Rents also joined Whitehawk from Margate, the defender has already played the Darts earlier in the season in Gates 2-0 defeat.

Former Dartford midfielder and fans favourite, Dave Martin is still with the Hawks. The winger made 71 starting appearances for the Darts scoring 16 times. Meanwhile, Paul Lorraine has left Whitehawk after a 14 month battle with injury, the central defender once signed by Tony Burman played just 14 times for the Sussex club.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Whitehawk wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Dartford (LDLWDW) Whitehawk (LLLDLL)
Weston-Super-Mare  A  1-2 Hayes & Yeading Utd  H  1-3
Hayes & Yeading Utd  A  2-2 Bishop’s Stortford  H  2-3
Concord Rangers  H  1-2 St Albans City  A  0-6
Gosport Borough  A  3-1 Havant & Waterlooville  H  1-1
Eastbourne Borough  A  1-1 Eastbourne Borough  H  1-2
St Albans City  H  2-0 Chelmsford City  H  3-4

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

19.12.2015 Whitehawk 0 Dartford 1
28.11.2015* Dartford 1 Whitehawk 2

Stats

3 – In Whitehawk’s four previous trips to Kent they have won three and drew one. Picking up seven points from nine and knocking Dartford out of the F.A Trophy.

5 – Dartford have won all five games against teams in the bottom seven. Weston-Super-Mare were the first bottom eight team to beat the Darts home or away this season.

13 – number of goals in Whitehawk’s last two away games. A 4-3 loss to Chelmsford City and 6-0 defeat to St Albans City.

26 – number of goals Dartford have scored at home, only Sutton United (30) and St Albans City (27) have scored more home goals this term.

On This Day

Dartford’s last victory on 12 March was nineteen years ago in the Southern League Southern Division. The Darts travelled to Buckingham Town to clinch a 1-0 win , a fourth consecutive clean sheet on this day following 1-0 and 2-0 Kent League triumph’s over Slade Green in 1994 and 1996 respectively. Since, Dartford have lost 1-0 to Chelmsford City in 2001 and were thrashed 6-1 by Barking and East Ham United, both in the Southern League Division One East. The most recent fixture was five years ago when the Darts drew 2-2 at the Camrose. Basingstoke Town took an early lead only for Ryan Hayes then Danny Harris to put Dartford ahead, Delano Sam-Yorke scored his second to share the spoils.

Whitehawk v Dartford

In form Dartford travel to Whitehawk for the first time, in an attempt to avenge the F.A Trophy exit just three weeks ago.

The Hawks won the cup tie 2-1 at Princes Park, on a day manager Tony Burman claimed the Darts never got out of ‘second gear’. Dartford took on their opponents after a two week break which finally showed. Sam Deering scored from the spot and Danny Stevens scored the winner, the Darts had equalised thanks to an own goal.

It wasn’t the best afternoon for Mark Onyemah, who was backed by Burman after the match. The full back made two crucial mistakes resulting in both of Whitehawk’s goals. The loanee from Luton Town will be hoping to make amends this weekend.

Burman is keen to get one back over Whitehawk, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “People probably don’t expect us to get anything from Whitehawk but we’d like to repay the defeat we suffered in the Trophy”.

After a slow start to their National South campaign, Burman has guided the Darts up to eighth thanks to an unbeaten run of six league matches. Four wins and two draws since mid-October has Dartford top of the current form table. He added: “Our six games without defeat have been spread over two months. We’ve played okay in those games but it’s nothing to get too excited about”, he continued: “We’re getting results at the moment and we’d like to continue that throughout December”.

The Darts are chasing down a playoff spot as they enter the busy festive schedule, Burman has already prepared his squad for the task ahead. George Sykes and Kaka Dembele returned from loan spells whilst academy players Ben Francis and Dajon Golding were included in the last match day squad at Basingstoke Town.

In that fixture, Elliot Bradbrook was the hero grabbing the winning goal from close range. The captain pounced to score in his fifth consecutive league game, taking his tally in that period to six goals. The first half strike was enough for Dartford as they looked comfortable in the strong winds. In the second half, the Darts were resolute against the conditions and deservedly held on to victory.

Dartford are now five points behind Whitehawk, who occupy the final playoff spot. By beating Basingstoke Town last weekend, the Darts have already made one game in hand count and they still have another over the Hawks.

