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National South Season Preview Part Two

Concord Rangers

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P46 W13 D12 L21 Pts51 (PPG 1.11) – Ranking 17th

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

If one club can be excused for being distracted last season, then it’s Concord Rangers. A highlight of last season was the Beachboys’ overdue visit to Wembley. The Essex club reached the F.A Trophy final during the 2019/2020 campaign and had to wait until 2021 to play in the showpiece. Concord Rangers gave a great account of themselves losing 1-0 to Harrogate Town, who had already become a Football League side. A proud moment for a team who have been in relegation battles in four of the last five years. The only exception was when they were denied a playoff spot despite finishing sixth in 2018/2019.

Manager: Chris Search

Promoted from within after a successful four years with the Concord Rangers under 18’s side, Search has a wealth of experience how the club works. It’s a familiar tale at Thames Road where they have looked towards the talent already at the club. Search has already mentioned his ambition of following in the footsteps of two former managers, Danny Cowley who propelled the Essex Club into the National South and is now respected in the Football League and Danny Scopes who to the Beachboys to Wembley in the F.A Trophy. Search knows the step up is big, but he wants to prove doubters wrong.

Summer

The biggest surprise of the summer was the news that Ant Smith decided to stand down as chairman of the club. Yet that was not all, also departing after leading the Beachboys to the F.A Trophy final is manager Danny Scopes, assistant manager Lee Minshull and Head of Recruitment Adam Drew. So a backroom staff overhaul means Chris Search was named as the new boss and Danny Green his number two. Former Dart, Billy Roast agreed to stay on for a fourth season, but several other former Dartford players have now left Concord Rangers, Alex Wall moves to Havant and Waterlooville, Tyrone Sterling to Dulwich Hamlet and Sam Blackman to Margate. Goalkeeper, Chris Haigh also leaves for Kent to join Ebbsfleet United. Meanwhile, Ryan Blackman signs for Concord Rangers from Welling united, Joe Payne signs on after impressing in the F.A Trophy final and Ollie Kensdale arrives from Colchester United. Another Danny Green has made his move from Wealdstone, Calvin Ekpiteta joins from Merstham and goalkeeper Myles Roberts will be on loan from Watford. After a few pre-season games, the Beachboys have also taken on Hani Berchiche, formerly of Billericay Town and Metropolitan Police, Wyan Reid and Joseph Boachie, a forward who used to play for AFC Stamford.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Concord Rangers wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 0 – 1 Concord Rangers (21/12/2019 – National South)
Concord Rangers 0 – 2 Dartford (14/09/2019 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Concord Rangers (26/01/2019 – National South)
Concord Rangers 2 – 0 Dartford (14/08/2018 – National South)
Concord Rangers 1 – 1 Dartford (06/01/2018 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 0 Concord Rangers (15/08/2017 – National South)

  • Dartford have won just one of the last five against Concord Rangers, drawing two and losing the other two
  • In the last four matches that resulted in a win, the victorious team has kept a clean sheet
  • The Darts won the two meetings versus the Beachboys, since then the honours have been shared with three wins each and three draws.

Dartford

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P53 W26 D12 L15 Pts90 (PPG 1.70) – Ranking 2nd

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

The Darts will be one of the favourites going into the new season having lost out in the playoff final a year ago before occupying second spot when last term was cut short. The turn around since Steve King has been in charge has been excellent, from a relegation battle when he took charge to the playoff final, then to follow that up with a title challenge. Over the last two seasons Dartford have accrued the most points out of the teams still in the National South. A first full season for King at Princes Park should end up with another promotion push.

Manager: Steve King

Over the summer King signed a new three-year deal with the Darts, he is yet to complete a full season of fixtures, although he did take Dartford to the playoff final. Although playoffs and King do not go together, suffering four final defeats with four different clubs, King and automatic promotions do go together. Guaranteed to bring entertainment, much of his early managerial career was spent in Sussex where he won the National South title with Lewes, his third promotion in five years with the club. He went on to win another title at Farnborough and embark on successful F.A Cup runs with Macclesfield Town and Whitehawk.

Summer

Two spells at Billericay Town yielded 82 goals in 113 appearances for Jake Robinson, the striker joins the Darts to provide firepower up front. Robinson will be linking up with winger Luke Wanadio again, who also joins Dartford from Billericay Town to start a third spell at Princes Park. Another returning player, Tyrique Hyde is back after time at Dulwich Hamlet, whilst Jazzi Barnum-Bobb goes the other way. Dan Roberts arrives from Slough Town and George Porter from local rivals Maidstone United with Elliott Romain and Jack Barham moving in the opposite direction. The Darts have also brought in Ade Azeez from Dover Athletic, Bagasan Graham from Romford and midfielder Danny Leonard from Sheppey United. Kieran Murtagh played for Steve King at Macclesfield Town when they reached the F.A Cup fourth round, the experienced midfielder is reunited with the Dartford boss joining from Boreham Wood. Plenty of players in last season’s squad could easily face the Darts at their new clubs, Charlie Sheringham will be at Chelmsford City, Ricky Modeste and Craig Braham-Barrett at Tonbridge Angels, Ky Marsh-Brown at Hemel Hempstead Town and Femi Akinwande back at Braintree Town. Skilful winger, Nassim L’Ghoul returns to France to play for Lyon – La Duchere a Championnat National Two team. Youngster, Cameron Brodie will gain more experience on loan at Cray Wanderers.

Dorking Wanderers

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P53 W26 D11 L16 Pts89 (PPG 1.68) – Ranking 3rd

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 4th Round

There is no secret that Dorking Wanderers are aiming high and that is where they were on course to finish last season. Topping the National South table by five points after eighteen games, Wanderers were in pole position to reach the National League. Ten years ago, the Surrey club had just won the Sussex County League Division Three and four promotions later they want another. Manager, Marc White has been on this journey from the start and has ambitions to lead his club further up the pyramid. This season Dorking Wanderers will be hoping to replicate the form that had them as the team to beat.

Manager: Marc White

Dorking Wanderers have climbed the non-league pyramid and Marc White has been able to witness their rise from day one. A founder member over 20 years ago, his club have won eleven promotions and after guiding the Surrey club to the playoffs in their first ever campaign in the National South, he had Wanderers at the top of the table last term. White is passionate about his club and was one of the outspoken managers putting pressure on the National League when last season came to an end. Dorking Wanderers have a boss with ambition to continue climbing the football pyramid.

Summer

Confidence in the squad is high after leading the National South table and a few tweaks plus promoted academy players have bolstered numbers. Bobby-Joe Taylor agreed a two-year deal joining from Ebbsfleet United, midfielder Josh Taylor also signed a two-year contract from Havant and Waterlooville. In between the sticks, Lee Worgan brings National South know how after joining from Chelmsford City. Australian striker, Callum Kealy was part of the Sutton United squad that won promotion to the Football League, he joins the Wanderers, whilst Olly Allen, Cameron Black, Noah Sapsford, Josh Barnett, George Membrillera and James Dickson were promoted from the academy. Jake Gallagher has left the club and has signed for Maidstone United.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Dorking Wanderers wins: 2 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings (last three)

Dartford 2 – 3 Dorking Wanderers (07/11/2020 – National South)
Dorking Wanderers 2 – 3 Dartford (04/01/2020 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 4 Dorking Wanderers (07/09/2019 – National South)

  • The home side has never won this fixture since the first meeting in September 2019
  • This fixture has averaged over 5.66 goals a game in the three meetings so far
  • The away side has scored three or more goals in each meeting

Dulwich Hamlet

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P48 W13 D14 L21 Pts53 (PPG 1.10) – Ranking 18th

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

Years in the Isthmian Leagues finally came to an end in 2018 after three failed playoff attempts in a row. When Dulwich Hamlet won promotion to the National South it seemed like it was only a matter of time. The London based club temporarily lost their home, returned to Champion Hill and have held their own in the division. In their first campaign at this level Hamlet finished fourteenth followed by a lower finish in the points per game season. Last term, Dulwich Hamlet started slowly with no wins in their opening seven matches, but three victories on the bounce moved them up the table.

