Rss

Archives for : Chelmsford City

National League South Season Preview 2017/18 – Part I

 Bath City | Bognor Regis Town | Braintree Town | Chelmsford City

Bath City

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Twerton Park

The Romans achieved their highest finish in three years last term to finish in the top ten. Decent form from mid-November to mid-February helped the cause as Bath City tasted league defeat just once in that period. This season will mark the Romans sixth consecutive campaign in the National South as they push for a playoff place and a hopeful return to the National League, which they exited five years ago.

Last Season

National South: 9th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

League Top Scorer: Andy Watkins (14 goals)

Average Attendance: 612 (8th in league / 59th in non-league)

The Manager – Gary Owers

Former Sunderland, Bristol City and Notts County midfielder last managed Bath City over ten years ago in the Southern Premier League. The 47 year old, went on to manage Forest Green Rovers and Weston-Super-Mare prior assistant manager roles at Aldershot Town, Plymouth Argyle and his hometown club Gateshead. Owers enjoyed his first full campaign last season and this time is aiming for the top five. The Romans boss committed to the club this summer for the next two years and hopes the community buy out off the field will reap its rewards.

The Summer

Shaun McClousky returns to his parent club Bristol City, which allows Jamie Lucas from Bristol Rovers and Nat Jarvis from Hungerford Town to try and replace his goals. Owers has opted for experience at the back signing Grenadian international Anthony Straker from Aldershot Town and Darren Jones from Newport County, adding a little youthfulness in the defence will be Miles Welch-Hayes from Oxford United. Top scorer Andy Watkins was retained after picking up last season’s Player of the Year for the Romans. Turning his loan spell last season to a permanent deal, Marvin Morgan signs from Havant and Waterlooville. Triallists, Matt Cafer and Ryan Case impressed enough in pre-season to earn deals.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 29 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Previous Meetings

04.03.2017 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
22.10.2016 Bath City 0 Dartford 1
16.01.2016 Dartford 4 Bath City 1
05.09.2015 Bath City 0 Dartford 0
07.04.1990 Dartford 1 Bath City 0
09.09.1989 Bath City 0 Dartford 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 14 October 2017 at Twerton Park

Saturday 21 April 2018 at Princes Park

Back to top

Bognor Regis Town

Founded: 1883 / Ground: Nyewood Lane

Isthmian Premier League runners up two years in a row, the Rocks return to the National South after an eight year absence. In that time the sank to the Isthmian Division One South where again they finished second in consecutive seasons, going up in the playoffs. The Sussex club managed to overcome a strong Dulwich Hamlet side in April’s playoff final and deservedly earned promotion.

Last Season

Isthmian Premier: 2nd

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi Final

League Top Scorer: James Fraser (22 goals)

Average Attendance: 550 (5th in league / 64th in non-league)

The Manager – Vacant

The search for a new boss took some time only for the hard work to be undone. Sami El-Abd agreed to combine the manager’s post with a full time coaching role at Brighton and Hove Albion, only for the defender to step down. General Manager, Jack Pearce praised El-Abd’s honesty and believes any disruptions won’t be a problem for the Rocks.

The Summer

Bognor Regis Town suffered a double blow, after losing manager Jamie Howell, top scorer James Fraser departed Nyewood Lane for Worthing. Corey Heath, once a youth team player with the Rocks will now be part of the senior squad. Goalkeeper, Dan Lincoln and midfield trio Joe Lea, Pat Suraci and Tommy Scutt have all signed on but attracting new players has proved challenging without a manager for most of the summer.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Bognor Regis Town wins: 1 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

24.04.2010 Bognor Regis Town 0 Dartford 2
07.11.2009 Dartford 3 Bognor Regis Town 3
02.05.1981 Dartford 1 Bognor Regis Town 1
13.12.1980 Bognor Regis Town 2 Dartford 2
01.05.1980 Bognor Regis Town 2 Dartford 0
10.11.1979 Dartford 2 Bognor Regis Town 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 7 October 2017 at Princes Park

Saturday 28 April 2018 at Nyewood Lane

Back to top

Braintree Town

Founded: 1898 / Ground: Cressing Road

The Irons six year stay amongst the elite of non league ended in relegation last season. In that time the Essex club kept defying the odds starting with mid-table finishes and in 2014 were three points from a playoff spot. A couple of years later, Braintree Town achieved their best ever campaign finishing third, losing the playoff semi final against Grimsby Town. Perhaps victims of their own success, the Iron never recovered and were relegated last term on the final day. At least they reached the F.A cup second round for the first time.

Last Season

National League: 22nd

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

League Top Scorer: Michael Cheek (17 goals)

Average Attendance: 725 (22nd in league / 44th in non-league)

The Manager – Brad Quinton

The club’s record appearance maker after twelve successful seasons with the Iron, Brad Quinton re-joins the Essex club to take charge. Winner of the Isthmian Premier and National South as a player with Braintree Town, he has had a lot of rebuilding to do and his new look squad will be hoping to consolidate in the National South. Quinton has set his sights on the top half of the table by the festive period and then see where he can take them from there. Being a crowd favourite on the pitch may well help him in the dug out.

The Summer

The Irons have signed a teams worth of new players alone including former Dartford striker George Sykes from Canvey Island. Quinton also raided resources at Enfield Town, his former club to work with players he knows and trusts. Nathan McDonald, Jonathan Muleba, Scott Schulton, Samir Bihmoutine, Ricky Gabriel, Nigel Neita and Connor Bolton all join from the Middlesex club. Xavier Vidal has been brought in from Mertsham, Roman Michael-Percil from Metropolitan Police, George Craddock from East Thurrock United and Marc Okoye from Dulwich Hamlet.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Braintree Town wins: 6 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

01.01.2015 Braintree Town 3 Dartford 0
26.12.2014 Dartford 0 Braintree Town 2
18.04.2014 Braintree Town 1 Dartford 0
24.08.2013 Dartford 0 Braintree Town 2
11.04.2013 Dartford 0 Braintree Town 0
25.09.2012 Braintree Town 0 Dartford 2

Next Meetings

Tuesday 8 August 2017 at Cressing Road

Saturday 23 December 2018 at Princes Park

Back to top

Chelmsford City

Founded: 1878 / Ground: Melbourne Stadium

A solid reliable outfit last season, the Clarets failed at the final hurdle in the playoffs, this time against ten men Ebbsfleet United. Chelmsford City will be aiming for promotion after their fourth place finish last term was a vast improvement on the three campaigns before. Like local rivals Braintree Town, the Clarets have been busy in the summer transfer window and have overhauled their squad in an attempt to mount a challenge.

