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National South Season Preview Part Four

Maidstone United

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P46 W17 D13 L16 Pts64 (PPG 1.39) – Ranking 9th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 5th Round

It’s almost been thirty years since Maidstone United reformed and in that time, they have collected eight league titles, two playoff triumphs and been relegated twice. The most recent relegation came in their last finished season when the Stones ended bottom of the National League. Returning to the National South after three years away, the Kent side picked up ninth place on points per game and last season were mid-table after only thirteen games. Maidstone United started well by losing just one of their first six fixtures last time out, but form dipped with only one win in their next seven outings.

Manager: Hakan Hayrettin

A well-respected coach, Hayrettin became Maidstone United manager in January 2019. Before that all his managerial jobs were situated on the other side of the River Thames in Essex. Starting out at Waltham Forest (now Walthamstow), he moved onto Thurrock then convincingly won the Isthmian Division One North with Grays Athletic. Hayrettin went on to join former Maidstone United and Dartford boss, John Still at Luton Town as coach before a spell with Braintree Town. When Still was given the title of Head of Football at the Gallagher Stadium he decided to link back up with Hayrettin and appoint him as the manager.

Summer

It all started for Alfie Pavey at Maidstone United’s academy and he is now back at the club. The former Dartford favourite swaps the amber of Barnet for the amber of Maidstone United this summer. Whilst it didn’t quite work out for Jack Barham in terms of goalscoring at Dartford, the striker becomes the second former Dart to join the Stones. Moving the other way, George Porter leaves the Gallagher Stadium in favour of Princes Park. A similar trade-off has occurred with Ebbsfleet United where two new players, Tom Hadler and Reece Grant arrive with Kreshnic Krasniqi switching to Stonebridge Road. Returning to the club after a spell at Wealdstone is Michael Phillips, Tushaun Walters arrives from Herne Bay and Billy Johnson has been signed as back up goalkeeper. Maidstone United have also secured the services of Regan Booty from Notts County, Jake Gallagher from Dorking Wanderers, Taylor Curran from Swindon Town and Roarie Deacon from Havant and Waterlooville. Perri Iandolo and Max Sutton have been promoted from the academy, whilst Ibrahim Olutade leaves for Tonbridge Angels and Justin Amaluzor will be playing Scottish Premier League football with Motherwell this season.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 45 / Maidstone United wins: 45 / Draws: 19

Previous Meetings (last six)

Maidstone United 0 – 2 Dartford (14/11/2020 – National South)
Maidstone United 0 – 1 Dartford (21/01/2020- Kent Senior Cup)
Dartford 0 – 1 Maidstone United (26/11/2019 – F.A Trophy)
Maidstone United 2 – 2 Dartford (23/11/2019 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 2 – 2 Maidstone United (16/11/2019 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Maidstone United (22/01/2019 – Kent Senior Cup)*
*Maidstone United won 8-7 on penalties

  • Dartford are eight league matches unbeaten against Maidstone United, winning six and drawing two
  • Since both sides reformed Dartford have won seven, drawn two and lost one in the league against the Stones
  • Maidstone United’s last away win in the league against Dartford was in 1978, the Darts are now eight league matches at home unbeaten

Oxford City

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P51 W20 D14 L17 Pts74 (PPG 1.45) – Ranking 8th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round
F.A Trophy: Quarter-Final

Since switching over from the National North to the National South, Oxford City has been a consistent mid-table side, but last season they were the form side before the campaign was cut short. In March 2020, David Oldfield was appointed and with his philosophy led the Hoops into fourth spot. Results suggest it took a while to embed his ideas into the team, with just two victories in their opening eight games, but his side were difficult to beat losing only three times. Once everything clicked, Oxford City went nine games unbeaten dropping just four points and scored thirteen in their final three fixtures.

Manager: David Oldfield

Another manager who joined his club in early 2020 yet to have a whole season under his belt. In the short space of time Oldfield has made a significant impact making Oxford City promotion contenders. Oldfield’s only managerial experience came at Brackley Town, where he left in 2008. However coaching and assistant manager roles together with his playing experiences make up for the lack of first team management. Making his name in football back in the eighties, the former midfielder won promotion to the top flight with Manchester City and played the first half of the nineties at Leicester City making it to the Premier League.

Summer

Joint top scorer in the 2018/2019 National South season, Joe Iaciofano earned a move to Havant and Waterlooville, a year on the striker leaves the Hawks for Oxford City. Hading to Iaciofano’s old side will be Joe Oastler and James Roberts. The Hoops have also signed former Fulham and England under 16 right back Zico Asare and Charlie Rowan, a defender with experience with Queens Park Rangers and Watford. Impressing on trial, midfielder Canice Carroll won a Scottish League Two title with Queens Park last season, the 22-year-old signs a one year deal. Another arrival is former West Bromwich Albion full back George Harmon.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 8 / Oxford City wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 3 – 0 Oxford City (11/01/2020 – National South)
Oxford City 0 – 1 Dartford (12/10/2019 – National South)
Oxford City 2 – 1 Dartford (27/04/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 Oxford City (13/11/2018 – National South)
Oxford City 4 – 1 Dartford (06/10/2018 – F.A Cup)
Oxford City 0 – 2 Dartford (24/03/2018 – National South)

  • Dartford have won the last four league games against Oxford City including a 7-1 victory in 2017
  • The Darts are unbeaten in all seven home games versus the Hoops winning five and drawing two
  • Oxford City have won two of the last here at home losing the last time the Darts visited Marsh Lane

Slough Town

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P47 W20 D12 L15 Pts72 (PPG 1.53) – Ranking 6th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

Three very different seasons since promotion to the National South, who knows what Slough Town will turn up this time. In their first campaign in this division, the Rebels finished in a credible eleventh place three points off a playoff spot. Then the Berkshire club had a terrific time reaching the playoffs, going out in the eliminator round. Last term, Slough Town found life difficult after completing the fewest number of games and picking up just a point per game, which would have seen them in a relegation battle, however with only a dozen games played it’s tricky to read too much into their form.

Managers: Jon Underwood and Neil Baker

Slough Town’s management duo have been leading the Rebels since May 2013 and before that Underwood and Baker were together at Godalming Town, leading the Surrey club to third in the Southern Division One Central. In the campaign before that they won promotion via the playoffs for the G’s. As players the pair teamed up for Farnborough as well, so they have formed a close relationship through non-league football. At Slough Town, Underwood and Baker have guided the Rebels from the Southern Division One Central to the National South winning two playoff finals, they also reached the playoffs a year ago losing to Dartford in the eliminator round. 

Summer

Former Wealdstone goalkeeper, Jonathan North signs from Hendon possibly replacing the departing Jack Turner. The Rebels welcome back to familiar faces in Matthew Lench and Scott Davies from Wealdstone and Biggleswade Town respectively. Tom Derry has been signed from Braintree Town, the forward has been brought in to cover the loss of Dan Roberts to Dartford. After leaving Bath City, Freddie Grant will be a Rebel next season to strengthen the midfield, George Hunt will join Grant in the middle of the park having arrived from AFC Bournemouth. The Rebels have also promoted young Gabe George from their under 23’s team as well as Eitel Goueth and Joseph Lawal.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings (last six)

Slough Town 2 – 2 Dartford (15/12/2020 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 2 – 0 Slough Town (21/11/2020 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Slough Town (03/10/2020 – F.A Cup)
Slough Town 0 – 3 Dartford (19/07/2020 – National South Playoff)
Slough Town 1 – 0 Dartford (18/01/2020 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 3 Slough Town (28/09/2019 – National South)

  • The Darts have won just one league game against Slough Town drawing two and losing two
  • In all competitions, out of the eleven meetings between the two sides the home team has only won three times
  • Both teams scored in each of the first six meetings, which has only happened once in the last five, when they last met in December

St Albans City

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P50 W18 D15 L17 Pts69 (PPG 1.38) – Ranking 10th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

The hardest team to beat last season, only Chelmsford City managed to take maximum points from the Saints. An eleven-match unbeaten run at the start of the campaign had the Hertfordshire side in a strong position, only Dorking Wanderers but only just. Had last season continued, St Albans City were on course to challenge for an automatic promotion spot and had they achieved that, then that would mean a return to the National League after their solitary season in the top flight of non-league back in 2006/2007. In contrast, St Albans City finished the previous campaign third from bottom highlighting the improvement they have made. 

