Dartford v Hythe Town – Kent Senior Cup Final

Princes Park will host the Kent Senior Cup Final for a second year in a row on Tuesday night and Dartford will be hoping they can retain their crown.

The Darts hope to repeat last season's county cup success

The Darts have won the county cup ten times with the last back to back triumph coming in the 1988 season. After defeating Bromley 4-1 in last years final Dartford have overcome Fokestone Invicta, Tonbridge Angels and Charlton Athletic to reach this years county show piece.

Tony Burman fielded Ryan Hayes and Tony Garrod on the weekend in the 2-2 draw against Boreham Wood. The final league match at Princes Park saw The Darts pick up their 49th point out of 63 at home. Garrod opened the scoring for the second week in a row netting his fifth Dartford Conference South goal with a header mid way through the first half. Graeme Montgomery equalised for The Wood after half hour. The Darts regained the lead in the second half when Jacob Erskine’s finish went in off the post. With two minutes to go Dartford were pegged back again when Charlie O’Loughlin levelled the match.

Hythe Town defeated Erith Town, Ebbsfleet United and Dover Athletic on the way to Princes Park and hope to add to last season’s dramatic Kent League Championship title. The Reds clinched the title by 15 goals as they pipped Herne Bay on goal difference but it took a last minute own goal against Tunbridge Wells to earn the point they required.

Brendon Cass returns to Princes Park

Dartford will welcome back striker Brendon Cass and midfielder Nick Barnes who now ply their trade at Hythe Town. Both players created history at Princes Park on 11 November 2006, Cass scored the first ever goal at the stadium after ten minutes. Barnes also scored in the homecoming fixture when The Darts won 4-2 against Horsham YMCA. Cass has scored 16 times in 2011/12 for Hythe Town including one in their last fixture, whilst Barnes has racked up the second most amount of games this season.

In their first season in the Isthmian Division One South The Reds are in a creditable eighth place. Although Scott Porter’s side cannot finish any higher his side will be hoping to maintain their position on the final day of the season next week.

The Reds gained senior status in 1977 and eleven years later achieved promotion to the Southern League. In 1992 the club suffered mixed emotions by reaching the Kent Senior Cup Final for the first time. The cup final at the Priestfield Stadium ended in defeat after extra time against Bromley, misery was compounded when the club went into liquidation. In 1995, Hythe United became Hythe Town and they were elected back into the Kent League before winning promotion last season.

Road to the Final

Semi Final

Dartford 3 Charlton Athletic 1 – Highlights

A healthy crowd of 1062 watched Jack Pallen slide in the opening goal just after half hour. The lead did not last long though when Evina centred for young striker Adebayo Azeez to equalise. Lee Noble scored his third goal of the month and put The Darts ahead for the second time with a long range shot, six minutes into the second half. With four minutes remaining progression to a second final in a row was clinched by Elliot Bradbrook’s close range effort.

Hythe Town 3 Dover Athletic 0

An ex Dover Athletic striker turned over his former team with a brace in the semi final. Jimmy Dryden helped Hythe Town cause another upset but not before Taser Hassan drilled in the opening goal. The threat of Aaron Lacey’s long throws come to fruition when a flick on to Dryden was nodded over the Dover goalkeeper to make it two before the break. The third and final goal occurred on the hour when Dryden netted his second.

Quarter Final

Tonbridge Angels 2 Dartford 4 (After Extra Time)

The Darts had to come from behind again in this cup tie when the home side scored on 13 minutes courtesy of Chris Piper. In the second half Nathan Korenteng gave The Angels a 2-0 lead three minutes after the restart. Dartford started their comeback on 53 minutes when young Jackie Pallen halved the deficit from close range. Lee Burns then set up Graham to loop in a shot and tie the match in normal time. In extra time Graham netted his fourth goal in the Kent Senior Cup when he was waiting at the far post to smash in a tidy finish. With seven minutes to play Burns settled the score after he got on the end of Jon Wallis’ thorugh ball.

Ebbsfleet United 1 Hythe Town 4 (After Extra Time)

Like Dartford, The Reds needed extra time in the quarter final. With the scores level at 1-1 after 90 minutes Hythe Town scored three unanswered goals to upset the Conference Premier side. Nick Reeves put the away side in front but a disputed last minute penalty was converted by Nathan Pinney to temporarily save The Fleet. Kieran Byrne restored Hythe’s lead when he slid in to score two minutes into extra time, Ronnie Dolan volleyed number three and Craig Thompson made it 4-1 before the second half of extra time.

Second Round

Folkestone Invicta 1 Dartford 4

Both sides started this seasons Kent Senior Cup campaign in round two and progressed in different styles. The Darts took on Isthmian Division One South side and passed with flying colours. The holders did go a goal down when Invicta’s Josh Burchell celebrated his 150th appearance with a swerving effort with nine minutes played. Jacob Erskine opened his cup account from close range in the 36th minute and Tom Bonner put The Darts ahead five minutes later. Richard Graham netted a brace in the second half when he chipped Roddy Hayward then later on headed in a Ryan Hayes cross.

Hythe Town 2 Erith Town 1

Richard Sinden made sure that Hythe Town’s county cup exploits started smoothly with a brace. However it was Adam Williams who opened the scoring for Erith Town early on. Kane Rice sent in a cross on 27 minutes and waiting for the equaliser was Sinden from close range. Sinden pounced again when he struck a winner on 54 minutes to earn a tie against Ebbsfleet United.


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