Last Season

National South: 4th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Shaun Jeffers (21 goals)

Average Attendance: 912 (4th in league / 38th in non-league)

The Manager – Rod Stringer

The Chelmsford City boss ensured the club finished in their best league position since 2011. Stringer’s reputation has been built on two league titles, first with Aveley’s triumph in the Isthmian League Division One North then with Braintree Town in the National South. He will come up against his former club Braintree Town this season after controversially walking away. Last summer he made the move back to Essex from Bishop’s Stortford and has the Clarets believing again.

The Summer

Capitalising on players leaving rivals Braintree Town, the former Irons boss Rod Stringer grabbed the opportunity by signing former Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur forward Lee Barnard. Ex AFC Wimbledon goalkeeper Sam Beasant joins from the Clarets rivals as does Harry Lee. Chelmsford City are amongst the busiest teams in the transfer window capturing the likes of Michael West and Elliott Omozusi from Whitehawk, Craig Braham-Barrett from Welling United and former Dartford loanee Jim Stevenson from Dover Athletic. Former Peterborough United, Millwall and Leyton Orient striker, Shaun Batt was signed from Barnet with the help of the Clarets ’12th man’ fund. Scott Davies (Oxford City), Paul Rodgers (Bishop’s Stortford), Kudus Oyenuga (Greenock Morton), Matt Johnson (Billericay Town) and Aaron Greene (Bishop’s Stortford) have also signed for the Clarets. Former Darts, Max Cornhill and Josh Hill have left the club.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 36 / Chelmsford City wins: 53 / Draws: 91

Previous Meetings

07.05.2017 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
03.05.2017 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0
18.02.2017 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1
14.01.2017 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1
17.09.2016 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 3
13.08.2016 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 21 October 2017 at Melbourne Stadium

Saturday 10 February 2018 at Princes Park

Back to top

Dartford v Chelmsford City

Dartford have it all to play for on Sunday when they host Chelmsford City in the National South playoff semi final second leg.

The Darts will set up a mouthwatering final against rivals Ebbsfleet United on 13 May should both sides win this weekend. However, the Clarets will be standing in Dartford’s way after a goalless draw on Wednesday night kept the semi final in the balance.

Tony Burman made one change from the final league game of the season, Duane Ofori-Acheampong started in place of Andy Pugh. It was Chelmsford City who began well with Robbie Willmott’s tenth minute strike flashing wide past Deren Ibrahim, the Darts goalkeeper also turned over Louie Theophanous’ effort five minutes later. Chris Bush headed wide from a corner as the Clarets opened the first fifteen minutes brightly. Dartford’s Luke Wanadio did put the ball in the Chelmsford City net shortly afterwards, but the offside flag was already up. Five minutes before the interval, the Clarets wasted the best chance of the half when the ball was bundled past the post.

The second half improved but still there were very few clear cut opportunities, until Chris Dickson hit a volley over the bar just past the hour mark. The Darts managed to press their opponents more as the game developed but without creating much in front of goal. For the second leg, it’s likely Keaton Wood will have to be assessed as he was substituted after coming out of a challenge dazed.

Wednesday night was the fifth time this season the two sides have met, with home advantage counting for nothing. Dartford have now drawn two and won one in their visits to the Melbourne Community Stadium, whilst Chelmsford City have recorded two victories at Princes Park.

The first fixture between the clubs came back in the opening month of the campaign. Luke Wanadio headed Dartford ahead just before the hour but the lead didn’t last long. Shaun Jeffers, the Clarets top scorer in the National South this season with 21 goals, put the Essex side level eleven minutes later.

Drawn together in the F.A Cup, Dartford returned to the Melbourne Community Stadium in an intriguing cup tie. On a windy September afternoon, the weather was influential on the outcome with the Darts racing into a three goal lead before half-time. Goalkeeper, Ross Fitzsimons scored an unfortunate own goal early on and Elliot Bradbrook’s penalty and second goal five minutes later, put the Darts in a commanding position at the break. Chelmsford City fought back with two Shamir Mullings headers in two minutes to set up a tense finish, but the Darts held on to a 3-2 victory.

Fate would pair the two together again in the F.A Trophy second round at Princes Park. The meeting in January turned when midfielder Alex Brown’s reckless challenge left Dartford a man short. Chelmsford City eventually took advantage when Chris Dickson’s far post finish secured a 1-0 victory for the away team. A month later, the Clarets repeated the same scoreline in the National South, this time Anthony Church’s deflected effort found the net to earn the Essex club three points.

Whilst Dartford are aiming for a return to the National League after a two year absence, Chelmsford City have never reached those heights but do have plenty of Playoff experience. The Clarets reached the Playoffs four times in five years between 2009 and 2013 and lost at the first hurdle on each occasion. They also lost out in an Isthmian Premier League Playoff semi-final back in 2007. Meanwhile, the Darts only Playoff campaign was a successful one five years ago, earning them promotion to the National League when they beat Basingstoke Town and Welling United.

Dartford boss, Tony Burman stated that getting his club to the playoffs this term was amongst his greatest achievement for the club. Although he led the Darts to promotion five years ago to the National League he feels this time round it’s a bigger deal considering the budget available compared to others in the division. One thing Burman does have going is previous playoff experience within his squad. Elliot Bradbrook, Tom Bonner, Lee Noble, Danny Harris and Ryan Hayes were all part of the winning side five years ago.

Chelmsford City will have some former Darts hoping to  prove a point with Max Cornhill in midfield, Josh Hill in defence and Luke Daley on the wing. The Clarets also have an array of attacking options such as Shaun Jeffers, Chris Dickson, Louie Theophanous, Elliott Buchanan, Robbie Willmott and Anthony Church.

The winners will face either Ebbsfleet United who finished second in the National South or Hampton and Richmond who ended up seventh, on the 13 May. The Fleet are just about in the driving seat currently leading the semi-final 2-1 going into the second leg.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 36 / Chelmsford City wins: 52 / Draws: 91

End of Season League Form
Dartford (WWDLWW)
Won 3-2 v Poole Town (A)
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)

Chelmsford City (DWWLWW)
Drew 1-1 v Hungerford Town (A)
Won 3-1 v Bath City (H)
Won 3-1 v Welling United (H)
Lost 0-2 v Oxford City (A)
Won 3-0 v Poole Town (H)
Won 2-0 v Hampton and Richmond (A)

Meetings This Season
Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0 (03/05/2017 – National South Playoff)
Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1 (18/02/2017 – National South)
Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1 (14/01/2017 – F.A Trophy)
Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 3 (17/09/2016 – F.A Cup)
Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 1 (13/08/2016 – National South)

On This Day
Twenty three years ago Dartford finished their first season back after reformation. The campaign ended with a ‘home’ match against Deal Town at Oxford Road, Sidcup where a 2-2 draw secured a sixth place finish. Micky Collins top scored in 1993/1994 with 21 goals, future Dartford boss Gary Julians scored 18 and Paul Hennessy 15. Tony Burman finished the season with 21 appearances (12 from the bench) and two goals.