Manager: Ian Allinson

A manager who can call upon experiences from his playing days, Allinson has also been in management since 1989 when he started out at Baldock Town. The former Arsenal winger moved around the non-league circuit as a manager until he settled at Boreham Wood and made an impact for the Hertfordshire club. Allinson took the Wood from the Isthmian Premier League to the National League via two playoff promotions. Due to work commitments he left Boreham Wood in October 2015 and four months later was appointed at St Albans City. After some mixed results during Allinson’s tenure, the Saints were in title contention last term.

Summer

St Albans City’s successful start to last season means they have retained many of their players including former Dartford defender Tom Bender, he will begin his seventh campaign with the Saints. Another ex Dart, Luke Warner-Eley leaves Clarence Park to join Billericay Town. Callum Adebiyi becomes a new signing from Southern Premier League side Kings Langley and Luke Brown arrives from Hitchin Town. Michael Oluwadara Dada remains in the National South by joining Chelmsford City.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 9 / St Albans City wins: 6 / Draws: 5

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 0 – 1 St Albans City (17/11/2020 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 2 Dartford (07/03/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 St Albans City (06/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 St Albans City (12/01/2019 – National South)
St Albans City 2 – 0 Dartford (01/09/2018 – National South)
St Albans City 4 – 0 Dartford (03/02/2018 – National South)

  • Dartford’s 2-1 away win in March 2020 ended a four-game losing streak at Clarence Park without scoring
  • The darts have only lost twice at home against the Saints, winning five and drawing the other four
  • St Albans City have won four of their last five home matches in this fixture

Tonbridge Angels

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P45 W14 D10 L21 Pts52 (PPG 1.16) – Ranking 15th

F.A Cup: 1st Round
F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

It took a while for Tonbridge Angels to get used to National South football. The Kent side won promotion through a series of playoff matches just over two years ago. The Angels have stuck by their manager and after a slow start in which they picked up just eleven points out of the first 15 outings, they only lost three of the next 16 games. Last season they were picking up points at the same rate only they didn’t manage back to back victories and defeats were spread out evenly. Tonbridge Angels have performed consistently enough to keep out of trouble since promotion.

Manager: Steve McKimm

Committing his future to the Angels, McKimm signed a new contract in April extending his stay at Longmead after seven seasons already completed. He guided Tonbridge Angels back to the second tier of non-league football in 2019, the Kent side needed to win two Playoff Finals in one campaign to reach the National South. McKimm added another milestone last season when he guided his side to the F.A Cup first round for the first time since 1972. As a player, McKimm gained experience at a number of non-league teams including Kent sides Margate and Gravesend and Northfleet, where he won the Isthmian Premier League.

Summer

A Dartford duo last term, Craig Braham-Barrett and Ricky Modeste make the short journey to represent Tonbridge Angels this season. The Angels have also brought in some experience with the signing of Doug Loft, the former Gillingham and Port Vale player arrives from Billericay Town. Ibrahim Olutade stays in Kent but switches from Maidstone United and coming from Horsham, Jerry O’Sullivan will bring more experience in defence. Harry Hudson comes in from Watford’s under 23 side and attacking midfielder Aaron Smith-Joseph has been signed fromBurgess hill Town. Squad numbers have been bolstered with three academy graduates in Bobby Moore, Toby McKimm and Luca Woodhouse.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 69 / Tonbridge Angels wins: 38 / Draws: 24

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 1 – 0 Tonbridge Angels (05/01/2021 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Tonbridge Angels (28/12/2019 – National South)
Tonbridge Angels 3 – 2 Dartford (03/09/2019 – National South)
Tonbridge Angels 0 – 3 Dartford (15/10/2016 – F.A Cup)
Dartford 3 – 0 Tonbridge Angels (15/12/2012 – F.A Trophy)
Tonbridge Angels 0 – 1 Dartford (03/03/2012 – National South)

  • Dartford have won ten of the last eleven matches against Tonbridge Angels
  • The Angels only win in that sequence came in Jamie Coyle and Adam Flanagan’s last game in charge, ending an eight-match losing streak versus the Darts
  • The Darts have won the last six matches versus the Angels at Princes Park

Welling United

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P48 W14 D12 L22 Pts54 (PPG 1.13) – Ranking 16th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

Playoff runners up just over two years ago, Welling United have not been able to create that excellent run that saw them finish third in the National South. Unsurprisingly, since Steve King left as manager the Wings have dropped down the division, whilst his Dartford team are challenging for promotion. After ending 2019/2020 in mid-table, Welling United were rock bottom when last season was halted. They tasted just a single victory before Bradley Quinton was dismissed as manager. Steve Lovell was named as boss managing one win, draw and loss in his three games in charge before the premature end to the season.

Manager: Steve Lovell

The Wings appointed Lovell just six months ago and barely had time to make himself comfortable before the season prematurely ended. A well-known face around Kent non-league football with heaps of playing and managerial experience. As a player during the eighties and early nineties Lovell is mainly associated with Gillingham and Millwall. He won the F.A Vase with Deal Town and played for a host of Kent sides. As a manager, Lovell guided Sittingbourne to the Southern League Southern Division in the mid-nineties and has been at Gravesend and Northfleet, Hastings United, Ashford Town and his last managerial role was at Gillingham in League One.

Summer

The lack of summer activity suggests that he Wings will be running tight ship this season. Several last season’s squad have returned to Park View Road including former Dartford midfielder Lyle Della-Verde. However there were some signings to announce, Bradley Stevenson whose last club was Chelmsford City, Bradley Pearce from Sutton United, Chi Ezennolim, a left back from Millwall and Tom Smith, a goalkeeper from Arsenal’s academy.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 22 / Welling United wins: 10 / Draws: 10

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 2 – 2 Welling United (06/02/2021 – National South)
Dartford 4 – 0 Welling United (01/01/2020 – National South)
Welling United 0 – 3 Dartford (26/12/2019 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Welling United (01/01/2019 – National South)
Welling United 2 – 0 Dartford (26/12/2018 – National South)
Dartford 4 – 1 Welling United (01/01/2018 – National South)

  • Dartford have lost just once in their last fourteen matches against Welling United, winning eight and drawing five
  • The Darts are seven home games unbeaten versus the Wings winning six in a row before the draw in February
  • Dartford have kept three clean sheets in the last four fixtures against Welling United

Maidstone United v Dartford

Top of the table is up for grabs in Dartford’s first Kent derby of the season when they visit Maidstone United on Saturday.

Steve King’s side are leading the way in the National South and another victory will keep Dartford at the summit. Defeat could see their local rivals replace them depending on other results in the division.

There is plenty of history between the two clubs including the triple header last season. The Darts put on a late show in the league almost a year to the day, coming from two down to snatch a draw. Quick fire second half goals from Danny Wishart and Ibby Akanbi had Maidstone United in charge at Princes Park right up until the closing stages. Tom Bonner bundled in a goal with four minutes to go and in the final minute Darren McQueen equalised.

Video highlights can be found on DFCTV

A week later, the pair were at it again but this time in the F.A Trophy third qualifying round, where they played out the same score. Elliott Romain scored twice against his old side cancelling out strikes from Wishart and Justin Amaluzor. The replay days afterwards was another tight contest and it was Iffy Allen who scored the only goal of the game, to send the Stones into the next round.  

Sick of the sight of each other, Dartford and Maidstone United were also paired up in the Kent Senior Cup second round in January. This time it was the Darts who progressed 1-0 with a Ky Marsh-Brown winner. Dartford went on to make the final, which is yet to be played.

Elliott Romain got off the mark on Tuesday night in Dartford’s 3-1 win over Hemel Hempstead Town. The striker played 37 times for Maidstone United scoring just four goals. Another former Stone, Jordan Wynter returned to the starting line up replacing Jazzi Barnum-Bobb. Wynter only made eight appearances at Maidstone United before joining the Darts. Ky Marsh-Brown and Connor Essam were the only other changes as Ronnie Vint and David Ijaha missed out.

