Archives for : Boreham Wood

Boreham Wood v Dartford

A goal from Tom Murphy earned Dartford a replay against Boreham Wood in the F.A Trophy, the two sides are set to decide who progresses on Tuesday night.

The Darts took on higher league opposition on Saturday and a  much improved performance saw then hold on with ten men. Boreham Wood’s Ricky Shakes gave the visitors the lead in the second half before Murphy equalised. Alex Brown was sent of with 21 minutes to go, the midfielder’s second dismissal of the campaign.

Tom Bonner, Ryan Hayes and Danny Harris all returned to the starting line up with Richard Sho-Silva, Lyle Della-Verde and Andy Pugh making way. Alfie Pavey took part by replacing Danny Mills with 12 minutes remaining, Pavey has been recovering from a chest infection. New signing Nathan Collier will still b cup tied after playing for Hampton and Richmond Borough in the previous round.

Boreham Wood will have Danny Woodards assessed after he was substituted on the weekend. Keiran Murtagh returns from suspension and will be available for selection.

Dartford manager, Tony Burman praised his side after the game, he spoke to and said: “I thought it was a really good performance against a good side. They get a lot of people forward at once, with the two wing-backs and three forwards. We had to change our system a little bit, Elliot (Bradbrook) went a little deeper than I would have liked, but I thought we handled it really well”, he added: “It’s the best we’ve played for a little while”.

Boreham Wood boss Luke Garrard was also pleased enough but felt his team could have been better, he told  “I wasn’t too unhappy with the result, I have got to be honest, because they have lost just one game at home all season and they are a team who are sitting at the top of the tree. I understand that it is a cup game and I understand that we were coming up against a team who are top of the league, but we have got an opportunity now on Tuesday to put some wrongs right”.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 3 / Boreham Wood wins: 8 / Draws: 6

Current Form (FAC – F.A Cup / FAT – F.A Trophy / HSC – Hertfordshire Senior Cup)

Dartford (DLWWDW) Boreham Wood (DWWLWW)
Boreham Wood (FAT) H 1-1 Dartford (FAT) A 1-1
Hungerford Town A 0-1 AFC Fylde H 1-0
Poole Town A 1-0 Stevanage (HSC) H 4-3
Brentwood Town (FAT) A 2-1 Coventry City (FAC) A 0-3
Wealdstone H 3-3 Woking H 2-1
Gloucester City H 4-1 Maidstone United A 4-0

Previous Meetings

16.12.2017 Dartford 1 Boreham Wood 1
21.04.2012 Dartford 2 Boreham Wood 2
08.10.2011 Boreham Wood 3 Dartford 1
16.04.2011 Dartford 1 Boreham Wood 4
02.10.2010 Boreham Wood 3 Dartford 1
16.03.2010 Dartford 1 Boreham Wood 2

Dartford have only beaten Boreham Wood once away from home. The Darts solitary win came seven years ago in the Isthmian Premier League title winning campaign. Dartford have drawn two and lost the other five at Meadow Park.

Boreham Wood have won four of the last six meetings between the two clubs.

The Darts last kept a clean sheet at home on 9 September in their 3-0 win over Chippenham Town, a run of seven home games without a clean sheet.

On This Day
Dartford have won their last three matches on 19 December with the last victory coming two years ago at Whitehawk. A very good defensive display helped the Darts keep a clean sheet as Andy Pugh scored the only goal of the game. It was the first fixture on this day for 17 years, back in 1998 the Darts beat Corby Town 2-1 in the Southern League Southern Division. In 1989, Dartford progressed in the Southern League Cup winning against Margate 3-1 in a third round tie. A year before in the same competition at the same stage Dartford drew 1-1 away to Wealdstone. The last F.A Trophy match played on 19 December didn’t go so well as the Darts lost 5-1 to rivals Maidstone United in 1987.

Dartford v Boreham Wood

Dartford will want to make home advantage count this weekend when they take on Boreham Wood in the F.A Trophy first round.

Leading the National South on goal difference, the Darts aim to cause an upset against the National League side. If previous results against the Wood are anything to go by then it will be a difficult afternoon. Dartford have only beaten the Hertfordshire club three times in 16 attempts, the last victory came in 2010. Since then Boreham Wood won four in a row before a 2-2 draw in their last encounter almost five years years ago.

The Darts form at home is a major factor to why they are clinging on to pole position in the National South, however current performances have been patchy. A 1-0 away defeat to Hungerford Town last weekend left manager Tony Burman disappointed, he spoke to and said: “Once again it’s unfortunate that when we have started a match in a good position at the top of the table, we have managed to lose a game that in my opinion we should have won”.

Burman feels his side’s attitude was excellent and defensively they weren’t troubled until Tom Meecham’s winning penalty. He added: “Defensively we were sound and I can’t remember Deren having to make a save throughout the game. Going forward we have created a number of chances in the first half and many more in the second half, unfortunately these chances were not converted into goals”.

New signing Nathan Collier was unavailable after becoming a father, he is waiting for his first start since re-joining the Darts. Duane Ofori-Acheampong is getting closer to becoming more involved after a long tern injury and top scorer, Alfie Pavey has been out with a chest infection. Danny Harris returned to the bench after a few games out of the side.

Dartford reached the second round of the competition last term and can be inspired by the performance that got them there. In the first round they were drawn out to rivals Dover Athletic of the National League. After a replay the Darts went on to win 2-1, unfortunately the run ended in round two against Chelmsford City.

In the last meeting against Boreham Wood five years ago, Tom Bonner and Tom Champion were lining up on the same side. The Darts won promotion and after a year they both moved on to Cambridge United. With Bonner back in a Darts shirt the two will be up against each other, Champion made 150 starting appearance for the Darts scoring seven times.

When the Darts won the Isthmian Premier League in 2010, Boreham Wood won the playoffs. Since then Dartford have visited the National League and returned to the National South. The Wood may have taken longer to get to the top flight of non-league football but they have held their own in the division above.

Currently on a run of 11 games unbeaten, manager Luke Garrard believes his side can achieve good things, he told “I think this group has got something, when it gets going I think we can achieve something this season, they have bought into the football club and what the management is asking of them”. Part of their success has been down to Bruno Andrade’s ten league goals this season, leaving the Wood seventh in the National League standings.

