Dartford v Welling United

There will be no time for New Year sentiment for joint manager Jamie Coyle when his Dartford side host his former club Welling United to kick off 2019.

The former Wings boss spent one season at Park View Road leading them to tenth last term before stepping down. It will be the first time the 35 year old has faced his old team. A year ago he watched the Darts beat his Welling United side twice with the fixture at Princes Park finishing 4-1.

However, it’s not been a great Christmas for Coyle so far. On Boxing Day he watched the Darts fall to a 2-0 defeat against Welling United in the away fixture. The former Dartford defender stated that his side lost the key battles and to rub salt into the Dartford wound to former players scored. Josh Hill nodded his first goal for the Wings from a Nassim L’Ghoul corner and in the second half Danny Mills secured victory.

On Saturday, Coyle was sent off for dissent at East Thurrock United during the 2-2 draw. Charlie Sheringham gave the Darts an early lead which was swiped out when Tom Derry equalised for the Rocks. To make matters worse Lee Noble was red carded leaving the Darts down to ten on the pitch, a minute later Derry scored again. A man down, Dartford rallied and were rewarded when Elliot Bradbrook levelled with fifteen minutes remaining. One point from the last two outings has pushed the Darts down to tenth, two points shy of a playoff place and three behind Welling United.

In the festive clashes last time Andy Pugh and Alfie Pavey came back to haunt the Wings, both players previously had spells with Dartford’s local rivals. On New Year’s Day, a deflected Ryan Hayes shot found its way past Ryan Sandford in the Wings goal to give the hosts the lead, which lasted just five minutes. Elliot Romain equalised when he headed past Deren Ibrahim from close range, then Andy Pugh put Dartford in front before the interval. Alfie Pavey was introduced to the action and the substitute had time to add a brace to earn the Darts a festive double over the Wings.

Last year’s Boxing Day fixture served up a festive treat thanks to Pavey’s last minute wonder goal. The Darts threw away a two goal advantage created by Pugh’s third minute strike and his second goal early in the second half. Welling United halved the deficit when Callum Driver, now at the Darts scored an excellent free-kick. Another set piece made it 2-2 with Jeff Monakana’s penalty levelling the local derby. In the final minute Pavey scored the winner, scissor kicking a shot from the edge of the box for a stunning finale to a thrilling game.

Dartford have enjoyed the upper hand at home against Welling United in the league, losing just once which was five years ago. In 2016, the Darts enjoyed a 2-1 victory with goals by Alex Brown and Elliot Bradbrook and in 2014, Max Cornhill and Harry Crawford helped Dartford win by the same scoreline.

This season Welling United have been challenging at the summit thanks largely to the manager Steve King. Appointed in the summer, King has used his contacts with former clubs Whitehawk and Macclesfield Town. One of those former Whitehawk players was part of Dartford’s squad last term. Danny Mills netted an impressive 58 goals in two season’s under King at Whitehawk building up a decent reputation as a striker. Trying his luck at Ebbsfleet United didn’t quite go to plan and when the Fleet sent him on loan to the Darts his spell divided opinion. In a Dartford shirt he managed six goals in 26 appearances, but made his mark on Boxing Day.

On the weekend, the Wings were beaten by Concord Rangers, only their second home defeat of the campaign. The winner was scored after just a minute when Dean Wilks parried the ball for former Dart, tyrone Sterling to score. The loss leaves Welling United in fourth, ten points behind top spot.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 19 / Welling United wins: 8 / Draws: 10

Current League Form

Dartford (DLWDLW) Welling United (LWDLLW)
East Thurrock United A 2-2 Concord Rangers H 0-1
Welling United A 0-2 Dartford H 2-0
Hungerford Town H 2-1 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
Slough Town H 1-1 Hampton & Richmond A 1-2
Torquay United A 0-2 Torquay United A 1-3
Hampton & Richmond A 1-0 Hungerford Town H 3-1

Previous Meetings

26.12.2018 Welling United 0 Dartford 2
01.01.2018 Dartford 4 Welling United 1
26.12.2017 Welling United 2 Dartford 3
28.02.2017 Welling United 0 Dartford 0
22.11.2016 Welling United 2 Dartford 2
06.09.2016 Dartford 2 Welling United 1


Dartford have won their last four home games against Welling United, their best home run against the Wings

The Darts have won 6, drew 1 and lost 1 of their last eight matches at home versus their local rivals.

Both teams have scored in this fixture in 14 of the last 16 meetings, the exceptions being a 0-0 draw in February 2017 and on Boxing Day

On This Day

Dartford’s 4-1 win on New Year’s Day last season against Welling United was the first home match on 1 January for the Darts since 1999, a 0-0 draw with Margate in the Southern League South. Two years later Dartford thrashed Sittingbourne 5-2 away from home, which started a run of seven consecutive away fixtures on New Year’s Day. The victory in 2001 was the only one until last season, Dartford went on to lose five and draw one, including a 2-1 loss at Park View Road in 2011.


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