Manager: Gavin Rose

Over ten years in charge at Hamlet, Gavin Rose is the club’s longest serving manager and when he joined, he admitted the club weren’t living up to their potential. Now Dulwich Hamlet have established themselves in the National South and become a very inclusive club within the community. A former midfielder, Rose enjoyed a career which included spells at Wimbledon, Charlton Athletic and Queens Park Rangers. He guided Dulwich Hamlet to the Isthmian Division One North title in 2013 and won the Isthmian Premier League playoffs in 2018. Stability is important to the London based side and it shows with Rose’s loyalty.

Summer

The biggest story coming out of Champion Hill this summer was the off field signing of Peter Crouch. The former England international will be working behind the scenes at the club he spent time on loan with in 2000 as a 17-year-old. Former Dartford defender and F.A Trophy finalist, Tyrone Sterling joins the Hamlet from Concord Rangers and another former Dart defender, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb will be donning the Hamlet shirt, whilst Tyrique Hyde is on his way across to Dartford. The total of former Darts rises with the news that Danny Mills, Sanchez Ming and Giovanni McGregor are all staying at Champion Hill. Arriving from Bromley after seven years at the club, Jack Holland brings his experience as captain to the Hamlet. Former Dartford striker, Darren McQueen has spent pre-season at Champion Hill and could join the list of ex Darts at the club.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 1 – 0 Dulwich Hamlet (25/01/2020 – National South)
Dulwich Hamlet 1 – 1 Dartford (07/12/2019 – National South)
Dulwich Hamlet 2 – 0 Dartford (02/03/2019 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Dulwich Hamlet (20/10/2018 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Dulwich Hamlet (31/03/2007 – Isthmian Division One South)
Dulwich Hamlet 3 – 2 Dartford (19/09/2006 – Isthmian Division One South)

  • Dartford are unbeaten at home in this fixture winning three and drawing two at Princes Park
  • Dulwich Hamlet are also unbeaten on their own patch beating Dartford three times and drawing once
  • The Darts have never beaten Dulwich Hamlet in consecutive games

Eastbourne Borough

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P52 W17 D20 L15 Pts71 (PPG 1.37) – Ranking 11th

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

It would have been interesting to see where Eastbourne Borough would have finished last season, if the campaign was played out. Three consecutive eighteenth place finishes leading up to 2020/2021 showed the Sports were consistently inconsistent. When the National South table was frozen in time, the Sussex club were occupying third spot. On points per game they were within the top seven, so a playoff challenge was on the cards at least. Just one defeat on the road and an early eight game unbeaten run set the tone. The Sports also ended with four wins and a draw from their final five outings.

Manager: Danny Bloor

Since arriving at Priory Lane, Bloor has taken small steps in making Eastbourne Borough competitive again. The Sports were going through a difficult spell before appointing Bloor in November 2019 and having worked with previous manager’s Jamie Howell, Mark McGhee and Lee Bradbury the club decided to promote within. First, he made the Sports difficult to beat by drawing seven of the last eleven matches in the 2019/2020 campaign, losing just once against Dartford. Then he followed it up by getting Eastbourne Borough into third place last term with the fifth best points per game ratio.

Summer

Defender, Jake Elliott makes his move to Priory Lane from Hastings United along with a number of players agreeing to stay including Chris Whelpdale who was in excellent form before the season ended early. Goalkeeper, Franco Ravizzoli earned a deal with League One side Milton Keynes Dons, Dean Cox leaves after three seasons with the Sussex club and Michael West departs for Ebbsfleet United. Jack Currie will be on loan from AFC Wimbledon for the season and Joshua Oyinsah impressed enough in pre-season to sign a deal. An England under 17 World Cup winner, Curtis Anderson comes in on loan from Wycombe Wanderers. Club favourite Sergio Torres leaves the club for a new adventure in Spain.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 12 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 8 / Draws: 4

Previous Mettings (last six)

Dartford 0 – 1 Eastbourne Borough (09/02/2021 – National South)
Eastbourne Borough 3 – 1 Dartford (05/12/2020 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Eastbourne Borough (22/02/2020 – National South)
Eastbourne Borough 0 – 2 Dartford (02/11/2019 – National South)
Eastbourne Borough 6 – 0 Dartford (20/04/2019 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 3 Eastbourne Borough (27/11/2018 – F.A Trophy)

  • The Darts have won just two of the last six meetings against Eastbourne Borough having previously been unbeaten in twelve versus the Sports
  • In the ten seasons Dartford have been in the same league as Eastbourne Borough, the Darts have completed five league doubles over the Sussex club
  • However, last season Eastbourne Borough completed a league double over the Darts for the first time since the 2002/2003 Southern League Division One East campaign

National South Season Preview Part One

Last season was cut short less than halfway through the campaign, the season before became null and void with around a quarter of the games still to play. Over the previous two years the National South has been full of uncertainty. Throw in the wrangling between the league and its members back in February and March, unfulfilled fixtures, furloughed staff and the financial challenges that come with a pandemic and it’s safe to say we can only look forward to the 2021/2022 season.

Crowds will return to grounds urging their team to succeed, lifting the players, creating the atmosphere everyone has been missing. The National South line-up remains the same and the future looks brighter. Maybe at the third time of asking the season will be played out in its entirety. Pure DFC looks at each club, the managers, and the squads they have assembled for the forthcoming campaign…

Bath City

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P48 W22 D10 L16 Pts76 (PPG 1.58) – Ranking 4th

F.A Cup (2020/21): 4th Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy (2020/21): 4th Round

Going into last season the Romans felt optimistic after successive playoff appearances. History repeated itself when on both occasions Bath City were beaten in the eliminator round. In the second of those campaigns the west country club were on course to beat their previous points tally. The story was different last season, a point per game had the Romans down at the bottom end after an unexpectedly slow start. Bath City lost six of their first seven games picking up just three points. Results picked up in December with a notable away victory at Dorking Wanderers and home win over Havant and Waterlooville.

Manager: Jerry Gill

In charge at Twerton Park since October 2017, Gill managed to turn the Romans from a top ten side to a top five side before last season. Bath City only managed thirteen league games last term and were fourth from bottom when the campaign was cut short, Gill will be hoping his side were just making a slow start. As a former Bath City defender who made over 200 appearances for the club in the nineties, the Romans boss will know the club inside out. He also has playing experience with Birmingham City where he reached a League Final and won promotion to the Premier League.

Summer

The most exciting signing of the summer for Bath City is that of Elliott Frear, the former Salisbury City winger was also part of the Hearts title winning team north of the border. He has also played over 70 games in the Scottish Premier League for Motherwell. Another to join the Romans, from Chippenham Town is Eddie Jones, a defender who played over a hundred games for his former side, going the other way is Will Henry. Jamaican international Omar Holness signs from National North side Darlington. Cody Cooke comes in from Weymouth and Ben Gerring from Woking. Manager, Jerry Gill who signed a new contract until July 2023 has also signed three goalkeepers, Coniah Boyce-Clarke from Reading, Harley Wilkinson from Clevedon Town and Will Fuller from Cardiff Metropolitan University, where he played over 250 matches in the Welsh Premier League. Momodou Touray will be on loan until the New Year from Salford City. Players leaving Twerton Park include Frankie Artus, Callum Evans and Donovan Wilson who impressed at National League champions Sutton United after the National South season was curtailed.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 34 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 1 – 0 Bath City (17/10/2020 – National South)
Bath City 3 – 0 Dartford (30/11/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 0 Bath City (09/02/2019 – National South)
Bath City 1 – 2 Dartford (04/08/2018 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 0 Bath City (21/04/2018 – National South)
Bath City 2 – 1 Dartford (24/10/2017 – National South)

  • Dartford have won the last five games against Bath City at Princes Park
  • Bath City’s win on 30/11/2019 ended a run of seven straight defeats against the Darts
  • Dartford have won eight of the last nine meetings against the Romans

Billericay Town

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P49 W12 D17 L20 Pts53 (PPG 1.08) – Ranking 20th

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

Gone are the days when the owner made more headlines off the pitch than the team made on the pitch. In the only full National South season completed by the Blues they ended in a creditable eighth place. In the two unfinished seasons the Essex club went through three managers, Jamie O’Hara replaced Harry Wheeler in September 2019 and guided Billericay Town to seventeenth. But the former Spurs midfielder’s tenure ended in December 2020 after just two victories in nine outings. Kevin Watson took up the managerial post in January and will embark on his first full campaign at New Lodge.