Garrard, who was appointed in 2015 was the youngest manager in the top five divisions of English football, he has led the club to nineteenth and eleventh place finishes. Last season they reached the F.A Trophy quarter final beating Sutton United in round three before losing to Lincoln City. The run was the club’s best in the competition since 2006 when they lost 3-0 on aggregate to Woking at the semi-final stage.

This term, Boreham Wood’s cup pedigree has been enhanced with a F.A Cup fourth qualifying round win over rivals St Albans City. Victory set up a first round tie with League One side Blackpool which the Wood won 2-1 after being a goal down, Blair Turgott and Dan Holman were the goalscorers to earn the club their first football league scalp in their 70 year history. The cup run did end against Coventry City in round two as the Hertfordshire side lost 3-0. Along with the league results Garrard secured November’s Manager of the Month in the National League.

The Darts have met Boreham Wood three times in cup competitions all in the F.A Cup at the fourth qualifying stage. In 1977, the Wood won 3-2 and five years later a 1-1 draw was followed up by a 2-1 victory for Dartford.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 3 / Boreham Wood wins: 8 / Draws: 5

Current Form (FAC – F.A Cup / FAT – F.A Trophy / HSC – Hertfordshire Senior Cup)

Dartford (LWWDWL) Boreham Wood (WWLWWD)
Hungerford Town A 0-1 AFC Fylde H 1-0
Poole Town A 1-0 Stevanage (HSC) H 4-3
Brentwood Town (FAT) A 2-1 Coventry City (FAC) A 0-3
Wealdstone H 3-3 Woking H 2-1
Gloucester City H 4-1 Maidstone United A 4-0
Truro City A 1-3 Macclesfield Town A 0-0

Previous Meetings

21.04.2012 Dartford 2 Boreham Wood 2
08.10.2011 Boreham Wood 3 Dartford 1
16.04.2011 Dartford 1 Boreham Wood 4
02.10.2010 Boreham Wood 3 Dartford 1
16.03.2010 Dartford 1 Boreham Wood 2
27.02.2010 Boreham Wood 0 Dartford 1

Dartford have only beaten Boreham Wood once away from home. The Darts solitary win came seven years ago in the Isthmian Premier League title winning campaign. Dartford have drawn two and lost the other five at Meadow Park.

Boreham Wood have won four of the last five meetings between the two clubs. The 2-2 draw in April 2012 ended a four game winning streak for the Hertfordshire side.

In all competitions, Dartford have won eight, drawn two and lost twice at Princes Park this term. In seven of those games the Darts have scored three or more goals.

The Darts last kept a clean sheet at home on 9 September in their 3-0 win over Chippenham Town, a run of seven home games without a clean sheet.

On This Day
Dartford last played on 16 December nine years ago earning a 2-2 draw at home to Metropolitan Police. The Isthmian Division One South fixture ended all square with the Darts goals coming from Richard Avery and Ryan Hayes. The Darts last win on this day was in 2000 when they beat Hastings Town 1-0 in the Southern League Division One East, three years later Dartford lost 2-0 to Ashford Town. Back in 1995 a resounding 5-0 victory was recorded by the Darts as they beat Tunbridge Wells in the Kent League.

Dartford v Boreham Wood

Dartford play their final regular home match in the Conference South on Saturday when they entertain Boreham Wood.

After guaranteeing a runners up spot last weekend, The Darts will be hoping to erase their poor results against The Wood with victory at Princes Park.

Elliot Bradbrook equalises earlier in the season

Earlier in the season the Hertfordshire club defeated Dartford 3-1 thanks to three loan signings. Chez Isaac took 48 seconds to give Boreham Wood the lead with a stunning long range effort. Elliot Bradbrook levelled the scores four minutes later when he turned the ball into the net from eight yards. Michael Thalassitis put the home side in front on 17 minutes when he slotted past Andy Young and Nathan Koranteng sealed the win for The Wood on 56 minutes.

In the corresponding fixture last season Boreham Wood completed a double over The Darts in convincing fashion. Mario Noto netted a hat trick as The Wood came from a goal down to win 4-1. Charlie Sheringham opened the scoring on 32 minutes before Noto equalised just before half time. Noto scored twice more in the second half and David Bryant completed a convincing win for Ian Allinson’s side.

Last weekend Tony Burman’s side beat a tough Sutton United side who have almost secured a playoff spot of their own. Tony Garrod was composed enough to net his fourth goal for The Darts when he took it round the goalkeeper to score the only goal of the game.

Like Saturday, Burman will use the up and coming fixtures wisely, he told PURE DFC: “I’m pleased we made some changes; we’re trying to give some people match practice. Tony Garrod lasted 70 minutes but he has done damage with a great goal and Ryan Hayes came on”.

Dartford’s home form has been formidable this season including no defeats at Princes Park in 2012. The Darts currently have the best home record in the Conference South and only draws against Wealdstone and Chelmsford City have prevented the club winning all home games this year.

With the Kent Senior Cup Final on Tuesday and the playoffs round the corner Burman is happy to have a good squad of players to call upon, he said: “I’m delighted with all 19 players, they have waited patiently. Luke is suspended on Saturday so Paul Goodacre will come in, he got a bad injury and he was off for 11 weeks. I’m delighted he has been able to get some games and so he comes in contention. I need people like Paul around, he has been excellent for us”.

The Darts will play out the league season without any pressure after achieving second place. The Dartford boss is happy the club’s target has been achieved and proud of taking the title race so far, he commented: “It’s been hanging over us a little bit with Woking doing what they have been doing and us keeping in touch with Woking. We got it down to the last three games before they won the league and we have got to take a lot of credit from that”.

He added: “Our target was to get in the playoffs and the way I’m going to attack it is to thoroughly enjoy myself. I think the players should do that, the supporters should do that. I think the supporters should be and are proud of what we have achieved this year”.

Mario Noto: Now playing and coaching for The Wood

No matter what results Boreham Wood pick up over the last two league fixtures they have recorded their best ever finish for a league season. The record set last season has been bettered again as Ian Allinson continues to work on a low budget in front of the lowest average attendance.

It hasn’t been plain sailing this season, as The Wood only started to hit form between mid September and mid November picking up 22 points out of 24 over an eight game unbeaten run. A run of one win in ten followed but more recently they have started to pick up points again. Away from home Boreham Wood have won four from the last six but had won just twice in their first 13 away matches.