Chelmsford City v Dartford

Dartford are two games away from a playoff final and potential promotion to the National League, but standing in their way will be Chelmsford City.

The Darts snatched a home second leg advantage away from the Clarets on the weekend to finish the campaign in third. Tony Burman’s side travelled to the Dorset coast and after Andy Pugh’s ninth minute tap in looked to be on course. However, Poole Town came from behind with a headed goal by Marvin Brooks and a second from Steve Devlin before half time.

Meanwhile, Hungerford Town went in at the break level with Chelmsford City and the league standing unchanged between the Darts and the Clarets. Rod Stringer’s Chelmsford City took lead through Josh Rees but with nine minutes remaining Hungerford Town’s Louie Soares levelled. Still in third place the Essex side looked set to finish in third.

Then injury time on the Jurassic Coast created plenty of drama, Tom Murphy hooked the ball over his head from close range to put Dartford level at 2-2. The biggest twist came six minutes into stoppage time when Lee Noble lashed home a winner giving the Darts a very late 3-2 victory.

If the Darts and the Clarets are not sick of the sight of each other, they probably will be by the end of the second leg on May 7th. They have already met four times this term with home advantage counting for nothing. Dartford drew and won when they visited the Melbourne Community Stadium, whilst Chelmsford City recorded two victories at Princes Park.

The first fixture between the clubs came back in the opening month of the campaign. Luke Wanadio headed Dartford ahead just before the hour but the lead didn’t last long. Shaun Jeffers, the Clarets top scorer in the National South this season with 21 goals, put the Essex side level eleven minutes later.

Drawn together in the F.A Cup, Dartford returned to the Melbourne Community Stadium in an intriguing cup tie. On a windy September afternoon, the weather was influential on the outcome with the Darts racing into a three goal lead before half-time. Goalkeeper, Ross Fitzsimons scored an unfortunate own goal early on and Elliot Bradbrook’s penalty and second goal five minutes later, put the Darts in a commanding position at the break. Chelmsford City fought back with two Shamir Mullings headers in two minutes to set up a tense finish, but the Darts held on to a 3-2 victory.

Fate would pair the two together again in the F.A Trophy second round at Princes Park. The meeting in January turned when midfielder Alex Brown’s reckless challenge left Dartford a man short. Chelmsford City eventually took advantage when Chris Dickson’s far post finish secured a 1-0 victory for the away team. A month later, the Clarets repeated the same scoreline in the National South, this time Anthony Church’s deflected effort found the net to earn the Essex club three points.

Whilst Dartford are aiming for a return to the National League after a two year absence, Chelmsford City have never reached those heights but do have plenty of Playoff experience. The Clarets reached the Playoffs four times in five years between 2009 and 2013 and lost at the first hurdle on each occasion. They also lost out in an Isthmian Premier League Playoff semi-final back in 2007. Meanwhile, the Darts only Playoff campaign was a successful one five years ago, earning them promotion to the National League when they beat Basingstoke Town and Welling United.

Dartford boss, Tony Burman stated that getting his club to the Playoffs this term was amongst his greatest achievement for the club. Although he led the Darts to promotion five years ago to the National League he feels this time round it’s a bigger deal considering the budget available compared to others in the division. One thing Burman does have going is previous playoff experience within his squad. Elliot Bradbrook, Tom Bonner, Lee Noble, Danny Harris and Ryan Hayes were all part of the winning side five years ago.

Chelmsford City will have some former Darts hoping to  prove a point with Max Cornhill in midfield, Josh Hill in defence and Luke Daley on the wing. The Clarets also have an array of attacking options such as Shaun Jeffers, Chris Dickson, Louie Theophanous, Elliott Buchanan, Robbie Willmott and Anthony Church.

Head to Head
Chelmsford City wins: 52 / Dartford wins: 36 / Draws: 90

Current League Form
Chelmsford City (DWWLWW)
Drew 1-1 v Hungerford Town (A)
Won 3-1 v Bath City (H)
Won 3-1 v Welling United (H)
Lost 0-2 v Oxford City (A)
Won 3-0 v Poole Town (H)
Won 2-0 v Hampton and Richmond (A)

Dartford (WWDLWW)
Won 3-2 v Poole Town (A)
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)

Meetings This Season
Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1 (18/02/2017 – National South)
Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1 (14/01/2017 – F.A Trophy)
Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 3 (17/09/2016 – F.A Cup)
Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 1 (13/08/2016 – National South)

Stats
The home side in this fixture last won on 3 January 2010 when Chelmsford City triumphed 2-0 in the National South. Since then there has been four away wins (two by each club) and four draws.

Dartford are unbeaten in four at the Melbourne Community Stadium but have won just twice in the last eight there.

Not only did the Darts finish third and the Clarets fourth in the league, they also ended in the same positions for average attendances this term. Dartford averaged 997 over their 21 home games compared to Chelmsford City’s 912.

On This Day
It’s been twenty years since Dartford scored on 3 May at home to Cirencester Town in the Southern League Southern Division. The Darts went on to win 4-2 as they finished their campaign in 14th place. Only two more games have played since, a 0-0 draw at home to St Leonards three years later and a 2-0 loss twelve months on away to Witney Town, in the Southern League Eastern Division.

Dartford v Chelmsford City

Dartford have turned from playoff to title contenders in recent weeks and their next test is at home to Chelmsford City.

It will be the fourth time the two sides meet this season having played in both the F.A Cup and F.A Trophy. So far the away team has edged out with one win a piece in the cups and a draw in the National South back in August. The Darts drew 1-1 in Essex six months ago with Luke Wanadio’s header cancelling out by Shaun Jeffers’ leveller.

Dartford returned to the Melbourne Community Stadium a month later in an interesting and tense F.A Cup tie. Racing into a three goal lead by half time, courtesy of an own goal and an Elliot Bradbrook brace, the Darts were up against the conditions in the second half when they conceded twice. The Clarets did get revenge in the F.A Trophy though in their last visit to Princes Park, Chris Dickson’s winner sent the Essex club through.

Chelmsford City boss, Rod Stringer claimed that 1-0 victory was a statement for other teams in the playoffs. However, since then the Clarets have dropped out of the top five and currently sit four points adrift. Their F.A Trophy run, which ended against Tranmere Rovers, means Stringer’s side do have games in hand on those above.

On the other hand, Dartford are the form team of the division and have pulled away from the Clarets. A run of six consecutive wins has closed the gap at the top leaving the Darts third and a point behind rivals Ebbsfleet United. Since New Years Day, Tony Burman’s side have made up 14 points on Maidenhead United who were strolling at the top at the turn of the year. Dartford are now ten points better off than Stringer’s team and are contenders for the National South title at this stage.

