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Welling United v Dartford

Dartford approach their third Kent derby in a row this weekend aiming to maintain their lead at the top of the National South against local rivals Welling United.

Manager, Steve King returns to Park View Road for only the second time as Dartford manager and will be hoping to keep his side’s unbeaten start intact. The Darts have dropped just two points in their six league games and that was in their last National South outing against Tonbridge Angels. The 1-1 draw saw Dartford go behind for the first time this term when Tommy Wood headed the Angels in front, but former Welling United midfielder Jack Jebb equalised for the Darts.

Last weekend Ade Azeez claimed a F.A Cup hat-trick in the second qualifying round against Hythe Town. Azeez took home the match ball in a 5-1 victory which saw Danny Leonard score his first for the club and Michael Kedman play a part in the fourth goal on his debut. Kedman impressed as a triallist in friendlies and has joined the squad along with Deshane Dalling, meanwhile Bagasan Graham has left Princes Park after just one appearance. Azeez secured his hat-trick in the final minute, the 27-year-old has now scored seven goal as many games since arriving at Dartford in the summer and his boss feels there is more to come from the striker.

Despite a near perfect start, King is still looking for perfection from everyone in the squad including in defence, he told Dartford FC TV after the F.A Cup triumph: “We’ve only had two clean sheets and that was a cornerstone to what we did previously. I know it sounds greedy, we’ve conceded the least in the division, but I know we’re better than what we’re showing in certain times and moments in games”.

King will have assessed the fitness of some of his players over the last week, Jernade Meade and George Porter both missed the Hythe Town fixture with injuries. Jake Robinson came off the bench after missing the Tonbridge Angels draw, whilst Jordan Wynter played in the F.A Cup tie despite carrying an injury. 

Last time King returned to Park View Road he guided the Darts to a 3-0 Boxing Day victory with goals from the front duo of Darren McQueen, who netted a brace and Elliott Romain. The return fixture at Princes Park on New Year’s Day in 2020 ended with Dartford completing a league double over the Wings. The Darts racked up another four goals to make it seven without reply in the 2019/2020 campaign, this time Romain scored the brace with McQueen finishing the goal rush, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong opened the scoring.

Perhaps those score lines reflect the changes in fortunes between the two clubs with King being the catalyst. The Dartford boss left Welling United in the summer of 2019 after guiding the Wings to the National South playoff final. In the campaign that followed both sides were struggling at the wrong end of the table under new management. King moved to Princes Park in October, got the better of his former side and repeated the playoff near miss with Dartford. Over the last two years the Darts continue to challenge for the title, whilst Welling United have been unable to reach the same heights whilst King was in charge.

So much so that the Wings have just seen Steve Lovell resign as manager after a shock F.A Cup exit to Isthmian Premier League side Harrow Borough. Almost going full circle, Lovell’s first game as Welling United manager was against Dartford the last time the sides met. On that occasion the match ended all square at Princes Park despite the Wings starting the day bottom of the table. The Darts had to come from two down to rescue a point, Luke Allen and Berkeley-Agyepong cancelling out Lyle Della-Verde’s goal, a former Dart who left Welling United this season and Dipo Akinyemi’s strike. Lovell’s encouraging start continued until the season was curtailed.

However, this season began dreadfully with Welling United losing their opening three matches conceding twelve goals in the process. Lovell brought in new signings Pepe Dylan and Teddy Perkins to strengthen the defence and since then the Wings are unbeaten in their last two league games. A 2-1 victory at Concord Rangers was followed by a 2-2 draw with Slough Town and after five games played the Wings are third from bottom.