It is no surprise that Ian Allinson’s squad are inconsistent considering the ins and outs of the squad throughout the season. One thing for sure is The Wood are certainly consistent against Dartford having won the last four.

Team News

Luke Wilkinson serves the first of his two game ban for his sending off against Chelmsford City. Wilkinson lined up against The Darts for Boreham Wood back in October, he will also miss the Kent Senior Cup Final on 24 April 2012. Jon Wallis is still out with injury as is Deren Ibrahim.

Previous Meetings (CS – Conference South / IPL – Isthmian Premier League / LC – League Cup)

08.10.2011 (CS) Boreham Wood 3 Dartford 1
16.04.2011 (CS) Dartford 1 Boreham Wood 4
02.10.2011 (CS) Boreham Wood 3 Dartford 1
16.03.2010 (IPL) Dartford 1 Boreham Wood 2
27.02.2010 (IPL) Boreham Wood 0 Dartford 1
25.04.2009 (IPL) Boreham Wood 0 Dartford 0
29.11.2008 (IPL) Dartford 3 Boreham Wood 0
14.11.2006 (LC) Dartford 0 Boreham Wood 3

Statistics (league only)

Dartford (2nd) v Boreham Wood (8th)

Current Form

Last five Dartford matches at home Last five Boreham Wood matches away
Drew 0-0 v Chelmsford City Lost 0-1 v Thurrock
Won 2-1 v Maidenhead United Won 2-0 v Dover Athletic
Won 6-1 v Sutton United Won 2-0 v Salisbury City
Won 3-1 v Havant and Waterlooville Lost 1-2 v Truro City
Won 3-0 v Farnborough Won 4-2 v Havant and Waterlooville


Dartford average home attendance: 1242

Highest home attendance: 2559 v Welling United/ Lowest: 783 v Basingstoke Town

Boreham Wood average away attendance: 367

Highest away attendance: 1196 v Woking / Lowest: 214 v Thurrock

Did you know…

Dartford’s blank against Chelmsford City in their last home match was the first time this season The Darts failed to score in the league at Princes Park. The 0-0 draw ended a run of eight straight home wins which set a new Conference South record for the 2011/2012 season.

The Darts have taken an amazing 26 points from the last 30 available at home.

Boreham Wood have had 21 different league goal scorers this campaign, more than any other club.

The Wood equalled the record consecutive league wins for this season from 8 October 2011 and 12 November 2011. A run of six wins in a row started with their 3-1 win against The Darts. Only Welling United and Farnborough have managed six victories on the spin, Dartford’s best is five from 2 January 2012 to 28 January 2012.

Boreham Wood v Dartford

The Darts face a tough trip to Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park in the Conference South on Saturday.

Although Dartford are second in the Conference South and Boreham Wood are third from bottom, current league standings may deceive the neutral. The Wood have been a thorn in Dartford’s side in recent season’s.

Mario Noto could be a threat up front for The Wood

Just over a year ago the trip to Hertfordshire ended dismally for Tony Burman’s side when The Wood won 3-1. Goalless at the break there wasn’t much to report in the first forty five minutes. The Wood took the lead a minute from the restart when Tom Bonner turned the ball into his own net. Adam Gross then handled the ball in his own penalty area and the spot kick was converted by Mario Noto twenty minutes later. The Wood went three up when Noto slotted in his second and Lee Noble netted a consolation for The Darts in the final minute.

The return fixture at Princes Park ended in a bigger scoreline and over the two matches Dartford scored two and conceded seven. The player to watch is Boreham Wood’s Mario Noto who netted five times in those two fixtures including a hat-trick at Princes Park.

In Dartford’s promotion season a goal from Elliot Bradbrook earned The Darts three points on their travels. A month later The Wood won at Princes Park 2-1 taking a first half lead via Ryan Moran. Lee Burns equalised for Dartford but the winner was scored twenty minutes from time by Greg Morgan, who moved to Chelmsford City this summer.

In 2008/09 Dartford’s Cody McDonald scored a brace which Ryan Hayes added to in a 3-0 home win and on the final day of the season the two sides played out a goalless draw.

At last Lee Burns scores at Princes Park again

Both sides had a break from the Conference South last weekend with F.A Cup Second Qualifying ties to settle. Dartford enjoyed a 5-0 victory as they breezed past Isthmian Premier League opposition Harrow Borough. The visitors were reduced to ten men just three minutes in to the match. James Rogers opened the scoring with a neat finish followed by Elliot Bradbrook and Charlie Sheringham had The Darts three up at half time. Tom Bonner made it four in the second half and Lee Burns became the fifth different goal scorer.

Burman spoke to PURE DFC about Dartford’s performance, he said: “The main thing is going through to the next round. The players were up for the game anyway to be perfectly honest. We spoke about the attitude being right as there is always upsets in the F.A Cup and we didn’t want it to be here today”.

Boreham Wood did not enjoy their break from league action when they went out of the F.A Cup against Southern League Division One Central club Slough Town. The Wood were beaten 3-2 after twice trying to recover from two goal deficits. Slough raced in to a two goal lead by half time. Three goals in three minutes got the hearts pumping when David Bryant pulled one back, Slough’s Sean Sonner (ex Boreham Wood striker) increased the lead then Bryant scored again. Manager Ian Allinson was ’embarrassed’ by their defeat and deemed the result ‘the worst F A Cup result’ in his career as a manager.

The Wood have previously relied on many loan players and finished fourteenth last season, ten points from safety. Despite the summer signings made by Allinson this season their slow start mirrors that of last years when they struggled to get to grips in their Conference South début. Boreham Wood failed to score in their opening three fixtures picking up one creditable point against Woking. A win at home to Thurrock and the scalp of Welling United were sandwiched between four successive defeats for the Hertfordshire club.

Allinson raided Farnborough for Michael Jordan, James Smith, Osei Sankofa and Daryl McMahon, he captured the impressive striker Inih Effiong from relegated St Alban’s City and recently signed experienced midfielder Darren Currie from Dagenham and Redbridge.

Current Form

Last five Boreham Wood matches at home Last five Dartford matches away
Won 2-1 v Welling United Won 2-1 v Farnborough
Lost 1-2 v Truro City Lost 2-3 v Basingstoke Town
Won 2-1 v Thurrock Drew 0-0 v Chelmsford City
Drew 1-1 v Basingstoke Town Drew 2-2 v Dover Athletic
Lost 0-1 v Havant and Waterlooville Won 4-0 v Weston Super-Mare

Did you know

Lee Burns scored his first home goal for Dartford in 560 days on Saturday. Before the F.A Cup tie against Harrow Borough he last scored a competitive goal at Princes Park on 20 March 2010 in Dartford’s 3-0 victory against rivals Maidstone United.

