Dartford v Whitehawk

Dartford’s promotion push continues at home in the National South when they host relegation threatened Whitehawk.

The Darts know a fifth consecutive league victory will continue to apply pressure on the top two. Meanwhile, Whitehawk are desperate to halt a run of five defeats in a row.

Last weekend, Dartford recorded their first win over Wealdstone in 26 years scoring four goals without reply. Once more, the scoresheet showed a variety of players finding the net starting with Luke Wandio’s second in his last two appearances. Ryan Hayes put the Darts two up as he edges closer to his 100th goal for the club and Elliot Bradbrook made it three before half time. Andy Pugh scored on the hour to also score in his second game running.

With Tom Bonner missing and Lee Noble injured, Dartford recorded another impressive result. Duane Ofori-Acheampong returned to the bench coming on as a substitute. The Darts have now scored 16 goals in their last four league games and in each of those fixtures different goalscorers found the net.

The Darts will hope to reverse the result back in August when Whitehawk ran out 1-0 winners. A fourth minute penalty by Ahmed Abdulla settled the match, Keaton Wood was sent off just before half time. Last season at Princes Park, despite Pugh’s double the Hawks won 4-2, the Sussex club also beat Dartford 2-1 in the F.A Trophy.

This campaign, the Hawks are a long way off from the form they showed in the tail end of last season. Reaching the playoffs last term and almost earning a third round F.A Cup tie with Everton before then, Whitehawk are trying to avoid dropping out of the National South.

Stability will be welcomed by the Sussex club with so many managerial changes since September. Pablo Asensio was the first to go and in came Richard Hill, who left in November. Alan Payne and Ben Strevens took joint charge until December when Strevens returned to Eastleigh. Up stepped defender Paul Reid until last weekend when he stepped down again following the 2-0 defeat to Weston-super-Mare, leaving Payne at the helm. Currently in a poor spell, the Hawks have lost five league games in a row and also went out of the F.A Trophy to Dulwich Hamlet of the Isthmian Premier League. Recent results has meant another change took place when Andy Woodman was appointed the new boss.

Danny Mills continues to be their top man in front of goal but Whitehawk now have experience too. Former Charlton Athletic striker Kevin Lisbie is part of the squad and Brian Howard, the former Barnsley midfielder who netted a winner against Liverpool in the F.A Cup. Former Dart, Marvin Hamilton is regularly making the starting eleven as is Micheal West, formerly of local rivals Ebbsfleet United.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 2 / Whitehawk wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Current League Form
Dartford (WWWWLWL)
Won 4-0 v Wealdstone (A)
Won 3-2 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Won 3-2 v Weston-super-Mare (H)
Won 6-1 v East Thurrock United (H)
Lost 0-1 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 2-1 v Ebbsfleet United (H)
Lost 0-5 v Maidenhead United (A)

Whitehawk (LLLLLD)
Lost 0-2 v Weston-super-Mare (H)
Lost 1-3 v Hungerford Town (A)
Lost 0-1 v Chelmsford City (A)
Lost 2-4 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Lost 0-2 v Bath City (H)
Drew 4-4 v Gosport Borough (H)

Previous Meetings
Whitehawk 1 Dartford 0 (10/08/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Whitehawk 4 (12/03/2016 – National South)
Whitehawk 0 Dartford 1 (19/12/2015 – National South)
Whitehawk 2 Dartford 1 (28/11/2015 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 5 Whitehawk 2 (04/09/1982 – F.A Cup)

On This Day
It’s been 14 years since Dartford last played on 4 February in the Southern League Division One East, the Darts lost 1-0 away to Tonbridge Angels. In 1995, the only other time Dartford played on this day since reforming, the Darts beat Canterbury City 2-0 in the Kent League.

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