Bishop’s Stortford v Dartford

The Darts travel to Woodside Park this weekend to take on Bishop’s Stortford in the National League South. 

Exactly forty five years on from meeting for the first time, the two sides will face each other for the ninth occasion. Saturday’s opponents may have the upper hand in cup competitions with wins in the F.A Cup and F.A Trophy, however Dartford have won both of their only league encounters during the 2010/11 season.

Tony Burman’s last visit to Woodside Park ended in a 1-0 victory with Charlie Sheringham netting the decisive goal. The win completed a double over the Hertfordshire club, having recorded a 3-0 triumph at Princes Park earlier in that campaign. The former Darts striker has just spent time on loan back at Bishop’s Stortford scoring the winner last weekend against Eastbourne Borough.

A run of four consecutive defeats finally ended last weekend with a 2-2 draw over Hemel Hempstead Town. The Darts were forced to battle back from two goals down with a last minute equaliser. The match turned when former Forest Green Rovers defender Eddie Oshodi was sent off with the Tudors two up. Wilfried Gnahore and Noor Husin put the visitors in command before half time leaving Dartford with plenty of work to do. The Darts capitalised on the extra man advantage when Danny Harris pulled a goal back. In injury time Ryan Hayes’ trademark curling effort deservedly snatched a point.

Burman told “I think it was a well earned point against a good side who I’m sure will be up there come the end of the season. I didn’t think we played that badly in the first half, but once again we found ourselves two nil down. I think the players deserve a lot of credit for the mountain that had to be climbed, and fair play to them for doing that”.

The league draw was followed up with a 3-1 Kent Senior Cup victory of National League side Welling United. Tony Burman opted to play a young side and would have been pleased to see academy player Dajon Golding score his first goal for the club on his debut. George Sykes and Callum McNaughton scored the first two goals to help Dartford earn a tie with League One leaders Gillingham.

Bishop’s Stortford have fared better away from home and are three league games without a win at Woodside Park. Rod Stringer’s side can take heart from a miserly defence which has kept two consecutive clean sheets. On their own patch the Blues have misfired last scoring a home goal in the National South on 29 August.

Mixed results leaves Bishop’s Stortford in eleventh, three points from the playoff places and five points ahead of the Darts. Despite inconsistencies the Hertfordshire club are performing better than last term’s finish. Elliott Buchanan will be one to watch after notching ten league goals, just two behind the National South’s top scorer Justin Bennett.

Bishop’s Stortford may have lost there last two over Dartford, however the Blues won the most important of the meetings in 1981. The F.A Trophy semi final ended 3-2 on aggregate before Bishop’s Stortford lifted the trophy with a 1-0 Wembley win against Sutton United.

Team News

Tom Wynter suffered a small hairline fracture on his ankle against Welling United. Tom Gardiner has served his one match ban for his red card, whilst Lee Noble is awaiting suspension following five cautions this term.

Head to Head

Bishop’s Stortford wins: 3 / Dartford wins: 2 / Draws: 3

Last Meeting at Woodside Park

29 January 2011 – Bishop’s Stortford 0 Dartford 1 – attendance 627

Goalscorer: Charlie Sheringham

Darts lineup – Andrew Young, Billy Burgess, Tom Bonner, Joe Bruce, Paul Goodacre, Tom Champion, Lee Noble, Danny Harris, Charlie Sheringham, Jon Main, Elliot Bradbrook (subs used: Carl Rook, Matt Jones)

Current League Form

Bishop’s Stortford (WDLWWL) Dartford (DLLLWD)
Eastbourne Borough  A  1-0 Hemel Hempstead Town  H  2-2
Hayes & Yeading United  H  0-0 Wealdstone  A  1-2
Maidenhead United  H  0-2 Truro City  H  0-1
Hemel Hempstead Town  A  2-1 Oxford City  A  1-2
Hayes & Yeading United  A  2-0 Weston-super-Mare  H  2-1
Weston-super-Mare  H  0-1 Bath City  A  0-0

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Cup / ^ – F.A Trophy)

29.01.2011 Bishop’s Stortford 0 Dartford 1
24.08.2010 Dartford 3 Bishop’s Stortford 0
11.04.1981^ Bishop’s Stortford 2 Dartford 1
04.04.1981^ Dartford 1 Bishop’s Stortford 1
22.11.1975* Dartford 1 Bishop’s Stortford 4
27.10.1970* Bishop’s Stortford 3 Dartford 1
24.10.2070* Dartford 1 Bishop’s Stortford 1



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