This weekend could see former Dartford favourite Dave Martin in action. The winger made 71 starting appearances for the Darts scoring 16 times. Former Ebbsfleet United defender, Paul Lorraine has returned from a long term injury but was so close to wearing the Dartford shirt when he signed in June 2014. Due to Dartford’s reprieve in the National Premier, Lorraine departed because of work commitments.

Whitehawk started their National South campaign brightly losing just once in their opening thirteen fixtures, leaving the Hawks in third place. Last season’s playoff finalists hit a sticky patch in mid-October losing three out of four, including defeat to basement boys Basingstoke Town.

The Brighton based club can boast the best attack in the league, an attribute Burman points out could have its downfall, he commented to www.kentonline.co.uk: “They like to go forward at all costs and sometimes you can exploit that. It can be a good way of playing, to score lots of goals but they’ve also conceded some from winning positions”.

Steve King’s side made headlines in November with an entertaining 5-3 F.A Cup first round win over Lincoln City. The Hawks forced a replay in round two against Dagenham and Redbridge with a last minute equaliser. However, the dream of playing Premier League side Everton at Goodison Park ended when they were beaten 3-2 by the Daggers in Tuesday night’s replay.

In between cup exploits, Whitehawk picked up a 2-2 draw with Wealdstone and a decent victory over Maidstone United, a 1-0 win at the Gallagher Stadium. In the F.A Trophy last weekend they were eliminated in a 3-1 loss versus Dover Athletic.

Victory for either side this weekend will certainly do no harm to their playoff prospects.

Head to Head

Whitehawk wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 0 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Whitehawk (WDLWLL) Dartford (WWDWWD)
Maidstone United  A  1-0 Basingstoke  A  1-0
Wealdstone  A  2-2 Havant & Waterlooville  H  4-2
Concord Rangers  H  0-2 Maidstone United  H  1-1
Margate  A  6-2 Hayes & Yeading Utd  H  2-0
Weston Super Mare  H  0-2 Bishop’s Stortford  A  2-1
Basingstoke Town  A  1-3 Hemel Hempstead Town  H  2-2

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

28.11.2015* Dartford 1 Whitehawk 2

Stats

6 – Whitehawk recorded the biggest home win in the National South this season, the Hawks beat St Albans City 6-0 on 3 October 2015. The Hawks also hit six at Margate and are the only team to score six twice this term

14 – points accrued by Dartford in their last six matches to top the form guide

18 – number of goals scored in games featuring Dartford away from home, the second fewest. There has only been 13 goals scored in matches involving Maidstone United on their travels

40 – Whitehawk are the National South’s joint top scorers with Oxford City, striker Danny Mills has netted a quarter of the Hawks total.

On This Day

Seventeen years have passed since Dartford played on 19 December way back in 1998. An away trip to Corby Town ended with the Darts winning 2-1 in the Southern League Southern Division. Dartford haven’t played at home on 19 December since 1981, when they lost 3-0 to Dagenham in the Alliance Premier League.

Dartford v Whitehawk

Dartford’s first ever meeting with Whitehawk comes three weeks earlier than anticipated, in the F.A Trophy third qualifying round.

The two clubs enter the competition from the final qualifying stage, a win will earn them a first round place in a fortnight. After exiting the F.A Cup, the Darts will be hoping the trophy will provide them with a successful cup run.

Over the last two weeks controversy on and off the pitch has generated discussion. Firstly, Dartford continued their decent form with a well-deserved 1-1 draw with local rivals Maidstone United. A cagey first half was cancelled out by a second half with a major talking point. The Stones went ahead with Alex Flisher’s fortuitous goal to lead at half time. With eight minutes remaining captain Elliot Bradbrook struck from 12 yards, only for his effort to have been ‘ruled out’ before the referee awarded Bradbrook his fifth goal of the campaign, his third in his last four appearances.

Burman was pleased the goal was awarded, he told kentonline.co.uk: “There was a bit of controversy with it being offside or not offside but for once, there was a brave referee in front of a crowd who’s gone up to his linesman and asked for the decision”, he added: “I was pleased that he kept the decision right and after that, we could have gone on and won the game. It wasn’t to be but I thought we played well and we definitely deserved something out of the game – if not all three points”.

Dartford’s unbeaten run in all competitions was then extended to six matches just two days later. Drawn at home to League One high fliers Gillingham in the Kent Senior Cup, the Darts upset the odds with a 2-1 victory. The Gills fielded a strong side and went in front through Brennan Dickenson. Dartford got back into the game when Tom Wynter headed in the equaliser and Jack Simmons netted the winner to send the Darts into the next round.