Manager: Kevin Watson

Appointed at the beginning of the year, Watson has had little time to shape his squad and playing style at Billericay Town. The former Ebbsfleet United boss started his managerial career at Maldon and Tiptree until a Teddy Sheringham led Stevenage took him in as assistant manager. Watson had various assistant roles with the likes of Eastleigh, Whitehawk and Hungerford Town either side of a stint as manager at Bishop’s Stortford. A former midfielder as a player, Watson became a serial promotion winner as runners up with Rotherham United twice, Reading and Colchester United in a seven-year spell.

Summer

Billericay Town will have to find goals from somewhere as top scorer Jake Robinson has left to cross the River Thames and join Dartford. Winger, Luke Wanadio makes the same move and will team up with Robinson at Princes Park. Meanwhile, three former Darts will be with the Blues next season, Rowan Liburd signed and new deal, Luke Warner-Eley joins from St Albans City and goalkeeper Bailey Vose moves from Margate. Charlie Lee joins the Blues and Luis Shamshoun has been in the youth set up for four years and signs a first team contract. Marvel Ekpiteta left Dover Athletic to move to Billericay Town and former Dart, Norman Wabo has been with the Essex club during pre-season. Whilst some of the squad leaving include Lewis Knight to Margate and Doug Loft to Tonbridge Angels.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Billericay Town wins: 2 / Draws: 1

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 1 – 0 Billericay Town (12/01/2021 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 0 Billericay Town (14/12/2019 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Billericay Town (22/04/2019 – National South)
Billericay Town 1 – 1 Dartford (15/09/2018 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 4 Billericay Town (06/03/2010 – Isthmian Premier)
Billericay Town 1 – 0 Dartford (02/02/2010 – Isthmian Premier)

  • Dartford have won their last three matches against Billericay Town all at Princes Park
  • The Darts are four games unbeaten against the Blues
  • Billericay Town’s only victories against the Darts came in 2010, when Dartford won the Isthmian Premier League

Braintree Town

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P51 W14 D6 L31 Pts48 (PPG 0.94) – Ranking 21st

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

Ten years ago, the Iron won the National South and followed up their title with a six year stay in non-league’s top flight. It looked as though Braintree Town would turn into that yo-yo club when they were finally relegated from the National League, went back up and came straight back down. Over the last two uncompleted campaigns, the Essex side have found themselves in the bottom three with several managers struggling to improve results. Glen Driver, Jake Hutchings and former Dart, George Borg all had a go. Seven straight defeats opened the 2020/21 campaign and so Borg resigned. Now it’s Ryan Maxwell’s turn.

Manager: Ryan Maxwell

When Maxwell joined the Iron in November, he made immediate changes, in his first named starting eleven he selected eight new signings and ended a seven-game losing streak with a win. Arriving from Walthamstow where he was player-manager, Maxwell as a player moved around the non-league scene which included three appearances for Braintree Town in 2007. At Walthamstow, he guided them to third in the Essex Senior League. When the former midfielder left the Essex club in January 2020, he had them challenging for the title and when the league was abandoned in that March, Walthamstow were only three points off the top.

Summer

The Iron will be delighted with the signing of Femi Akinwande, who finished at the Darts last term. Akinwande is back at Cressing Road for a second spell after scoring six goals in 18 games last time. A youngster at Dartford, Jay Porter will be part of the squad after signing from Margate. Goalkeeper, Preston Edwards was signed as cover at Dartford during the playoffs a couple of seasons ago, he re-signs for the Essex club. Former England C international defender Luke Pennell arrives from Dagenham and Redbridge, Ezra IkeBuasi joins from Farnborough, Anderson Pinto from Cheshunt and Lance Akins from Maldon and Tiptree. Winger, Marcus Goldbourne is a new signing and Harry Savage signs first team forms after impressing in the under 18’s.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Braintree Town wins: 7 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings (last six)

Braintree Town 2 – 1 Dartford (09/01/2021 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Braintree Town (24/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Braintree Town (06/05/2018 – National South Playoff)
Dartford 1 – 1 Braintree Town (23/12/2017 – National South)
Braintree Town 2 – 2 Dartford (08/08/2017 – National South)
Braintree Town 3 – 0 Dartford (01/01/2015 – National League)

  • Dartford have won just one of their last ten matches against Braintree Town, drawing three and losing six
  • The Darts have scored in four of the last five meetings, but failed to score at all in the previous five
  • Braintree Town have scored in their last nine games against the Darts

Chelmsford City

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P50 W15 D15 L20 Pts53 (PPG 1.20) – Ranking 13th

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

Expectations for the Clarets are normally set at reaching the playoffs as a minimum. Chelmsford City have been there plenty of times in their thirteen-year stay, but they have been unable to cross the promotion line. In their seven playoff attempts they have reached the final once and have finished outside of the top seven in the last two incomplete campaigns. The first of those season’s ended with Rod Stringer moving aside and Robbie Simpson impressing enough to make the job his own. Still to be judged on forty completed league games, Simpson will be hoping the Clarets return to at least the playoffs.

Manager: Robbie Simpson

The journey from player to manager at Chelmsford City moved fast for Simpson. Signed as a player by Rod Stringer, the previous manager of the Clarets, Simpson was put in temporary charge just five months later and in March 2020 he became permanent player-manager. His first managerial role, the former forward enjoyed a long career in the Football League after he had already represented both Cambridge clubs, United and City at non-league level. Coventry City took a chance and afterwards he played for Huddersfield Town, Oldham Athletic, Leyton Orient, returned to Cambridge United in League Two, Exeter City and Milton Keynes Dons.

Summer

During his loan spell at Chelmsford City last season Charlie Sheringham impressed, now the striker has signed a deal after leaving Dartford. Another former Dart who will stay for a fourth campaign with the Clarets is Chez Isaac. Midfielder, Louis Dunne had a previous loan spell with Concord Rangers, the 22-year-old joins from Colchester United. Michael Oluwadara Dada arrives from St Albans City and the experienced Simeon Jackson returns with coaching and community responsibilities. Arriving on loan from Cambridge United will be Tom Dickens. Departing the Melbourne Stadium is the retiring Elliott Ward, Cole Kpekawa moves to Hemel Hempstead Town and goalkeeper Lee Worgan joins Dorking Wanderers.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 40 / Chelmsford City wins: 55 / Draws: 22

Previous Meeting (last six)

Dartford 1 – 0 Chelmsford City (06/10/2020 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 0 Chelmsford City (14/03/2020 – National South)
Chelmsford City 4 – 1 Dartford (12/08/2019 – National South)
Chelmsford City 2 – 1 Dartford (09/01/2019 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Chelmsford City (07/08/2018 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 2 Chelmsford City (10/02/2018 – National South)

  • Dartford have won their last three home games against Chelmsford City, another home win will equal the longest winning streak versus the Clarets at home set between 1960 and 1965.
  • The Darts have not conceded a goal in the last three home matches versus Chelmsford City, a home record against the Clarets
  • Chelmsford City have won seven of the last eleven meetings home and away

Chippenham Town

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P49 W14 D16 L19 Pts58 (PPG 1.18) – Ranking 14th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

Since promotion to the National South, Chippenham Town have been consistent in where they end up in the league standings. Consecutive thirteenth place finishes were followed by coming in fourteenth. Last time out the Bluebirds were averaging around their normal points per game from those three campaigns. When the Wiltshire club came into the division, they arrived with Mark Collier at the helm, he was replaced in January 2020 by Michael Cook who has kept the status quo in terms of results. Yet to have a full season at Hardenhuish Park, Cook will be aiming to see an improvement to the usual mid-table finish. 

