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Dartford v Slough Town

Dartford have the chance to avenge their F.A Cup exit against Slough Town when they host the Rebels for a second time this season on the weekend.

In unusual circumstances, the Darts opened their season in the F.A Cup losing to Saturday’s opponents. Jack McKnight’s last-minute penalty knocked Dartford out at the first hurdle, in the second qualifying round. Victory for Slough Town meant they redressed their own defeat against the Darts in July’s National South playoff eliminator.

Leading up to this weekend’s fixture, Dartford top the National South table by a point having played the most games in the division, thanks to their early cup exit. Steve King has managed to rack up the points in their first nine games, but they couldn’t add to their tally following a defeat at home to St Albans City on Tuesday night.

Charlie Sheringham making his first league start of the campaign was left to rue his second-half penalty miss as St Albans City won 1-0. A last minute strike from Shaun Jeffers was the difference between the two sides condemning the Darts to their second National South loss of the season.

Prior kick off the Darts announced the return of Alfie Pavey on a loan deal until the end of January from Barnet. The striker scored 29 goals in 55 appearances in a previous loan spell and during the 2017/2018 campaign, when he won the National South Player of the Year award. Gavin McCallum also made his first league start of the season replacing the injured Craig Braham-Barrett. Jack Barham was named on the bench alongside Pavey with the pair making an appearance later on.

Highlights of last season’s game at Prince Park courtesy of DFC TV

Slough Town opened their campaign by recording another 1-0 victory, after their F.A Cup win against the Darts. The triumph over Hemel Hempstead Town was followed by defeat at Dorking Wanderers and an F.A Cup exit of their own. What followed was a dramatic 4-4 with Welling United with the Rebels score two injury time goals to complete a comeback from 3-1 down in the last twenty minutes.

The Berkshire club approach this weekend’s fixture on the back of three straight defeats against Maidstone United, Billericay Town then Hungerford Town on Tuesday night.

The Rebels found themselves behind early in the game when Ryan Seager scored on six minutes, he also had another but his effort was ruled out for offside. Slough Town were forced to make a change when Cameron McGilp came off injured before Dan Roberts chipped in an equaliser. Parity lasted a short while because two minutes before the interval Seager scored again. Craig Fasanmade extended Hungerford Town’s lead to leave the Rebels sitting in fourteenth place in the National South.

Last season Dartford squandered a two-goal lead at Princes Park under the guidance of Tony Burman. Darren McQueen and Josh Hill scored within a couple of minutes of each other to hand the Darts a comfortable advantage. It took just another two minutes for Dan Roberts to set Slough Town on their way. The Rebels kept the momentum going in the second half and when Matt Lench then Ben Harris netted, the visitors went home with all three points.

In January, Slough Town completed a league double with a 1-0 home victory, in which Dartford’s Sanchez Ming was sent off. The third meeting between the two sides came in the playoff elimination round. A brace from Charlie Sheringham and Luke Wanadio’s strike helped the Darts progress with a 3-0 win.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford
(LWWLWW)
Slough Town
(LLLWDL)
St Albans CityH0-1Hungerford TownH1-3
Maidstone UnitedA2-0Billericay TownA0-2
Hemel Hempstead TownA3-1Maidstone UnitedH2-3
Dorking WanderersH2-3Bath CityH2-1
Havant & WaterloovileH2-1Welling UnitedH4-4
Chippenham TownA2-1Dorking WanderersA1-3

Last Six Meetings

03.10.2020Dartford0Slough Town1
19.07.2020Slough Town0Dartford3
18.01.2020Slough Town1Dartford0
28.09.2019Dartford2Slough Town3
16.02.2019Slough Town2Dartford2
08.12.2018Dartford1Slough Town1

Stats

Dartford’s only home win against Slough Town came 39 years ago in the F.A Trophy, the Darts won 4-1 in the first round

The Rebels are unbeaten in their three visits to Princes Park (W2, D1)

Dartford won their first three meetings with Slough Town, all cup ties. Since then the Darts have won just one in the last six (D2, L3)

On This Day

New loan signing Alfie Pavey scored a brace to keep Dartford top of National League South three years ago. In an entertaining 3-3 draw the Darts twice came from behind against Wealdstone thanks to Pavey before substitute Andy Pugh fired Dartford ahead with ten minutes left. However, the Stones levelled from the spot three minutes from time before Lee Noble saw red in stoppage time. In 2009, the Darts were knocked out of the F.A Trophy against rivals Dover Athletic. After falling a goal behind, Jay May and Danny Harris put the Darts in front, but Dartford conceded twice more in a 3-2 defeat. May also scored on this day in 2006 netting the winner against Leatherhead in the Isthmian Division One South.

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

Dartford v Slough Town

Finally the new season kicks off this weekend starting with the home F.A Cup tie against Slough Town.

Dartford have only played three competitive matches since March and one of those was the playoff eliminator versus the Rebels. The Darts ran out 3-0 winners at Arbour Park, leaving their opponents without another competitive fixture since.

That day Charlie Sheringham changed the momentum of the game, the striker who has signed on for this campaign scored a brace before the now departed Luke Wanadio wrapped up the match. However, the three goal winning margin didn’t tell the whole story, as it was Slough Town who created the better chances in the first half with missed opportunities from Josh Jackman and Ryan Bird.

Picture courtesy of www.dartfordfc.com

The Darts managed to play Jon Underwood and Neil Baker’s side pre and post Steve King’s appointment last season. Tony Burman took interim charge for the first meeting at Princes Park which saw the Darts take a two goal lead. Last season’s top scorer Darren McQueen, who left the club this summer, found the net and shortly afterwards Josh Hill doubled the advantage. Slough Town pulled a goal back before the break through Dan Roberts and in the second half Matthew Lench and Ben Harris completed the turnaround.