Dartford bounced back from their 3-2 home defeat to Dorking Wanderers by moving to the top of the table. Connor Essam made his first start this season against his former club and opened the scoring, the central defender was pivotal in defence and could have ended up with a hat-trick. Jack Jebb also made an impact providing the set piece for Essam to head home and his assist set up the second, which went down as an own goal. Romain netted his first of the campaign before the break and in the second half, BJ Christie grabbed a consolation for Hemel Hempstead Town.

King spoke to DFC TV after the game and was delighted with his side’s first half performance, he said: “After the first ten minutes we grew into the game and were in total control. It’s as good as half I have seen from the lads for a long, long time”. Dartford’s boss called up Essam and highlighted his display as outstanding. With a strong squad King believes the defender “grabbed his opportunity with both hands”.

The result at Hemel Hempstead Town shows more improvements are being made. After a solid start built around a tight defence, the Darts are starting to be rewarded at the other end of the field, King commented: “Slowly we’re getting better, the goals are now coming in slowly and the goal difference is building up”.

Maidstone United have only suffered one league setback this term and are the top scorers in the division. The Stones last outing was a 3-2 victory at Slough Town with goals from Scott Rendell and George Porter, the pair are the club’s joint top scorer with three this season. They won by an even bigger margin in their last match at the Gallagher Stadium, thrashing F.A Trophy finalists Concord Rangers 6-0, putting their only defeat of the campaign to Chelmsford City behind them.

Maidstone United’s other victories include a 2-1 triumph in the Kent derby with Welling United and a 4-1 win against Hemel Hempstead Town. The Stones showed a never say die attitude in their fixture against Havant and Waterlooville last month scoring two injury time goals to draw from two down.

A Kent derby is always a difficult test and King points out this weekend and Tuesday night against St Albans City will be no different, he stated: “Maidstone United are doing really well and have had a really good start to the season, so it’s another really tough game. Then we’ve got St Albans who have also had a really good start, yet another top five side. It seems like we’re always playing a top five side at the moment”.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 45 / Maidstone United wins: 45 / Draws: 19

Current League Form

Dartford
(WLWWWD)
Maidstone United
(WWLWDW)
Hemel Hempstead TownA3-1Slough TownA3-2
Dorking WanderersH2-3Concord RangersH6-0
Havant &WaterloovileH2-1Chelmsford CityA0-1
Chippenham TownA2-1Hemel Hempstead TownH4-1
Bath CityH1-0Havant & WaterloovilleA2-2
Hampton & RichmondA0-0Welling UnitedH2-1

Last Six Meetings

21.01.2020Maidstone United0Dartford1
26.11.2019Dartford0Maidstone United1
23.11.2019Maidstone United2Dartford2
16.11.2019Dartford2Maidstone United2
22.01.2019Dartford1Maidstone United1
09.04.2016Maidstone United1Dartford2

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in seven league matches against Maidstone United (W5, D2).

In all competitions the Darts are unbeaten in five away games against the Stones (W4, D1)

Dartford have scored two or more goals in four consecutive league games for the first time since January.

Tom Bonner could make his 350th appearance for the Darts (347 starts and 2 substitute appearances). Josh Hill is currently on 49 games (45 starts and 2 appearances as substitute).

On This Day

It’s five years to the day that Dartford drew 1-1 with Maidstone United at Princes Park. Elliot Bradbrook scored a late equaliser against his old club even though his goal was ruled out at first. Future signing Alex Flisher had given the Stones the lead, but Dartford’s leveller was well deserved after hitting the woodwork three times during the match. Tony Sitford’s overhead kick, two minutes from time, earned Dartford a F.A Cup first round replay against Division Four side Aldershot, the Darts lost the replay 1-0. The last away fixture on this day was in 1989 when Dartford beat Wealdstone 4-0 in the Southern League Cup second round. The second leg ended 5-0 to secure a 9-0 aggregate win.

National South Season Preview Part IV

Maidstone United

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 9th
F.A Cup: 2nd Round
F.A Trophy: 1st Round
Top Scorer: Ibby Akanbi (9 goals)

A former Football League club, the only in the division started their move through the non-league scene almost 20 years ago. In that time, they made light work in reaching the Isthmian Premier, consolidated themselves then moved to a new stadium. Since then the Stones won three promotions in four seasons to reach the National League. After three years they were relegated, and last term was their first back in the National South. Maidstone United were hoping for a swift return, but instead had to settle for ninth after losing five of their last six matches.

Manager: Hakan Hayrettin

Appointed as manager in January 2019, Hakan Hayrettin is a well-respected coach and Maidstone United represents his first managerial role outside of Essex. Starting out in 2003 with Waltham Forest, Hayrettin’s best moment came almost a decade later when he won the Isthmian Division One North with Grays Athletic, as they notched up an impressive 102 points. After working closely with John Still at Luton Town, he returned to Essex as manager of Braintree Town until they were relegated. Whilst at Maidstone United, Still called upon Hayrettin once more where he has been boss ever since.

Summer

Just over seven and half months ago, Scott Rendell hit the headlines when his goal knocked out Premier League opposition Norwich City in the F.A Cup. Rendell was playing for non-leaguers Luton Town at the time and since then he has spent time at Woking, Aldershot Town and last season Eastleigh. The striker has also gained experience with Cambridge United, Peterborough United and Wycombe Wanderers, now he will be sharing his footballing knowledge at the Gallagher Stadium. The Stones also signed Kreshnic Krasniqi from National South champions Wealdstone and defender Joe Ellul from Maidenhead United. George Porter, Christie Pattison, Raphe Brown and Charlie Seaman have all signed for the Stones as well.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 44 / Maidstone United wins: 45 / Draws: 19

Oxford City

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 13th
F.A Cup: 1st Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round
Top Scorer: Zac McEachran (9 goals)

Spending the majority of last season with interim managers, Oxford City still managed to maintain their consistency of mid-table finishes. The Hoops enjoyed some more F.A Cup success reaching the first round proper for the third year in a row. Shortly afterwards Mark Jones departed and that’s when Justin Merritt and Andy Ballard took over. The interim duo had an immediate impact winning five of their first six which included some high scoring entertaining games. Oxford City now have a new manager at the helm with early nineties top flight playing experience.

Manager: David Oldfield

Waiting to take charge of his first competitive game at Oxford City, David Oldfield made his name in football back in the eighties. The former midfielder impressed at Luton Town before joining Manchester City where he won promotion to the top flight. He played the first half of the nineties at Leicester City and was part of the team making it to the Premier League. After returning to Luton Town he went on to represent Stoke City, Peterborough United and Oxford United before entering the world of non-league as a player and briefly as a manager with Brackley Town.

Summer

At the age of 21, Harvey Bradbury has spent most of his fledgling career out on loan with the likes of Havant and Waterlooville, St Albans City, Hungerford Town and Woking. Son of former Portsmouth striker Lee, Harvey joins Oxford City from Millwall. The Hoops have strengthen their back line with the signings of Dan Matsuzaka from Braintree Town and Louis Hall (Bedford Town), the pair could be playing in front of former Sutton United goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski. Winger, James Roberts joins from Spennymoor Town and Lewis Coyle signs from Thatcham Town. Aaron Drewe and Jacob Bancroft are the latest to join the Hoops.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / Oxford City wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Slough Town

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 5th
F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round
Top Scorer: Ben Harris (9 goals)

Three games into their second season in the National South and it looked like it could be a long campaign for Slough Town. In the end it was, but not because they had no points to show in the opening matches, but because they made the playoffs losing in the eliminator round against Dartford. The Rebels took a while to get going and when they put a run of one defeat in 19 their confidence grew. The Berkshire club can be delighted with what they have achieved since joining the National South.

Managers: Jon Underwood and Neil Baker

It’s not often joint managers work, but at Slough Town it definitely does. Jon Underwood and Neil Baker have been leading the Rebels since May 2013, before that they were both at Goldalming Town. The duo seem to have the knack of making their teams into playoff contenders, at Goldalming Town they reached the Isthmian Division One South playoffs, whilst at Slough Town they have been promoted twice through that route to the Southern Premier then the National South. Last season, they guided the Berkshire club to the National South playoffs but fell short this time.