Manager: Michael Cook

Forced into the coaching world at an early age, Cook overcame a spinal injury when he was 22 years old. He won the F.A Youth Cup with Coventry City as player and went on to represent York City, Cambridge United and in non-league Wycombe Wanderers. Another manager who made the most of an interim spell, Cook was appointed as permanent boss of Chippenham Town in March 2020. The former Gloucester City manager took over the Bluebirds in January following the departure of Mark Collier and impressed enough to make the job his own after some improved results.

Summer

Returning to Chippenham Town after a spell in Australia is Will Richards, he left the Bluebirds in 2019 and is now back after signing from Grange Thistle. Goalkeeper, Will Henry joins Chippenham Town from Bath City and going in the opposite direction will be Eddie Jones. The Bluebirds have also captured the signature of former Weymouth midfielder, Alefe Santos, ex Cardiff City youngster Dan Griffiths and 20-year-old forward Harry Warwick from Bristol Rovers. A number of players have renewed their contracts but leaving the Wiltshire club will be Bradley Ash, Will Puddy, George Rigg and Chris Zebrowski.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Chippenham Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings (last six)

Chippenham Town 1 – 2 Dartford (27/10/2020 – National South)
Chippenham Town 1 – 5 Dartford (01/02/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Chippenham Town (26/10/2019 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Chippenham Town (13/04/2019 – National South)
Chippenham Town 1 – 2 Dartford (13/10/2018 – National South)
Chippenham Town 2 – 2 Dartford (20/01/2018 – National South)

  • Dartford are unbeaten in all four visits to Hardenhuish Park winning three and drawing one
  • Dartford’s only defeat against the Bluebirds was also the only time the Darts have failed to score in this fixture
  • Both teams have kept just one clean sheet against each other in seven meetings

National South Season Preview Part II

Concord Rangers

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 16th
F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: Finalists
Top Scorer: Decarrey Sheriff (9 goals)

Just over a year ago Concord Rangers were denied a place in the National South playoffs despite finishing in sixth. Thames Road was deemed unsuitable for the next level up and so the Beachboys missed out on a potential big day. Little did the Essex club know they would get their chance to create history and have their big day, even if it’s been put on hold for the time being. Concord Rangers will at some point play at Wembley in the delayed F.A Trophy final against League Two side Harrogate Town, the Beachboys could well create more history.

Manager: Danny Scopes

When Danny Scopes was promoted within the club, following Sammy Moore’s departure last summer, chairman Ant Smith was confident the Concord Rangers boss would give his all. His first season back as boss of the Beachboys ended with a trip to Wembley and so the Essex club couldn’t ask for more. Not only that, Scopes was a former player of the club and previously worked within the youth system. His first spell between 2007 and 2012 was as a joint manager alongside Danny Cowley, when Concord Rangers climbed from the Essex Senior League to the Isthmian Premier League.

Summer

Five players return to the Beachboys this summer after one season away and three of them used to play for the Darts. Alex Wall made an immediate impact after returning to Concord Rangers from Hemel Hempstead Town, the former Dartford striker scored the winner in the F.A Trophy semi-final. Tyrone Sterling and Sam Blackman are the other two former Darts back at Concord RangersBlackman suffered a nasty injury shortly after joining Dartford, keeping him out for the long term. Unable to make his way into the team under Steve King the midfielder is back at Thames Road. Sterling follows the same route as Wall by re-joining from Hemel Hempstead Town as did Tosan Popo. The final returning player is Frazer Shaw who spent a season away at local rivals Chelmsford City. The Beachboys have also signed Ryan Charles from Maldon and Tiptree, Odei Martin (Heybridge Swifts), Sam Remfry (South Park), Nathan Carlyle on a month’s loan from Queens Park Rangers, Tom Hanfrey, a former AFC Bournemouth academy defender and Jason Raad from Aveley.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Concord Rangers wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Dartford

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 6th
F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round
Top Scorer: Darren McQueen (17 goals)

At the start of last term Dartford were expected to make the top seven, by the end of the campaign they were underdogs in the playoff final. A topsy-turvy campaign saw the Darts battling relegation and joint managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle relieved of their duties. Appointing one of the best managers at this level, the club surged up the table and into the playoffs. The Kent club beat Slough Town and favourites Havant and Waterlooville before losing on penalties against Weymouth. Now they are seeking a return to the National League after five years away.

Manager: Steve King

A highly successful non-league manager, Steve King guarantees to bring you entertainment. If he could beat his playoff nemesis King would have even more promotions to his credit. Much of his early managerial career was spent in Sussex where he won the National South title with Lewes, his third promotion in five years with the club. He went on to win another title at Farnborough and embark on F.A Cup runs with Macclesfield Town and Whitehawk. However, for every title there is playoff heartbreak losing finals with Farnborough, Whitehawk, Welling United and last season with the Darts.

Summer

The Darts have been busy in the transfer market making sure there is plenty of competition for places. The first job in the summer was replacing the National South’s joint top scorer from last season Darren McQueen. So in came Jack Barham from Dorking Wanderers, who has also played under King at Welling United and recently Kairo Mitchell, a former Leicester City academy player with experience at Nuneaton Borough and Coalville Town. Coming back to the Darts after seven years away, central defender Connor Essam joined from Hemel Hempstead Town. Since his last spell with the Darts, Essam has played for Dover Athletic, Leyton Orient and Eastleigh. King has signed David Ijaha from Dulwich Hamlet and Gavin McCallum from Welling United who have also worked with the Dartford boss previously. Jazzi Barnum-Bobb has played for three Welsh clubs, Cardiff City, Newport County and Wrexham, the defender joins Dartford’s back line. Winger Ricky Modeste has spent half his footballing career with rivals Dover Athletic and switches to the Darts. Midfielder, Abdul Osman arrives from Queen of the South and has played in the Greek top flight. In goal, Craig King (Oxford City) will be pushed for the number one jersey by Chelsea academy goalkeeper Ethan Wady. The Darts also signed Michael Fernandes on loan from Colchester United.

Dorking Wanderers

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 7th
F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Round
Top Scorer: Jason Prior (14 goals)

The youngest club in the division was formed 21 years ago and have won five league titles and 11 promotions to propel themselves up the pyramid. Last season was their first at National South level and once again the Wanderers were looking forwards and showing their ambitions. The Surrey club finished seventh to have a shot at another promotion. Dorking Wanderers knocked out Bath City in the playoff eliminator round before losing 3-2 to eventual winners Weymouth in the semi-final. They don’t hang around in divisions long and will be looking upwards yet again.

Manager: Marc White

Dorking Wanderers have climbed the non-league pyramid and Marc White has been able to witness their rise from day one. A founder member just over 20 years ago, his club have won 11 promotions and last season he guided the Surrey club to the playoffs in their first ever campaign in the National South. White has overseen the club moving to a new stadium as well as all the on-field success and has had clubs from higher leagues interested in his services, but he has his heart on getting to the Football League with the Wanderers.