Over the last six league matches goals have come from all over the park, Dartford have netted an impressive 23 with 11 different goalscorers, taking their goal difference from the seventh best to the third. The goals continued on the weekend with a 4-0 away triumph at Gosport Borough. Andy Pugh scored a tap in within five minutes, his fourth league goal in as many games. Luke Wanadio deservedly got on the scoresheet with a well placed finish, Keaton Wood’s stunning strike made it three and Kaka Dembele nodded in the fourth. Alex Brown and Duane Ofori-Acheampong returned to the squad and were named on the bench and Burman gave academy midfielder Richard Seixas some more game time.

Chelmsford City have playoff aspirations of their own and were in with a shout of the title race up until mid October. The Essex club went seven games without a win, drawing six of them. The Clarets have since got back to winning ways, with defeat at Ebbsfleet United an exception, yet on the weekend they shared the points with St Albans City to drop two in a frustrating afternoon. Stringer noted his attack wasn’t clinical enough, a problem he’s noticed with frequency this campaign.

Jeffers who equalised in the reverse fixture back in August is Chelmsford City’s top marksman this term with 15 goals. He can look forward to forming a partnership with new signing Liam Enver-Marum, the former Ebbsfleet United and Maidstone United striker. The 29 year old made a late appearance on Saturday replacing Jeffers. Three former Darts are also in the squad, winger Luke Daley, full back Josh Hill, who only signed last month and Max Cornhill.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 36 / Chelmsford City wins: 51 / Draws: 90

Current League Form
Dartford (WWWWWW)
Won 4-0 v Gosport Borough (A)
Won 3-1 v Whitehawk (H)
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)

Chelmsford City (DWLWWW)
Drew 1-1 v St Albans City (H)
Won 2-0 v Truro City (H)
Lost 0-2 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 1-0 v Whitehawk (H)
Won 3-1 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Won 4-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (H)

Previous Meetings
Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1 (14/01/2017) – F.A Trophy
Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 3 (17/09/2016) – F.A Cup
Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 1 (13/08/2016)
Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 1 (02/01/2016)
Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 1 (26/12/2015)
Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0 (07/04/2012)

Stats
Dartford have not hosted and beaten Chelmsford City in 17 years. A run of four defeats and two draws means the 3-0 win in 2000 was the last time the Darts achieved a home victory over the Essex club.

Since the home win in 2000, Dartford have only recorded one other league triumph against the Clarets, the 1-0 win at the Melbourne Community Stadium on Boxing Day two years ago.

The Darts are unbeaten in their last five league matches against Chelmsford City, winning one and drawing four. The last two league meetings have ended 1-1.

Very few goals decide this fixture, Dartford have failed to score more than once and Chelmsford City more than twice since the Southern League Southern Division match in 2000.

Andy Pugh seems to warm up in January and February. Last season he also scored in four consecutive league games between 26 January and 23 February, he netted five times

On This Day
Dartford’s highlight of the 2013/14 season came on 18 February when the Darts swept aside Woking. The 5-1 victory temporarily glossed over relegation fears when braces from Alex Wall and Max Cornhill was added to by Lee Noble. The win was exactly two years to the day since the Cards beat the Darts 1-0 in the National South to dent Dartford’s title ambitions, the Darts did eventually go up in the playoffs that season. Defeats to Horsham (2-3 in 2009), Berkhamsted Town (1-3 in 2006) and Fisher Athletic (1-3 in 2003) all came after 1995’s entertaining 5-3 triumph over Furness in the Kent League.

Dartford v Chelmsford City

The F.A Trophy returns for Dartford this weekend when they host Chelmsford City in the third meeting between the two sides this season.

Having been drawn against each other in the F.A Cup third qualifying round, the Darts and the Clarets have also played in the National South. The league meeting ended in a 1-1 draw with Luke Wanadio’s header cancelled out by Shaun Jeffers.

Dartford were victors in the F.A Cup when a wind assisted fixture really did turn out to be a ‘game of two halves’. The Darts raced into a three goal half time lead thanks to a Ross Fitzsimons own goal and an Elliot Bradbrook brace. In the second half, Shamir Mullings scored twice to set up a tense finale only for Dartford to hold out.

Tony Burman’s side will enter the F.A Trophy second round full of confidence after thrashing East Thurrock United in their last outing. Their Essex opponents had only lost four all season but were swept aside last weekend as Dartford won 6-1, their biggest victory for five years.

On top of that result six different goalscorers found the net, Tom Bonner headed in the first after two minutes, Alex Brown shortly afterwards and Tom Murphy opened his account in only his second appearance for the club. Tom Wraight pulled a goal back for the visitors before Andy Pugh made it four in the first half. Ryan Hayes and an Elliot Bradbrook penalty added two more before the final whistle to cap off a brilliant afternoon.

Burman praised his squad for an fantastic response to the New Year’s Day defeat to Ebbsfleet United, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “Some of the play was excellent, I’m pleased that each time we’ve had a defeat , we’ve bounced back”, and the Dartford boss didn’t even think the 6-1 mauling of East Thurrock United was the best he’s seen his side play, he added: “It’s the best spell of finishing we’ve had in games, I’m not saying it’s the best we’ve played because we’ve had some good games”.

Meanwhile, Chelmsford City extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to eleven. The Clarets beat a struggling Whitehawk side 1-0 with former Dartford midfielder Max Cornhill scoring the winner ten minutes from time. The Essex club are third in the National South and eleven points behind leaders Maidenhead United and just one point ahead of the Darts.

Rod Stringer’s side beat Southern Premier League’s Hitchin Town in the previous round with a goal after just two minutes, Jeffers netted the winner from close range. The Clarets had to wait far longer in the third qualifying round when they hosted Taunton Town, who play at a tier lower than Hitchin Town. As the tie look set for a replay Anthony Church scored in the 89th minute to send Chelmsford City through.

Dartford upset National League local rivals Dover Athletic in the last round after a replay. Ronnie Vint scored in both matches, the 1-1 draw at Princes Park and the 2-1 victory at the Crabble. In the qualifying round, Dartford ran out 4-2 winners against National South side Weston-super-Mare, with Elliot Bradbrook scoring a hat-trick.