At Arbour Park in January, Steve King was in charge as his side went down 1-0 to a Roberts goal. The Rebels hadn’t beaten the Darts before they completed the league double over them last season ending Dartford’s five game unbeaten run in this fixture, which includes two previous F.A Cup meetings.

Picture courtesy of www.dartfordfc.com

It’s a tough draw for both of the National South sides who met in this competition four years ago. In 2016, Dartford were made to work for their win, coming from behind on two occasions against lower league opposition. The Rebels, then in the division below and with home advantage were leading with seven minutes to go.

An early Elliot Bradbrook own goal put the Darts on the back foot, but the captain equalised in the second half. Slough Town’s James Dobson regained the lead from the spot piling pressure on Burman’s side. In the closing stages of the tie Andy Pugh came to life, first the striker won a penalty scored by Bradbrook and then he went on to net the winner right at the end.

The first F.A Cup clash between the two sides came in 1988 when they played for a place in the first round proper. The player manager led by example, Peter Taylor showed some clinical finishing to earn his side a 2-1 victory. The Darts went out at the next stage to Kettering Town in a campaign where they reached the F.A Trophy semi-final and came runners up in the Southern Premier League.

Dartford’s transition over the last year under Steve King has been incredible. In a sense with club favourite Lee Noble leaving after 12 memorable years it feels as though one era has officially ended. The dynamic midfielder played 489 games in a Dartford shirt, the sixth highest appearance maker in the club’s history.

Picture courtesy of www.dartfordfc.com

Yet the Darts can look forward to some exciting times and some new faces. Jack Barham will be hoping to form a decent partnership up front after signing from Dorking Wanderers, Ricky Modeste arrives from rivals Dover Athletic and full back Jazzi Barnum-Bobb comes in from Wrexham.

David Ijaha worked with King before and made his move from Dulwich Hamlet and coming in on loan is Michael Fernandes from Colchester United. Former Oxford City goalkeeper, Craig King will have competition between the sticks with the arrival of American, Ethan Wady on loan from Chelsea. That leaves two players returning in Connor Essam from Hemel Hempstead Town, who has had loan spells at Princes Park before and Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong signed from Aldershot Town after a successful spell with the Darts last term.

After this F.A Cup second qualifying round tie, Slough Town will begin their third season in the National South since promotion. Managers, Underwood and Baker are not a pair for wholesale changes, but they have signed Jack McKnight from National League side Eastleigh and Louis Lomas on loan from Norwich City. Three other players have signed in the last few days, Olly McCoy from Birmingham City under 23’s, although he is unfit to play this weekend. Centre forward, Ada Okorogheye and goalkeeper Michael Edegbe will be available.

Both sides begin their National South campaigns on Tuesday night when Dartford host Chelmsford City and Slough Town welcome Hemel Hempstead Town.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

19.07.2020 (NSP)Slough Town0Dartford3
18.01.2020Slough Town1Dartford0
28.09.2019Dartford2Slough Town3
16.02.2019Slough Town2Dartford2
08.12.2018Dartford1Slough Town1
01.10.2016 (FAC)Slough Town2Dartford3
29.10.1988 (FAC)Slough Town1Dartford2
10.01.1981 (FAT)Dartford4Slough Town1

NSP – National South Playoff / FAC – F.A Cup / FAT – F.A Trophy

Stats

Dartford have been knocked out before the third qualifying round just once in the last 11 seasons, when the Darts suffered a shock defeat against Uxbridge in 2015.

Dartford have won all four knockout games against Slough Town, twice in the F.A Cup (1988 and 2016), once in the F.A Trophy (1981) and once in a playoff (2020).

The Darts have lost their last two F.A Cup home ties (1-5 v Swindon Town in 2017 and 2-3 v Kingstonian in 2019).

Both sides have kept just one clean sheet in this fixture and they came in the last two meetings.

On This Day

Dartford have played three F.A Cup ties on this day with the most recent back in 2001. The Darts then in the Southern Division One East hosted Croydon Athletic of Isthmian Division Three in a second qualifying round replay, the lower league side drawing 2-2 in the first game. Dartford made it through with a 4-2 victory in the end, against a side that went on to claim the Isthmian Division Three title that season scoring 138 goals in the process. In 1964, Dartford drew fellow Southern Premier League club Bexley United and won 3-1 at home in the third qualifying round. The Darts went out that season to Aldershot Town in a first round replay. In 1959, Dartford were knocked out in a 2-0 home defeat against Tunbridge Wells United at the second qualifying round stage.

Slough Town v Dartford

Steve King believes Dartford has a “free hit” in the National South playoffs after his side exceeded expectations since he took over as boss.

The Darts turned themselves into promotion contenders, even though they were relegation candidates when King was appointed in October. Now the Kent club are three games away from a return to the National League after a five year absence.

Finishing sixth in the league, on points per game, the Darts take part in the elimination round facing Slough Town on Sunday. Having finished higher in the National South, it will be the Rebels who will host the game on their patch. With fans unable to attend, King feels anyone could win on the day as playing at home as no real benefit, he commented: “We could beat Slough, Slough could beat us. Everyone in these play-offs can all beat each other and there is no home advantage. Slough have an artificial pitch but we train on one every single week”.

The Dartford manager is calling on his team to step up to Sunday’s challenge, he commented: “Slough are very tough at home, well coached, well drilled, they are hard to beat. They are one of those sides where you have to be on top of your game, otherwise they are capable of beating anybody in the division. To get through the tie the big players need to produce”.

Although the season was cut short Dartford did manage to fulfill both fixtures against the Berkshire club, losing by a single goal on each occasion. The last visit to Arbour Park was in January and a Dan Roberts goal was enough for the home side to complete a double over Dartford. Earlier in the campaign Tony Burman was in charge as the Darts squandered a two goal lead to lose 3-2.