Summer

When Alfie Rutherford and Wes Fogden left Havant and Waterlooville they were the last of the group that won back to back promotions with the Hawks. Now the duo will be reunited with Ed Harris and former Dartford striker Jason Prior at Dorking Wanderers, who were also part of that squad. One of the biggest signings, as far as experience goes, is that of Barry Fuller, the former Gillingham full back also made over 200 appearances in the Football League with AFC Wimbledon. Goalkeeper, Sam Howes has made his loan spell into a permanent deal, defender Callum Kennedy signs from Billericay Town and midfielder Kane Willis comes in from Eastbourne Borough.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Dorking Wanderers wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Dulwich Hamlet

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 19th
F.A Cup: 1st Round
F.A Trophy: 1st Round
Top Scorer: Danny Mills (13 goals)

After a few years of agonisingly waiting persistently knocking on the National South door, Hamlet won the Isthmian Premier playoffs at the fourth time of asking. It was only a matter of time before Dulwich Hamlet succeeded and they did so two years ago. After so much determination the London club will not give their spot up easily in the National South. In their first season at this level they finished fourteenth with healthy crowds since their return to Champion Hill. Last time out Hamlet were concentrating on avoiding the drop finishing in the bottom four.

Manager: Gavin Rose

When last season started, Gavin Rose had just clocked up ten years in charge of Dulwich Hamlet and he’s still going. Hamlet’s longest serving manager admitted the club weren’t living up to their potential when he was appointed and now, he can’t quite believe how far the London club has come. A former midfielder who enjoyed a career including spells at Wimbledon, Charlton Athletic and Queens Park Rangers, Rose guided Dulwich Hamlet to the Isthmian Division One North title in 2013 and won the Isthmian Premier League playoffs in 2018 to earn promotion to the National South.

Summer

Impressive performances at Dartford last term, Tyrique Hyde moves to Dulwich Hamlet after 12 appearances with the Darts. The midfielder follows former Dartford defender, Sanchez Ming who has already had spells with the Hamlet making over 200 appearances for the club in the past. The pair join up with another three signings from Kent clubs, midfielders Michael Timlin moves from Ebbsfleet United and Jordan Higgs from Bromley, in addition to forward Korrey Henry from Welling United. Jesse Debrah spent a loan spell in defence at Champion Hill last season, he completes a move from Championship club Millwall. More excitingly for Hamlet fans is the return of Reise Allassani, the winger scored 16 times in 28 games for the club before being picked up by Coventry City. After some loan spells last season, he is back at Champion Hill.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Eastbourne Borough

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 18th
F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 1st Round
Top Scorer: Greg Luer (8 goals)

If there is a consistent team in the National South then look no further than Eastbourne Borough. Three consecutive eighteenth place finishes they will begin their tenth year in row in this division. Borough drew the most amount of games last season and at one stage completed a sequence of six on the spin. The Sussex club initially struggled in front of goal but managed to find the net in each of their last 11 matches, losing just once but drawing seven. If they want to improve Borough will need to tighten up at the back.

Manager: Danny Bloor

Arriving at Eastbourne Borough as number two to Jamie Howell, Danny Bloor also worked with Mark McGhee and Charlie Oatway as well as Lee Bradbury during their spells as managers. Several candidates went for the Borough job and in the end the Sussex club opted for Bloor to pull everyone together, after difficult times at Priory Lane. Briefed to keep Eastbourne Borough in the National South and re-establish a bond with the supporters, Bloor has started taking small strides forward by making his side tougher to beat as they became draw specialists prior last season coming to a halt.

Summer

Bringing Football League experience to the midfield, Chris Whelpdale signs from Chelmsford City. The 33-year-old has previously represented Gillingham, Peterborough United, Stevenage and AFC Wimbledon. Goalkeeper, Luke Glover scored a winning F.A Trophy goal last season when playing for Haywards Heath Town, he completes a move to the Sports. James Hammond arrives from local rivals Lewes and Mitchell Dickenson joins from Hemel Hempstead Town. From lower leagues, Eastbourne Borough have picked up Charlie Towning (Three Bridges), Joe Kay (Newhaven) and striker Charlie Lambert (Peacehaven and Telscombe). James Vaughan has been studying out in the United States, now he will be playing at Priory Lane this season.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 12 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 6 / Draws: 4

National South Season Preview Part I

Dartford came so close to promotion last season by reaching the playoff final. This time they plan to go one better in Steve King’s first full campaign at the helm. In a season that was cut short at all levels of the non-league game, no teams were relegated from the National South bringing a familiarity to Dartford’s opponents. A lot has changed over the last seven months, new protocols, changes in management and three golden boot winners moving on. Here’s the first part of a club by club preview to whet your appetite…

Bath City

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 4th
F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 2nd Round
Top Scorer: Tom Smith (13 goals)

The Romans have bowed out at the quarter-final stage of the playoffs in the past two seasons. Since their two-year flirtation with the National League, the West Country side have slowly built their way up to become competitive promotion contenders. Bath City will be aiming to return to the non-league summit after an eight-year absence. The cause will be helped by the National South’s Player of the Year, Tom Smith being in their ranks. He could be a key player yet again having scored 18 times from midfield in all competitions last term.

Manager: Jerry Gill

A former Bath City defender who made over 200 appearances for the club in the nineties. Gill has been in charge at Twerton Park since October 2017 turning the Romans from a top ten side in to a top five side. He enjoyed success as a player notably reaching the League Cup final and winning promotion to the Premier League with Birmingham City. After a 44-day spell managing Weymouth, who had financial issues at the time, Gill picked up coaching experience with Bristol Rovers, Birmingham City and Kidderminster Harriers as well as with Norwich City’s and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ academies.

Summer

Manager Jerry Gill signed a new contract to keep him at Twerton Park until 2022. Ryan Harley made over 350 Football League appearances with the likes of Exeter City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Swindon Town, he arrives from Milton Keynes Dons. Freddie Grant, a left back with experience at this level joins from National League side Maidenhead United. After four years at Weston-super-Mare, Jason Pope moved to Hereford before switching to the Romans. Callum Evans signs from Port Vale having also had a spell at Macclesfield Town, Donovan Wilson comes in after time at Port Vale, Exeter City and Spanish clubs Jumilla and Burgos. Goalkeeper Will Henry steps in to the squad providing National South experience, which he picked up on loan at Hampton and Richmond Borough, Chippenham Town and Hungerford Town. Also, coming to Twerton Park on loan will be Bristol City pair Tommy Conway and James Taylor.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 32 / Bath City wins: 39 / Draws: 19

Billericay Town

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 17th
F.A Cup: 1st Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round
Top Scorer: Jake Robinson (14 goals)

More headlines were made off the pitch than on it under Billericay Town’s former owner, now the media circus shackles have been removed. Instead the Essex club has a former Premier League midfielder leading the team and keeping the club and non-league in the media spotlight. Success came quickly when Ricay went from Isthmian Premier champions to promotion contenders. However, with the owner leaving, the Blues second campaign back in the National South was tougher and they spent much of last term looking over their shoulder winning just three of their last 24 games.

Manager: Jamie O’Hara

A Dartfordian who made his name as a midfielder at Tottenham Hotspur, Jamie O’Hara also represented England at under 21 level. He enjoyed spells notably at Millwall, Portsmouth and Wolverhampton Wanderers and ended up at Billericay Town in the seventh tier of the English game. He helped the Blues claim the 2017/2018 Isthmian Premier League title, two league cups and a county cup. O’Hara left Ricay before returning as player assistant manager and in September last year he was promoted to manager. Alongside football management O’Hara can be heard on national radio channel Talksport.