Eighty percent of goals Dartford have scored away from home this season have been in the first half.

Boreham Wood were the first team to play a cup tie at Princes Park on 14 November 2006. A division higher, The Wood enjoyed a 3-0 win in the Isthmian League Cup Fourth Round in front of 1087. Dartford’s first competitive defeat at Princes Park.

The Wood are yet to keep a clean sheet at home this season after five matches.

Boreham Wood have conceded six goals in the opening fifteen minutes of league matches this season, only Tonbridge Angels have started slower. Seventy percent of the goals they score have been in the second half.

Season Review Part Ten – A look back on 2010/2011

10 – April and May – Mission Complete

Oh Jackie Pallen!

Dartford entered the final month of the season in twelfth position and five points behind a top ten finish. Over April The Darts would play another seven league fixtures and a Kent Senior Cup Semi Final.

Lee Burns scores his first

It was a windy day in Hertfordshire which played a huge part in the result against St Albans City. Dartford started off well and forced Conor Gough into a save which he spilt then gathered up and Charlie Sheringham headed wide. Half way through the first forty five Dartford cleared their lines, Lee Burns flicked on a routine header thirty five yards from goal, and the wind carried the ball which bounced by the penalty spot. Dartford fans watched on in disbelief as Gough watched the bouncing ball sail over his head and into the net. What a way to score your first goal of the season, bizarre indeed. Burns celebrated in style, having recently become a father he cradled the tiny Lee Noble, typical Burnsy, no one could be happier. The crowd started to sing, “Where were you when Burnsy scored?” about time we all thought.

Early into the second half The Darts threatened with a couple of headers but it was the home side that made their chance count.  A long ball fell into Tony Battersby’s path and he neatly finished equalising for The Saints. The side at the bottom of the table came back into the game and when Paul Goodacre committed a foul a penalty was awarded. Battersby stepped up to make it two, struck his shot and smashed the cross bar.

Young Jack Pallen was given a start up front and when there was five minutes to go he chased down the ball forcing the St Albans defender into a mistake. Pallen was through one on one with Gough then slotted the ball beyond the keeper, Jack won the match.

St Albans City 1 Dartford 2 – Highlights

A Trip to the Coast

The emergence of Jack Pallen saw a change to the playing staff. Carl Rook went out on loan and Tony Burman signed winger James Rogers.  The Darts made the journey to the coast to take on Ramsgate in the Kent Senior Cup Semi Final. Now the side had got this far and silverware was in our grasp this competition mattered because it had been fifteen years since Dartford reached a cup final.

Sheringham's spot kick

The Rams held Dartford in the first half as both sides failed to score in the opening forty five minutes. In the second half,  Ramsgate failed to clear a corner and Tom Champion scuffed a half volley towards goal, Charlie Sheringham instinctively blasted the ball into the roof of the net from a couple of yards out, 1-0.

The lead was doubled when Jack Pallen was felled in the box and Sheringham converted the spot-kick for his fourth goal in this year’s competition. And just to make sure the tie was finished off ten minutes from time when Ryan Hayes stylishly cut inside to polish off Ramsgate with goal number three. The Darts had made it through to the Bank Holiday May finale.

Ramsgate 0 Dartford 3 – Kent Senior Cup Semi Final Highlights

Playing Without Fear

The win at St Albans City meant Dartford booked their place in next seasons Conference South. However, Tony Burman was determined for his side to finish in the top ten and play to the end. This type of attitude showed against the in form Woking who had taken an impressive 38 points from their last 45.

The first half was more than dramatic at Princes Park. Elliot Bradbrook was deemed to have handled in his penalty box. The decision was harsh considering Bradbrook was facing the opposite direction and the ball hit is hand. The experienced former football league player Elvis Hammond stepped up, the Dartford fans waited for the spot kick. Hammond struck the ball; Andrew Young guessed right, the ball rolled past the post and the scores stayed level.  The penalty count levelled up when Lee Noble was bundled to the floor giving Charlie Sheringham the opportunity to put Dartford in front. Sheringham stepped up, the Dartford fans waited for the spot kick. Sheringham struck the ball; Andy Little guessed right, the ball rolled past the post and the scores stayed level, déjà vu.

With fifteen minutes left to play in the first half no one could afford to blink, it was all action. Andrew Burgess took a free kick from way out on the right and his effort flew over Young into the far top corner. It was a goal Dartford fans had seen Ryan Hayes score on many occasions, this time the goal went against The Darts. Woking deserved the lead but were left completely stunned.

In the space of four minutes the following took place. Dartford won a corner on the left which was sent into the box by Lee Noble. Elliot Bradbrook rose the highest and headed in the equaliser. A couple of minutes later Lee Burns played a short pass into Jack Pallen who spotted a diagonal run by Sheringham. Pallen picked out his fellow striker, Sheringham slid in to win the ball. Sheringham got to his feet the quickest and lifted the ball over the Little into the goal. Unbelievably it did not stop there when Sheringham flicked the ball into Pallen’s path he expertly blasted in the third, what a turnaround.

Charlie Sheringham lifts the ball goalwards

The Darts played with confidence in the second half but failed to increase the lead and when Woking’s Adam Doyle was dismissed the game looked over.  With seven minutes remaining the visitors won another penalty, the third of the game. Craig Dobson was on duty after Hammond’s earlier miss, he scored to give The Cards a life line but it was all too late.

Dartford 3 Woking 2 – Highlights

Super Mario Defeats The Darts

With a cup final place in the bag and a placed in next year’s Conference South, Dartford’s top ten quest was dealt three fatal blows in the space of a week. Boreham Wood destroyed The Darts back in October with the help of Mario Noto and he was at it again.

Charlie Sheringham gave The Darts the lead to make amends for his second penalty miss in consecutive games.  The striker failed to score after Lee Noble won a penalty and his spot kick was saved.  Dartford won penalty number two when Tom Bonner was hauled down, this time Sheringham went down the middle to give The Darts the lead.