King is happy with the fitness of his squad since the restart and with the players available he has a “good headache”. Amrit Bansal-McNulty and Tyrique Hyde are available from their parent clubs to continue the loan spell the pair were enjoying. Former Dulwich Hamlet and Ebbsfleet United goalkeeper Preston Edwards has come in as cover to first choice shot stopper Alhaji Sesay, that means Mark Smith will not be part of the playoff squad. Dartford will also no longer have the services of Andy Pugh, Liam Nash and Ryan Hayes, whilst Billy Crook is unavailable.

It will be the first competitive match in almost four months for both sides, so preparations in the current climate have proven difficult. On the field football is a different, as games will be staged behind closed doors. Health and safety protocols are in place meaning on the training ground teams are limited in what they can do to get ready for matchday. When the playoffs begin the matches themselves will have a completely different feel without fans and atmosphere. However both clubs are doing what they can to get their supporters involved.

The Darts managed a warm fixture when they beat National League side Boreham Wood 1-0 last weekend, Charlie Sheringham scoring the winner. King used his full squad playing a different side in each half.

Slough Town lost their last two league games 2-0 pre-lockdown against fellow playoff contenders Weymouth and bottom of the table side Hungerford Town. Even without a four month break form tends to go out of the window when knockout competitions start and Dartford will also have to get past Slough Town’s tight defence. This season the Rebels conceded just 38 goals in 35 league games. However, the Darts have Elliott Romain and Darren McQueen, two of the top four scorers in the league, making Sunday’s clash an interesting affair.

Preparations to even make the playoffs happen has gone beyond rivalry. Normally, Dartford boss, Steve King is looking to get one over on his opponents, but he has been working tirelessly with opposing managers including Slough Town’s Neil Baker and Jon Underwood to ensure all six clubs in the playoffs have a shot at promotion.

Whilst the trio leading their teams have come together in difficult circumstances, come the day of the elimination round expect normal service to return when their competitive streaks will be on display.

The winners of the elimination round will face National South runners up Havant and Waterlooville in the semi-final on Saturday 25 July. The playoff final is due to take place on Saturday 1 August.

Slough Town v Dartford

Dartford will be aiming for a sixth straight victory this weekend when they take on playoff contenders Slough Town at Arbour Park.

After the festive games in which the Darts took maximum points, the following three fixtures were singled out as tests against sides in the playoffs or in top form. That test continues at fourth place Slough Town and so far, Dartford have passed with flying colours. Another win will put Steve King’s men level on points with their opponents.

Oxford City were comfortably beaten 3-0 at Princes Park despite Dartford ‘not being at their best’ according to Luke Wanadio. The winger told DFCTV after the game: “It shows progression since the gaffer has come to the club, it shows we’re united as a team and it shows that we can grind out results even when we’re not at our best, it’s brilliant we just need to keep the wins coming”.

Prior the Oxford City game, King urged his players not to let standards slip and signed two more players who were named on the substitute’s bench. Defender, Craig Braham-Barrett is a Montserrat international and previously worked with King at Welling United, Whitehawk, Farnborough and Macclesfield Town. Liam Nash is a striker and like Braham-Barrett joined the Darts from Hemel Hempstead Town. Nash scored seven league goals in the first three months of this season for the Tudors. Meanwhile, Cameron Brodie has gone out on loan with Isthmian Division One South East side Sittingbourne.

There was only one change to the line-up that beat Dorking Wanderers, Tyrique Hyde celebrated his loan extension by returning to the starting eleven after recovering from injury, the midfielder replaced Kyjoun Marsh-Brown. Just before half time Darren McQueen scored his fourth penalty in five games and third in a row to give the Darts the lead. Due to a lengthy stoppage earlier in the half, when Oxford City’s Finn Tapp suffered a head injury, Dartford scored a second in injury time through Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong, his second for the club. A third was added just before the hour mark when Billy Crook sprayed a wonderful cross field ball to Wanadio who fired his shot goalward to wrap up a 3-0 victory. The run of five consecutive wins has included 16 goals scored and only two conceded and now King’s side are topping the form table.

The away trip to Slough will be another measure of Dartford’s potential, King told www.kentonline.co.uk: “These are the games where I start to see where we are actually at, like the Dorking game”, he added: “Slough is a tough place to go. They are a solid outfit with some bits of quality in the side”.

Tony Burman was in temporary charge during the reverse fixture back in September when the Darts threw away a two-goal lead. Slough Town came back to claim their first ever win over Dartford after Darren McQueen and Josh Hill scored within two minutes of each other. The rebels pulled a goal back before the break through Dan Roberts and in the second half Matthew Lench and Ben Harris completed the turnaround.

McQueen made his Dartford debut the last time the club visited Arbour Park and he found the back of the net in a 2-2 draw. The striker put the Darts ahead after Ben Greenhalgh’s opener was cancelled out by Ben Harris, but Slough Town’s Ben Fraser scored an equaliser to leave the game all square.

If joint managers failed to work at Dartford it’s quite the opposite at Slough Town. Jon Underwood and Neal Baker have been in charge for almost seven years and in that time, they have won two promotions, a county cup and reached the F.A Cup second round twice and first round once. This season the duo has turned the Rebels into playoff contenders after their eleventh-place finish last term.

The Berkshire club lost their opening three games but took 24 points from the next 30 available in a ten-match unbeaten run. The Rebels may have lost to Oxford City to end that sequence, but they started another one by winning five and drawing two of their next seven. However, Slough Town approach their home fixture with the Darts on the back of four games without victory, picking up three draws in the process.

Last weekend, the Rebels took the lead twice with Lench’s goal cancelled out by Billericay Town’s Odysseus Alfa, then George Wells restored Slough Town’s lead only for Ronnie Henry’s last-minute equaliser to deny Underwood and Baker another victory. Despite the current winless streak, just one team has come away with all three points when visiting Arbour Park this campaign and that was Dorking Wanderers on the opening day. Twelve home matches later, the Berkshire club have picked up eight more home victories and four draws.