Summer

There hasn’t been much action in the transfer market at Slough Town. Midfielder, Jack McKnight has been signed from Eastleigh and Louis Lomas has come in on loan from Championship club Norwich City. McKnight impressed the management team a few season’s ago when he scored against hem for Basingstoke Town. Lomas has been a regular in Norwich City’s under 23 squad and spent time on loan at Tampa Bay Rowdies last term in the USL Championship. Olly McCoy, Ada Okorogheye and Michael Edegbe all joined before Slough Town’s F.A Cup win over Dartford.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Slough Town wins: 3 / Draws: 2

St Albans City

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 20th
F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round
Top Scorer: Joe Iaciofano (17 goals)

Embroiled in a relegation battle last time out, the Saints will have to live life without golden boot winner Joe Iaciofano, who netted just under half of St Albans City’s goals. The Hertfordshire club were on course to record their lowest points tally since dropping out of the division nine years ago. Even then they didn’t spend long outside the National South and have been in this league for 12 of the previous 16 seasons. The club have rebranded with a new crest and have signed a sponsorship deal with rock band Enter Shikari.

Manager: Ian Allinson

A former Arsenal winger who turned to management back in 1989 with Baldock Town, Ian Allinson moved around before settling at Boreham Wood. It was in Hertfordshire where he picked up his first honours as a manager taking an unfancied side to the National League via two playoff promotions. Allinson moved the Wood from the Isthmian Premier League to the top flight of non-league on very low crowds, but due to work commitments he left in October 2015. Four months later Allinson rocked up at St Albans City where he has had mixed results so far.

Summer

Losing Joe Iaciofano in the summer meant finding a goalscorer was a priority for Ian Allinson. The St Albans City boss is hoping Shaun Jeffers will be that man after signing the striker from Chelmsford City. Also arriving from the Clarets is forward Joseph Chidyausiku and to add to the attacking line, Mitchell Weiss comes in from Kings Langley and Chid Onokwai from Haringey Borough, where he scored ten goals in as many games before injury cut his season short. Following Onokwai from the North London club is midfielder Romeo Akinola. Also, in the middle of the park, the Saints have brought in Michael Oluwadara Dada from Barking and Kyran Witshire from Oxford City. Luke Warner-Eley had a very short spell with Dartford playing six times before leaving the club, he joins the Saints from Royston Town. Defenders, Joy Mukena (Bracknell Town), Devante Stanley (Biggleswade Town) and goalkeeper Michael Johnson (Dagenham and Redbridge) will also be at Clarence Park this season.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / St Albans City wins: 5 / Draws: 5

Tonbridge Angels

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 15th
F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 1st Round
Top Scorer: Joe Turner (11 goals)

It took some time to settle in their first campaign back in the National South after a five-year absence. The Angels won promotion the hard way winning two playoff finals and that determination would stand them in good stead. Tonbridge Angels lost two thirds of their opening 15 games, then the second half of the season that was played out, they tasted defeat just three more times in 16 outings. In the end they were still in a relegation battle with many of the top sides to play, but they showed they can beat the teams around them.

Manager: Steve McKimm

You will find on Steve McKimm’s honours list two playoff wins in the same season. Tonbridge Angels’ route back to the National South was far from easy, after an Isthmian Premier League playoff win over Merstham, they beat Metropolitan Police in a ‘super-playoff’. He had come close before in 2016 with the Angels so winning two in a season tasted all the sweeter. As a player, McKimm also coached at Sutton United and before then had spells with Margate, Gravesend and Northfleet where he won the Isthmian Premier League title, Kingstonian, Farnborough, Hayes and Yeading United and Dulwich Hamlet.

Summer

Nine months after leaving the Angels, D’Sean Theobald is back at the Longmead Stadium. The midfielder’s performances earned him a move to Poland’s top flight with Korona Kielce, but his stay didn’t go to plan so Steve McKimm links up with Theobald again. Another two players return to the Angels, striker Alex Akrofi scored 15 times for Aveley last season and defender Arthur Lee was at AFC Hornchurch last term and was part of the Kent side’s promotion winning team. At full back, Kristian Campbell arrives from Eastbourne Borough and Javaun Splatt gets a chance following a two year scholarship at Derby County’s Academy, Splatt has also had loan spells with Mickleover Sports and Carshalton Athletic. 

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 68 / Tonbridge Angels wins: 38 / Draws: 24

Welling United

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 12th
F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 1st Round
Top Scorer: Anthony Cook (8 goals)

In one summer Welling United suffered two big losses, the playoff final defeat to Woking just over a year ago and former manager Steve King. Owner, Mark Goldberg decided changes were needed to help the finances of the club and so appointed himself as manager, tapping into the resources already at the club. Goldberg lasted until January and as defeats become more frequent decided it was time to hand the reins over. Welling United went on to pick up form to comfortably finish mid-table, making what they achieved under King stand out more.

Manager: Bradley Quinton

A promotion winner with Braintree Town just over two years ago, Bradley Quinton led the Iron to the National League via the playoffs. Whilst he had a shot at the National League his tenure lasted until October 2018 when he resigned. In January 2019, he was appointed to stop Welling United’s slide as the Wings were in the bottom three of the National South and soon after fortunes improved. Quinton previously played a part in Enfield Town reaching a playoff spot in 2017 and at the Middesex club he worked under current Braintree Town boss George Borg.

Summer

Two former Dartford players have joined the Wings this summer, although both players made very limited appearances for the Darts. Rowan Liburd played just three games during his loan spell under Steve King, the striker signs from Hereford. Marcel Barrington was also at Dartford last season and he is now back alongside Bradley Quinton where the pair worked together at Braintree Town. Lionel Ainsworth brings plenty of experience to the squad after a career at various Football League clubs, the winger enjoyed a spell north of the border at Motherwell and joins from Dulwich Hamlet. Former Yeovil Town winger, Tyrique Clark anddefender Quba Gordon (Maldon and Tiptree) were added to the squad as well as goalkeeper Mohammed Oulad Laarbi and midfielder Emmanuel Maja. Former Staines Town man William Efambe will join Lanre Azeez (Hastings United), German Petrov and Stefan Ilic (Lewes) as new members at Park View Road.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 22 / Welling United wins: 10 / Draws: 9

Maidstone United v Dartford

The two most successful clubs in the history of the Kent Senior Cup go head to head, when Dartford visit the Gallagher Stadium to take on Maidstone United for the fourth time this season.

Dartford have claimed the title eleven times with the last triumph in the competition in 2016. The Stones are the current holders after winning the county cup for the eighteenth time last season. The pair have already played each other in the National South and twice in the F.A Trophy and on each occasion, it has been a tight affair.

In November, the F.A Trophy draw produced one of those coincidences pairing the two rivals together with the fixture taking place a week after their league encounter. With the F.A Trophy match ending in a draw, the replay took place three days later. meaning for the first time since 1957 Dartford played three consecutive games against the same opponents.

Steve King’s side have shown plenty of spirit in their contests with Maidstone United. Still building a squad and filling in holes from an extensive injury list, the Darts came from two down with four minutes remaining to take a point at Princes Park in the National South two months ago. After a goalless first half, two quickfire goals from Dan Wishart and Ibby Akanbi had the visitors in control. However, Dartford hit back late on when Tom Bonner headed one back from close range, then Darren McQueen followed up his own effort with the equaliser.

The final score was repeated the following week in the F.A Trophy with Dartford equalising twice at the Gallagher Stadium. Wishart found the net again for the Stones and Justin Amaluzor put the hosts ahead for a second time. Former Maidstone United striker, Elliott Romain kept Dartford in the hat by netting a brace in an entertaining tie. The replay went the way of the Stones who finally got the better of the Darts when Iffy Allen finished off a counter attack.

On the way to taking the Kent Senior Cup title last term, the Stones knocked Dartford out at the quarter-final stage. In fact had this year’s meeting been a day later it would be exactly a year since Maidstone United went through on penalties. The game is mostly remembered for Ben Greenhalgh’s heroics in goal after Bailey Vose had been sent off. Charlie Sheringham scored a penalty before the Stones missed one of their own. Then early in the second half Vose received his marching orders leaving Greenhalgh between the sticks for almost the entire second half. An inspired performance by Greenhalgh kept the score at 1-0 until nine minutes from time when Elliott Romain, now a Dart equalised. After 15 perfect spot kicks Maidstone United goalkeeper Josh Strizovic saved Daniel Johnson’s effort, sending the Stones on their way.

