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Aldershot Town v Dartford

Dartford have only managed one league fixture this month and hope to make that two with a visit to Aldershot Town this weekend.

Weather conditions have prevented the Darts from action with a number of postponements this February. It seems so long ago since Tony Burman’s side earned a creditable home draw against Bristol Rovers, which was followed up with an important win versus AFC Telford United.

Claiming all three points at the New Bucks Head is so far the only league fixture fulfilled by the Darts this month. Potentially the away trip to AFC Telford United  could turn out to be crucial in Dartford’s bid for survival. At the start of the match Burman’s side were eight points adrift, going into injury time an opportunity to close the gap was slipping away until a last minute own goal changed the mood as the Darts secured a 3-2 triumph.

Andy Pugh showed why he has been missed with some decent performances since coming back from injury. The striker opened the scoring in Shropshire but his sending off means he will be missed again this weekend. Tom Dallison could make his second start in a Dartford shirt after making his début against AFC Telford United. The teenager signed on loan from Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion is likely to partner Rory McAuley at the back.

Last season the Darts were outplayed in Hampshire and know this time a decent result will help build momentum. The Shots made home advantage count 18 months ago by recording their first win of the campaign. Lee Noble’s early cross against the crossbar was the closest the Darts came to scoring. Aldershot Town looked comfortable throughout which was reflected by goals from Brett Williams, Manny Oyeleke and Aaron Wickham.

Since the 3-0 defeat the two sides have played out consecutive 1-1 draws at Princes Park. Earlier this season, Josh Scott’s first half goal was cancelled out by Pugh. Last term ten men Aldershot Town scored late on to deny Dartford an important win. Elliot Bradbrook’s penalty was not enough for the Darts as Williams scored a last minute 30 yard stunner.

Up until recently Aldershot Town’s form caused enough concern for chairman Shahid Azeem to act. Last month Andy Scott was sacked after a run of one win in nine games. Captain Chris Barker has been appointed as caretaker manager and after a loss in his first fixture has led the Shots to consecutive wins. If it wasn’t for those back to back wins against fellow relegation threatened Welling United and Alfreton Town, the Hampshire club would be in the thick of a battle. As it is the Shots have a eight point cushion with 12 games to go, but still need to go away to four of the current top five.

The Darts will be well aware of the potential threat of Brett Williams who scored twice against Dartford last season. The 27 year old has scored 12 this term to add to the 24 league goals in 2013/2014. At the other end of the pitch goalkeeper Phil Smith will be familiar after spending a spell at Princes Park, the former Portsmouth shot stopper played three times in Dartford’s last league campaign.

Team News

Andy Pugh will be suspended for his red cared at AFC Telford United a fortnight ago. Ryan Hayes could return after missing the 3-2 win with a hamstring injury. Christian Doidge has had his loan spell extended whilst Jamie Richards is due to play his final game of his current loan, Burman is keen to keep the 20 year old defender for longer.

Aldershot Town have signed Fulham left-back Tom Richards on a youth loan deal and Rochdale defender Sean McGinty also on loan. Joshua Scott is suspended after being dismissed against Alfreton Town last weekend

Head to Head

Aldershot Town wins: 6 / Dartford wins: 4 / Draws: 7

Current League Form

Aldershot Town (WWLLLL) Dartford (WDLLLL)
Alfreton Town  A  3-2 AFC Telford United  A  3-2
Welling United  H  2-1 Bristol Rovers  H  2-2
Altrincham  A  0-1 Dover Athletic  A  1-6
Kidderminster Harriers  H  0-1 FC Halifax Town  H  1-2
Lincoln City  A  0-3 Kidderminster Harriers  H  1-2
AFC Telford United  H  1-2 Braintree Town  A  0-3

Last Meeting at the ESS Stadium

13 August 2013 – Aldershot Town 3 Dartford 0 – Att: 2138

Goalscorers: Williams (18), Oyeleke (61), Wickham (87)

Aldershot Town Lineup: Morris, Oastler, Goodman, Webster, Barker, Stanley, Rowlands, Oyeleke, Molesley, Williams, Paterson (subs used: Douglas, Roberts, Wickham)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Clark, Mitchel-King, Burns, Rogers, Cornhill, Bradbrook, Noble, Hayes, Prior, Birchall (subs used: Collier, Woodyard, Harris)

Match Stats

aldershot v dfc stats

Previous Six Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

18.10.2014 Dartford 1 Aldershot Town 1
25.02.2014 Dartford 1 Aldershot Town 1
13.08.2013 Aldershot Town 3 Dartford 0
16.11.1968* Dartford 3 Aldershot Town 0
18.11.1964* Aldershot Town 1 Dartford 0
14.11.1964* Dartford 1 Aldershot Town 1


7 – Dartford have gone seven games unbeaten against sides in the bottom seven which includes Aldershot Town

39 – league games since Dartford last won back to back league games, against Hyde and Macclesfield Town in March 2014

43 – league fixtures since Aldershot Town were involved in a no score draw, only Barnet have gone longer (63 games). Dartford’s last goalless draw was 28 matches ago, their last clean sheet in the Conference Premier.