Sam Blackman returns to the Dartford squad after a successful loan spell at Hythe in the Isthmian Division One South East, the midfielder scored four goals in his spell there. Rowan Liburd’s loan spell with the Darts ‘didn’t work out’ so the striker has returned to Hereford. Luke Allen remains injured and is likely to be out for longer than expected.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWWWL) Slough Town (DDLDWW)
Oxford City H 3-0 Billericay Town A 2-2
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Eastbourne Borough H 1-1
Welling United H 4-0 Wealdstone A 1-2
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
Welling United A 3-0 Wealdstone H 2-1
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Braintree Town H 1-0

Last Six Meetings

28.09.2019 Dartford 2 Slough Town 3
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

Stats

Dartford last won five league games in a row at the end of the 2017-18 season when they agonisingly finished runners up on goal difference. The Darts finished their campaign with nine straight victories and the following season they won their opening two, taking the total to 11 wins in a row.

The Darts have kept four clean sheets in their last five games, their best defensive spell since that winning run at the tail end of 2017-18. Dartford kept six clean sheets in seven back then, and including the two opening games the following season made it seven clean sheets in ten league matches.

Dartford have won six penalties in their last nine league games, scoring five.

Only league leaders Wealdstone (33) have picked up more home points than Slough Town (28). Only Havant and Waterlooville (27) have picked up more away points than Dartford (20).

On This Day

Dartford’s last away win on 18 January came in 1992 when they beat Waterlooville in the Southern Premier Division. It was the second 5-0 victory in three league games after the Darts thrashed rivals Gravesend and Northfleet on New Year’s Day. Since then Dartford have claimed one victory on this day in five more attempts, the 1-0 home win against Sittingbourne in the Southern League Division One East, 17 years ago. Sandwiched between the two triumphs the Darts lost 1-0 to Newport Isle of Wight in the Southern League South in 2003 and two years later were beaten 2-1 by Folkestone Invicta, in the Kent Senior Cup second round. Dartford’s last home game on 18 January ended with James White scoring a late leveller in a 1-1 National South draw against Staines Town in 2011. The last away fixture was three years later when the Darts were defeated 1-0 by Salisbury City in the National League.

Dartford v Slough Town

Dartford are back in National South action this weekend hosting a Slough Town side unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions.

The Darts are starting to look more like their old self since the return of interim manager Tony Burman picking up two victories in their last three outings. Under Burman, Dartford lost to Dorking Wanderers but still managed to score three and followed up the improved performance with a pair of 2-0 wins.

In their last National South fixture Dartford managed to triumph on the road for the first time in ten attempts. Charlie Sheringham opened the scoring after four minutes and Alex Flisher scored his first for the club, whilst the defence kept a first away clean sheet since early February.

Dartford’s defence hasn’t been breached in the last 183 minutes of football. Another 2-0 victory over Isthmian Premier league side Horsham, in the second qualifying round of the F.A Cup, has seen the back line receive plenty of praise from Burman, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and was impressed with the attitude of his players, he said: “We’re getting a bit of belief in the players, what they should do and how they should do it. I know we’ve got the quality in the squad it’s just bringing out the work-rate, that bit of hunger and desire. We put our bodies on the line and that attitude was great throughout the game”.

The Darts made one change to the side that defeated Concord Rangers with the young Cameron Brodie starting and Rob Howard making way, Lee Noble was suspended for a second game of his three match ban and will miss this weekend’s fixture against Slough Town. Darren McQueen retained his starting place and was rewarded by scoring the opener just before half-time, Luke Allen secured victory late on, helping Dartford earn a third qualifying round tie against Southern Premier League South side Blackfield and Langley. It wasn’t all comfortable for the Darts as Mark Smith’s inspired performance between the sticks kept Horsham at bay.

Slough Town increased their unbeaten run to nine with a F.A Cup win over Hellenic Premier League side Flackwell Heath last weekend. Ben Harris scored twice before Manny Williams sealed the deal in a 3-0 win. Joint Manager, Jon Underwood claimed his team were ‘very professional’, he told www.sloughtown.net: “These games are never easy, but our attitude was spot on”.

In the National South, the Rebels got off to a poor start losing their opening three matches all by single goal margins. However consecutive draws steadied the ship and since then Slough Town’s season has taken off. The Berkshire club have taken 16 points from their the last 18 available making them the second best team over the last six fixtures, only table toppers Wealdstone are showing better form.

Last season, Andre Coker earned Dartford a point at home when they hosted Slough Town. The visitors took the in the first half with a fine striker from Josh Jackman. The return fixture saw the two sides draw again, this time the score was 2-2. Ben Harris scored in the first minute, Ben Greenhalgh equalised and Darren McQueen netted on his debut. The Rebels were all square again courtesy of Sean Fraser as the match ended with the sides taking a point each.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford (WLLDDW) Slough Town (WWWDWW)
Concord Rangers A 2-0 Hampton & Richmond H 3-1
Dorking Wanderers H 3-4 Eastbourne Borough A 2-0
Tonbridge Angels A 2-3 Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-0
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 St Albans City H 1-1
Hungerford Town A 2-2 Dulwich Hamlet A 3-2
Braintree Town H 2-1 Bath City H 3-2

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

Stats

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.

On This Day

This weekend will be Dartford’s seventh home game in a row played on 28 September in which they have won three and lost three. The Darts most recently beat Southport in the National League six years ago thanks to Adam Birchall’s winner. Previously Dartford lost a pair of Southern League East matches in 2004 against Chatham Town (1-0) and in 2002 they lost 2-0 to Histon. In 1998, the Darts defeated Bashley in the Southern League South and year earlier they went out at the F.A Cup second qualifying stage versus Staines Town. Whilst in 1996, Dartford beat Fleet Town 1-0, also in the Southern League South.

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

Slough Town v Dartford

Dartford have made big strides towards their promotion push and hope to continue moving up at Slough Town this weekend.