Noto again: Mario takes The Darts apart

A minute before the break Mario Noto curled a superb free kick beyond Andrew Young to level. After the restart Noto beat Young for a second time when another curled effort was unstoppable. For the second game in a row a third penalty was awarded which gave Noto the chance to complete a hat trick, he did. To make things worse The Wood netted a fourth through David Bryant and Lee Burns was sent off.  Noto had now scored five of Boreham Wood’s seven goals against Dartford.

Dartford 1 Boreham Wood 4 – Highlights

Fogden Strikes Again

In a jam packed week Dartford travelled to Hampshire on a Monday night to face Havant and Waterlooville. The pitch at Westleigh Park wasn’t pretty and neither was the result. After a few chances for Tony Burman’s side the home team opened the scoring on thirty three minutes. Dartford’s defence were caught napping and Sammy Igoe’s cross was turned into the net by Wes Fogden. Dartford pushed for an equaliser knowing victory against The Hawks will aid their top ten finish and potentially damage Havant and Waterlooville’s chances. It wasn’t to be and the Hampshire side took the three points.

Havant and Waterlooville 1 Dartford 0 – Highlights

Dress Rehearsal

Defeat against Havant and Waterlooville meant the Good Friday match against Bromley was crucial. It was Havant and Bromley in Dartford’s way to gate crashing the top ten. The fixture at Hayes Lane was also a dress rehearsal for the Kent Senior Cup Final. The dress rehearsal was a disaster.

The Ravens took the lead through Jerry Nnamani and three minutes later Jerrome Sobers doubled their advantage. Charlie Sheringham gave Dartford a lifeline from the spot before half time but two second half goals from Warren McBean and Leon McKenzie completed Bromley’s victory.

Bromley 4 Dartford 1 – Highlights

A Glorious Day

Three defeats in a row and the return of Jon Main in a Dover Athletic shirt had the Dartford fans up for this fixture. The rivalry between Dartford and Dover in the last five years had increased as their paths have crossed more recently. Like Good Friday the sun was beaming down and inside Princes Park the atmosphere was cooking. It is fair to say that Dover has had the upper hand over Dartford for some time but after the 2-0 win by The Darts in November the double was on.

The game started at pace and continued throughout the first half. The Dartford midfield worked tirelessly and combined some good moves but neither side could fashion a goal scoring chance until mid-way into the first forty five. Lee Noble lined up a corner on the left and sent the cross into the crowded box. Charlie Sheringham lost his marker with a run to the near post and flicked the ball into the opposite corner, Princes Park erupted.

Lee Noble and Lee Burns linked up well on the edge of the box and Burns’ volley was parried wide by Ross Flitney. Noble then led a counter attack which failed to materialise and his curling effort later on just missed the target. Noble was everywhere dictating the middle of the park and setting up attacks. Dover survived the first half only a goal down.

Dartford end their home campaign on a high

Ten minutes into the second half Burns played the ball inside to Elliot Bradbrook. The captain laid the ball off to Tom Champion and side footed the ball tamely towards goal, a slight deflection later and the lead was doubled, The Darts were ecstatic. Three minutes on and Andrew Young punted a goal kick to the half way line. Charlie Sheringham headed the ball onwards, Burns flicked on with his head and Danny Harris pounced onto the ball and expertly lobbed Flitney, 3-0 the crowd went crazy. The Dartford players celebrated with the fans, Dover players looked on head in hands and stunned.

To the credit of a handful of Dover fans who kept supporting their club and making noise The Whites tried to get back into the game but found Dartford difficult to break down. Adam Birchall was kept quiet and his only major chance one on one with Andrew Young saw The Darts goalkeeper come out on top. Ross Flitney had to twice tip shots over the bar in the Dover goal as Dartford attempted to increase their lead. After a corner was kept alive Noble took a pop at goal inside the eighteen yard box, Sheringham reached out a leg controlled the ball and poked the ball with the outside of his foot passed Flitney, 4-0 to The Darts, what a way to finish Princes Park’s league campaign for 2010/2011.

Dartford 4 Dover Athletic 0 – Highlights

In at Number Ten

30 April 2011 and Dartford’s long season was to end at Maidenhead United. Whilst The Darts were playing for top ten finish their opponents needed just a point to stay up. Dartford needed to win and hope Bromley were defeated by Eastleigh.

The first half passed by with the home side happy to see out the game and use up time. At the break all looked well for both sides because Bromley and Thurrock were two goals down at the interval. In the second half The Darts threw a spanner in the works when Charlie Sheringham latched onto Ryan Hayes through ball to lob Steve Williams in the Maidenhead goal. A second goal followed fifteen minutes later when Jack Pallen and Sheringham combined on the edge of the box. Pallen finished netting his second league goal of the season, the academy player was settling in just nicely. Two turned to three in the seventy second minute when Ryan Hayes hit a right footed volley sweetly into the corner.  The season was ending on a high, Bromley were still two goals down and Thurrock had managed to pull their game back to 3-2. The Darts partied, The Magpies were on edge.

Maidenhead were not finished yet and substitute Craig Faulconbridge’s glancing header with eleven minutes on the clock gave The Magpies some impetus. Jefferson Louis pulled another goal back with five minutes remaining; surely The Darts wouldn’t throw it away? Then in the dying moments of the season Louis turned his man, fired in a shot, over the cross bar. A close call in the end as the game finished 3-2.

Knowledge of results from elsewhere arrived at York Road. Farnborough 3 Thurrock 2, Maidenhead was safe. Bromley 0 Eastleigh 2, Dartford had gate crashed the top ten.

Braintree Town departed the Conference South as champions. Farnborough Town and Ebbsfleet United overcome Woking and Chelmsford City in the playoffs respectively. Ebbsfleet United won the playoff 4-2 to join Braintree in the Conference National. St Albans City and Lewes were relegated and Thurrock was given a reprieve due to the demise of Rushden and Diamonds in the league above, Bishop’s Stortford moved to the Conference North. Joining the Conference South for 2011/2012 is Sutton United and Tonbridge Angels from the Isthmian Premier League as well as Salisbury City and Truro City from the Southern Premier League. The new adventure awaits.

Maidenhead United 2 Dartford 3 – Highlights

For The Win?

Last time Dartford made it to a cup final was in 1996 so it had been a long time coming. Bromley had won the Kent Senior Cup in 2007 when they retained the prize. The two sides drew 2-2 at Princes Park back in September but the 4-1 defeat to Bromley on Good Friday was still fresh in the memory of players, staff and supporters. The final was to be held at Princes Park and crowd of 2025 made the effort to see who would be crowned champions of Kent.