The turnaround in form has been attributed to the change in formation. Captain Elliot Bradbrook commented: “Very rarely any more do people play 4-4-2, most teams crowd out the midfield”, he continued: “If you’re playing two in there, like we have been doing, it is difficult to get around. Teams have got one or two more players inside you and it’s difficult to get on top of games”, he added: “That’s where the game’s won, in the middle of the park and if you’re outnumbered in there it becomes difficult. The system’s got to adapt”.

Off the field there has been controversy of a different kind, Tony Burman was left ‘fuming’ when last weekend’s scheduled away trip to Maidenhead United was postponed. With the Berkshire club’s involvement in the F.A Cup first round replay on Thursday night, the Magpies requested to call off the game against Dartford on the Saturday, which was granted by the National South.

It is no secret that Whitehawk have ambition, last season’s National South playoff runners up came so close to a fourth promotion in six years. This term, the Hawks are sitting in fourth where they finished 2014/15.

The Hawks could be excused for their F.A Cup distraction having beaten Lincoln City in an entertaining 5-3 win. Either side of that result, the Hawks have won one in five National South games including their only away defeat of the campaign, to bottom club Basingstoke Town. The Hawks have travelled well otherwise winning the other four and drawing three.

After a 2-0 reverse at home to Concord Rangers, Whitehawk drew 2-2 with Wealdstone. Having turned around a goal deficit, the Hawks conceded four minutes into injury time.

The fixture saw the return of Paul Lorraine in defence after a long term injury. The  31 year old could well have been lining up for the Darts against his current side having signed for Tony Burman over a year ago. In the same summer, Lorraine left without making an appearance. Due to Dartford’s reprieve in the National League, the defender’s personal circumstances affected his decision to leave the Darts.

The Sussex club have been potent up front, with only Oxford City scoring more times in the league this term. Danny Mills has notched 17 goals in 23 appearances, including a brace on Monday night and Sam Deering ten goals in 21 appearances, whilst Scott Neilson and Jake Robinson are one goal away from double figures.

In midfield, the Darts will face former favourite Dave Martin who made 71 starting appearances for Dartford scoring 16 times. The 30 year old caught the eye of Crystal Palace and has further experience with Stevanage, Millwall, Southend United and Luton Town. Martin is remembered fondly at Princes Park for some of his stunning goals notably against Burgess Hill Town.

Football League experience doesn’t stop there, Sergio Torres played for Crawley Town during their rise to League One. In defence, Dean Leacock has nine Premier League starts to his name and over 250 appearances in the Football League with Derby County, Fulham, Crawley Town and Notts County. Whitehawk have also used the loan market by bringing in Craig Braham-Barrett who will be available for selection.

Manager, Steve King leads the Sussex club and has been successful in non-league. He took Lewes from Isthmian League Division One South to the Football Conference with three titles, won the Isthmian Premier with Farnborough and led Whitehawk to last season’s playoff final.

The Hawks are relatively new to the F.A Trophy following their rise up the non- league ladder. The Sussex club first took part just five years ago and have only got through the qualifying rounds once.

Team News

Mark Onyemah has impressed at Dartford since joining on loan from Luton Town, he’s had his loan spell extended to 2 January 2016. Kaka Dembele departs Princes Park on loan to Leatherhead whilst Lee Burns has been nursing an ankle injury.

Current Form (* – County Cup / + – F.A Cup)

Dartford (WDWWWD) Whitehawk (DLLWWWL)
Gillingham*  H  2-1 Wealdstone  A  2-2
Maidstone United  H  1-1 Concord Rangers  H  0-2
Hayes & Yeading  H  2-0 Littlehampton Town*  H  0-3
Bishop’s Stortford  A  2-1 Margate  A  6-2
Welling United*  H  3-1 Lancing*  A  4-1
Hemel Hempstead Town  H  2-2 Lincoln City+  H  5-3

Stats

The Darts are unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions

Dartford have yet to beat a team above them in the National South at home, drawing three and losing three

Princes Park hosts its 250th competitive Dartford first team game this weekend (includes Kent Senior Cup). The Darts have notched up 123 wins, 59 draws and suffered 67 defeats.

On This Day

Since reforming, Dartford have failed to score on 28 November in only two attempts. Ashford Town’s defence couldn’t be breached in a 0-0 draw back in 1998. Six years ago, AFC Hornchurch got the better of the Darts with a 1-0 win in the Isthmian Premier League.