Consecutive victories without conceding against two teams in the top four have put the Darts in a stronger position for a playoff place. The starting eleven seems to have a more settled look and with thirteen games remaining there is a buzz back around the club.

If Tuesday night at Woking showed the work ethic of the squad, then their weekend’s showing against Bath City added extra quality. It took a Ronnie Vint header deep into injury time to secure maximum points at title chasing Woking, the Darts first ever win at the Kingfield Stadium. Joint manager, Jamie Coyle stated that his side needed to use the 1-0 triumph as a ‘springboard to go on another run’.

That run may just have started because the Darts followed up Tuesday night’s result with a second win in a row. Entertaining fourth place Bath City, Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle named an unchanged side, which was rewarded with a 3-0 win. Lee Noble opened the scoring with a cracking curling effort on sixteen minutes, the midfielder’s third goal this term. Charlie Sheringham made it 2-0 ten minutes later nodding in Ryan Hayes’s cross at the back post and the points were wrapped up in the second half when Phil Roberts bent the ball into the far corner from long range, his fourth goal in his last five appearances.

Dartford have tasted defeat just once in their last eight National South games and have yet to be beaten by Slough Town. In December, the Rebels took the lead at Princes Park when Josh Jackman’s low drive beat Bailey Vose on 37 minutes. In the second half, Andre Coker levelled up finishing a swift counter attack and leaving the points shared.

The Darts last visit to Arbour Park was as recently as October 2016 in the F.A Cup third qualifying round. At the time Dartford were a division higher with the hosts in contention at the top of the Southern Premier League. The Rebels, who were on a nine-match winning streak gave their visitors a run for their money, but Dartford’s determination and two late goals saw them scrape through in a 3-2 victory.

Less than five minutes had gone when Elliot Bradbrook scored an own goal, but the captain made up for it by scoring his 100th goal for the Darts to level the cup tie. In the second half, Deren Ibrahim gave away a penalty which James Dobson netted to give the hosts the lead again. With five minutes remaining, it was Bradbrook’s turn to score from the spot and with the tie heading for a replay Andy Pugh calmly slotted home the last-minute winner.

Since the New Year the Rebels form has been below par with just one league win in 2019. That victory completed a double over third place Chelmsford City, but the other eight fixtures have ended in three draws and five defeats. Management duo, Neal Baker and Jon Underwood have still led Slough Town to a healthy twelfth place, nine points behind the Darts, who occupy the last playoff place available.

The Berkshire club have taken one point from their last four games, losing to Gloucester city on Tuesday night. Matthew Lench, who rejoined the Rebels last month scored after thirteen minutes. Lench signed from Wealdstone, after some injury setbacks and a lack of opportunity, on the same day top scorer James Dobson left for Sutton United. That leaves Chris Flood leading the line who has one less goal than Dobson. Gloucester City came from behind to condemn Slough Town to a third defeat in four, a match which followed the Berkshire club’s 1-1 draw with Hampton and Richmond Borough. On that occasion Lee Togwell’s goal was cancelled out in the last minute by Marcel Barrington, denying the Rebels their first victory since mid-January.

Head to Head

Slough Town wins: 0 / Dartford wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Slough Town (LDLLDW) Dartford (WWDLWD)
Gloucester City H 1-2 Bath City H 3-0
Hampton & Richmond A 1-1 Woking A 1-0
Billericay Town A 2-3 Concord Rangers H 1-1
Weston-super-Mare A 0-2 Chelmsford City A 1-2
Chippenham Town H 2-2 St Albans City H 3-2
Chelmsford City H 1-0 Wealdstone A 1-1

Previous Meetings

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

Stats

The Darts named an unchanged side in their last match for only the third time in the league this season. The last time Dartford had no changes to the starting XI was in November when the same eleven played against Gloucester City, Oxford City then Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Lee Noble is now just five goals away from joining four others in the squad who have scored 50 or more goals for the club. Charlie Sheringham reached this milestone this season joining Elliot Bradbrook, Ryan Hayes, Andy Pugh.

Slough Town have conceded just ten of their goals in the first half, the fewest in the division.

On This Day

Two games away from a Wembley appearance in the F.A Trophy, Dartford left Blundell Park needing a miracle. Grimsby Town beat the Darts 3-0 in the first leg with two goals from Craig Disley and one from Andy Cook, Lee Noble was red carded in stoppage time. In league matches on 16 February, Dartford are unbeaten in five games. The last league outing on this day was back in 2008 when the Darts beat Redbridge in the Isthmian Division One North, Jay May and John Guest netted the goals. Dartford also won 2-0 six years earlier in the Southern League Division One South against Chatham and beat Witney Town 1-0 in the Southern League South in 1999. Two draws against Dorchester Town in 1991 and Salisbury in 1980 take the unbeaten run back to 1974, when Dartford were beaten 2-0 at Kettering Town.

Dartford v Slough Town

Dartford will be hoping to get back to winning ways this weekend when they host Southern Premier League Playoff winners Slough Town in the National South. 

It’s not often the Princes Park dugouts are going to be slightly crowded, with both sides being guided by joint managers. Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle will be in the ‘black and white corner’ attempting to record a seventh league win in nine games, whilst the visitors will be led by Neil Baker and Jon Underwood. 

The same two managers were in charge of Slough Town when Dartford last played the Rebels in the 2016/2017 season. The Darts drew the Berkshire side in the F.A Cup third qualifying round with the tie played at Arbour Park. On a difficult afternoon, Dartford were made to work for their 3-2 victory with two late goals, against the then leaders of the Southern Premier League. Elliot Bradbrook made amends for his early own goal with an equaliser and his 100th for the Darts. Deren Ibrahim gave a penalty away for James Dobson, scorer of five National South goals this term, to put Slough Town ahead. With seven minutes to go, Bradbrook scored his second of the game and in the final minute Andy Pugh coolly finished a good move to send Dartford through. 