Tony Burman stuck with Deren Ibrahim in goal who had played in every round, the rest of the team was as you would expect as The Darts aimed to win their third piece of silverware in four years. An expectant crowd wanted to taste glory again and typically a mix of excitement and nerves filled Princes Park.

Dartford started steadily passing the ball around in midfield using their full backs to good effect. Tom Champion won possession and played the ball back to Paul Goodacre. Tom Bonner received the pass and touched the ball inside to Elliot Bradbrook. Bradbrook exchanged a one two with Lee Noble then played the ball wide to Matt Jones. Jones knocked the ball wide to Ryan Hayes who was making his two hundredth start, he cut inside and whipped in an in swinger. Noble was on the end of it unmarked, the header went wide. A promising opening, Noble kicked the post knowing he should have scored.

The Darts celebrate the opener

Bromley hit back when Ibrahim was forced into a reaction save at the near post and the resulting corner was scrambled clear. The next chance came from Dartford when Danny Harris was given space and his curler was deflected out for a corner. Twenty minutes had passed and Hayes swung the corner towards goal, Charlie Sheringham nodded the ball across the crowded six yard box and Bradbrook poked the ball in, just what the Captain ordered.

Straight from kick off Bromley directly carved their way through the Dartford team, Harry Harding was one on one with Young, what a waste from the Bromley player as he blasted the ball over, Dartford went to sleep and were let off. The first half was suddenly over it had all gone so quickly and The Darts had the narrow advantage.

Five minutes into the second half and Bonner took a throw in the corner of the Bromley half, his throw was laid back to him and a first time cross bounced through three Bromley defenders. Hayes was waiting, looked up and calmly picked out the far corner with a side footed shot, Dartford doubled their lead. Hayes ran to the corner flag slid on his knees got up and ‘sang’ using the flag as a microphone. Dartford fans sang knowing silverware was in their grasp.

The Darts started to play with more confidence, Sheringham’s spin and shot went harmlessly over, Hayes tricked his way down the left side, Bromley were on the edge as Dartford won another corner. Hayes swung the ball underneath the goal posts, Craig Holloway fumbled and after fifty five minutes Dartford were three to the good. Hayes was congratulated and out came his imaginary guitar.

Dartford fans were starting to have fun knowing the cup was as good as theirs and if anyone had doubts they didn’t on the hour. Sheringham’s vision picked out Hayes and his first time low cross to the far post reached Harris who was lurking to tap the ball in, 4-0. The players knew the job was done. Although Bromley pulled one back through Warren McBean fifteen minutes from time, Dartford won the Kent Senior Cup for the tenth time in their history.

Dartford F.C - Kent Senior Cup Winners

The celebrations went on into the evening, a third trophy in four years. Back in January, who would have thought Dartford would finish in the top ten and win a cup? Tony Burman, his staff, his players, and supporters had achieved the best set of results since 1989. Dartford Football Club finished tenth in the Conference South, reached the last sixteen of the F.A Trophy, the first round of the F.A Cup and is now the Champions of Kent.

Dartford 4 Bromley 1 – Kent Senior Cup Final Highlights

Kent Senior Cup Final Presentation

Dartford for the win!

Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1 Braintree Town 42 27 8 7 78 33 +45 89
2 Farnborough 42 25 7 10 83 47 +36 82
3 Ebbsfleet United 42 22 12 8 75 51 +24 78
4 Chelmsford City 42 23 8 11 82 50 +32 77
5 Woking 42 22 10 10 62 42 +20 76
6 Welling United* 42 24 8 10 81 47 +34 75
7 Dover Athletic 42 22 8 12 80 51 +29 74
8 Eastleigh 42 22 6 14 74 53 +21 72
9 Havant & W 42 16 10 16 56 51 +5 58
10 Dartford 42 15 12 15 60 60 0 57
11 Bromley 42 15 12 15 49 61 -12 57
12 Weston-super-Mare 42 15 8 19 56 67 -11 53
13 Basingstoke Town 42 13 10 19 50 63 -13 49
14 Boreham Wood 42 12 11 19 56 67 -11 47
15 Staines Town 42 11 14 17 48 63 -15 47
16 Bishop’s Stortford 42 13 6 23 48 79 -31 45
17 Dorchester Town 42 10 14 18 49 59 -10 44
18 Hampton & Richmond 42 9 15 18 43 60 -17 42
19 Maidenhead United 42 10 10 22 43 70 -27 40
20 Thurrock 42 8 13 21 50 77 -27 37
21 Lewes 42 9 9 24 34 70 -36 36
22 St Albans City** 42 7 13 22 39 75 -36 24

*Welling United deducted five points

**St Albans City deducted ten points

Stuart Maidment

Photos courtesy of Dave Adkins, videos courtesy of Ray Cherry.


Season Review Part Five – A look back on 2010/2011

5 – The Start of a Long Winter / The Run Continues

Dartford start October with a defeat

Woeful at The Wood

Tony Burman’s men visited newly promoted Boreham Wood in the first fixture of October. The Wood went up via the playoffs, 25 points behind The Darts, to reach the highest level in the clubs history. Dartford’s opponents had failed to record a single win in the first two months. The Darts were confident of a result and for getting their first away win of the season.  After a goalless first half the floodgates opened in the second. Unfortunately, it was the home side that scored three unanswered goals. Tom Bonner scored an unlucky own goal on 46 minutes when trying to cut out a cross. Mario Noto netted a brace, on 70 minutes he scored from the penalty spot and on 84 minutes Noto made it three nil. Lee Noble came on as a substitute and managed to net a consolation at the end, a terrible result, a lethargic performance, this did not bode well for the cup games up next.

Boreham Wood 3 Dartford 1 – Highlights

Penalty Drama –Part One

F.A Cup day arrived again at Canvey Island’s Brockwell Stadium. The Darts had been a bit of a bogey side for The Gulls in recent years. In Essex the two sides shared 13 goals over the last three seasons with Dartford winning on every occasion, 1-0, 3-2 and 5-2. On a blustery afternoon near the Thames Estuary, Canvey took the lead on just eight minutes through Danny Heale’s unchallenged header. The Darts had a goal ruled out, hit the bar and missed a number of chances. James Russell, Canvey’s keeper was in fine form and so Dartford could not find the breakthrough in the first half and went in a goal down.