Head to Head
Chelmsford City wins: 50 / Dartford wins: 36 / Draws: 90

Current Form (all competitions)
Dartford (WLWLWD)
Won 6-1 v East Thurrock United (H) – National South
Lost 0-1 v Ebbsfleet United (A) – National South
Won 2-1 v Ebbsfleet United (H) – National South
Lost 0-5 v Maidenhead United (A) – National South
Won 1-2 v Dover Athletic (A) – F.A Trophy
Drew 1-1 v Dover Athletic (H) – F.A Trophy

Chelmsford City (WWWDWD)
Won 1-0 v Whitehawk (H) – National South
Won 3-1 v Bishop’s Stortford (A) – National South
Won 4-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (H) – National South
Drew 0-0 v Weston-super-Mare (A) – National South
Won 1-0 v Hitchin Town (H) – F.A Trophy
Drew 3-3 v Hungerford Town (H) – National South

Previous Six Meetings
Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 3 (17/09/2016) – F.A Cup
Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 1 (13/08/2016)
Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 1 (02/01/2016)
Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 1 (26/12/2015)
Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0 (07/04/2012)
Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0 (27/08/2011)

Stats
In cup competition the spoils have been shared with both teams winning five Southern League Cup ties and an F.A Cup fixture each. There has also been four draws, all in the Southern League Cup.

Elliot Bradbrook has scored three goals in three games in this season’s F.A Trophy. In all cup ties, Bradbrook has scored ten in seven starts.

Dartford have gone five home matches without a win against Chelmsford City. The last home victory against the Clarets was in 2000 when Dartford won 3-0 in the Southern League Southern Division.

The Darts are unbeaten in six, home and away against the Clarets with two wins and four draws.

On This Day
Jacob Erskine took home the match ball five years ago in a 4-2 victory over National North side Boston United. In the F.A Trophy second round tie, Erskine back heeled the opener after four minutes and Lee Noble added a second to put the Darts back in front. Erskine stretched the Darts lead before Boston United pulled a goal back, but the hat-trick hero secured victory with Dartford’s fourth. Four other F.A Trophy games have taken place on 14 January in which the Darts have won two and lost two. Merthyr Tydfil won 2-1 in a first round replay fifteen years ago, Dorchester Town were thrashed 4-0 in 1989 on the way to Dartford’s semi-final appearance later that season. Barnet won 3-0 in 1984 and six years earlier Sutton United were defeated 2-0. Saturday will be the Darts seventh game at home on the 14 January in a row.

Chelmsford City v Dartford

Almost a year ago Dartford were on the wrong end of a F.A Cup upset, now the Darts hope to progress in their tough draw against Chelmsford City.

Only a month has passed since Dartford visited Melbourne Park and came home with a point. The National South fixture ended all square when Luke Wanadio’s header was cancelled out by Shaun Jeffers.

Having been knocked out at this stage last term to Southern League Division One Central side Uxbridge, Tony Burman will be desperate to avoid another early exit, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “Last year we had a dream draw but it backfired for us. This year we’ve got a team in the same division as ourselves away from home. You don’t want to be playing a team in your own league and they have got home advantage but we want to stay in the FA Cup and that’s what we’ll try to do”, he added: “We all know the financial rewards that are on offer but it’s a tough draw and I am sure they think the same. We’ll both be looking forward to it. It’s a one-off game. Nothing else matters and we’ll look to do our best and progress”.

The Darts can look forward to the cup tie having stretched their unbeaten run to four in the league at Margate. Leaving it fairly late, Dartford scored twice in the final fifteen minutes to record their second away win of the season. Andy Pugh scored his first of the campaign following up a rebound from Danny Harris’s effort. Elliot Bradbrook made sure of the three points by scoring a penalty.

Tony Burman almost has a full squad to choose from and is hoping Ronnie Vint is cleared to play. The defender has suffered with a broken wrist but match officials have ruled him out because of the cast he has to wear.

Dartford last played Chelmsford City in the F.A Cup seven years ago when the Darts were in the Istmian Premier league. Two of the players in the current squad, Elliot Bradbrook and Lee Noble started that game which ended 4-1 to the Clarets. The Essex side inflicted the first home defeat of that campaign on the Darts with two goals coming from Antonio Murray and the others by Ricky Holmes and Dave Rainford, Adam Flanagan scored the only goal for Dartford.

Chelmsford City will provide another stern test in the cup, the Clarets are fourth in the National South, five points behind top spot. The Essex club are unbeaten at home with four wins and two draws, their only defeats this campaign came back to back against current league leaders Maidenhead United and third place St Albans City.

The Clarets saw the end of their five game winning streak on Monday when they drew at home with East Thurrock United. The 2-2 stalemate was the first points dropped by Rod Stringers’ side since losing at Maidenhead United. Jeffers earned a point for his team with a stoppage time equaliser as the Clarets fell behind twice in the game.

Chelmsford City’s winning run started with three clean sheets against Oxford City, Welling United and Weston-super-Mare followed by wins over Ebbsfleet United and Whitehawk. Top of the form table, the Clarets look set to challenge for promotion after three years of mediocrity.

In last season’s F.A Cup, the Clarets won a replay against Ebbsfleet United before losing to a struggling Basingstoke Town team. The last time the Essex club reached the proper rounds was when they last reached the playoffs in 2012.

Head to Head
Chelmsford City wins: 50 / Dartford wins: 35 / Draws: 90

Current Form
Chelmsford City (DWWWWW)
Drew 2-2 v East Thurrock United (H)
Won 1-0 v Whitehawk (A)
Won 2-1 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 1-0 v Weston-super-Mare (A)
Won 2-0 v Welling United (A)
Won 2-0 v Oxford City (A)

Dartford (WDWDLW)
Won 2-0 v Margate (A)
Drew 1-1 v East Thurrock United (A)
Won 2-1 v Welling United (H)
Drew 0-0 v Maidenhead United (H)
Lost 1-4 v Hampton & Richmond Borough (A)
Won 2-0 v Hungerford Town (H)

Previous Six Meetings
Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 1 (13/08/2016)
Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 1 (02/01/2016)
Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 1 (26/12/2015)
Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0 (07/04/2012)
Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0 (27/08/2011)
Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2 (03/01/2011)

F.A Cup Stats
Over the last ten years Chelmsford City have reached the proper rounds on four occasions compared to Dartford’s three times

Dartford have made it past the second qualifying round on seven occasions in the last ten years compared to Chelmsford City’s eight.

Dartford reached the third round two years in a row in 1935/36 and 1936/37, the furthest they have got in the F.A Cup

The Clarets made the second round three years in a row between 2011 and 2013

Chelmsford City’s best F.A Cup came in 1938/39 when they reached the fourth round

On This Day
John Bartley scored four times including a 20 minute hat-trick against Flackwell Heath in the F.A Cup first qualifying tie 28 years ago. The Darts went on to win 7-1 at Watling Street and reach the first round proper. The 1988 F.A Cup tie was the last victory Dartford recorded on 17 September and since then they have lost 3-0 to Chatham Town in the Kent League (1994), 4-1 to Corby Town in the Southern League Division One East (2005), 2-1 to Farnborough in the National South (2011) and 3-0 to Luton Town in the National League (2013).

Chelmsford City v Dartford

A first win of the season has eluded Dartford so far, so they continue their search when they travel to Chelmsford City this weekend.