1986 – The last time Dartford played less than two league games in February was 29 years ago. Whilst in the Conference Premier the Darts won their only league match in February against Altrincham 3-2

1991 – Was the last time only two league fixtures were fulfilled in February, Dartford drew both Southern League Premier games 1-1 against Dorchester Town then Atherstone United

Since reformation Dartford have won three and lost once on 28 February. Slade Green were beaten 4-1 in 1996, Yate Town defeated 5-2 two years later and Tooting and Mitcham United were beaten 3-1 six years ago. Corby Town won against the Darts 3-0 back in 2004.

Dartford v Aldershot Town

Dartford look to create some distance between them and the bottom four when they host Aldershot Town this weekend.

The Darts picked up a single point from the Shots last term and last defeated the Hampshire side 46 years ago. In that time both clubs have fallen to the depths of non-league before rising back up the football pyramid.

Aldershot Town may have experienced troubles over the last two campaigns with relegation out of the Football League and last season’s ten point deduction; however they started this campaign on an even keel on and off the pitch.

Eight months ago, the Darts saw satisfaction turn to disappointment against the Shots as they battled out a contest at the bottom of the Conference Premier. With the first half coming to an end, Aldershot Town goalkeeper Glenn Morris upended loanee Alex Wall. Morris was red carded for his foul in the box and captain Elliot Bradbrook scored. The Shots, needing the points as much as Dartford, waited until two minutes from time to snatch a 1-1 draw. Brett Williams took advantage of the space given to him and hit a fine long range effort past Alan Julian.

The Darts had a rare week off since their last game in which Ryan Hayes almost earned his side all three points. The midfielder could make his 400th Dartford appearance this weekend, a total which includes 285 starts. After an unlucky defeat at Bristol Rovers in mid-week, Tony Burman saw his side in front for just two minutes against Macclesfield Town.

In the first half only one decent chance of note was fashioned by either side when the Silkmen’s Waide Fairhurst tested goalkeeper Jason Brown. More opportunities were created in the second forty five minutes with Mat Mitchel-King hitting the base of the post and Hayes putting the rebound over. Macclesfield Town’s Adrain Moke came close when his shot beat Brown and came off both posts, before the Dartford goalkeeper smothered the ball. With five minutes to go, Hayes scored his first of the season bending the ball beyond Rhys Taylor to record his 81st goal for the club. The lead lasted just two minutes; Rory McAuley failed to clear his lines leaving Matthew Barnes-Homer to level the match in his second spell for the Silkmen.

Meanwhile, Aldershot Town were involved in an entertaining 2-2 home draw against Bristol Rovers continuing their inconsistent campaign. Last season’s top scorer at the Recreation Ground, Brett Williams put the hosts ahead with a 16th minute penalty only for Andy Monkhouse to equalise before half time. The West Country side then went ahead through a penalty of their own scored by Matthew Taylor. Shots were thankful for Jordan Roberts’ free kick which put Andy Scott’s men back on level terms, however the midfielder was sent off in injury time for a second caution.

Five points ahead of the Darts in 15th place, the Shots have won just once on the road which was three months ago. Scoring only five times on their travels the Hampshire club rely on Williams to find the net. The striker top scored last term and his seven strikes this time is five more than his closest club rival in the scoring charts. Defensively, Aldershot Town remain tight at the back conceding only nine, the sixth best away defence.

Prior last season’s meeting with each other you have to go back to the sixties for a pair of F.A Cup fixtures. In 1968, the Darts reached the First Round proper and were rewarded with a tie against Aldershot, then of the Football League’s Fourth Division. Dartford caused an upset winning 3-1 in front of 4105 supporters. The scalp erased memories of a F.A Cup replay defeat four years earlier.

Team News

Peter Sweeney and Lee Noble missed out on the 1-1 draw with Macclesfield Town both midfielders have been struggling with injuries. Tom Bradbrook lasted just over ten minutes against the Silkmen before injury saw him replaced by Danny Harris. Lee  Burns is also out of action and Adam Green has signed a loan deal with Leatherhead.