With no changes to the starting eleven in the last two league games it looked as though Lovell became settled with his best team. Yet he chose to rotate his line-up for the London Senior Cup penalty shoot-out success over Hanwell Town, then again in the F.A Cup. Being taken to penalties by an Isthmian South Central side then losing 2-0 to an Isthmian Premier League team sealed Lovell’s fate. His predecessor, Brad Quinton also lost his job following a shock F.A Cup exit last term when the Wings lost to a Danny Leonard inspired Sheppey United side, Daniel Wilks was Welling United’s goalkeeper. Wilks is not the only former Welling United in Dartford’s squad. Josh Hill, Jebb, Luke Wanadio and George Porter have all spent some time at Park View Road during their career.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford
(DWWWWW)
    Welling United
(DWLLL)
   
Tonbridge Angels H 1-1 Slough Town H 2-2
Bath City A 3-1 Concord Rangers H 2-1
Eastbourne Borough H 3-1 St Albans City A 0-5
Dulwich Hamlet A 2-0 Hungerford Town H 1-4
Slough Town H 3-0 Havant & Waterlooville A 0-3
St Albans City A 3-1      

Previous Meetings

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

Stats

  • A Dartford win will make it their best league start since the 2009/2010 Isthmian Premier League title winning campaign. It will also be the first time since 2009 that the Darts have won their opening four away games in the league.
  • The Darts have lost just once in their last fourteen matches against Welling United, winning eight and drawing five
  • Dartford have kept three clean sheets in the last four fixtures against Welling United

On This Day

This week the Darts were drawn against rivals Maidstone United in the next round of the F.A Cup, fifteen years ago the two sides met on 25 September in the Isthmian Division One South. Richard Avery and Eddie McClements scored the goals to earn the Darts a 2-1 Kent derby victory. Two years prior the Darts started their four game winning streak on this day by beating Arlesey Town 3-2 in the Southern League Division One East. Fast forward to 2010 and Dartford edged past Lowestoft Town in the F.A Cup second qualifying round 2-1, Carl Rook and Danny Harris found the back of the net. The most recent game was in the National League when the Darts beat Braintree Town 2-0 in 2012, this time Tom Bonner and Jacob Erskine grabbed the goals.

National South Season Preview Part Four

Maidstone United

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

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

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

Manager: Hakan Hayrettin

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

Summer

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

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings (last six)

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

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

Oxford City

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

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

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

Manager: David Oldfield

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

Summer

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

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings (last six)

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

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

Slough Town

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

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

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

Managers: Jon Underwood and Neil Baker

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

Summer

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

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings (last six)

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

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

St Albans City

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

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

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

Manager: Ian Allinson

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

Summer

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

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings (last six)

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

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

Tonbridge Angels

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

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

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

Manager: Steve McKimm

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

Summer

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

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings (last six)

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

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

Welling United

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

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

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

Manager: Steve Lovell

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

Summer

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

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings (last six)

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

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

Dartford v Welling United

The two-week suspension of the National South comes to an end this weekend and Dartford’s first game is against local rivals Welling United.

Dartford top the league table with a three-point cushion and if they avoid defeat, they will remain at the summit. Welling United prop up the rest of the division four points adrift, however the Wings have played just 11 matches, the fewest in the National South.

The Darts know too well not to take their opposition’s league position for granted, it was just under a month ago that Steve King’s side lost to Braintree Town, who were at the foot of the division when they met. Since then the Darts have played just two more times winning convincingly against Billericay Town and drawing with Hungerford Town three weeks ago.

Despite the suspension of the National South and the uncertainty of financial support across all clubs, King has been pressing ahead with keeping the players fit over the last week including a mid-week friendly. Whilst this season has seen a fair amount of new challenges off the field, King is pleased at the progress of the team, he told DFC TV: “They have done magnificently, I believe league tables do not lie. We’ve played one or two games more than other clubs, but we’ve been professional, we’ve done our job and we can only play and beat what is in front of us”.

It’s the first meeting between Dartford and Welling United this season and a chance for King to get one over his former club, who he took to the playoff final in 2019. The Darts boss is not the only one in the Dartford squad up against their ex-employers. King has looked towards players he trusts from previous teams he has managed, so it’s no surprise a number of personnel have represented Welling United in the past including Josh Hill, Gavin McCallum, Craig Braham-Barrett, Ky Marsh-Brown, Jack Jebb and David Ijaha. On the opposing side, Lyle Della-Verde is a former Dart who made 34 appearances during the 2017/2018 campaign and scored five goals.

Dartford approach the Kent derby with a dominating record against their local rivals. Last season the Darts hit seven without reply winning 4-0 at Princes Park and 3-0 at Park View Road. Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong and Elliott Romain (two goals) were among the scorers in the home meeting, Darren McQueen scored the other. In the away match Romain found the net with McQueen notching a brace. In the last three campaigns this fixture has been played over the festive period and in that time the Darts have won five out of six.

