Dartford v Sutton United

The Darts aim to keep a perfect home record going this weekend when they welcome Sutton United to Princes Park.

Dartford have fond memories of hosting the U’s from the last time the two sides met in the National South. A prolific afternoon in front of goal saw the Darts thrash Sutton United 6-1

Five of the players in today’s squad were involved that day with three getting on the score sheet. Goals from midfielder Lee Noble and an Adam Green penalty three minutes apart had Dartford two up. Sutton United’s Harry Beautyman pulled a goal back only for Danny Harris to score a third before the break.

Second half goals from Luke Wilkinson, Elliot Bradbrook and Jacob Erskine turned the match into a rout. Lee Burns and Ryan Hayes were also involved making substitute appearances.

Victory for Tony Burman’s side was the first at home against the U’s in 34 years. Another triumph will make it three in a row after beating the Surrey club twice just over three years ago.

On Tuesday night, Dartford made one change to the starting eleven that lost 1-0 to Hemel Hempstead Town on the opening day. Ryan Hayes replaced Danny Harris as the Darts hosted Eastbourne Borough, also looking for their first points.

The evening got off to a great start for the Darts, man of the match Jack Simmons crossed towards the near post where Tom Bradbrook nodded home with only six minutes on the clock. In the second half, Burman’s side showed encouraging signs and although another goal didn’t materialise the Darts beat Eastbourne Borough to kick start their campaign.

Simmons spoke to after the game and said: “It’s been a good start, the most important thing is that we got the three points and are off the mark now. But it’s only one game so we’ll build again and get ready for the weekend”.

Sutton United, who have failed to win on the opening day since returning to the National South in 2011 continued their form last weekend. Up against Isthmian Premier league champions Maidstone United they were beaten 2-0 with the Stones goals coming from Joe Healy and Alex Akrofi.

Defeat was followed up with a win away to Havant and Waterlooville. Manager, Paul Doswell made two changes bringing in Dan Wishart and Matthew Spillane at the expense of Kevin Amankwaah and Ross Stearn.

The Surrey club made a breakthrough when Dan Fitchett scored after 37 minutes. In the second half, defender Simon Downer was substituted and Jamie Collins who replaced him put the visitors two ahead to seal the first three points of the season for his side.

Over the summer, the Sutton United boss has used his Eastleigh connections by signing Dean Beckwith, Dan Spence and the experienced Craig McAllister, all three made their first starts last weekend. Striker Stuart Fleetwood, another former Eastleigh player had to settle with coming off the bench which he repeated on Tuesday night. Midfielder, Glen Southam formerly of Dover Athletic was also part of the Eastleigh side who won the National South in 2014.

The Darts could have been facing former goalkeeper Jason Brown who had moved to the U’s in the summer, however the former Welsh international decided to pursue a coaching role leaving Doswell short. Ross Worner was eventually snapped up from AFC Wimbledon, who also made his début at home to Maidstone United.

Sutton United are likely to use crowd favourite Craig Dundas up front. The striker has made over 350 appearances for the Surrey side and is a crowd favourite having won eight end of season player awards during his time with the U’s.

Although the campaign has only just begun, both sides will be keen to add to the three points collected over the opening two fixtures.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Sutton United wins: 4 / Draws: 0

Last Meeting at Princes Park

20 March 2012 – Dartford 6 Sutton United 1 – Att: 1022

Goalscorer: Noble, Green (pen), Harris, Wilkinson, Bradbrook, Erskine; Beautyman

Dartford Lineup: Wells, Jones, Green, Bonner, Wilkinson, Champion, Noble, Wallis, Erskine, Bradbrook, Harris (subs used: Rogers, Hayes, Burns)

Previous Meetings (* F.A Cup / ^ F.A Trophy / + Club Call Cup)

14.04.2012 Sutton United 0 Dartford 1
20.03.2012 Dartford 6 Sutton United 1
06.02.2010 Dartford 0 Sutton United 2
22.09.2009 Sutton United 0 Dartford 3
04.04.2009 Sutton United 1 Dartford 0
15.11.2008 Dartford 2 Sutton United 3
25.10.1988+ Dartford 1 Sutton United 2
04.11.1978* Sutton United 0 Dartford 2
 14.01.1978^  Dartford  2  Sutton United 0

On This Day (since reforming)

Dartford 3 Horsham 2 – Six years ago Elliot Bradbrook made an immediate impact on his competitive début for the Darts. The midfielder scored a brace at Princes Park in a 3-2 victory against Horsham. On the opening day of the Isthmian Premier league 2009/10 season, Dartford had to come from behind to win. Horsham’s Russel Eldridge had the visitors ahead before Bradbrook took the game by the scruff of the neck. In ten second half minutes Bradbrook scored, won a penalty which captain Adam Flanagan netted, then gave the Darts a two goal cushion. At the end Pat Harding grabbed a consolation for Horsham but it was Dartford who triumphed.

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