Last Ten Years in the F.A Trophy

Season Dartford Whitehawk
2014/15 Third Round Third Qualifying Round
2013/14 First Round Second Round
2012/13 Semi-Final Third Qualifying Round
2011/12 Third Round First Qualifying Round
2010/11 Third Round First Qualifying Round
2009/10 Third Qualifying Round Did not participate
2008/09 Third Qualifying Round Did not participate
2007/08 First Qualifying Round Did not participate
2006/07 Second Qualifying Round Did not participate
2005/06 Third Qualifying Round Did not participate
2004/05 First Round Did not participate

 

National League South Season Preview 2015/2016 – Part Five

Sutton United | Truro City | Wealdstone | Weston-Super-Mare | Whitehawk

Sutton United

Founded: 1898 / Ground: Borough Sports Ground

A famous name in non league football thanks to a F.A Cup third round win, against holders Coventry City in 1989. Sutton United were a Conference Premier side back then but have spent most of their time in the Isthmian League. Joining the Conference South when non league was restructured, the club were relegated in 2007/08. The U’s spent just three season’s away winning the Isthmian Premier League after two playoff attempts, including a runner up spot behind Dartford. The Surrey club reached the playoffs twice in the Conference South in four seasons, but last term finished mid table.

SuttonunitedLast Season

Conference South: 15th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: 3rd Round

League Top Scorer: Jessy Reindorf & Dan Fitchett (6 goals)

Average Attendance: 548

The Manager – Paul Doswell

Making his name at Eastleigh, Paul Doswell led the Hampshire club through three consecutive promotions to take the Spitfires from the Wessex League to the Conference South. Doswell had an immediate impact at Eastleigh, appointed in 2002 he won the Wessex League title in the same year. Two playoff triumphs followed and the first season in the Conference South his side finished a creditable eighth. Leaving Eastliegh in 2006 it wasn’t until two years later he joined Sutton United. Success has continued with two playoff appearances in the Isthmian Premier League before winning the league title. In the Conference South Doswell has made a further two playoff appearances and came runners up against his old side Eastleigh in 2013/14.

The Summer

Connections with Eastleigh remain sound for Paul Doswell by signing a trio of players. Dean Beckwith, Dan Spence and the experienced Craig McAllister move from the Silverlake Stadium to the Borough Sports Ground. Striker Stuart Fleetwood, another former Eastleigh player will provide goals and has had spells with Forest Green Rovers, Luton Town and Hereford United. Last season’s goalkeeper for the Darts, Jason Brown had joined but left without playing a match to concentrate on coaching. That meant Doswell had to search for a goalkeeper again finding AFC Wimbledon’s Ross Worner. Tom Bolarinwa comes in from Cray Wanderers and Ross Stearn from Bath City.

Last Meetings Versus The Darts

14 April 2012 – Sutton United 0 Dartford 1 – view highlights

Dartford may have taken all three points but results elsewhere meant they couldn’t catch Woking at the top of the table. A counter attacking move starting from the Darts own half ended with Tony Garrod scoring the winner.

20 March 2012 – Dartford 6 Sutton United 1 – view highlights

One of Dartford’s finest performances since Princes Park opened. The Darts thrashed eventual runners up Sutton United in some style. Lee Noble and an Adam Green penalty three minutes apart had the hosts two up. Harry Beautyman pulled a goal back then Dartford raced away. Danny Harris before the break, Luke Wilkinson, Elliot Bradbrook and Jacob Erskine turned the match into a rout.

Next Meetings

Saturday 15 August 2015 at Princes Park

Saturday 23 January 2016 at Borough Sports Ground

Last Ten Yearssufc last 10 years

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Truro City

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Treyew Road

If ever there is example of how a chairman can influence a club then Truro City fall in to that category. An F.A Vase triumph nine years ago and promotion the same season was only the start. Three consecutive league titles moved the Cornwall club through the regional divisions into the Southern Premier. After only two attempts the Southern Premier League was won and then wheels began to fall off. A winding up petition in August 2011 caused uncertainty and chairman Kevin Heaney stepped down. The club were relegated back to the Southern League in 2012/13, however they have enjoyed a swift return winning the playoffs in May.