The Darts have found the Essex club a tricky side over recent years, however they managed to win at the Melbourne Stadium last time out on Boxing Day. A long ball from goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim found Andy Pugh for a well taken winning goal.

Tony Burman will be missing captain Elliot Bradbrook who was stretchered off in the opening 2-2 draw with Wealdstone. The Darts failed to hold on to a lead twice conceding deep into injury time.

On Wednesday night, Burman’s side travelled to Whitehawk and were involved in a frustrating fixture. Tom Wynter was punished early on when his handball led to a Hawks penalty scored by Ahmed Abdulla. In a scrappy match Keaton Wood was dismissed for two bookable offences leaving Dartford with ten men. The stop start nature of the game continued in the second half as the Hawks ran out 1-0 winners and a total of ten yellow cards were shown.

Duane Ofori-Acheampong made his first start in a Dartford shirt but was replaced by Pugh at half time, both strikers are still working at getting fully fit, although Ofori-Acheampong suffered a hamstring strain. Ronnie Vint was another to have been substituted at half time but with concussion and a broken bone in his wrist.  The absence of Bradbrook meant that central defender Tom Bonner was given the captain’s armband.

Burman spoke to www.dartford.com after the match and said: ““Obviously its bad news for us with both Ronnie and Duane suffering injuries in the first half. Added to the injury of Elliot Bradbrook from Saturday, it’s obviously a major blow to the squad”.

Despite one point from the opening six the Darts manager remains positive, he commented: “I felt the players performed well throughout, and I also thought the players deserve a lot of credit for the way that they played”, he added: “Points wise it’s a disappointing start, but there was a hell of a lot of positives to take out of the game form my team’s point of view”.

Now under the leadership of Rod Stringer, Chelmsford City have taken four points from their opening two fixtures. The Clarets had a strong pre-season and new boss Stringer spent the summer shaping his squad. Two familiar faces to the Darts, Max Cornhill and Luke Daley started in their 2-2 draw with Truro City.

Chelmsford City were far than impressive as they found themselves two goals down. Cody Cooke scored for the White Tigers after just five minutes and Shane White but the Cornwall club in command. After the break, the Clarets responded and put plenty of pressure on Truro City. Former Welling United and Lincoln City central defender Chris Bush forced Chelmsford City back in the game and in the final minute Shamir Mullings rescued a point.

On Monday night, Chelmsford City netted two yet again but this time kept a clean sheet against Margate in a 2-0 win. Shamir Mullings was on the score sheet again, scoring the second of the night, however the first goal by Shaun Jeffers was a stylish scissorkick.

Also amongst the ranks, the Essex club signed Robbie Willmott from Ebbsfleet United, the winger has plenty of experience in leagues above with Cambridge United, Luton Town and Newport County. Billy Bricknell, so often a thorn in Dartford’s side and the Clarets top scorer last term has taken over as captain from the departed Mark Hughes. The midfielder started the draw at Truro City but only played half an hour against Margatge picking up an injury.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 35 / Chelmsford City wins: 50 / Draws: 89

Previous Meetings

02.01.2016 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 1
26.12.2015 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 1
07.04.2012 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0
27.08.2011 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0
03.01.2011 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
30.08.2010 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 0

Dartford’s last visit to Melbourne Stadium ended with their first win over Chelmsford City in twelve attempts, ending a 15 year wait.

The Clarets have kept five clean sheets in their last six home games against the Darts. The only goal conceded was in last season’s 1-0 defeat.

On This Day

The Darts lost their last match 3-0 on 13 August to Aldershot Town in the National League in 2013. Since reforming, Dartford had a perfect record on 13 August until defeat at the Shots. Whitstable Town (3-1 in 1994), Arlesey Town (1-0 in 2005) and Weston-Super-Mare (4-0 in 2011) were all beaten. The win at Weston-Super-Mare is Dartford’s only opening day triumph in the last four years.

National League South Season Preview 2016/2017 (A-C)

 Bath City | Bishop’s Stortford | Chelmsford City | Concord Rangers

Bath City

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Twerton Park

Early pace setters to mid table obscurity, that is how last season panned out for the Romans. Bath City disappointingly matched their previous National South finish after such a promising start. Having topped the table with a one hundred percent record after six games, the Somerset club slid down the league prompting a change in management. Two league wins in nineteen attempts saw the end of Lee Howells and in came Gary Owers. The new boss oversaw just one victory in the next ten but made the Romans harder to beat picking up draws on the way. Once settled, Owers led Bath City to five wins in the final seven fixtures. The real struggle throughout the campaign was a lack of goals, only bottom of the table Basingstoke Town scored fewer.

Last SeasonBath_City_FC

National South: 14th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: David Pratt (9 goals)

The Manager – Gary Owers

Now in his second spell in charge at Twerton Park, Owers was appointed in February following Lee Howells’ departure. The former Sunderland, Bristol City and Notts County midfielder last managed Bath City over ten years ago in the Southern Premier League. The 47 year old, went on to manage Forest Green Rovers and Weston-Super-Mare prior assistant manager roles at Aldershot Town, Plymouth Argyle and his hometown club Gateshead.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 27 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Previous Meetings

16.01.2016 Dartford 4 Bath City 1
05.09.2015 Bath City 0 Dartford 0
07.04.1990 Dartford 1 Bath City 0
09.09.1989 Bath City 0 Dartford 0
28.01.1989 Dartford 0 Bath City 1
03.12.1988 Bath City 4 Dartford 2

Next Meetings

Saturday 22 October 2016 at Twerton Park

Saturday 4 March 2017 at Princes Park

Back to top

Bishop’s Stortford

Founded: 1874 / Ground: Woodside Park

A steady campaign resulted in Bishop’s Stortford’s highest finish in four years. At the start of the season former manager Rod Stringer believed he could guide them to the playoffs with the right backing. Instead they rarely challenged peaking in eighth place at the start of February. It was during that month the Bishop’s struggled going on a five game losing streak. Although the Hertfordshire club recovered with only two more defeats the damage was done. Stringer was largely thankful to Golden Boot winner Elliott Buchanan who netted 28 times, half of the club’s total goals. The striker, like the former boss will no longer be at Woodside Park having left the club this summer.