Summer

Providing some trickery on the flanks, former Dartford winger Luke Wanadio moves across the bridge to Essex. Wanadio had two spells with the Darts both lasting a season, he also had spells with Bromley, Aldershot Town and Dulwich Hamlet. Four more players make the trip from Kent with two, Frank Sutherland and Lawrie Wilson coming from relegated Ebbsfleet United. Lewis Knight signs from Maidstone United and Jai Reason will lead the line after arriving from Dover Athletic. Also, making the step down from the National League will be Shamir Fenelon from Maidenhead United. Josh Hutchinson joins Ricay from Potters Bar Town, Hani Berchiche (Welwyn Garden City) as well as two trialists who impressed Jamie O’Hara in pre-season, Chevron McLean (Maldon and Tiptree) and Ruben Soares Junior (Grays Athletic). Former Fulham and Queen’s Park Rangers full-back, Joe Felix joins the Essex club having previously been at Hampton & Richmond Borough, Woking and Farnborough. With former Dart, Alan Julian leaving the goalkeeper position has been filled by Dion-Curtis Henry and from AFC Wimbledon in comes Ayoub Assal on loan for a month.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Billericay Town wins: 2 / Draws: 1

Braintree Town

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 21st
F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round
Top Scorer: Femi Akinwande (6 goals)

A surprise package when they gate-crashed the National South playoffs and won promotion two years ago, knocking out Dartford in the process. The Iron returned to the National League at the first time of asking, this time their stay lasted one campaign as they yo-yoed between divisions. Braintree Town were nowhere near to reproducing a swift return and instead slid down the National South after a reasonable first two months. The Iron conceded the most goals last term and had the season not been curtailed were on target to finish in the bottom two.

Manager: George Borg

An experienced manager familiar with Braintree Town, Borg has had a few spells with the Iron. In his latest one it started in December 2019 when player manager Jake Hutchings stepped sown. His appointment came 15 years after the first time he led the Essex club back in 2004. Borg enjoyed success in the late nineties when Aldershot Town were back on the rise to the Football League. In 1998 he won the Isthmian League First Division then later added the Isthmian League Cup, two Hampshire Senior Cups and came runners-up in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Braintree Town wins: 6 / Draws: 4

Chelmsford City

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 10th
F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Round
Top Scorer: Shaun Jeffers (13 goals)

Regularly amongst the playoff places the Clarets fell short of their normal standards last time out. Often dubbed a sleeping giant, the Essex club parted company with Rod Stringer back in January after the former boss had taken Chelmsford City to the playoffs three years running. At the turn of the year the Clarets were only seven points adrift of the top seven and in the last 16 of the F.A Trophy when Stringer departed. Entering their thirteenth consecutive season in the National South, Chelmsford City are currently the longest serving club in the division.

Manager: Robbie Simpson

Just over a year ago Robbie Simpson was signed as a player by Rod Stringer. Five months later the forward was put in temporary charge of Chelmsford City and in March he became permanent player-manager. Simpson enjoyed a long career in the Football League after he had already represented both Cambridge clubs, United and City at non-league level. Coventry City took a chance and afterwards he played for Huddersfield Town, Oldham Athletic, Leyton Orient, Exeter City and Milton Keynes Dons. He also had a second spell with Cambridge United when they had returned to League Two.

Summer

The Clarets signed former Dartford midfielder Billy Crook this summer taking him back across the Thames to Essex. Crook won promotion with Braintree Town before joining the Darts in January 2019. Another former Dart and returning for a third spell with Chelmsford City is Phil Roberts. The striker had a brief spell at Princes Park and at the age of just 26 has been around the non-league circuit, he was also pivotal in helping Braintree Town up alongside Billy Crook. Last season’s Isthmian Division One North top scorer, Alex Teniola will hope to continue grabbing goals after completing a move from Heybridge Swifts. Also boosting the attack, Adam Liddle comes in from Derry City, Adam Morgan (Romford) and Tom Blackwell (Coggleshall Town). Former Tonbridge Angels, Maidstone United and Dover Athletic goalkeeper Lee Worgan will bring experience between the sticks and providing competition on dual registration from Heybridge Swifts will be Jacob Marsden. Defender, Adebola Oluwo (Fisher FC) and midfielder Callum Harrison (AFC Sudbury) are now Clarets and Cameron James has re-joined the club for a second spell from Colchester United. Cadell Fraser-Robinson also joined the Clarets after completing a scholarship at Stevenage.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 39 / Chelmsford City wins: 55 / Draws: 22

Chippenham Town

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 14th
F.A Cup: 1st Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round
Top Scorer: Scott Twine (6 goals)

A consistent team in the National South since they cruised their way to the Southern Premier League title three years ago, the Bluebirds finished thirteenth in consecutive seasons and were on course to ending last term in fourteenth. Yet it wasn’t all plain sailing last season, in mid-January they were embroiled in a relegation battle, appointed a new manager who steered them to safety winning five of their last six games. The Wiltshire club hope to keep that momentum going into the new campaign and improve on their mid-table finishes.

Manager: Michael Cook

Another manager who made the most of an interim spell, Michael Cook was appointed as permanent boss in March. The former Gloucester City manager took over the Bluebirds in January following the departure of Mark Collier. In that time Cook turned Chippenham Town’s fortunes around. After the home hammering to Dartford in February, he guided the Wiltshire club to five wins from seven matches with the last fixture a creditable draw against champions Wealdstone. At Gloucester City, he felt he wasn’t given a fair chance, so now is the time to prove his managerial capabilities.

Summer

Michael Cook’s former club Gloucester City were raided this summer as the former Tigers boss signed a trio of players from their local rivals. Covering all outfield positions Chippenham Town will now have striker Marlon Jackson, midfielder Joe Hanks and defender Spencer Hamilton in their squad. Both Danny Greenslade and Bradley Ash join the Bluebirds from Hereford. Former Sutton United striker, Ross Stearn returns to Hardenhuish Park from Bath City, whilst Luke Ruuse makes his loan spell from Bristol Rovers permanent.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Chippenham Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Weymouth – Season Preview 2019/2020

Weymouth

Southern Premier South: 1st

F.A Cup: 1st Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Brandon Goodship (37goals) / Average Attendance: 1006

Weymouth’s first season back in the National South will be without talisman Brandon Goodship who won the Southern League golden boot last term with an incredible 37 goals. Goodship earned a move to League One side Southend United, so the conundrum of finding a suitable replacement has been important to the Terras over the summer. To replace the goals, Weymouth have opted to add more experience with the signing of 31-year-old Brett Williams, who used to be a teammate with manager Mark Molesley at Aldershot Town. Williams made his name with the Shots scoring at nearly a goal every other game, the striker has also played for Stevenage, Forest Green Rovers and Torquay United, most recently he was on loan at Sutton United and he has also represented Bromley too. Andy Robinson won the Player of the Year award with Havant and Waterlooville last season making 35 appearances as the Hawks were relegated, he makes the move across to Dorset. Following Robinson from the Hawks will be Jordan Rose, who has played for Weymouth before in two loan spells. Impressing the Terras last season, Ade Olumuyiwa will strengthen Weymouth’s defence having joined from Southern League Division One South champions Blackfield and Langley. The first summer signing was left sided full back or midfielder Ollie Harfield from National League side Dagenham and Redbridge, he played 33 times for the Daggers last term. After scoring for the Terras in two friendlies, the Dorset club signed Jack Hoey who has been recently playing in the States for Gardner Webb University. Calum Ward signed a professional contract with AFC Bournemouth in the summer, the goalkeeper will be on loan at the Bob Lucas Stadium this season.

The Manager – Mark Molesley

An England C international with 4 caps Mark is a vastly experienced midfielder signed by the Terras in July 2015 following his release by Aldershot Town. Mark became First Team Manager following the departure of Jason Matthews in April 2017 and has impressed with his professional attitude. Mark started his career with Hayes, coming through their youth system. Spells with Cambridge City, Aldershot Town, Stevenage Borough and Grays Athletic before being transferred to Bournemouth. He made his debut for Bournemouth, away to Shrewsbury Town, in the 4-1 defeat in the League Two on 18 October 2008. Molesley signed for Exeter City on 18 January 2013. On 30 April 2013, he was released by Exeter due to the expiry of his contract and joined Aldershot Town. Mark made 40 appearances for the Shots and scored 8 goals. Mark joined Weymouth in Summer 2015 and played for two seasons before retiring to take over as First Team Manager. Mark combines his role at Weymouth with Bournemouth Under 23s.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 17 / Weymouth wins: 34 / Draws: 15

Last Six Meetings

27.12.1997 Weymouth 2 Dartford 0
23.08.1997 Dartford 2 Weymouth 3
15.02.1997 Weymouth 2 Dartford 1
05.10.1996 Dartford 3 Weymouth 5
22.12.1990 Weymouth 0 Dartford 0
18.08.1990 Dartford 5 Weymouth 3

Facts

Dartford last beat Weymouth 29 years ago winning 5-3 at Watling Street.

