Thurrock v Dartford

It was back to Conference South action on the weekend and after two succesive league defeats Dartford are keen to get back to winning ways on Tuesday night.

The Darts face a second away trip in a row against former landlords and this time they travel to Ship Lane to take on Thurrock. Last season the two sides met twice in Essex, once in the league and the other fixture in the F.A Trophy.

Bradbrook equalises in last seasons meeting

In September, Elliot Bradbrook rescued a point twelve minutes from time after Fleet’s Max Lette-Jallow gave the hosts the lead. Two months later the two clubs were paired up in the cup and a Carl Rook double made sure Dartford progressed to the first round where they met Crawley Town.

Life without top scorer Charlie Sheringham started with a 2-1 reverse against newly promoted Truro City. The Cornish side left The Darts shell shocked when they raced into a two goal lead after just six minutes. Andy Watkins capitalised on some poor defending before Paul Goodacre turned the ball into his own net. The referee got injured and the match was held up leading to ten minutes added time in the first half. In the second half, a sending off for the visitors and a consolation goal by Tom Bonner wasn’t enough as Dartford’s 100% home record ended in defeat.

Tony Burman spoke to PURE DFC and could draw a positive from the match he said: “I’m pleased with the second half and the way they have put the effort in”. Although the manager could see an improvement in the second forty five he knew it would be difficult to overturn the two goal deficit, he commented: “You concede two goals and the damage is done. We needed to get to 2-1 maybe before half time and we didn’t so we are still sort of chasing”, Burman added: “They didn’t have a shot in the second half, then they went down to ten men. But we cannot concede two goals in the first ten minutes and concede goals the way we have”.

Jacob Erskine: Welcome to The Darts

New signing Jacob Erskine replaced Adam Green to make his first appearance in a Dartford shirt. The former Hampton and Richmond striker managed to get some minutes under his belt as he looks to settle in to Princes Park. Erskine is familiar to the Dartford faithful after he netted Hampton and Richmond’s goal at Princes Park earlier in the season. Jacob scored three league goals for the side currently at the foot of the Conference South.

Burman took the opportunity to sign the striker after he was released a couple of weeks ago, he said: “He trained with us on Thursday and I had a chat with Jacob. I knew we were a little bit short with Jonesy and Jon Wallis probably not being quite ready for this game so I asked him whether he would sign to help us out”, he added: “I want to have a little look at him because he is a decent player”.

Thurrock survived relegation last season after a reprieve following the demise of Rushden and Diamonds. The Essex club has continued to struggle under the reign of former Dartford striker Robbie Garvey. The Fleet have failed to win a home match in the league all season picking up just two points.

After six games, one point, three goals scored and sixteen conceded Thurrock were bottom of the Conference South at the end of August. However fortunes have improved after two wins and two draws in their last seven fixtures. The Fleet were defeated on the weekend at The Crabble when Dover Athletic won 3-1.

At Ship Lane, Thurrock have fired as many blanks than goals in the league and picked up just two draws against Tonbridge Angels and Truro City. It took The Fleet 192 minutes to score their first goal at home this season and since then they have netted twice more.

James White against his new club

James White and Joe Bruce could play against Dartford for the first time since being released in the summer by Burman. Bruce made 48 league and cup appearances for The Darts whilst White played 112 times scoring seven goals in the three years with The Darts.

The Darts will have fond memories of playing at Ship Lane when they moved from Erith and Belvedere to Thurrock in 1998. Then their landlords were known as Purfleet and had only been founded thirteen years earlier.

Dartford’s final campaign at Ship Lane was in the 1999/2000 Southern League season when they achieved their highest position of eighth in the three years playing in Essex.

With the loss of Sheringham to AFC Bournemouth and injuries to Matt Jones and Jon Wallis, Burman is determined to get as many players in contention for Tuesday’s match and could possibly strengthen from elsewhere. Thurrock could give starts to new signings Bertie Brayley and Drewe Broughton.

Current Form (league only)

Last five Thurrock matches at home Last five Dartford matches away
Drew 1-1 v Truro City Lost 1-3 v Boreham Wood
Lost 1-4 v Eastbourne Borough Won 2-1 v Farnborough
Drew 0-0 v Tonbridge Angels Lost 2-3 v Basingstoke Town
Lost 1-4 v Welling United Drew 0-0 v Chelmsford City
Lost 0-3 v Weston Super-Mare Drew 2-2 v Dover Athletic

League Stats – Thurrock (21st) versus Dartford (4th)

Thurrock average home attendance: 307

Highest home attendance: 443 v Dover Athletic/ Lowest: 156 v Weston Super-Mare

Dartford average away attendance: 760

Highest away attendance: 1455 v Dover Athletic / Lowest: 441 v Boreham Wood

Minutes Thurrock Goals For Thurrock Goals Against Dartford Goals For Dartford Goals Against
0-15 2 1 7 4
16-30 1 6 4 4
31-45+ 1 11 4 1
46-60 2 5 2 2
61-75 1 4 5 3
76-90+ 4 4 5 2

*attendances and minutes of goals taken from and

Did you know…

Thurrock had the worst home league defence in the Conference South last season conceding 40 goals. It took The Fleet 19 games to register a clean sheet at Ship Lane.

The Fleet have conceded the most goals in the fifteen minutes before half time, more than any other club in the division

Only Thurrock and Chelmsford City have failed to claim a home win this season


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