Steve King indicated prior the 1-0 defeat at Slough Town on the weekend that players looking to build up match fitness are likely to start. Lee Noble, Sheringham and Sam Blackman are possibilities, however Jordan Wynter could be a few weeks from a return.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 44 / Maidstone United wins: 45 / Draws: 19

Kent Senior Cup Head to Head

Dartford wins: 6 / Maidstone United wins: 5 / Draws: 3* (* Maidstone United have won two on penalties)

Last Six Meetings

26.11.2019^ Dartford 0 Maidstone United 1
23.11.2019^ Maidstone United 2 Dartford 2
16.11.2019 Dartford 2 Maidstone United 2
22.01.2019* Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
09.04.2016 Maidstone United 1 Dartford 2
14.11.2015 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1

* – Kent Senior Cup, Maidstone United won 8-7 on penalties / ^ – F.A Trophy

Dartford v Maidstone United

Dartford face rivals Maidstone United for a third time in a row on Tuesday night, this time at Princes Park in the F.A Trophy third qualifying round replay.

In just over a week the two sides have been inseparable, but this time there will be winner. On the weekend a depleted Dartford side came away from the Gallagher Stadium with a creditable 2-2 draw to take the tie to a replay. The Darts had to twice come from behind to deny the home side a place in the next round.

Former Maidstone United striker, Elliott Romain scored a brace to keep Dartford in the F.A Trophy draw, equalising twice after Dan Wishart then Justin Amaluzor gave the Stones an advantage. Steve King named a squad without Jordan Gibbons, Liam Gordon, Billy Crook, Norman Wabo and Cameron Brodie and was already missing Charlie Sheringham, Jordan Wynter, Lee Noble and Sam Blackman. The Darts needed to reshuffle the starting eleven with Darren McQueen, Ronnie Vint and Ryan Hayes coming in. On the bench a number of academy players were selected and replacing Hayes after an hour Laurent Mendy made his debut. Maidstone United made a few changes with one eye on their F.A Cup second round fixture approaching this weekend.

Manager, Steve King explained why the changes were needed and was pleased with the outcome, he said: “I’m very proud of the players who put another unbelievable shift in considering we had seven players missing, no full backs, played a shape we’ve never played and have never worked on that shape”. A number of squad members were unable to take part through illness with two players needing to pull out on the day of the game.

Looking forward to the replay King commented: “It’s going to take another tough performance, they are a full time outfit, they probably have 22 to 24 players in the squad, we haven’t got that. We couldn’t even fill the bench (on the weekend), four of them were youth team players and another was a goalkeeper we signed on Thursday, another one (Laurent Mendy) signed from two levels below us and he did well when he came on. We’ve got to patch up and see who is available because it’s going to be another tough battle again”.

It was the second 2-2 draw in a row against Maidstone United following the National South stalemate. On that occasion, the Darts fought back from two goals down with only four minutes remaining. Wishart was on the scoresheet again for the Stones and his side went two up through Ibby Akanbi, then goals from Tom Bonner and McQueen made sure the points were shared. This time if the scores are level after ninety minutes there will be extra time then penalties if required.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 44 / Maidstone United wins: 44 / Draws: 19

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

Dartford (DDWWDW) Maidstone United (DDWLDW)
Maidstone United (FAT) A 2-2 Dartford (FAT) H 2-2
Maidstone United H 2-2 Dartford A 2-2
Hampton & Richmond A 2-1 Torquay United (FAC) H 1-0
Eastbourne Borough A 2-0 Hampton & Richmond A 1-2
Chippenham Town H 1-1 Braintree Town A 1-1
Kingstonian (FAC) H 2-3 Billericay Town H 2-1

Last Six Meetings

23.11.2019^ Maidstone United 2 Dartford 2
16.11.2019 Dartford 2 Maidstone United 2
22.01.2019* Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
09.04.2016 Maidstone United 1 Dartford 2
14.11.2015 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
20.03.2010 Dartford 3 Maidstone United 0

* – Kent Senior Cup, Maidstone United won 8-7 on penalties / ^ – F.A Trophy

Stats

Elliott Romain has scored four goals in his first five Dartford appearances.

Dartford play the same opponent three times in a row for the first time since 1957 when they played Gravesend and Northfleet in Southern League Cup, FA Cup and F.A Cup replay

Dartford avoided an F.A Trophy defeat for the first time against Maidstone United on the weekend. The previous two meetings in 1972 and  1987 were won by the Stones.

The Darts have won just two of the last nine cup ties against Maidstone United, a Kent Senior Cup Final in 1988 and a Kent Senior Cup first round match in 1991.

Dartford have won seven of the last 11 games against the Stones stretching back to the Kent Senior Cup win in 1991.

The Darts best F.A Trophy performance came in 1974 when they lost the final 2-1 at Wembley to Morecambe. Since then Dartford have been semi-finalists on four occasions with the last time in 2013.

Maidstone United’s run to the Quarter-Final last season equalled their best performance in the competition, they had previously reached the last eight in 1985 and 1987.

On This Day

Elliot Bradbrook’s hat-trick at Weston-super-Mare three years ago sent the Darts into the next round of the F.A Trophy. Andy Pugh scored Dartford’s opener and at 2-2 Tom Bonner was sent off, but it was Bradbrook’s performance that made the headlines. In fact three of the last four Dartford games on 26 November have been F.A Trophy third qualifying round ties. The other two Trophy ties ended without a goal, in 2011 the Darts drew with Eastbourne Borough before winning the replay, and in 2005 they took AFC Wimbledon to another game before exiting the competition.

Maidstone United v Dartford

Dartford managed a last gasp draw against Maidstone United last weekend in the National South, now they will meet at the Gallagher Stadium in this weekend’s F.A Trophy third qualifying round.

Trailing the Stones at Princes Park on Saturday with only four minutes remaining, the Darts came from two goals down to draw 2-2. After a goalless first half, two quickfire goals from Dan Wishart, just before the hour mark and three minutes later by Ibby Akanbi had the visitors in control. However, Dartford hit back late on when Tom Bonner headed a goal back from close range, then Darren McQueen followed up his own effort with the equaliser.

Dartford boss, Steve King opted to play Luke Wanadio instead of Cameron Brodie and Andy Pugh replaced Norman Wabo. Meanwhile, Charlie Sheringham, Jordan Wynter, Sam Blackman and Lee Noble were all unavailable through injury. The Stones named an unchanged side to the team that knocked out Torquay United in the F.A Cup first round.

Since defeat in his only cup game as Dartford manager, against Kingstonian, King has recorded two victories and two draws. As his squad begins to take shape his man management skills came to fruition on the weekend calling on substitute McQueen to rescue a point, King spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the game and commented: “I said to Darren McQueen before the game, you’re not starting but you can come on and make a difference”, he added: “Subs play an important role. If you’re out of it, you can still be in it and be the hero”.

Even at two goals down, King felt his team deserved something from the game, he said: “If we hadn’t got anything from that game I’d have been devastated because we more than deserved to win that, in my opinion”, he continued: “People can say we were 2-0 down but we had chance after chance and we’ve got to get on the end of those crosses”.

King has completed his first month at the helm and so far, and is pleased with the attitude of his players, he commented: “For us, it’s all new and we’re trying to put together a group that can get that consistency of win, win, win. I don’t expect us to be there yet but what I am seeing is fight, willingness to do what they’re asked and a group that are coming together”.

Head of Football and former Dartford manager, John Still believed that individual errors cost Maidstone United victory at Princes Park, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “We defended poorly. I think their first goal, the goalie’s got to save that because it’s a cross, it’s routine. Second goal, we’ve got to win the header and we’ve got to get the cover”.

Maidstone United have won their last six home games in all competitions and are unbeaten at the Gallagher Stadium since the opening day defeat against Weymouth. In cup competitions manager, Hakan Hayrettin has led the Stones to four F.A Cup victories but his side are just outside the National South playoff places.