Since Dartford’s last victory, the Terras have gone five unbeaten, drawing one before winning the last four matches.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Saturday 17 August 2019 at the Bob Lucas Stadium

Saturday 25 April 2020 at Princes Park

Welling United – Season Preview 2019/2020

Welling United

National South: 3rd

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Brendan Kiernan (13 goals) / Average Attendance: 684

Last season’s play-off finalists have had to rebuild after the departure of manager Steve King. A restructure to keep the club within a smaller budget was deemed necessary and so Chairman, Mark Goldberg has also taken up the role of manager. With that in mind, the Wings recruitment process started later than most clubs, but they did secure the services of centre backs Jay Rich-Baghuelou from Dulwich Hamlet and Rob Swaine from Maidstone United. Swaine was captain at Bromley during Goldberg’s spell as manager at Hayes Lane. It didn’t work out for Kudus Oyenuga at Dartford, who made 21 appearances last season scoring once, the former Chelmsford City player finished last term on loan at Harringey Borough and joined Welling United, only to then sign a dual registration with Margate. His move was instigated when the Wings played Margate in a friendly and Connor Dymond caught their eye. Dymond played for the Wings before in during that spell even saved a penalty when he ended up in goal. Joe Anderson also worked with Goldberg before winning promotion to the National League with Bromley, another former Chelmsford City player now at Welling United. Returning to the Wings after last season’s loan spell from Dulwich Hamlet is Sanchez Ming and following Ming from Champion Hill is former Dart, Nathan Green. A year ago, Archie Johnson started the campaign with Welling United, he left to pursue game time with Cray Wanderers and has now returned. Aaron Cosgrove comes in from Chelmsford City having played for Havant and Waterlooville earlier last season. Richard Platt moves to Park View Road having last season at Chesham United and Bedworth Town. Midfielder, Reece Prestedge won the National South with Bromley in 2015 and has had a wealth of experience with Chelmsford City, Bishop’s Stortford and Maidstone United in the National League. Anthony Cook was also part of that title winning side and he joins from Dulwich Hamlet. In his first three spells with the Wings, Adam Coombes became a firm favourite, the striker left Welling United in 2016 and whilst at Sutton United and Billericay Town had loan spells at Park View Road.  During pre-season a target man was on Welling United’s wishlist and when Joshua Oyinsan put pen to paper the Wings crossed that role of their list, Oyinsan was previously signed at Bromley when Goldberg was in charge and scored 17 times for Cambridge City last term.

The Manager – Mark Goldberg

The former Crystal Palace chairman turned to management after he was declared bankrupt almost twenty years ago. Goldberg took up his first managerial post six years later at Bromley where he went on to have three spells with the Kent club. Goldberg’s start in management was successful, leading Bromley to promotion to the National South via the Isthmian Premier League playoffs before leaving during the 2007/2008 season. By the end of that campaign Goldberg returned and lasted until January 2011, but once more he was back when new club chairman, Ashley Reading arrived. Goldberg guided Bromley to the National League in 2014/2015 by winning the National South and left for a third time in 2016.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 20 / Welling United wins: 8 / Draws: 10

Last Six Meetings

01.01.2019 Dartford 1 Welling United 0
26.12.2018 Welling United 2 Dartford 0
01.01.2018 Dartford 4 Welling United 1
26.12.2017 Welling United 2 Dartford 3
28.02.2017 Welling United 0 Dartford 0
22.11.2016 Welling United 2 Dartford 2

Facts

The Darts have won the last five games against Welling United at Princes Park in all competitions.

Welling United have won just two of the last seventeen meetings between the two sides in normal time, the Wings did win a Kent Senior Cup tie on penalties.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Thursday 26 December 2019 at Park View Road

Wednesday 1 January 2020 at Princes Park

Wealdstone – Season Preview 2019/2020

Wealdstone

National South: 7th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter-Final

League Top Scorer: David Pratt (11 goals) / Average Attendance: 882

Sneaking into the National South play-offs in April, the Stones won the elimination match only to lose the semi-final. Bobby Wilkinson left the club and in came former Hemel Hempstead Town and Billericay Town boss Dean Brennan on a two-year contract. Brennan arrived with Jerome Okimo, Daniel Green, Jake Sheppard, Connor Stevens and Jonathan North already signed up for another campaign. The first summer signing was Reece Beckles-Richards from Isthmian Premier League side Wingate and Finchley, the striker has represented Antigua and Barbuda at international level. Kavan Cotter was at Hemel Hempstead Town last season, the versatile midfielder moves to the Middlesex club and has experience with Gillingham and Luton Town. Returning to Grosvenor Vale both Ryan Sellers and Connor Smith are back. Sellers made 20 appearances in the National League with FC Halifax Town last term whilst Smith was at Billericay Town and has 80 Football League appearances under his belt. Jacob Smith has already played alongside new signings Smith and Cotter whilst at Kings Langley last season, the midfielder will know more of his teammates having been part of the same Watford under 18’s title winning side as Connor Stevens. At full back, Nick Arnold has joined the Hampshire club, the 25-year-old has represented Wycombe Wanderers, Woking and Whitehawk. Wealdstone have signed the son of former Premier League striker Gifton Noel-Williams, Dejon. The 20-year-old joins from League Two side Oxford United and had two loans spells in the National South with Slough Town and Gloucester City. Ross Lafayette returns to Grosvenor Vale after a handful of appearances for Wealdstone a decade ago, the striker was at Billericay Town and has plenty of National League experience including a spell with Welling United. Dennon Lewis tried his luck with Scottish Championship side Falkirk before signing for Bromley, the youngster will be part of Brennan’s squad. Winger, Jacob Mendy helped Isthmian Premier League side Carshalton Athletic to a second place finish last season and will add versatility to the flanks for Wealdstone. Afolabi Coker played in the division below Mendy for Ashford United in the Isthmian League South East Division and he takes the step up with the Stones. Michee Efete joins from Billericay Town, the defender has had a loan spell in Iceland and with Torquay United and Bath City in the past, he has also played for Maidstone United. Wealdstone have added Billiy Clifford to their squad, who has worked with manager Dean Brennan at Hemel Hempstead Town and Billericay Town. The 26-year-old finished last season on loan at Slough Town and has previously played for Boreham Wood, Crawley Town and Walsall.

The Manager – Dean Brennan

A career playing in the Football League career never took off for Dean Brennan, but he had a decent time in non-league football. The former midfielder won the F.A Trophy with Grays Athletic and had spells with Stevenage, AFC Wimbledon and various other clubs including Hemel Hempstead Town. At the age of 29, the Tudors appointed Brennan as interim manager and he kept them in the Southern Premier League. After a spell at Dunstable Town the Irishman returned to the Tudors taking them up to the National South. Brennan moved to Billericay Town and lasted four months before parting company last season and this summer he has taken charge of Wealdstone.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 13 / Wealdstone wins: 14 / Draws: 14

Last Six Meetings

05.01.2016 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 1
18.08.2018 Dartford 0 Wealdstone 3
17.02.2018 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 2
21.11.2017 Dartford 3 Wealdstone 3
28.01.2017 Wealdstone 0 Dartford 4
06.08.2016 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2

Facts

Dartford have won just three of the last nineteen games against Wealdstone in all competitions.