Truro-city-football-clubLast Season

Southern Premier: 3rd

F.A Cup: 1st Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Did not enter

League Top Scorer: Craig Duff (18 goals)

Average Attendance: 417

The Manager – Steve Tully

At just 35 years old Steve Tully is one of the youngest managers in this season’s National South. The former full back spent his playing days in the West Country representing Torquay United, Weymouth and Exeter City making over 100 appearances for each club. He joined Truro City as a player in 2013 and in March 2014 became player manager. In his first role as boss Steve Tully guided Truro City back to the National League South with a playoff triumph over St Neots Town.

The Summer

It’s been quiet at Treyew Road with only three signings being made. Martin Rice makes the short journey across the Devon/Cornwall border moving from Torquay United, the goalkeeper returns to the club after spending three years at Truro City. Midfielder, Aaron Dawson has limited experience at Exeter City and Torquay United, the 23 year old can also play in defence. On loan left back Conor Riley-Lowe will be at Treyew Road for at least the next six months.

Last Meetings Versus The Darts

28 April 2012 – Truro City 1 Dartford 1
With a playoff spot secured the final match of the season played out evens. Dartford fans made their way across the country to enjoy a celebratory weekend. Former Premier League striker Barry Hayles scored for Truro City with three minutes left. Dartford’s Jacob Erskine equalised with virtually the last kick of the game.

22 October 2011 – Dartford 1 Truro City 2 – view highlights
Truro City took full advantage of slack defending, Adam Green and Andrew Young got things mixed up leaving Andrew Watkins to tap in for the visitors. A couple of minutes later Paul Goodacre scored an own goal giving the Cornishmen a two goal lead. Tom Bonner halved the deficit after Truro City were reduced to ten men.

Next Meetings

Saturday 19 September 2015 at Princes Park

Saturday 13 February 2016 at Treyew Road

Last Ten Yearstcfc last 10 years

 

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Wealdstone

Founded: 1899 / Ground: The Vale Stadium

It may have taken a while but Wealdstone have returned to the level they were at in the late eighties. Whether they can return to the heights of the early eighties is another matter, the Middlesex club won the Alliance Premier League and F.A Trophy double but were relegated from the Conference in 1988. The Stones sunk as far down as Isthmian Division Three before their current manager was appointed. Since then four promotions in twenty years, including the most recent Isthmian Premier League title in 2013/14, has seen Wealdstone get back to the second tier of non league. Three years ago they embarked on a F.A Trophy run to reach the last four and last season finished a creditable twelfth in the Conference South.

wealdstoneLast Season

Conference South: 12th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

League Top Scorer: Jefferson Louis, Scott McGleish and Matt Ball (8 goals)

Average Attendance: 720

The Manager – Gordon Bartlett

By far the longest serving manager in this season’s National South, Gordon Bartlett has been in charge of Wealdstone since 1995 and involved in non league coaching for 25 years. At Southall and Yeading before he joined the Stones he guided both clubs to Wembley reaching F.A Vase finals. Since taking over at the Middlesex club he has won four promotions, including the Isthmian Division Three and Premier titles, seventeen years apart. The school teacher also had a playing career with Portsmouth, Denver Dynamos in the United States of America, Brentford, Slough Town and Hayes.

The Summer

Budget plays a part any any level and Wealdstone have had to look at divisions below the National South over the summer. With the exception Ryan Hope who won promotion with Boreham Wood, each signing has come from the National South or lower. Dale Binns has plenty of experience at this level having played for **********, he joins from Sutton United. Tom Cadmore missed out on promotion at Whitehawk last term and he also moves to the Stones. From the Isthmian and Southern Leagues comes in Bradley Hudson-Odoi from Metropolitan Police, Josh Urquhart from Harlow Town and Josh Hutchinson from Potters Bar Town, Oliver Duffy has arrived from Hanwell Town.

Last Meeting Versus The Darts

21 February 2012 – Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0

An upset was caused a week later as Wealdstone’s Lee Chappell scored the decisive goal to take the Stones to the next round. The Isthmian Premier leaguers held on to defeat the Darts, a division higher, and went on to reach the last four in an excellent trophy run.

14 February 2012 – Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2 – view highlights

An entertaining F.A Trophy third round tie ended with the Wealdstone levelling twice. Danny Harris scored first before Richard Jolly equalised. Lee Noble had the Darts ahead once more until Chris O’Leary forced a replay ten minutes from time.