Dartford take the lead in the F.A Cup

Andrew Young kept The Darts in the game on 64 minutes with a good stop and six minutes later Danny Harris was upended in the box. Up stepped Ryan Hayes from the penalty spot, all level. Hayes started to cause problems and just seven minutes passed when he looped the ball forward for Elliot Bradbrook to nod Dartford in front. It looked over but Canvey pushed for the equaliser, injury time arrived, one minute, two minutes, three minutes, how much longer? Young rushed out to punch the ball clear, Jason Hallett went down, penalty. Four minutes into injury time and Robbie King scored. Dartford blew it in the last moments, the game ended 2-2 and a replay was needed.
Canvey Island 2 Dartford 2 – Highlights

Penalty Drama –The Sequel

Princes Park was not a happy ground for Canvey Island. If you thought their record against Dartford on their own patch was bad then think again. In 2007, Dartford won 6-1, the following season ended 4-0 to The Darts and last season 2-1.  Before the F.A Cup match at Brockwell Stadium Dartford had won all six fixtures against Canvey Island scoring 21 times. The draw, just days ago, was a great result for The Gulls.

If the first match was exciting then the replay was enough to make any supporter self-combust, surely a four goal thriller couldn’t be bettered, oh yes it could. It took 17 minutes for Canvey to take a shock lead; the Isthmian Premier League side were in front with an unmarked Frank Everett header. Canvey players jumped towards a small overjoyed bunch of Canvey supporters who surged forward to celebrate. Four minutes later Dartford’s penalty claim was turned down for handball but they continued to press. The ball was sent back into the box and headed back across goal by Ryan Hayes for the on rushing Danny Harris to square the tie. Dartford took the lead when Joe Bruce’s hoof forward sent Carl Rook in on goal, Rook was bundled over in the box, another penalty given. Hayes who netted in the first match was given the responsibility to put The Darts ahead. Hayes fired to the keepers right, it was kept out, Hayes followed up, kept compose, took it round the goalkeeper and Rook did the rest, phew.

Another Rookamania moment as Carl Rook scores

In the second half Hayes continued to tease Canvey’s left back and on 64 minutes he cut outside his opponent and floated a pin point cross, Paul Goodacre was there, another header, another goal, 3-1 and Dartford were in control. The Princes Park hoodoo looked to continue for Canvey but they didn’t know when to give in. James White lost possession in the middle of the park trying to dribble out from defence. The Gulls won possession and the ball was played out to Alex Rhodes about 40 yards from goal. He strode forward and unleashed a pile driver from 30 yards into the Dartford goal, we had reached the halfway point of the second half and it was 3-2. Robbie King hit the crossbar, Dartford supporters were looking nervous, if only they knew what was to come.

Dartford’s defence became hesitant as Canvey pushed and pushed and pushed. A long looping diagonal ball found Alex Rhodes who whizzed past Tom Bonner. One on one with Andrew Young this was the moment, Rhodes slotted home, Canvey went ballistic as they came back from the brink. Still fifteen minutes to go and the scores were level again at 3-3. Both sides traded blows and came close to nicking victory but extra time was required.

Both sides had given it their all and the extra 30 minutes of play was very cagey. Jason Hallett crashed a volley off Young’s crossbar and toe poked wide. The momentum was swinging towards The Gulls but neither side could find the winner. The full time whistle blew and players slumped to the ground.

And so for the climax…after 210 minutes of football and ten goals the players legs were tired, the fans hearts were racing. A penalty shoot out was to follow, to watch or not to watch, no one could take anymore. In front of the home fans the shoot out began. Goal after goal no one would give. Charlie Sheringham, Robbie King, Elliot Bradbrook, Craig Davidson, James White, Ashley Dumas, Ryan Hayes, Alex Rhodes, Danny Harris, Danny Heale all successful, 5-5, sudden death.

Up stepped Joe Bruce, side footed towards the top right corner, James Russell guessed wrong, the crossbar rattled, game over? Bruce walked back head in hands not knowing where to look, just hoping for a miracle, feelings mutual with the Dartford faithful. Matt Game, for a place in the next round versus Andrew Young, to save the cup run. Game went left, Young guessed and the cup run continued. Cries from the bench, “get in Youngy, get in”. Young and Russell passed each other tapped hands as if they were in a goalkeeper’s pact, knowing they have little chance against the outfield players. Supporters of both sides were wondering ‘please no more’…

Andrew Young guesses correctly and Dartford progress to the F.A Cup 4th Qualifying Round

Adam Birchell was next, Russell tipped the ball onto the post, hearts stopped, and the ball crept in for 6-5, hearts restarted. Ex Dart, Hussain Isa levelled the scores, Tom Bonner netted, Steve Ward converted, Adam Gross scored, Chris Moore equalised, 8-8. The night went on and on and on.

Paul Goodacre was next knowing just the goalkeepers were to follow. He struck the ball left footed, Russell went the wrong way and Dartford was in front again. Goodacre trotted back to his team-mates fist in the air, a sense of relief, job done.  Jason Hallett, the last outfield player remaining to keep Canvey’s dream alive, side footed left, Young dived the right way at full stretch, the ball flew past him…and wide of the post. Dartford won it, players raced towards the crowd, emotions were let out, adrenalin pumped, nobody behind the Dartford goal could contain themselves, what a night.

Dartford 3 Canvey Island 3 – Highlights Penalty Shoot Out – Dartford 9 Canvey Island 8

Richard Graham scores

Defeated at Eastleigh

After an exhilarating week Dartford travelled down to Hampshire to face Eastleigh. The Darts sported an all red kit on what was to end up in more league disappointment. A dreadful display at the Silverlake Stadium ended in a comfortable win for Eastleigh. The Spitfires scored three, The Darts fired a blank. Richard Graham, who recently agreed to join The Darts opened the scoring with two minutes left of the first half when his eighteen yard effort found its way through a crowded box into the corner. A poor cross was deverted into Paul Goodacre’s own net on 63 minutes via his heel . Andrew Young had to run out of his goal to head clear in the last minute but Anthony Riviere capitalised by stroking the ball into the unguarded net from 30 yards. An awful result left the travelling fans bemused and the players being questioned.

Eastleigh 3 Dartford 0 – Highlights

First Round Beckons?