Dartford will be the visiting the Gallagher Stadium in their first competitive match there for three and half years. In April 2016, Lee Burns ended up in goal during the closing stages of the game after Deren Ibrahim suffered an arm injury. Nathan Ferguson’s second-half winner was enough to earn Dartford a 2-1 win at the Gallagher Stadium, Elliot Bradbrook’s penalty was earlier cancelled out by Keaton Wood’s own goal.

Last season Dartford went out at the third qualifying round stage losing to Eastbourne Borough in a replay. It was the first time the Darts went out at that stage since the 2015 defeat at home to Whitehawk, the manager for the Hawks that day was Steve King. Maidstone United enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals last term beating Woking, Oxford City and Salford City along the way. The Stones fell short in the last eight losing a replay to Stockport County.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 44 / Maidstone United wins: 44 / Draws: 18

Current Form (FAC – F.A Cup)

Dartford (DWWDWL) Maidstone United (DWLDWW)
Maidstone United H 2-2 Dartford A 2-2
Hampton & Richmond A 2-1 Torquay United (FAC) H 1-0
Eastbourne Borough A 2-0 Hampton & Richmond A 1-2
Chippenham Town H 1-1 Braintree Town A 1-1
Kingstonian (FAC) H 2-3 Billericay Town H 2-1
Oxford City A 1-0 Kings Langley (FAC) H 4-1

Last Six Meetings

16.11.2019 Dartford 2 Maidstone United 2
22.01.2019* Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
09.04.2016 Maidstone United 1 Dartford 2
14.11.2015 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
20.03.2010 Dartford 3 Maidstone United 0
09.03.2010 Maidstone United 0 Dartford 1

* – Kent Senior Cup, Maidstone United won 8-7 on penalties

Stats

Maidstone United have won both F.A Trophy ties between the two sides. In 1987 the Stones won 5-1 in the first round and in 1972 they won 1-0 at the same stage.

The Darts have won just two of the last eight cup ties against Maidstone United, a Kent Senior Cup Final in 1988 and a Kent Senior Cup first round match in 1991.

Dartford have won seven of the last ten games against the Stones stretching back to the Kent Senior Cup win in 1991.

The Darts best F.A Trophy performance came in 1974 when they lost the final 2-1 at Wembley to Morecambe. Since then Dartford have been semi-finalists on four occasions with the last time in 2013.

Maidstone United’s run to the Quarter-Final last season equalled their best performance in the competition, they had previously reached the last eight in 1985 and 1987.

On This Day

Dartford’s last victory on the 23 November was way back in 1991 when they beat Burton Albion 1-0 in the Southern Premier League. Since then the Darts four of their last five including a F.A Trophy second round defeat against Farnborough Town in 1998. Dartford were also knocked out of the Southern League Cup 15 years ago losing 5-2 to Wingate and Finchley and their last game on this day was a 1-0 loss at home to Gateshead six years ago. The last time the Darts avoided defeat on this day since the Burton Albion victory was in the 0-0 draw against local rivals Erith and Belvedere in 2002.

Dartford v Maidstone United

Steve King takes charge of his first Kent derby as Dartford boss this weekend when his side hosts local rivals Maidstone United in the first of a double header.

The Darts will host the Stones this weekend and have been drawn away against them in the F.A trophy third qualifying round, which takes place next weekend. As well as the return National South fixture in April, the pair have also been drawn against each other in the Kent Senior Cup.

It has been almost four years to the day since the Darts last hosted the Stones in the National South, although the two were drawn in the Kent Senior Cup back in January. Since the arrival of Steve King, Dartford have won two and drawn one in the league but are without a home win since August. Meanwhile, Maidstone United fresh from their F.A Cup first round triumph are unbeaten in three league games, but without an away win since the first match in September.

Former Dartford manager John Still will be in the opposite dugout this weekend, the 69-year-old became Darts manager in 1983 leading the club to the Southern Premier League title in his first season. In the following campaign, Still guided the club to third in what is now the National League, which remains Dartford’s best ever league finish. He resigned in January 1986 after a difficult time on and off the pitch for the Darts in a season they ended up relegated, it took the club 26 years to return to the National League.

After the last set of Champions League games there was plenty of amusement at the fact an outfield player went in goal, this has become a familiar scenario in the last two games between Dartford and Maidstone United. In the Kent Senior Cup ten months ago, the Darts took the lead when Charlie Sheringham scored from a penalty, not the first time a spot kick was needed that night. The Stones won a penalty of their own five minutes before the break, which Bailey Vose saved.

Early in the second half goalkeeper Vose received his marching orders for a foul on Elliot Romain, now an in-form Dartford striker, leaving midfielder Ben Greenhalgh between the sticks for almost the entire second half. An inspired performance by Greenhalgh kept the score at 1-0 until nine minutes from time when Romain equalised. A penalty shoot-out followed and after 15 perfect spot kicks Maidstone United goalkeeper Josh Strizovic saved Daniel Johnson’s effort, sending the Stones into the last four.

In April 2016, Lee Burns ended up in goal during the closing stages of the game after Deren Ibrahim suffered an arm injury. Nathan Ferguson’s second-half winner was enough to earn Dartford a 2-1 win at the Gallagher Stadium, Elliot Bradbrook’s penalty was earlier cancelled out by Keaton Wood’s own goal.

However, the last Princes Park meeting in November 2015 ended all square in which current squad members Andy Pugh, Ryan Hayes, Ronnie Vint and Lee Noble all played a part. Alex Flisher, who had a spell with the Darts this season headed Maidstone United in front and with eight minutes to go Elliot Bradbrook’s equalised. The midfielder’s effort was initially ruled out for offside until it was overturned causing some controversy.

Four years ago, several players had represented both clubs, nowadays there are not so many. Aside from Romain the only other player who can list Dartford and Maidstone United in their career history is Ryan Johnson, the defender was part of Dartford’s Isthmian Premier League title winning squad in 2009/2010 making 17 appearances and scoring one goal.

Romain joined the Darts from Eastbourne Borough and the striker has scored twice in his first three appearances for the club. He was on target in the 2-1 away win at Hampton and Richmond Borough over a week ago and netted against his former side in the 2-0 victory at Priory Lane. Another of King’s signings found themselves of the scoresheet in Dartford’s last triumph, Kyjoun Marsh-Brown scored the opener versus Hampton and Richmond.

Dartford will be without Lee Noble who will no longer need an operation on his knee, Charlie Sheringham has been out with a dislocated shoulder, Jordan Wynter has been side-lined and Sam Blackman is yet to return from his pre-season leg break. King has already drafted in full back Liam Gordon from Dagenham and Redbridge to replace the departed Mark Onyemah, whilst Ben Greenhalgh has gone out on loan with Tonbridge Angels. The Dartford boss is looking to strengthen the squad and although he has left out wingers Ryan Hayes and Luke Wanadio in his selections, King claims he is still a fan of wingers and a traditional 4-4-2 formation but is looking for a ‘ball winner’ in midfield.

The Stones were involved in the F.A Cup last weekend taking part in the first round for the sixth consecutive season. An own goal by Torquay United’s Matt Buse was the difference sending Maidstone United through to the second round with a 1-0 win, the Kent side will face League One side Blackpool.

Both Dartford and Maidstone United played in form Hampton and Richmond Borough in their last league games. Whilst the Darts won in their trip to the Beveree, the Stones suffered a 2-1 loss ending a seven-game unbeaten run in all competitions. Kyron Farrell gave the hosts an early lead which was cancelled out by Nana Kyei, however Tyrone Lewthwaite scored a last-minute winner for Hampton and Richmond Borough. The Stones have drawn their last two away games, first they recorded a 1-1 draw with Bath City then repeated the same score line against Braintree Town.

John Still has some experience heads in his squad with the likes of former Wolverhampton Wanderers defender George Elokobi, where he made 85 appearances and Gavin Hoyte, who has represented several Football League clubs. Whilst Matt McClure is the club’s top scorer this term with Dan Wishart close behind.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 44 / Maidstone United wins: 44 / Draws: 17

Last Six Meetings

22.01.2019* Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
09.04.2016 Maidstone United 1 Dartford 2
14.11.2015 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
20.03.2010 Dartford 3 Maidstone United 0
09.03.2010 Maidstone United 0 Dartford 1
31.01.2009 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 0

* – Kent Senior Cup, Maidstone United won 8-7 on penalties

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in their last six league games against Maidstone United, winning five.

