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

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


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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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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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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