Aldershot Town’s Anthony Tomkin has been struggling with a calf injury, Mark Molesley with tendonitis and Jordan Roberts will be suspended for his red card last weekend. The Shots have also made two loan signings, returning to the club for a third loan spell is Manny Oyeleke. Andre McCollin also arrives from Kingstonian, the striker missed a penalty against the Darts in an F.A Trophy tie two years ago.

Head to Head 

Dartford wins: 4 / Aldershot Town wins: 6 / Draws: 6

Current Form

Dartford (DLDDWL) Aldershot Town (DLWLDW)
Macclesfield Town H 1-1 Bristol Rovers H 2-2
Bristol Rovers A 0-1 Chester A 0-1
Grimsby Town H 1-1 Alfreton Town H 2-0
Welling United A 2-2 Dover Athletic A 0-3
Nuneaton Town A 2-1 Gateshead A 1-1
Forest Green Rovers H 1-2 Lincoln City H 1-0

Last League Meeting at Princes Park

25 February 2014 – Dartford 1 Aldershot Town 1 – Att: 1125

Goalscorer: Bradbrook (45 pen), Williams (88)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Mitchel-King, McAuley, Sterling, Burns, Woodyard, Stevenson, Bradbrook, Cornhill, Harris, Wall (subs used: Swallow, Noble)

Aldershot Town Lineup: Morris, Oastler, Barker, Gibbs, Roberts, Taiwo, Stanley, Partington, B Williams, Bubb, Plummer (subs used: L Williams, Tonkin, Scott)

Match Stats

dfc v atfc stats

Previous Five Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

25.02.2014 Dartford 1 Aldershot Town 1
13.08.2013 Aldershot Town 3 Dartford 0
16.11.1968* Dartford 3 Aldershot Town 0
18.11.1964* Aldershot Town 1 Dartford 0
14.11.1964* Dartford 1 Aldershot Town 1



Aldershot Town

Recreation  Ground Founded 1992 The Shots

One of a few phoenix clubs now plying their trade in the Conference Premier, Aldershot Town’s rise since reformation ran out of fire just over a year ago. The Hampshire side took sixteen season’s to reach the Football League where they exited as Aldershot in 1992. The club remain the last club to be wound up in England’s top four divisions. A five year spell in League Two came to a difficult end in 2013, however the club did reach the League Two playoffs four years ago. Relegation and financial difficulties meant the Shots started last term ten points behind everyone else. At least the Shots will start with a clean slate for the campaign ahead giving them more hope this summer than the previous one.

Aldershot Town FCLast Season

Conference Premier: 19th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

FA Trophy: Quarter Finals

County Cup: 3rd Round

Top Scorer: Brett Williams

Average Attendance: 1947

It took the Shots seven games to break even from their points deduction. Two key factors in Aldershot Town’s survival was the goal scoring prowess of Brett Williams, who netted an impressive 24 goals and a decent goal difference. At home the Shots beat those around them giving the club an extra edge and showed signs of recovery in November and December. Four consecutive home wins yielded sixteen goals and just three conceded, including a 5-1 victory over Southport and the 6-0 thrashing of Tamworth. A Good Friday win at Woking made supporters feel more at ease as they avoided a win or bust fixture against Hereford United on the final day. All of which, in the end, was inconsequential following Hereford United’s demise off the pitch. A second relegation in a row would have been disastrous for the Hampshire side but under chairman Shahid Azeem, who took over the club in August, the Shots can look to the future.

The Manager – Andy Scott

Aldershot Town’s manager believes the clubs off field problems are now firmly behind them and he can have a shot at the Football League. Andy Scott already has playing and managerial experience in the top four flights and a taste of non league. Starting out at Sutton United in the mould of  an attacking midfielder he was snapped up by then Premier League side Sheffield United. Loan spells at Chesterfield and Bury were followed by permanent stints at Brentford, Oxford United and Leyton Orient. Scott returned to West London in 2007 picking up BBC London’s Manager of the Year twelve months later. In his first full season in charge at Brentford he led them to the League Two title. Scott was forced into finding a new job in February 2011 after his spell ended at Griffin Park, two months later he was at Rotherham United where he lasted less than a year. The 41 year old took over the Shots in February 2013 with the club suffering on and off the field resulting in relegation. This time Scott will be pleased to work on a level playing field.

The Summer

The Shots have benefited from a Salisbury City’s debt problems taking their top scorer from last season Dan Fitchett. The striker who scored 13 league goals in 42 appearances last term will pair up with the prolific Brett Williams. Also arriving from Wiltshire is defender Glenn Wilson, the ever present captain for Salisbury City will spend a ninth campaign in the Conference Premier. Damon Lathrope spent four years at Torquay United, the midfielder who had a brief loan spell at Hereford United signs for the Shots. Also in the middle of the park arrives Sam Hatton, the 26 year old leaves Grimsby Town and has won three England C caps. Phil Smith played three times on loan at Dartford and replaces Morris in the Aldershot Town goal, signing from League Two club Portsmouth.