The Stones last beat Dartford in the league back in 2007 and the last away victory in league over the Darts came in 1978.

On This Day

John Still was in charge of the Darts on this day in 1985 when his side travelled to AFC Bournemouth in the F.A Cup first round. A 0-0 draw secured a replay, however for the second season in a row Dartford lost the rematch to the same opponents, this time a round earlier. Dartford last played on 16 November in 2015 when they knocked Gillingham out of the Kent Senior Cup second round, ending a run of seven games without a win on this day. In 2010, Tony Burman led his team out at Vale Park losing 4-0 in the F.A Cup first round replay to Port Vale. The last league triumph on 16 November came way back in 1963 when Dartford beat Wellington Town 5-3 at home in the Southern Premier League.

Maidstone United – Season Preview 2019/2020

Maidstone United

2018/19 Season

National League: 24th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: Quarter-Final

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Blair Turgott (14 goals) / Average Attendance: 2179

The Stones aim to return to the National League and with plenty of summer business going on the Kent side have rebuilt their squad. On loan at Dartford last season, winger Andre Coker has had his contract cancelled, however defender Jordan Wynter made his loan deal with the Darts permanent. Defender, Lewis Knight joins the club from St Albans City, his previous clubs include East Thurrock United, Concord Rangers and Welling United. Cameroonian midfielder, Clovis Kamdjo follows Knight from the Saints. Head of Football, John Still looked down the non-league pyramid to sign striker Ibrahim Olutade from Leatherhead, he scored 13 goals for the Isthmian Premier League side last season after joining them in November. Goalkeeper, Jake Cole played his last game for Aldershot Town against the Stones on the final day of last season, the 33-year-old has switched allegiances. Left back, Noah Chesmain’s contract expired with Colchester United and after loan spells with Welling United and Boreham Wood he moves to the Gallagher Stadium. Gavin Hoyte whose professional career started at Arsenal and spanned a decade with Dagenham and Redbridge, Gillingham, Barnet and Eastleigh, he joins the Stones after a second spell with the Daggers. George Elokobi made his name at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League and Championship, the defender joins from Aldershot Town and has also represented Colchester United, Nottingham Forest, Bristol City and Oldham Athletic. Striker Jonathan Edwards signed a one-year deal after leaving FC Halifax Town, the 22-year-old has been taken on by Stevenage, Peterborough United and Hull City in the past. Luke Pennell has played under Still before at Dagenham and Redbridge, the defender also earned an England C call up towards the end of last year. Sam Corne becomes a Maidstone United player returning to full time football. The 22-year-old played for Greenwich Borough and Ashford United, scoring 21 goals in 40 games for the latter. His senior career started with Welling United in 2013 and after four seasons at Park View Road, he signed for Braintree Town and worked under Stones head coach Hakan Hayrettin. During his time at Welling United he got an England C call-up. Defender Danny Divine joined the Stones after a year as a professional at Gillingham, the defender also spent time on loan at Sittingbourne and Faversham Town. Winger, Iffy Allen ended last season with Braintree Town, the 25-year-old has Football League experience with Barnet and Yeovil Town, and has also played in the National League for Aldershot Town, Wrexham and Bromley. Another winger, Nana Kyei was signed from Barnet in his first permanent move he has had loan spells at Concord Rangers, Hampton & Richmond Borough and Potters Bar Town.

The experienced Simon Walton has left the Kent side to take up a Player Coach position at Havant and Waterlooville, whilst Ollie Muldoon, Jack Richards and Elliot Romain have also departed. Will De Havilland stood in as captain when Blair Turgott was injured, a relegation release clause means the defender was snapped up by Dover Athletic. Turgott, who top scored for the Stones last season has left the club and joined Swedish top flight Ostersunds.

The Manager – Hakan Hayrettin

A well respected coach, Hakan Hayrettin started management back in 2003 winning the Essex Senior Cup with Waltham Forest. He moved on to Thurrock before taking Grays Athletic to the Isthmian Division One North title with a club record 102 points in 2012/2013. John Still, now Head of Football at Maidstone United, appointed Hayrettin as coach when he managed Luton Town. Three years away from being the boss, Hayrettin returned to Essex with Braintree Town until he left following relegation to the National South. He returned as interim manager last term, but in January he left to take on the job at Maidstone United.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 44 / Maidstone United wins: 44 / Draws: 17

Last Six Meetings

22.01.2019* Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
09.04.2016 Maidstone United 1 Dartford 2
14.11.2015 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
20.03.2010 Dartford 3 Maidstone United 0
09.03.2010 Maidstone United 0 Dartford 1
31.01.2009 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 0

* – Kent Senior Cup, Maidstone United won 8-7 on penalties

Facts

Dartford are unbeaten in their last six league games against Maidstone United, winning five.

The Stones last beat Dartford in the league back in 2007 and the last away victory in league over the Darts came in 1978.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Saturday 16 November 2019 at Princes Park

Saturday 4 April 2020 at Gallagher Stadium

Dartford v Maidstone United

Dartford host current Kent Senior Cup holders and National League side Maidstone United in the last eight of the competition this week.

The two most successful clubs in the Kent Senior Cup go head to head for the first time in almost three years. The Darts have won the county cup eleven times compared to the Stones who have triumphed on seventeen occasions. In April 2016, the Darts won the previous meeting 2-1 in the National South despite defender Lee Burns ending up in goal. Elliot Bradbrook scored a penalty against his former team, but the midfielder’s opener was cancelled out by Keaton Wood’s own goal. Loanee, Nathan Ferguson scored a second-half winner at the Gallagher Stadium before injury to goalkeeper Derren Ibrahim led to Burns playing between the sticks.

It’s been 28 years since Dartford faced their former tenants in the Kent Senior Cup. The Darts won the first round tie 2-1 to get revenge for defeat the previous season at the second round stage when they lost 3-2. Whilst Dartford play their first game in the competition, the Stones got through the last round by knocking out Dover Athletic. The Darts were scheduled to take on Thamesmead Town in round two, but their opponents withdrew from the cup after chairman Paul Bowden-Brown, once chairman at Maidstone United was forced to close down the club.

The Stones cruised past Dover Athletic with goals from Ollie Muldoon, Olu Durojaiye, George McLennan and Blair Turgott. Goalkeeper, Josh Strizovic was given his debut and conceded to late goals, one from Harrison Kempston’s penalty and the other by Jordan Spencer. Maidstone United fielded a strong first team against a Dover Athletic side who put out their academy players.

Maidstone United won the final in a penalty shoot-out last season against Folkestone Invicta. Having been held to a goalless draw, the Stones won 4-2 on penalties. On the way to the final they beat Tonbridge Angels, Gillingham and Bromley.

Dartford last won the Kent Senior Cup three years ago when they defeated Charlton Athletic. This season under new management, the Darts have been inconsistent in the National South despite sitting in eigth place. On Saturday they lost to Chelmsford City ending an unbeaten run of four games. Phil Roberts continued his scoring streak with a goal inside four minutes. Dartford were left hanging on towards the end and the Clarets pressure finally rewarded the home side when Johnathan Giles then Rhys Murphy scored in the final five minutes. This season Dartford’s cup runs were short-lived going out in the F.A Cup third qualifying round and at the first hurdle in the F.A Trophy.

A host of former Stones players have played a part in Dartford’s season this term including manager Jamie Coyle. The defender has used his contacts to shape the Darts squad by bringing in Jordan Wynter and Andre Coker on loan. In the summer Callum Driver returned to Princes Park from the Gallagher Stadium, the full back played for the Stones in the last meeting. Last week, Joe Healy was signed by the club and the midfielder made his debut at Chelmsford City, the 32-year-old played for Maidstone United during the 2015-16 season. Delano-Sam-Yorke who is now on loan at Kingstonian also came in from Maidstone United during the summer. Going the other way, Jamie Philpot is on trial after playing 25 times for the Darts this season and scoring five goals.