Welling United have undergone a change in the dugout with the departure of Bradley Quinton. Quinton lasted a year in charge with one win in 11 league games this season and a shock F.A Cup exit to Sheppey United. Former Gillingham boss, Steve Lovell is now in the hotseat attempting to guide the Wings to safety, starting with his first game at the helm on Saturday.

Although the two week break wasn’t exactly good news for the league, it has allowed Lovell to assess his inherited squad and see their potential. The new Wings boss spoke to The Kent Non-League Podcast and commented: “There is some good players in the squad and I need to give them a chance. It’ll be a challenge and it’s going to be hard work. I’m pretty sure with the combination of the players we’ve got now and the players I’ll bring in, we’ll have a decent second part of the season”.

His new side’s last fixture was three weeks ago when The Wings lost 2-0 to title contenders St Albans City. The third successive home defeat was also the fourth game in a row in which the Wings failed to find the back of the net, picking up just one point from their last four games. Winless in their last six National South games, Welling United’s last win was in mid-November and so it’s now down to Lovell to restore confidence in the squad.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford
(DWLWDL)
Welling United
(LDLDDW)
Hungerford TownH1-1St Albans CityH0-2
Billericay TownH3-0Oxford CityA0-0
Braintree TownA1-2Chippenham TownH0-1
Tonbridge AngelsH1-0Braintree TownA1-1
Ebbsfleet UnitedH0-0Billericay TownH2-2
Eastbourne BoroughA1-3Hemel Hempstead TownA2-1

Previous Meetings

01.01.2020Dartford4Welling United0
26.12.2019Welling United0Dartford3
01.01.2019Dartford1Welling United0
26.12.2018Welling United2Dartford0
01.01.2018Dartford4Welling United1
26.12.2017Welling United2Dartford3

Stats

The Darts have won their last six home games against Welling United and eight of the last nine.

Home and away in all competitions Dartford have won eight, drawn four and lost one in their last 13 meetings with the Wings.

The Wings have failed to score in their last two visits to Princes Park and in three consecutive games home and away.

Dartford have gone six league games without repeating a consecutive result (DWLWDL)

The Darts have kept three clean sheets in their last five league outings and four clean sheets in their last five at Princes Park in the National South.

On This Day

Ryan Hayes scored what turned out to be the winner to book Dartford’s place in the F.A Trophy semi-final. Eight years ago, the Darts took on FC Halifax Town in a quarter-final replay and after falling behind in the second minute, the Darts turned the match around in the second half. A quick fire double from Lee Noble and Elliot Bradbrook and a third ten minutes from time by Hayes put the Darts in control. FC Halifax Town scored a late consolation when Dan Gardener scored his second, but Dartford held on. Five years ago an Andy Pugh double earned the Darts a 2-0 home win over St Albans City in the National 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 Welling United

Steve King once again comes face to face with his former club as Dartford open the New Year against local rivals Welling United.

The two sides met on Boxing Day with the Darts coming out on top by beating the Wings 3-0 at Park View Road. Darren McQueen scored a brace with his first coming from the penalty spot, Elliot Romain also found the net to claim bragging rights for King’s men. In a repeat of the Boxing Day scoreline, Dartford defeated Tonbridge Angels on the weekend with the same pair scoring. This time McQueen opened the scoring and Romain fired in a long range effort. There was still time for Charlie Sheringham to come off the bench to score and Josh Hill to be sent off in the closing stages.

King introduced new loan signing Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong having signed from Aldershot Town. The 22-year-old winger has made 13 appearances for the Shots, scoring 3 times. The only other change was in defence where Josh Hill replaced Tom Bonner, whilst Sanchez Ming made way for Berkeley-Agyepong. The Dartford b oss was happy with the midfielder’s debut, he told kentonline.co.uk: “You can see little bits of quality, (with his) finesse on the ball and the way he manipulates the ball”, he added: “Bearing in mind he has been out for two weeks at Aldershot with concussion, so he hasn’t played for three weeks and he’s coming into a league where it’s a little bit quicker than the National League – it’s up, down, up, down – he’s another who will grow. But he brings little bits of quality and left-footed (players) always bring a bit of balance”.