The two sides meet on the opening day, which happened just three years ago when they played out a 2-2 draw at Princes Park.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Saturday 3 August 2019 at The Vale

Saturday 29 February 2020 at Princes Park

Tonbridge Angels – Season Preview 2019/2020

Tonbridge Angels

2018/19 Season

Isthmian Premier: 4th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: Joe Turner (15 goals) / Average Attendance: 542

There was plenty of controversy about the route to the National South via the play-offs last season. Manager Steve McKimm was not pleased about having to play two finals, however Tonbridge Angels won both and so they will prepare for life in the National South. Vice-captain Sonny Miles, has made almost 400 appearances for the Angels since coming through their youth ranks, the winner of Player of the Year awards last term remains at the Longmead Stadium. The winning goalscorer in the Super Play-off final, Tom Derry has signed on for another season and so has Chinedu McKenzie, who netted an average of a goal every other game last term since joining the Angels in January and Jack Parter, who has racked up over 250 appearances for the Kent club since 2014. James Folkes, Liam Smith, Tom Beere and captain Tom Parkinson have all agreed new contracts. Arthur Lee was integral to the defence in the division below, but he is seeking pastures new. McKimm has also strengthened the squad with the additions of Tommy Brewer from Kingstonian and Alex Bentley from AFC Hornchurch. D’Sean Theobalds scored in the super play-off final against Metropolitan Police, he remains with the Angels. Winger, Khale Da Costa netted five times for St Albans City last term and he has switched to newly promoted Tonbridge Angels. Tommie Hession-Harris and Rhyle Ovenden join the squad after pre-season injuries midfield left the Angels short in the middle of the park. Hession-Harris has had three years of playing in the USA including a spell at Toros and last season was at Isthmian League North side Maldon and Tiptree. Ovenden was a young professional at Watford before joining Hemel Hempstead Town and Whitehawk.

The Manager – Steve McKimm

The winner of two play-off finals in one season will never be taken away from Tonbridge Angels boss Steve McKimm. The former Sutton United player-coach guided the Angels back to the National South, first he masterminded the Isthmian Premier League Playoff victory over Merstham, then he had to repeat the triumph against Metropolitan Police in a super playoff. McKimm had already led Tonbridge Angels to the playoffs in 2015/2016, only to fall short in the semi-final against East Thurrock United. Before he’s time at Sutton United, McKimm had spells at Margate, Gravesend and Northfleet where he won the Isthmian Premier League title, Kingstonian, Farnborough, Hayes and Yeading United and Dulwich Hamlet.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 67 / Tonbridge Angels wins: 37 / Draws: 24

Last Six Meetings

15.10.2016 Tonbridge Angels 0 Dartford 3
15.12.2012 Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 0
03.03.2012 Tonbridge Angels 0 Dartford 1
31.01.2012 Tonbridge Angels 2 Dartford 4
24.09.2011 Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 1
25.01.2011 Dartford 2 Tonbridge Angels 0

Facts

Dartford are currently on an eight game winning streak in all competitions against Tonbridge Angels going back to ten years.

Tonbridge Angels last beat the Darts in November 2008 and have never won at Princes Park since it opened.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Tuesday 3 September 2019 at Longmead Stadium

Saturday 28 December 2019 at Princes Park

St Albans City – Season Preview 2019/2020

St Albans City

2018/19 Season

National South: 9th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Runners Up

League Top Scorer: David Moyo (14 goals) / Average Attendance: 842

Former Dartford full back Tom Bender was retained by St Albans City along with Zane Banton, James Kaloczi and Scott Shulton. Ben Herd left the Saints to take up a managerial role at Isthmian League South Central side Hertford Town, defender Lewis Knight switched to Maidstone United and both Khale Da Costa and Clovis Kamdjo have left St Albans City. Four years after last appearing for the Saints, defender and England C international David Longe-King returns to the Hertfordshire side from Biggleswade Town, where Ian Allinson’s son Lee is manager. Released from Northampton Town, St Albans City have signed Joe Iaciofano who came through the Cobblers academy. The striker has also had spells with Corby Town, Chesham United, Brackley Town and AFC Mansfield. Arriving from fellow National South side Hungerford Town, Darren Foxley had caused his new team plenty of problems on the wing when he played them, now he will be in the blue and yellow of St Albans City. Other players added to the squad to provide width are Bobson Bawling and Rhys Murrell-Williamson, the latter returning to Clarence Park. Bawling has played for Crawley Town before moving to Woking then Torquay United last summer, by the end of the season he was at Oxford City on loan. Murrell-Williamson scored 15 times for St Albans City in the 2017/2018 campaign and made it into the National South Team of the Season, he has since had spells at Hampton and Richmond Borough, Billericay Town and Woking. Released from neighbours Hemel Hempstead Town, Joe Howe signed for the Saints, the right back has spent most of his career at Ebbsfleet United, but has also represented Welling United. Fisher Athletic, Bromley and Leatherhead.

The Manager – Ian Allinson

Ian Allinson committed his future to the club and will be part a much bigger picture providing the Saints direction in commercial development, creating a pathway for young district players to progress through to the first team, developing the club’s brand and to look into a move to full time football. The former winger amassed over 300 league appearances as a player for Colchester United in two spells, and played over 100 games in all competitions for Arsenal. He also appeared for Stoke City and Luton Town. As a manager, he won the Isthmian Premier League and National South playoff finals with Boreham Wood before joining St Albans City three years ago. Allinson has also managed Baldock Town, Barton Rovers, Harlow Town and Stotfold so has plenty of experience to offer the Saints.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / St Albans City wins: 5 / Draws: 4

Last Six Meetings

12.01.2019 Dartford 3 St Albans City 2
01.09.2018 St Albans City 2 Dartford 0
03.02.2018 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
28.10.2017 Dartford 2 St Albans City 1
25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2

Facts

In the first ten meetings between the two teams the Darts won six, drew three and lost a cup tie on penalties.

All five of St Albans City’s victories in normal time have came in the last three years, the Saints have kept five clean sheets in the last seven meetings.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Tuesday 6 August 2019 at Princes Park

Saturday 7 March 2020 at Clarence Park

Slough Town – Season Preview 2019/2020

Slough Town

2018/19 Season

National South: 11th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: James Dobson (7 goals) / Average Attendance: 783

The Rebels have benefited from Maidenhead United’s move to full-time football by signing Max Worsfold. The attacking midfielder was unable to commit to the Magpies and was snapped up by Slough Town manager’s Neil Baker and Jon Underwood. Striker, Ryan Bird will follow Worsfold from York Road to Arbour Park, he has Football League experience with Portsmouth, Yeovil Town, Cambridge United and Newport County and played for Dover Athletic in the National League. Departing the club are Louie Soares and Nathan Smart. After a successful pre-season Joe Grant returns to the club after previously appearing when Slough Town were in the Southern Premier League. The youngster had been playing at Bracknell Town where the Rebel’s have been tracking his progress.

The Managers – Neal Baker and Jon Underwood

Joint managers since May 2013, Neal Baker and Jon Underwood both came from Godalming Town. At 29-years-old a knee injury ended Baker’s playing career so he moved into management with Fleet Spurs in the Wessex League Division One. Underwood was managing Sandhurst Town before teaming up with Baker at Godalming Town. Whilst with the G’s the duo reached the Isthmian Division One South playoffs and lifted the Surrey Senior Cup. At Slough Town, Baker and Underwood have been part of an upward trend by guiding the club to promotion to the Southern Premier League, via the playoffs, the same promotion route to reach the National South just over a year ago.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Slough Town wins: 0 / Draws: 2

Last Five Meetings

16.02.2019 Slough Town 2 Dartford 2
08.12.2018 Dartford 1 Slough Town 1
01.10.2016 Slough Town 2 Dartford 3
29.10.1988 Slough Town 1 Dartford 2
10.01.1981 Dartford 4 Slough Town 1

Facts

Dartford have never lost to Slough Town winning three and drawing two of the five meetings stretching back to 1981.

In each game between the two sides both teams have scored leading to an average of 3.8 goals per game.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Saturday 28 September 2019 at Princes Park

Saturday 18 January 2020 at Arbour Park