Goalkeeper Glenn Morris joins League One side Gillingham, the 30 year old kept seven clean sheets in the Conference Premier in 2013/14. Adam Mekki leaves the Recreation Ground after eight years with the club and following him will be midfielder Craig Stanley. The pair made 72 appearances between them last term. Making room up front, Bradley Bubb and Matt Paterson have been released along with Martin Rowlands, Bobby Webbe and Luke Williams.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Dartford 1 Aldershot Town 1 – Conference Premier – 25 February 2014

At the time a lot hinged on this match with both sides fighting to beat the drop. On the stroke of half time goalkeeper Glenn Morris fouled on loan Alex Wall and was sent off. Captain Elliot Bradbrook netted the spot kick to put Dartford one up in goals. With the clock ticking down Brett Williams scored a stunner from 30 yards leaving the Darts disappointed.

Aldershot Town 3 Dartford 0 – Conference Premier – 13 August 2013

The Shots made home advantage count and recorded their first win of the season. Lee Noble’s early cross against the crossbar was the closest the Darts came to scoring. Aldershot Town looked comfortable which was reflected by goals from Brett Williams, Manny Oyeleke and Aaron Wickham.

Next Meetings

Saturday 18 October 2014 at Princes Park

Saturday 28 February 2015 at the Recreation Ground

League Performance Last Ten Years

aldershot town 10 yrs

Best Performances

6th League Two (2009/10) F.A Cup 4th Round (2012/13) F.A Trophy Semi Final (2003/04 & 2007/08)

Dartford v Aldershot Town

Dartford’s battle against the drop continues this week when they host Aldershot Town for the first time in 46 years.

A fourth win in five has given the Darts the chance of survival that looked a long way away just over a month ago. Meanwhile, their opponents have been dragged into what Tony Burman has called a ‘mini league’ having won one of their last seven.

The Shots lead that ‘mini league’ on goal difference from Chester who are above the relegation line. Dartford also on 32 points have played more matches but have the momentum. Southport and Tamworth make up the other clubs aiming to beat the drop into the second tier of non league football.

Dartford briefly adventured out of the bottom four on Saturday for the first time since early November. Hosting a struggling Hereford United side Alex Wall gave the Darts a twelfth minute lead. The Luton Town loanee’s third in two games caught Bulls goalkeeper Rhys Evans off guard. Results temporarily went Dartford’s way elsewhere but Burman’s men kept their eye on the task at hand. Hereford United’s pressure in the second half threatened to spoil the afternoon until Lee Noble’s wonderful volley twenty minutes from time sealed another important victory.

Burman praised his team’s back line for holding out, he told BBC Radio Kent:  “We came under a lot of pressure. They get the ball in the box early, but I thought we defended really well”. So far this calendar year the Darts have won four, drawn two and lost once and its this good form the manager recognises, he added: “I’ve got to give credit to the players, they have been excellent since the turn of the year and that little bit of a spark is there”.

Earlier this season, the Shots came out on top to help them chip away at their 10 point deficit. Lee Noble hit the woodwork before the Shots took the lead through Brett Williams, signed from Reading the striker notched his first for the Hampshire side after 18 minutes. It took the home side until the hour mark to double their advantage through Manny Oyeleke and with three minutes remaining Aaron Wickham scored a third.

Dartford last played Aldershot Town at home in 1968 when they reached the F.A Cup first round. The Shots had beaten Dartford four years earlier in the competition but this time the Darts took a Football League scalp. In front of over 4000 spectators the Darts reached the second round with a 3-1 triumph.

Aldershot Town have only recently started to look over their shoulder. Not helped by the ten point deduction at the start of the season, the Shots have been inconsistent. During their best part of the season they beat Southport 5-0 and Tamworth 6-0 winning four out five matches. With only three away victories in the league, Scott’s side are still at risk of slumping to a successive relegation.

On the weekend, the Hampshire club travelled up north to bottom club Hyde and come away with a 2-2 draw. Top scorer for the club, Brett Williams put Aldershot Town ahead but two minutes later Adam Blakeman levelled. Hyde went in front with fifteen minutes to go through Jordan Clark and with five minutes remaining Joe Partington equalised. The Shots have now won one of their last nine away matches in the Conference Premier.