Bishops stortfordLast Season

National South: 11th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi-final

League Top Scorer: Elliott Buchanan (28 goals)

The Manager – Gordon Boateng

Seen as a gamble by the directors who appointed him, Boateng was recruited by previous manager Rod Stringer a year ago as Head of Player Recruiting and Scouting. His contacts should serve Bishop’s Stortford well as they rebuild following Stringer’s resignation. It’s Boateng’s third spell as part of the management team and he beat seven other candidates to the job. The 35 year old, has never managed in the National South but has experience with Cheshunt and his profile fits the ambitions of the board.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Bishop’s Stortford wins: 3 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

25.03.2016 Dartford 3 Bishop’s Stortford 1
24.10.2015 Bishop’s Stortford 1 Dartford 2
29.01.2011 Bishop’s Stortford 0 Dartford 1
24.08.2010 Dartford 3 Bishop’s Stortford 0
11.04.1981 Bishop’s Stortford 2 Dartford 1
04.04.1981 Dartford 1 Bishop’s Stortford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 19 November 2016 at Woodside Park

Saturday 22 April 2017 at Princes Park

Back to top

Chelmsford City

Founded: 1878 / Ground: Melbourne Stadium

Since promotion to the National South eight years ago, the Clarets were consistent playoff candidates but haven’t been for the last three campaigns. Mark Hawkes was the latest man to attempt to match Chelmsford City’s ambitions and whilst it looked good at the start of the season a turbulent Winter left the Essex club needing to do too much. A comfortable 5-2 win at home to Concord Rangers left the Clarets in fourth by mid-September and come November they were hanging on the playoff fringes. Then came the horror show between Halloween and to the end of February where the club picked up just eight points from fourteen games. The rest of the campaign drifted by but they did record an impressive 6-1 win at home to playoff contenders Gosport Borough.

ChelmsfordCityFCLast Season

National South: 15th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter-final

League Top Scorer: Billy Bricknell (17 goals)

The Manager – Rod Stringer

Linked with the Chelmsford City hotseat for the last three years, the Clarets finally got their man who they believe will guide them upwards and onwards. Stringer’s reputation has been built on two league titles, first with Aveley’s triumph in the Isthmian League Division One North then with Braintree Town in the National South. Stringer had the chance to manage in the top non league division but decided to controversially walk away. This summer he made the move back to Essex from local rivals Bishop’s Stortford bringing players with him.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 35 / Chelmsford City wins: 50 / Draws: 89

Previous Meetings

02.01.2016 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 1
26.12.2015 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 1
07.04.2012 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0
27.08.2011 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0
03.01.2011 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
30.08.2010 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 13 August 2016 at Melbourne Stadium

Saturday 18 February 2016 at Princes Park

Back to top

Concord Rangers

Founded: 1967 / Ground: Thames Road

A well run club who have moved up the divisions from the Essex League in a short space of time. When Concord Rangers won their first two matches last season they unexpectedly topped the National South. Four straight defeats followed and confidence dwindled until the end of October. The following month restored positivity around the club with four wins from four and no goals conceded. The Beachboys began to believe the playoffs were possible but soon another set back occurred with a trio of losses. Although Concord Rangers managed a ten game unbeaten run in the early part of 2016, the Essex Senior Cup winners lost eleven at home which cost them overall.

concord rangersLast Season

National South: 10th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Steve Cawley (20 goals)

The Manager – Adam Flanagan

Former Dartford defender Adam Flanagan impressed in his first season as Concord Rangers manager. He had replaced Danny Cowley who guided the Beachboys up the non league pyramid so had big shoes to fill. The 38 year old previously managed Brentwood Town where he won promotion to the Isthmian Premier League via the playoffs. As a player he captained the Dartford side who clinched the Isthmian Premier League title five years ago, making a total of 145 appearances for the Darts and scoring 14 goals.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Concord Rangers wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings

27.02.2016 Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 2
18.08.2015 Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 3
27.01.2009* Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 3

Next Meetings

Saturday 24 September 2016 at Princes Park

Saturday 11 March 2017 at Thames Road

Back to top

Dartford v Chelmsford City

Dartford start the New Year hosting mid-table Chelmsford City in the National League South at Princes Park.

The two sides met on Boxing Day with the Darts taking all three points. Andy Pugh’s superb strike was enough to clinch a 1-0 victory, however the striker missed Bank Holiday Monday’s draw against Margate. A none game unbeaten run has led to Dartford climbing the table to sixth place and within a point of the playoffs.

Dartford have found the Clarets a thorn in their side over recent seasons, last winning a home match against the Essex club 15 years ago. The last meeting in 2012 ended 0-0 to match the score line at Melbourne Park that season.

Fortunes for both clubs have changed over the last two or three months with roles reversing. From October, Tony Burman has got his Dartford side challenging for the top five after finding the right formula on the pitch. Since mid-September, Chelmsford City slipped from fourth to mid-table.

The Essex club had a much brighter start to this term’s National South campaign. A five game unbeaten run had the Clarets in the playoff places. November yielded a solitary win and last month also saw little in return.

In contrast, at the beginning of October the Darts were in mid-table with manager Burman under pressure. Since switching formation his side have flourished with a fighting spirit, a tight defence and improved results.

It’s not just been this season where the two clubs have reversed roles. Six years ago, Chelmsford City were in a league higher, with Dartford leading the Isthmian Premier League. The F.A Cup drew the sides together and although half a division separated the Darts from the Clarets, the Essex side brushed Burman and company aside in a 4-1 win. The result indicated the work Dartford needed to do to compete higher up the pyramid.

In those six years, the Darts passed Chelmsford City to reach the top flight of non-league football. When Burman signed Max Cornhill and Kenny Clark from the Clarets a few season’s back, it highlighted the change in fortunes.

Chelmsford City are now in their eighth consecutive year in the National South. In their first five seasons they finished in the playoffs four times. Over recent campaigns they have failed to hit those heights again.

Now it’s Mark Hawkes’ turn who has vowed to ‘wake a sleeping giant’. He has brought in new faces but one of those will be an old one to Dartford. Rory McAuley is likely to make his Princes Park return. The 26 year old made 70 appearances for the Darts in the National League.

Chelmsford City favourite Billy Bricknell is also back at the club after spells with Dartford’s rivals Ebbsfleet United and Maidstone United, the striker has a reputation of scoring against the Darts.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 35 / Chelmsford City wins: 50 / Draws: 88

Current League Form

Dartford (DWWWWD) Chelmsford City (WWLWDL)
Margate  H  1-1 St Albans City  A  1-1
Chelmsford City  A  1-0 Dartford  H  0-1
Whitehawk  A  1-0 Wealdstone  H  0-2
Basingstoke Town  A  1-0 Gosport Borough  A  1-2
Havant & Waterlooville  H  4-2 Eastbourne Borough  H  0-3
Maidstone United  H  1-1 Hayes & Yeading Utd  A  5-0

Last Meeting at Princes Park

7 April 2012 – Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0 – attendance 1660

Darts lineup – Louis Wells, Lee Burns, Tom Bonner, Luke Wilkinson, Tom Champion, Lee Noble, James Rogers, Jacob Erskine, Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris (subs used: Ryan Hayes, Tony Garrod)

Previous Six Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

26.12.2015 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 1
07.04.2012 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0
27.08.2011 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0
03.01.2011 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
30.08.2010 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 0
10.10.2009* Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 4

League Stats

Dartford’s record in 2015 ended with 13 victories, 12 draws and 16 defeats, scoring 47 and conceding 55.