On Tuesday night, Flanagan and Coyle handed a debut to new signing Dan Darbyshire, when Dartford hosted Torquay United. The striker signed a professional contract with Queens Park Rangers in March 2017, but left the London club this summer. Tom Bonner returned from illness and a hamstring injury, Andre Coker was back in the starting eleven, Kudus Oyenuga replaced Charlie Sheringham and Elliot Bradbrook was rested. 

Despite a 2-0 defeat Dartford could find some positives in their performance as they created chances in the first half. However, second half goals from Ruairi Keating and the National South’s top scorer Jamie Reid fired Torquay United to the top of the league. Coyle spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the game and said: “The first half was the best we’ve played all season. I don’t think anyone could grumble if we went in three or four up. They cleared two or three off the line, we’ve hit the outside of the post and we had 14 attempts on target in the first half. To do that against a side of their quality, a full-time team, there’s loads of positives to take out of that but unfortunately it summarises our season”. Coyle described the Darts attacking qualities are ‘lacking punch’, he added: “We still need to look at that area because although the boys have given a real good shift and created some brilliant chances, we need to be more ruthless in front of goal”.

Dartford remain in sixth place and are now six points behind the new leaders Torquay United. Prior Tuesday’s fixture the Darts were on good form with six wins in the seven outings leading up to the 2-0 loss.

Last weekend, the Slough Town exited the F.A Cup in the second round for a second year in a row. Hosting Gillingham at Arbour Park they fell to a Darren Oldaker strike, but made a decent account for themselves against a side sitting three divisions higher. It was the eighth time the Rebels reached the second round of the competition in their history. 

It’s been three weeks since Slough Town’s last league game having beat Sutton United on penalties in round one of the F.A Cup, then losing 3-2 against Weston-super-Mare in the F.A Trophy. Focusing on cup competitions means the Berkshire club with up to three games in hand on those above them. 

At the moment, the Rebels are in fourteenth and five points from a playoff place, which is their target this season. Neil Baker spoke on the Non League Football Show podcast last week and commented: “We’re always looking to try and progress so you have to put the target of the playoffs in there. When there is six playoff places up for grabs it gives you an opportunity. You really need to be in and around the mid-table mark after the Christmas period and in touching distance to have that opportunity”, the joint manager added: “We’ve got one or two games in hand on pretty much everyone, we win one of those and we’re right back in touch. We’re delighted on where we are at the moment”.

Last season’s Southern Premier League playoff winners started their campaign getting used to their new surrounding picking up two wins and two draws in August from seven games. However, Slough Town excelled in September winning all four league matches beating Chelmsford City, Oxford City, Eastbourne Borough and Hungerford Town. Although they have lost three of their last five in the National South over the last two months, they are still in a healthy position. 

Dartford faced an in-form striker on Tuesday night and this weekend they may have to again. Slough Town’s, Mathew Stevens has scored 11 goals in all competitions having made 19 appearances so far, the 20-year-old has found his goal scoring form since the hat-trick he netted against Eastbourne Borough in September. In the National South, the former Peterborough United striker who signed for Slough Town this summer has scored six in his last seven games.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford (LWWWLW) Slough Town (LWDLLW)
Torquay United H 0-2 Woking H 0-1
Hampton & Richmond A 1-0 Concord Rangers H 1-0
Oxford City H 3-2 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
Gloucester City A 2-1 St Albans City A 2-3
Truro City A 1-3 Welling United A 1-2
Dulwich Hamlet H 2-1 Hungerford Town H 2-0

Previous Meetings

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

Stats

The Darts have a 100% record against Slough Town winning all three meetings.

Dartford’s failure to score on Tuesday night ended a run of scoring in nine consecutive league games.

Slough Town have lost their last four away games in the National South.

On This Day

Dartford came close to causing a F.A Cup upset in 1984 when they drew 1-1 with AFC Bournemouth in the second round. Guided by John Still, the Darts took the lead through Steve Robinson. The Cherries equalised to force a replay which they won 4-1, and so Harry Redknapp’s side went on to earn a dream tie with Manchester United. Aside from the last match Dartford played on 8 December, the Darts have a good record on this day. Defeat at home to Lincoln City in 2012 ended an unbeaten run stretching back to 1962 over eight games. In 2001, Dartford were involved in a nine goal thriller beating Burnham 5-4 in the Southern League Division One East.

National League South Season Preview 2018/2019 – Part Three

Hemel Hempstead Town | Hungerford Town | Oxford City | Slough Town | St Albans City | Torquay United

Hemel Hempstead Town

Founded: 1885 / Ground: Vauxhall Road

It’s been just over four years ago since Hemel Hempstead Town smashed the Southern Premier League, now the Tudors are looking towards the next level. The Hertfordshire based side have held their own in the National South finishing ninth, sixth and twelfth before last season. The Tudors reached the playoffs in the second tier of non-league football for the first time going out to eventual playoff winners Braintree Town on penalties at the first hurdle. Ending the campaign in fifth, Hemel Hempstead Town’s twelve game unbeaten run had them thinking of top spot back around the New Year. The Tudors also lost just two out of the last thirteen, but a division high thirteen draws saw them drop too many points.

Last Season

National South: 5th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Jordan Parkes (14 goals)

Average Attendance: 527 (12th in National South)

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 six years ago. Brennan took the Tudors up to the National South in 2015 and last term reached the playoffs in fifth, their highest ever finish.

