Poole Town v Dartford

Dartford will prepare for the National South playoffs by travelling to Poole Town for their final league game of the season.

Tony Burman’s men went out on a Princes Park high last weekend with a 4-0 win over basement boys Bishop’s Stortford. our different players found the net, Andy Pugh, Elliot Bradbrook, Duane Ofori-Acheampong and Alfie Pavey. It was a fantastic way to celebrate an afternoon which saw Bradbrook crowned Player of the Year and Ofori-Acheampong collecting the Leach?Towersey Memorial Shield.

Dartford’s fate may well be known to some extent in that take on Chelmsford City, but with the sides level on points both will be trying to finish third for a second leg home advantage. Captain, Bradbrook told “I’d much rather finish third than fourth to have the second leg here rather than away”, he added: “We can start looking ahead to those play-off games but we need to try and finish third so we’ve got two big games to finish off”.

Away form has dipped in recent months with the club without a win in six attempts collecting four points from 18, their worst away run this campaign. Despite the downturn on their travels, Burman expressed his delight at securing at least a top four finish, he also spoke to and said: “At the start of the season if you look at the financial table, we weren’t top or third, we were around eighth or 10th”, he continued: “That’s why I’m delighted with what we’ve done. On and off the field, we should be proud of the team because we’ve had a good group this year”.

Opponents, Poole Town have had an excellent campaign in their first season back at this level. Promoted as Southern League champions last term, the Dolphins have held their own and more in the National South. The Dorset club will want to prove a point by finishing in the top five despite being rejected for a place in the Playoffs. Five games without a win has coincided with the news Poole Town cannot take part in the end of season finale due to standards to their ground. The Dolphins will definitely be playing National South football next term.

Over the course of this season, they were the first to defeat table toppers Maidenhead United, thrashed Gosport Borough 7-0 in the New Year and have the fourth best defence in the division. They have lacked goals for a top half side but Steve Devlin has still managed 14 goals for the Dolphins this season. Currently on an unbeaten home run of seven, their best during 2016/2017, Poole Town will be hoping to lift the mood by making it eight.

Earlier in the season, Dartford beat Poole Town at Princes Park when Ofori-Acheampong headed in Lee Noble’s free kick and within a couple of minutes Luke Wanadio made it two. Poole Town halved the deficit causing trouble for the Darts in the second half but Burman’s men held on.

The Darts will want to end their six year final game blues to carry momentum into the playoff semi-final against Chelmsford City. Dartford last tasted victory on the last day of a league season back in 2011.

Head to Head
Poole Town wins: 25 / Dartford wins: 15 / Draws: 5

Current League Form
Poole Town (LLDLDW)
Lost 0-2 v Whitehawk (A)
Lost 0-3 v Bath City (A)
Drew 1-1 v Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Lost 0-3 v Chelmsford City (A)
Drew 1-1 v Hungerford Town (H)
Won 2-1 v Concord Rangers (H)

Dartford (WDLWWD)
Won 4-0 v Bishop’s Strotford (H)
Won 3-1 v Hampton and Richmond (H)
Lost 0-2 v Hungerford Town (A)
Won 4-3 v Eastbourne Borough (H)
Drew 2-2 v Hemel Hempstead Town (A)
Lost 0-1 v St Albans City (A)

Previous Meetings
Dartford 2 Poole Town 1 (03/12/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Poole Town 0 (14/03/1992 – Southern League Premier)
Poole Town 0 Dartford 0 (02/11/1991 – Southern League Premier)
Poole Town 1 Dartford 0 (06/04/1991 – Southern League Premier)
Dartford 0 Poole Town 0 (24/11/1990 – Southern League Premier)
Dartford 0 Poole Town 1 (14/03/1983 – Southern League Premier)

Dartford League Stats 2016/2017
Biggest Win: 6-1 v East Thurrock United (Home) / 5-0 v Truro City (Away)
Biggest Loss: 0-2 v St Albans City (Home) / 0-5 v Maidenhead United (Away)
Most Consecutive Wins: 6 (07/01/2017 to 11/02/2017)
Most Consecutive Draws: 2 (13/08/2016 to 16/08/2016 & 25/02/2017 to 28/02/2017)
Most Consecutive Losses: 1 (on eight occasions)
Clean Sheets: 15
Failed to Score: 10

On This Day
Ricky Bennett scored four as Dartford swept aside Faversham Town 6-0 in the Kent League back on 29 April 1995. Since reforming the Darts are unbeaten in their two away matches on this day. Seventeen years ago was the match away to Tonbridge Angels in the Southern League Southern Division, the Darts ran out 4-2 winners. A year before the millennium, Dartford drew 1-1 with Havant and Waterlooville.

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