Next Meetings

Saturday 3 October 2015 at the Vale Stadium

Tuesday 26 January 2016 at Princes Park

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Weston-Super-Mare

Founded: 1887 / Ground: Woodspring Stadium

The Somerset club boast a proud record in that they have never been relegated in their 128 year history. Weston-Super-Mare did however come close on three occasions when reprieves saved the club in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Over the last five years the Seagulls have improved into a mid-table side and three season’s ago they recorded their highest ever league finish, two places outside of the Conference South playoffs. The forthcoming season will be Weston -Super-Mare’s twelfth consecutive in the National League South and that comes after twelve campaigns in the Southern League.

Weston-super-Mare_AFC_logoLast Season

Conference South: 17th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Dayle Grubb (11 goals)

Average Attendance: 287

The Manager – Ryan Northmore

A career change was forced upon Ryan Northmore when a number of knee operations led to coaching. The former goalkeeper made over 200 appearances for the Seagulls and won Player of the Year three seasons in a row. As a player he turned out for Torquay United before making his way in non league football. Spells at Team Bath, Woking and Dorchester Town before returning to Weston-Super-Mare as boss, he officially retired from playing just three years ago. Northmore has been heavily involved in  working with Weston-Super-Mare’s academy side and in November 2014 was named caretaker manager. The 34 year old impressed enough last term to make the vacant managers job his own.

The Summer

Returning to Weston-Super-Mare for a third spell is 25 year old Tristan Plummer. The winger was unable to hold a first team place whilst at Bristol City, Hereford United and Aldershot Town. Two other signings come from Southern Premier League side Paulton Rovers, Danny Wring is added to the midfield and Scott Wilson could provide goals up front. Joe McClennan returns to Weston-Super-Mare after leaving the club previously for Bath City.

Last Meeting Versus The Darts

12 November 2011 – Dartford 1 Weston-Super-Mare 1 – view highlights
Even with a man advanatge Dartford failed to capitalise. The visitors left when Matt Villis got on the end of a goal mouth scramble.  Adam Green made the game all square with a well driven shot. James Price was red carded with just under twenty minutes remaining.

13 August 2011 – Weston-Super-Mare 0  Dartford 4 – view highlights

The campaign couldn’t get off to a better start for the Darts. An away trip West and Charlie Sheringham’s brace put three points on the board. Elliot Bradbrook and Tom Bonner had earlier put Dartford two goals to the good.

Next Meetings

Saturday 12 September 2015 at Princes Park

Saturday 5 March 2016 at Woodspring Stadium

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Whitehawk

Founded: 1945 / Ground:Enclosed Ground

Only five years ago Whithawk were playing in the Sussex League where they had been throughout their history. Finally winning the title in 2009/10, the club excelled at a rapid rate. A playoff defeat in their début Isthmian Division One South was soon forgotten when they won the championship the following campaign. A consecutive title followed moving Whitehawk out of the Isthmian Premier League to the Conference South. The Sussex club survived their first term finishing nineteenth, six points from safety. Last season the Hawks reached the playoff final with a fourth place finish losing out to Boreham Wood, the clubs best ever league performance.

Whitehawk_F.C._logoLast Season

Conference South: 4th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Danny Mills (18 goals)

Average Attendance: 258

The Manager – Steve King

In the space of just five years, Steve King took Lewes from Isthmian League Division One South to the Football Conference with three titles and that was just the beginning of his managerial career. At this level he has finished in each of the top four positions and in the league below added a further title with Farnborough. Another spell at Lewes was followed by leading Macclesfield Town in the Confereence Premier, who he took to the F.A Cup fourth round bowing out to eventual winners Wigan Athletic. In February 2014, he retunred to management and was denied another promotion this time with Whitehawk losing the playoff final to Boreham Wood.

The Summer

Steve King possesses enough confidence in his squad which very nearly gained promotion to the National League. Rather than bringing in new blood, King has concentrated on securing players in last years squad. Paul Lorraine, who joined Dartford briefly before the Darts were reprieved will be part of the Whitehawk defence. In midfield Sergio Torres brings his experiences with Wycombe Wanderers, Peterborough United and Crawley Town. Last season’s top goalscorer Danny Mills remains at the Enclosed Ground and will be looking to add to the 18 he scored last term.

Last Meeting Versus The Darts

4 September 1982 – Dartford 5 Whitehawk 2

Carl Laraman scored a hat trick and was the star of this F.A Cup preliminary round fixture. The Darts went on to win comfortably against the Sussex club representing their regional division. Dartford were spending their first campaign back in the Southern Premier following relegation from the Alliance Premier League the season before.

Next Meetings

Saturday 19 December 2015 at Enclosed Ground

Saturday 12 March 2016 at Princes Park

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