The Summer

The Tudors are focussing on attack with a host of signings boosting their forward line. Former Concord Rangers top scorer Steve Cawley signs a two-year deal after scoring 88 times in 225 appearances for the Beachboys. Phil Roberts was on course to win the National South golden boot at one point after spells with Chelmsford City and Braintree Town, he ended up with 18 goals last season. Ex Dartford striker, Charlie Sheringham returns to Hemel Hempstead Town after a spell in Bangladesh and Sanchez Watt signs a permanent deal after a successful loan spell from Billericay Town.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

17.03.2018 Dartford 3 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
26.08.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Dartford 3
01.04.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Dartford 2
12.11.2016 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
17.10.2015 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
08.08.2015 Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Dartford 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 11 August 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 2 February 2019 at Vauxhall Road

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Hungerford Town

Founded: 1886 / Ground: Bulpit Lane

Promoted from the Southern Premier League two years ago, the Crusaders only had to wait less than a month for their first setback. Long serving manager Bobby Wilkinson left Bulpit Lane in favour of Wealdstone. Not the best preparation for a side hoping to keep momentum going from a sixth place finish the season before. Instead Hungerford Town struggled and survival went right down to the wire. With a one-point advantage over Poole Town going into the final day, the Crusaders clinched a place in the National South thanks to Nicholas Bignall’s winning goal against East Thurrock United. The 1-0 victory was crucial considering Poole Town also won, so now Hungerford Town will compete in this division for a third successive campaign.

Last Season

National South: 19th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Louie Soares (11 goals)

Average Attendance: 267 (21st in National South)

The Manager – Ian Herring

He experienced two promotions via the playoffs as a player with Hungerford Town and now he leads the team off the field. Ian Herring was appointed as the Crusaders manager just under a year ago having played for the Berkshire club since 2012. The 34-year-old replaced Bobby Wilkinson in September, who had been manager of Hungerford Town since the 2009/2010 campaign. With big shoes to fill, Herring was given the task of keeping the Crusaders in the National South which was just about completed on the final day of the season. Before a career with the Berkshire club, he played for Swindon Town, Salisbury City, Chippenham Town, Forest Green Rovers and Eastleigh.

The Summer

Ramone Rose will be looking to settle at Bulpit Lane having moved around the non-league scene frequently. The former Whitehawk man had a decent run in the Hawks side last term. The 28-year-old has been at Queens Park Rangers, Newport County, Wealdstone, Maidenhead United and Eastleigh to name but a few. Defender Tommy Cooney arrives having previously played for Brentford, Boston United and Margate. Tommy Ouldridge will bolster the midfield and has experience with Cirencester Town, Swindon Town and Chippenham Town. Sam Deadfield is another midfielder joining Hungerford Town from Basingstoke Town. Right back Marcus Johnson-Schuster also had spells with Basingstoke Town and Wealdstone as well as Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Hungerford Town wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

09.12.2017 Hungerford Town 1 Dartford 0
05.08.2017 Dartford 0 Hungerford Town 0
14.04.2017 Hungerford Town 2 Dartford 0
27.08.2016 Dartford 2 Hungerford Town 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 25 August 2018 at Bulpit Lane

Saturday 22 December 2018 at Princes Park

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Oxford City

Founded: 1882 / Ground: Marsh Lane

A consistent side since switching from the National North to National South in the summer of 2015, Oxford City have finished their three seasons in this division in twelfth, fourteenth and last term sixteenth. The Nomads had a slow start to their campaign and were in the bottom three at the end of October. The Oxfordshire side woke up going unbeaten for the next two months with the run ending on New Year’s Day. Away from league competition, Oxford City managed to put together a F.A Cup run knocking out a Football League side for the first time in their history. The Nomads defeated Colchester United to reach the second round for the first time in forty-seven years where their run ended against Notts County.

Last Season

National South: 16th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Matt Patterson (21 goals)

Average Attendance: 319 (17th in National South)

The Manager – Mark Jones

In the F.A Cup last season, Oxford City knocked out Football League opposition for the first time in their history and it was masterminded by Mark Jones. He also guided City to their first County Cup triumph in fifteen years. Taking charge of the first team in December 2016, Jones came into the role with coaching and playing experience. Not only does he currently head up Oxford City’s scholarship programme he also played for the club. His playing career included spells at Aylesbury United, Harrow Borough and Thame United and after hanging up his boots, Jones worked at Stevenage as Centre of Excellence Manager and Watford as Lead Youth Development Phase Coach

The Summer

Josh Ashby returns to the Nomads on a one-year deal from Oxford United, he already played for Oxford City in 2016/2017 making 21 appearances. Scorer of 15 goals in 44 games, Kabongo Tshimanga arrives at Marsh Lane from Boston United, the striker has also played six times for Milton Keynes Dons. Left back, Ben Jefford had three spells with Welling United but he will be part of Mark Jones’ squad, the 23-year-old has National League experience with Sutton United, Woking and Forest Green Rovers. Four players impressed in pre-season one of which is Luke Ruddick, who had spent time out of the game, the defender previously played for Sutton United and Salisbury City. Kyran Wiltshire won the National South in 2016/17 and joins from Maidenhead United, Belize international Mike Atkinson and Eze Ibrahim will also be part of Oxford City’s squad. There was also a clear out with the likes of Lee Henderson, Godfrey Poku, Freddie Grant, Ezra Forde, Mamadou Fofana and Justin Bennett leaving.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Oxford City wins: 1 / Draws: 3

Previous Meetings

24.03.2018 Oxford City 0 Dartford 2
19.08.2017 Dartford 7 Oxford City 1
25.02.2017 Oxford City 1 Dartford 1
29.10.2016 Dartford 1 Oxford City 0
23.04.2016 Dartford 2 Oxford City 2
15.09.2015 Oxford City 2 Dartford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 20 October 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 27 April 2019 at Marsh Lane

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Slough Town

Founded: 1893 / Ground: Arbour Park

In the early nineties Slough Town were mixing it in the top flight of non-league football. The Rebels enjoyed seven seasons in what was then the Conference over eight years. By the end of the decade they dropped two divisions and have since been trying to find their way back. In their fourth campaign in the Southern Premier League, Slough Town took a significant step up winning the playoffs after finishing third. The Rebels accrued a massive ninety-nine points and scored an incredible one hundred and eleven goals. In the F.A Cup they reached the second round losing to Rochdale in front of the television cameras. Promoted after a last gasp playoff winner, the Rebels will look to keep their momentum going.