9 – the Darts are on the longest current sequence of unbeaten runs. If they avoid defeat they will join Ebbsfleet United, Truro City, Oxford City, Maidstone United and Whitehawk who have reached double figures.

28 – points Dartford have taken against teams in the bottom half of the National South. The Darts have won nine out of eleven, drew once and lost once.

On This Day

The Darts unbeaten run on 2 January includes eight wins and four draws spanning a 78 year period. In the last stint at this level, the Darts beat local rivals Welling United 1-0 at Princes Park. Danny Harris scored the winner in a match which saw Andy Pugh playing for the opponents. Cray Wanderers were defeated five years ago with goals by Lee Burns and James White to earn Dartford a 2-1 victory in the Isthmian Premier League. In 2006, Dartford were held to a 0-0 draw with Sittingbourne in the Southern League Division One East. The last team to beat Dartford on 2 January was Aldershot Reserves back in 1937, in the Southern League Midweek Section.

Chelmsford City v Dartford

Dartford look to continue their fine form on Boxing Day, when they travel across the Thames to face Chelmsford City.

When the fixture list was announced pre-season, the Darts and the Clarets seemed an unusual festive pairing. On Saturday, they meet for the first time since Dartford’s promotion winning campaign.

The form of both sides is contrasting with Dartford recording the most points in the last six fixtures, whilst Chelmsford City have taken the least. Victory for the Darts could move them into the National South playoffs.

Tony Burman’s side stretched their unbeaten run in the National South to seven last weekend, with their third consecutive away win. Andy Pugh finally scored for the Darts, ending a three month drought. The striker’s shot made its way through a crowded penalty area, which turned out to be the winner. With Pugh netting the only goal, Elliot Bradbrook’s run of scoring ended after five consecutive league matches.

At the other end of the pitch, Dartford have now kept two consecutive clean sheets, the first time in the league since April 2013. Burman praised his defence after Saturday’s match against Whitehawk, who were the league’s top scorers, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “We defended very well”, he continued: “I thought we thoroughly deserved the win. Deren Ibrahim hasn’t had a save to make against one of the top-scoring teams in this league”.

Victory at the Enclosed Ground moved the Darts up to seventh, two points behind the playoffs with a game or two in hand over those above them. The win in Sussex, followed a well earned triumph at Basingstoke Town and an entertaining victory in their last home game versus Havant and Waterlooville.

Burman is hoping the momentum will continue, he added: “We’ve started December really well and we’ve spoken about getting to the end of February still being involved (in the play-off race)”.

Chelmsford City have lost much of their early season promise, which saw them in the top four by mid-September. The Clarets lost just twice in their opening ten fixtures, they have won just twice since.

The Essex club host the Darts on the back of three consecutive defeats. Excluding a county cup triumph, Chelmsford City have gone three months without a home win and are lacking goals at Melbourne Park, scoring once in their last five on their own turf.

Last weekend, the Clarets were beaten by Wealdstone to continue their recent poor home form. Wesley Parker and Bradley Hudson-Odoi scored for the visitors as the Stones won 2-0. Defeat comes off the back of home league losses against Eastbourne Borough, Truro City and Oxford City. The only point picked up in that time at the Melbourne Community Stadium was versus league leaders Ebbsfleet United. The Clarets have also lost recently to Hampshire side Gosport Borough.

Despite recent form, Chelmsford City have shown flashes of inspiration recording a 5-2 victory over Concord Rangers, their last home win back in mid-September. Just before the current losing streak, the Clarets travelled to play Hayes and Yeading United and recorded a 5-0 victory.

The Essex club now has two former Darts in their ranks. Defender, Rory McAuley made 70 appearances for Dartford before making the switch across the Thames in the summer. Last term, midfielder Luke Daley turned out 38 times for the Darts, in his only season with the club.

Both sides will be desperate to provide more value than the two encounters in the 2011/12 season. In August 2011, the match at the Melbourne Community Stadium ended 0-0, the same scoreline  was recorded eight months later at Princes Park.

Team News

Tom Gardiner continues to try a regain a place in the starting eleven. Barry Cogan’s absence meant Tom Wynter played in midfield last weekend, however Cogan is likely to be fit for selection. Striker, Tom Bradbrook was left out of the 1-0 win at Whitehawk, after turning his ankle in training. Ryan Hayes was missing from the starting eleven with a chest infection, although he did make the bench last week.

Head to Head

Chelmsford City wins: 50 / Dartford wins: 34 / Draws: 18

Current League Form

Chelsmford City (LLLWLL) Dartford (WWWDWW)
Wealdstone  H  0-2 Whitehawk  A  0-1
Gosport Borough  A  1-2 Basingstoke Town  A  1-0
Eastbourne Borough  H  0-3 Havant & Waterlooville  H  4-2
Hayes & Yeading Utd  A  5-0 Maidstone United  H  1-1
Truro City  H  1-2 Hayes & Yeading Utd  H  2-0
Bath City  A  0-2 Bishop’s Stortford  A  2-1

Last Meeting at Melbourne Community Stadium

27 August 2011 – Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0 – attendance 1013

Darts lineup – Andrew Young, Matthew Jones, Adam Green, Tom Bonner, Paul Goodacre, Tom Champion, Ryan Hayes, Jon Wallis, Chalrie Sheringham, Elliot Bradbrook, Richard Graham (subs used: Danny Harris, Lee Burns, Lee Noble)

Previous Six Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

07.04.2012 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0
27.08.2011 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0
03.01.2011 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
30.08.2010 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 0
10.10.2009* Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 4
12.03.2001 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1

 

On This Day – Boxing Day stats

Dartford’s Boxing Day record is mixed since reforming with four wins, three draws and six defeats.

Dartford have lost their last two against Braintree Town (0-2) and Welling United (1-2).

Three years ago, they beat Ebbsfleet United 3-1 with goals from Harry Crawford (2) and Elliot Brdbrook.

Dartford last played away on Boxing Day against Welling United in the National South four years ago which ended 1-1.

The most memorable win was in 2007 when Canvey Island were blown away as the Darts romped to a 6-1 win, Steve Norman, Ryan Hayes, Brendon Cass, Jay May, Eddie McClements and Jamie Coyle were the scorers that day.

The most played team over Boxing Day since reforming is Erith and Belvedere, the two sides met three times during the Southern League Division One era.

Twenty years ago Dartford lost their only game in the Kent League. A 1-0 defeat to Furness proved crucial as the Swanley based side later won the title on the final day, in a showdown against the Darts.

The last Boxing Day away win came in 2006 when Dartford beat Chatham Town 3-2 in the Isthmian Division One South.