Maidstone United also changed their manager after a struggling start in the National League. Long serving former boss Jay Saunders left after seven games with the Stones down in nineteenth place. The highly rated Harry Wheeler was appointed after his fall out with Billericay Town and sacked just before the New Year having won five of his nineteen games at the helm. Wheeler did however lead the team to a shock F.A Cup victory over Macclesfield Town before going out to Oldham Athletic in round two. In the F.A Trophy, the Stones are in the last sixteen having beaten Woking under Wheeler then Oxford City under Caretaker Managers Simon Walton and Tristan Lewis, now they face Salford City in the third round.

The Stones are now second from bottom in the National League and six points from safety after their 3-0 home loss against Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday. The winners of this quarter-final tie will join Bromley and Gillingham in the semi-final.

Head to Head in the Kent Senior Cup

Dartford wins: 7 / Maidstone United wins: 6 / Draws: 2

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in six games against Maidstone United in all competitions winning five and drawing one.

The Stones last beat the Darts 12 years ago in the Isthmian Division One South winning 4-1.

At home Dartford are unbeaten in eight against their local rivals, last tasting home defeat versus Maidstone United in 1981, a Kent Senior Cup tie.

On This Day

Dartford showed some incredible spirit to beat promotion chasing Farnborough Town with ten men. Charlie Sheringham netted his spot kick which was cancelled out by Bradley Bubb. Then came the moment that turned the game, Lee Noble was red carded before half-time for a high foot on the goalkeeper. The decision riled the Princes Park crowd which in turn lifted the players in the second half. Against the odds Dartford took the lead through Sheringham then added two more. A bandaged up Tom Champion summed up the fighting spirit by netting the third after he suffered a head injury and Danny Harris made it 4-1. The last Kent Senior Cup fixture for Dartford on this day was back in 1979 when the Darts won a Quarter-Final replay 4-2 against Margate.

Maidstone United v Dartford

Dartford will need to put a dent into Maidstone United’s title hopes if they are to have playoff aspirations of their own.

The local rivals have everything to play for with just four games remaining. Tony Burman’s side are sixth whilst the Stones are five points behind top spot in third.

Assistant manager, Paul Sawyer spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “It’s a massive game and there will be a big crowd down there. Maidstone have still got a lot to play for. It’s a big derby, we enjoyed the game at Ebbsfleet last week and we’re looking forward to Saturday’s game as well”.

He continued: “We’ll go there and play our normal game. We need to make sure we don’t get carried away with the crowd, concentrate, be organised and make it hard for Maidstone. They’ve got their own pressures at the moment and we’ll enjoy it there.We’ll give it all we can and hopefully come away with three points”.

Dartford visit the Gallagher Stadium for the first time on the back of a 3-0 defeat at Truro City. The Darts slipped out the playoff places once again with a three point deficit. Tuesday’s trip to Cornwall didn’t bode well when only three substitutes were named. Truro City led by two at half time with goals from Ollie Knowles and Dan Green whilst Matty Jay scored late on.

Sawyer spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the game and commented: “We had a bad fifteen minutes and we’ve got to learn to deal with that a bit better”, he added: “We were encouraged by the way the boys came back second half and right up to the third goal, we were still in the game. There were a lot of positives to take from the game”.

Striker Andy Pugh didn’t travel to Truro because of illness and Jack Simmons (ankle), Tom Bradbrook (hamstring) and Callum McNaughton (fractured metatarsal) were all injured. Lee Burns and Paul Lorraine are training and trying to get fit for competitive action.

Despite dropping out the playoff places on Tuesday, the Darts will take heart from their last Kent derby against league leaders Ebbsfleet United. The 1-1 draw was sandwiched between wins against Bishop’s Stortford and Maidenhead United, the only top five side the Darts have beaten.

Maidstone United now have an outside chance of winning the National South. A loss to fellow title chasers Sutton United on Tuesday night in front of a record crowd has had a big impact on the Stones challenge.

The U’s went two up through Dan Wishart and Craig Eastmond before being reduced to ten men, Vas Karagiannis pulled a goal back for Maidstone United. Two defeats in three means Jay Saunders’ side are now outsiders. St Albans City were beaten 2-1 last weekend but the Stones suffered a damaging 3-0 loss away to Chelmsford City.

In November, the reverse fixture at Princes Park ended all square ending Dartford’s run of four successive wins against Maidstone United. Elliot Bradbrook scored a late goal against his former club after it had initially been ruled out. The Stones took the lead through Alex Flisher but it wasn’t enough to deny the Darts, who hit the woodwork three times.

If Ryan Hayes’ testimonial is a showcase for former Dartford players, then Saturday’s fixture is a mini reunion in preparation. Callum Driver, Jamie Coyle, Matt Bodkin (on loan at Leatherhead), James Rogers, Jay May and Adam Birchall have all been involved this term for the Stones having played for the Darts in the past.

Maidstone United are having a fantastic first season in the National South, as they continue to try and get the club back to where the old club was 24 years ago. Manager, Jay Saunders led the Stones to the Isthmian Premier League title last term and has continued his good work, looking like his side will at least finish in the top three.

The Stones have been consistent for all but two months of their campaign. An average August and disappointing December can be overlooked with unbeaten runs in between. A seven match winning streak also coincided with keeping six consecutive clean sheets.

Saunders has built his team around the tightness of the team’s defence, only league leaders Ebbsfleet United (and Sutton United??) have conceded fewer in the National South. In attack, the Stones have struggled with just 50 goals; around two thirds of the teams in league have scored more. So it’s no surprise on eight occasions Maidstone United have won 1-0, the most by this score line by any team in the league this term.

Current League Form

Maidstone United (LWLWWW) Dartford (LWDWLL)
Sutton United H 1-2 Truro City A 0-3
St Albans City A 2-1 Maidenhead United H 2-0
Chelmsford City A 0-3 Ebbsfleet United A 1-1
Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-1 Bishop’s Stortford H 3-1
Weston-Super-Mare H 3-1 Havant & Waterlooville A 0-2
Weston-Super-Mare H 2-1 Maidenhead United A 1-2

Last Away Meeting (at Homelands Stadium, Ashford)

7 March 2010 – Maidstone United 0 Dartford 1 – view highlights

It took ten minutes for Dartford to get their noses in front when Ryan Hayes crossed for Lee Burns to score. In difficult conditions where the pitch was sandy and the ball bobbling about, the Darts held on to the slender lead to take all three points.

Previous Meetings

14.11.2015 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
20.03.2010 Dartford 3 Maidstone United 0
09.03.2010 Maidstone United 0 Dartford 1
31.01.2009 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 0
23.09.2008 Maidstone United 1 Dartford 2
03.03.2007 Maidstone United 4 Dartford 1
25.09.2006 Dartford 2 Maidstone United 1

Stats
3 – points Dartford have taken from sides above them in the National South, three draws and three defeats. Truro City and Maidstone United are the last of the two the Darts face until the end of the season.

8 – the number of promotions achieved by Dartford and Truro City over the last ten years. The Darts have been promoted three times whilst Truro City five times, both sides have suffered relegation once.

46 – the Darts have conceded 46 times this season and on a per game basis only the top three Ebbsfleet United, Maidstone United and Sutton United have a tighter defence. Truro City have let in 42 but have played four less games.

Only Maidstone United (2.06) and Maidenhead United (2.00) have a better points per game ratio at home than Truro City (1.88).

In Kent derbies this season Dartford have taken six points and a win over Maidstone United will give them the second best record.

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Ebbsfleet United

6

3

1

2

7

4

+3

10

Maidstone United

5

2

1

2

4

5

-1

7

Dartford

5

1

3

1

5

4

+1

6

Margate

6

2

1

3

5

8

-3

7

 

On This Day
The last two National South fixtures 9 April have resulted in Dartford wins. Bromley were beaten at Hayes Lane 2-1 four years ago with goals from Danny Harris and Luke Wilkinson just four minutes apart. In 2011, the Darts defeated Woking 3-2 at Princes Park in an entertaining tussle. Elliot Bradbrook, Charlie Sheringham and Jack Pallen scored three goals inside four minutes. The last Dartford match on this day was a 2-1 loss at home to Grimsby Town in the National League, Jack Evans scored for the Darts.