Last Season

Southern Premier: 3rd

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: James Dobson (21 goals)

Average Attendance: 666 (4th in Southern Premier)

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 as last term to reach this season’s National South

The Summer

The Rebels have managed to keep most of their promotion winning squad together and with it they have added Sam Togwell. The midfielder has Football League experience with Barnsley and Scunthorpe United and signs from Eastleigh. Slough Town have also persuaded Louie Soares to join their ranks having top scored for Hungerford Town last term earning him Player of the Year. Matthew Lench hit the headlines with a sublime F.A Cup hat-trick last season, however he’s been released by the club.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

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

Next Meetings

Saturday 8 December 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 16 February 2019 at Arbour Park

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St Albans City

Founded: 1908 / Ground: Clarence Park

The early pace setters last season were left disappointed that they failed to reach the playoffs. However, the Saints can be pleased that they achieved their highest finish since returning to the National South in 2014. St Albans City racked up maximum points in their opening six games and were still joint top at the end of October. Four defeats in five games followed as they began to lose ground, but the Saints came again and went unbeaten in December. In the New Year they thrashed East Thurrock United 7-2 and followed that up with a 4-0 win over then league leaders Dartford to put them back in contention. The Saints hit more good form over Easter then ended losing five of their last six.

Last Season

National South: 8th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Sam Merson (20 goals)

Average Attendance: 765 (5th National South)

The Manager – Ian Allinson

Out of all the managers in the National South this season, Ian Allinson has one of the biggest profiles due to his footballing career. 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 two years ago. Allinson has also managed Baldock Town, Barton Rovers, Harlow Town and Stotfold so has plenty of experience to offer the Saints.

The Summer

If Gary McCann at Hampton and Richmond Borough isn’t taking players from Hendon then Ian Allinson is. St Albans City add 21-year-old Luke Tingey to their squad, a versatile defender who played over a century of games over a three-year spell with the Greens. Tingey will be joined by Senegalese midfielder Dave Diedhiou, the 29-year-old made over 400 appearances for Hendon since 2008. Khale da Costa joins from Concord Rangers whilst former Dart, Tom Gardiner leaves as does Shaun Lucien who has joined Hampton and Richmond Borough. Allinson’s son Lee, has left his assistant manager’s post to take up a role with Biggleswade Town as first team manager. In his place Glenn Alzapiedi becomes the number two, who had three years with Concord Rangers as assistant to Adam Flanagan. Striker, Ralston Gabriel scored over 30 times during Haringey Borough’s promotion winning term and impressed manager Ian Allinson enough to sign a deal with the Saints. David Moyo lacked opportunities at Hemel Hempstead Town and will be given a chance at Clarence Park. National South playoff winner with Braintree Town, Roman Michael-Percil joins and has had previous spells with Concord Rangers, Billericay Town and Dulwich Hamlet.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

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
30.04.2016 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
06.02.2016 Dartford 2 St Albans City 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 1 September 2018 at Clarence Park

Saturday 12 January 2019 at Princes Park

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Torquay United

Founded: 1899 / Ground: Plainmoor

A club that flirted with Football League existence for years, the warning signs have always been at Plainmoor. The Gulls have reached an all-time low, playing in the National South for the first time in their history. Torquay United did spend two years in the National League between 2007 and 2009 and made a F.A Trophy final appearance. They managed to head back to the Football League but once again lost their status with relegation four years ago. After four more seasons, the Gulls edged closer and closer to the dreaded drop and then it came. Last term Torquay United started on a thirteen-game winless run and never recovered.

Last Season

National League: 22nd

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Jamie Read and Rhys Healey (6 goals)

Average Attendance: 1731 (13th National League)

The Manager – Gary Owers

F.A Cup runner up 26 years ago, Gary Owers walked up the Wembley steps to collect his medal after Sunderland lost the 1992 final to Liverpool. The former midfielder made over 300 appearances for the Black Cats and afterwards continued his career with Bristol City and Notts County. He moved in to non-league with Forest Green Rovers before playing for Bath City, the same two clubs he later went on to manage. When he left Weston-super-Mare in 2007 he spent the next nine years as a number two at Aldershot Town, Plymouth Argyle and Gateshead. Owers made the step back into first team management with Bath City before replacing Kevin Nicholson early last season at Plainmoor.

The Summer

Gary Owers’ first summer in charge has brought change to Plainmoor. Out go Reece Mitchell, Conrad Balatoni, Sam Chaney, Yan Klukowski and Jake Gosling. Ryan Clarke joins Bath City and Luke Young makes the step up to play for Wrexham. That has left plenty of room to sign new players like experienced 31-year-old Asa Hall who has represented Luton Town, Oxford United, Shrewsbury Town and Cheltenham Town. Former Woking duo Bobson Bawling and Jason Banton move down to Devon, whilst 21-year-old defender George Essuman and ex Bromley right back Ben Wynter sign up for Torquay United. Samir Nabi comes in from Carlisle United having previously spent time in the Indian Premier League with Dehli Dynamos. Two goalkeepers have also been signed with the arrivals of Shaun MacDonald from Blyth Spartans and Alex Bass on loan from Portsmouth. Early in his career Ryan Dickson went on loan at Plainmoor and now he is back at the age of 31. Kyle Cameron came through the Newcastle United academy and after loan spells at Workington, York City and Queen of the South the defender joins Torquay United. Another defender, Jean-Yves Koué Niate brings with him experience of time in France and Belgium as well as Solihull Moors, Oxford City, Ebbsfleet United and Guiseley.

Head to Head

Torquay United wins: 0 / Dartford wins: 0 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

04.04.2015 Torquay United 1 Dartford 1
23.08.2014 Dartford 0 Torquay United 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 10 November 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 16 Match 2019 at Plainmoor

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