It was always going to be difficult to match last rounds F.A Cup drama but the anticipation and expectancy were taken to the East of England. Dartford had drawn Leiston for an opportunity to reach the F.A Cup First Round for the first time since 1989. Leiston were clear underdogs playing in the Eastern Counties Premier League three levels below The Darts.

Five days before the big match Tony Burman arranged a friendly behind closed doors. A Charlie Sheringham hat trick along with goals from Adam Birchell and Ollie Berquez earned The Darts a 5-0 victory against Thamesmead Town. However, the result could not be repeated at Victory Road as Leiston held Dartford to a goalless draw in a very poor match.

Charlie Sheringham spurns Dartford's best chance in a goalless draw

Sunday arrived and the eyes of the Dartford supporters were glued to their television sets and ears were stuck to their radios. For the first time in 21 years, Dartford were in the famous velvet bag, ball number 74. “Please a home tie”, “please pick out Charlton Athletic”, “no I want us to get Gillingham”, “Hillsborough would be a good place to visit”, for a generation of fans, for the newer supporters this was a first. For the older generation during the Watling Street days it had been too long.

“Number  74”, that’s us, bum to the edge of the seat, television volume turned up, legs twitching, head screaming for a big tie. “Will play number 34”, who tell us? “Port Vale”. C’mon a league club at home, bring it on. Oh wait a minute we have the small matter of replay to get through first.

26 October 2010, a chance to host a football league club at Princes Park in a competitive match beckoned. Fans were confident but still nervous considering recent performances. The sheer scale of the match, the potential ‘banana skin’, we mustn’t blow it, this is our best chance in years, defeat would be disastrous.

Tom Bonner scored what turned out to be the winner

Before the replay Adam Gross was released from the club, John Whitehouse replaced Andrew Young in goal. The wet weather was unable to stop the game going ahead, will it be Dartford or Leiston? Three minutes into the game and a long volley forward by Elliot Bradbrook looked easy to deal with. Leiston’s central defender miss controlled the ball as Danny Harris’ pace increased the pressure. Harris shoulder barged his way to possession and slotted home clear on goal, super start. The darts controlled the opening quarter of the match. Carl Rook spotted Ryan Hayes unmarked on the left, Hayes cut inside and his effort was parried, Rook followed up, cue Rookamania, the lead was doubled on 25 minutes. Straight from kick off, four passes later and Leiston carved out a chance of their own, Andrew Young was rounded but saved by the post, Stuart Broadley followed up, 2-1.

Dartford remained in control but felt another goal was needed, the majority of 1074 supporters feared another Canvey night. On the hour a Michael Shinn free kick found Tom Bonner who rose above everyone to increase the lead to 3-1. More opportunities arrived for The Darts but the score stayed the same, the final whistle edged closer, Port Vale awaited. A minute remaining and surely the job was done, Leiston attacked and managed to get the ball into the box, Leon Ottley-Gooch got the better of the Dartford defenders and nodded Leiston a lifeline, it was too late. For the first time in 21 years Dartford F.C made it to the F.A Cup First Round.

Dartford 3 Leiston 2 (Replay) – Highlights

Bonner rescues The Darts

Four days later The Darts were shot back down to earth. All of the excitement and escapism of the cup was followed up by a league fixture away to Lewes at the wonderful Dripping Pan.  The Rooks had lost eight consecutive games before holding Bromley, they had managed just four points out of 33. Tim O’Shea was appointed the new manager after the eighth successive defeat.

Dartford was searching for their first away win. Ryan Hayes created his own chance with a skilful run but his shot was curled wide. Paul Olima then put Lewes in front when a corner was not dealt with by Dartford, a sloppy goal to concede, more away day disappointment.

A feisty draw at The Dripping Pan

Dartford never settled and was left frustrated, the game became feisty. Lee Burns was hauled over off the ball on the halfway line and a second melee of the afternoon began a minute from time, Jamie Crellin was sent off, James White booked. The clocked ticked as 4.45pm arrived, John Whitehouse took the free kick and punted the ball into the Lewes box. The Lewes keeper attempted to punch clear 12 yards out but his own defender got their first, Tom Bonner stretched out and prodded the ball towards goal, 1-1, Dartford players ran in all directions knowing they escaped the Dripping Pan with a draw.

Lewes 1 Dartford 1 – Highlights

October Leaves

A mixed month for the Dartford faithful, poor league performances were overshadowed by a roller coaster of a cup run. The Darts finished October in eighteenth place without a league win in October. Lewes hit rock bottom, Thurrock were still to record a win. Bromley suffered their first defeat of the campaign to Basingstoke Town after drawing three in a row. Braintree Town took the initiative at the top having kept an impressive ten clean sheets in thirteen fixtures. Farnborough were getting to grips with the league with a 100% record in October, Kezie Ibe netting in each game. Havant and Waterlooville won both their matches including a 5-1 victory against Bishop’s Stortford whose slump continued.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Braintree Town 13 9 2 2 22 5 +17 29
2 Bromley 13 8 4 1 22 15 +7 28
3 Chelmsford City 12 8 1 3 24 15 +9 25
4 Welling United* 13 9 2 2 27 14 +13 24
5 Dover Athletic 12 7 2 3 26 15 +11 23
6 Ebbsfleet United 12 6 4 2 17 11 +6 22
7 Eastleigh 12 6 2 4 20 11 +9 20
8 Farnborough 12 6 2 4 22 17 +5 20
9 Havant and W 11 4 4 3 16 11 +5 16
10 Woking 12 5 1 6 9 13 -4 16
11 Hampton and Richmond 13 4 5 4 15 17 -2 17
12 Basingstoke Town 12 4 3 5 12 14 -2 15
13 Weston-super-Mare 13 4 4 5 14 20 -6 16
14 Maidenhead United 11 4 1 6 11 20 -9 13
15 Staines Town 12 3 5 4 12 13 -1 14
16 Dorchester Town 13 4 3 6 14 18 -4 15
17 Bishop’s Stortford 13 5 0 8 17 30 -13 15
18 Dartford 12 2 5 5 16 19 -3 11
19 St Albans City 12 1 6 5 13 19 -6 9
20 Thurrock 12 0 6 6 14 23 -9 6
21 Boreham Wood 12 1 3 8 12 24 -12 6
22 Lewes 13 1 3 9 8 19 -11 6

*Welling United deducted five points