Shots boss, Andy Scott felt his side should have beaten Hyde, he told BBC Radio Surrey: “”We’ve created enough chances to win two games today”. The manager noted a lack of width and urgency in the first half and a finishing touch in the second. Aldershot Town’s manager went on to state: “I am obviously disappointed but when you make individual errors we can’t dwell on it and it’s another point to the total”.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Aldershot Town wins: 6 / Draws: 5

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWDWL) Aldershot Town (DDLDWD)
Hereford United H 2-0 Hyde A 2-2
Woking H 5-1 Forest Green Rovers H 2-2
Wrexham A 2-1 Nuneaton Town A 1-2
Cambridge United H 3-3 FC Halifax Town H 2-2
Kidderminster Harriers A 2-1 Barnet A 3-1
Salisbury City A 0-1 Gateshead A 0-0



Aldershot Town v Dartford

Dartford’s opening away day arrives on Tuesday night with a trip to Aldershot Town for the first time in 45 years.

It’s been almost half a century since the Darts last face the Shots in a F.A Cup first round tie. Then of the Southern Premier League, Dartford caused an upset to win 3-1 at Watling Street and progress to the second round.  Aldershot were an established Football League side back then, where they remained until 1992 when the club resigned on financial grounds.

Birchall scored an opening day winner

Birchall netted the winner

A new look Darts warmed up by getting off to the perfect start on the weekend dispatching their visitors Alfreton Town by a single goal. Adam Birchall’s craft three minutes before half time was enough to earn Dartford their first three point haul of the campaign. The striker on loan from Gillingham hassled the Alfreton Town defence putting former Wrexham defender Chris Westwood under pressure, before sneaking down the byline and slotting the ball through Ross Atkins’s legs. Apart from a scare immediately after Birchall’s winner Dartford held on to victory. Alfreton Town’s best effort was ruled out for offside when the assistant referee flagged Paul Clayton who put the ball beyond Julian.

Tony Burman handed out competitive débuts to Alan Julian, Kenny Clark, Mat Mitchel-King and Matt Fry, who marked their first starts together at the back with a clean sheet. Fry was forced to withdraw on 51 minutes through injury and was replaced by James Rogers. Max Cornhill was the only other débutant to play the full ninety minutes and Alex Woodyard made an appearance in the closing stages. Jason Prior and Birchall linked up well, both had previously played for the Darts on loan last season.

The Shots almost saw history repeat itself, this time relegated from League Two the Hampshire side were close to going out of business again. At the beginning of the month a consortium led by former chairman Shahid Azeem became the new owners. Three months ago, the Shots reported debts of £1.4 million and the summer uncertainty has left the phoenix club with a ten point deduction.

Aldershot Town's Recreation Ground

Aldershot Town’s Recreation Ground

Manager, Andy Scott is confident the ten point deficit will galvanise his new look squad which has only just been assembled. In August alone the Aldershot Town boss has signed a teamful of players and included no fewer than seven of them in Saturday’s opener. Returning midfielder Mark Molesley made his third début for the club, Jake Goodman, Adam Webster and former Republic of Ireland international Martin Rowlands also started. Matt Patterson and Chris Barker were other newbies along with Brett Williams who spent time with Woking on loan last season.

The Shots were denied an opening day win by Grimsby Town’s Ross Hannah, the substitute put away a spot kick nine minutes from time. Aldershot Town took the lead at Blundell Park when new signing Joe Oastler put the Hampshire side ahead just before the hour. Scott spoke to BBC Radio Surrey and said: “With what we’ve gone through, and the fact that we’re here with a team on the pitch, is testament to everybody; the fans, the players, the staff, the new consortium”, he added: “We had some very young players on the pitch and I think the two centre-halves were outstanding. The performance was outstanding and we dominated large parts of the game.”

Team News

Tyrone Sterling has struggled through pre season with an ankle injury and was unavailable against Alfreton Town. New signing Matt Fry was substituted early in the second half on the weekend cutting his first match for the Darts short.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Aldershot Town wins: 5 / Draws 5

Last Five Meetings (*F.A Cup)

16.11.1968* Dartford 3 Aldershot Town 1
18.11.1964* Aldershot Town 1 Dartford 0
14.11.1964* Dartford 1 Aldershot Town 1
07.04.1939 Dartford 3 Aldershot Town 2
04.09.1937 Dartford 1 Aldershot Town 1


14 – Dartford had the second most attempts at goal on the opening day of the season joint with Kidderminster Harriers. Still that’s nine shots behind Forest Green Rovers who thumped Hyde 8-0. Cambridge United played the following day and recorded three more than Rovers.

4037 – The biggest crowd of matchday one was at Blundell Park where Aldershot Town visited Grimsby Town to witness a 1-1 draw