Since arriving at the Darts, King has increased competition for places in the starting eleven and after the Tonbridge Angels win he praised goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay, who has taken advantage of Mark Smith’s injury to get an opportunity between the sticks. Overall, King was delighted with Saturday’s result and felt the game should have been wrapped up in the first half, he commented: “That’s as dominant as we have been and we should have gone in 2-0 or 3-0 up at least. But we didn’t capitalise on all our good play and, at that time, then you leave yourself open”, he continued: “But for me, we were so dominant that the game should have been over at half-time”.

Dartford’s boss came so close to guiding the Wings back to the National League last term reaching the Playoff final. Now King will be up against his old team for the second time over the festive season after the Boxing Day clash at Park View Road. It will be the third consecutive year that the Darts have hosted Welling United on New Year’s Day and the previous two meetings ended victorious.

Bragging rights were shared last season when the home side won on each occasion. King was in the opposite dugout and at Park View Road guided the Wings to a 2-0 victory. The former Welling United boss wasn’t the only person up against his future club, Josh Hill was selected in the starting eleven and scored the opening goal. Hill had a previous spell with the Darts in 2013 and when Danny Mills netted the Wings second the Darts were sunk by two former players.

After the Boxing Day defeat, Dartford were looking for revenge at Princes Park on New Year’s Day. Ronnie Vint’s late winner with four minutes remaining was enough to earn the Darts three points. An excellent delivery by Ben Greenhalgh wasn’t cleared by the Welling United defence and Vint forced the ball home for the winner.

The previous campaign also saw the two sides meet on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day with Dartford completing a festive double. Out of the two clashes the away fixture at Park View Road will be remembered for Alfie Pavey’s superb last-minute strike. After the Darts threw away a two-goal lead given to them by an Andy Pugh brace, the home side pulled one back through former Dart, Callum Driver and with three minutes to go Jeffrey Monakana equalised. It looked like a draw was on the cards until in the last-minute Alfie Pavey produced a stunning scissor kick from outside the box to clinch victory.

The return fixture ended with a convincing Dartford win, their biggest against Welling United since New Year’s Eve in 1983. This time Pavey came off the bench to grab a brace against his old club to secure a 4-1 triumph. Ryan Hayes opened the scoring with a low drive and Elliot Romain headed the equaliser against his future side. Pugh sent the Darts into the break with a 2-1 lead before Pavey’s second-half goals.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 21 / Welling United wins: 10 / Draws: 9

Current League Form

Dartford (WWLWDL) Welling United (LLWLWD)
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Eastbourne Borough A 1-2
Welling United A 3-0 Dartford H 0-3
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-0
Billericay Town H 3-2 Dorking Wanderers A 0-2
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Braintree Town H 6-2
Bath City A 0-3 Dulwich Hamlet H 0-0

Last Six Meetings

26.12.2019 Welling United 0 Dartford 3
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

Stats

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

Dartford have tasted defeat just once in their last 12 games against the Wings after ninety minutes, on Boxing Day last year. The Darts also lost on penalties in the Kent Senior Cup three years ago.

The Darts have scored in each of their last 17 home games against Welling United, last failing to score on 28 February 1980 in the Kent Floodlit Cup. Dartford have scored in every home league game versus the Wings.

On Saturday the Darts kept back to back clean sheets in the league for the first time since February 2019.

League Record in 2019

Won 16 / Drawn 12 / Lost 15 / Scored 62 / Conceded 67

League Record This Decade

Won 187 / Drawn 102 / Lost 147 / Scored 665 / Conceded 580 / Goal Difference +85

On This Day

Dartford’s last two New Year’s Day wins have been against Welling United. Before those triumphs the Darts had gone six without a win on the first day of the year. In 2001, Dartford brushed aside Sittingbourne 5-2 in the Southern League Division One East, the start of seven consecutive away games on 1 January, in which Dartford lost five a drew two. The Darts lost to Fisher Athletic (2004), Maldon Town (2005) and Welling United (2011) before drawing with Ebbsfleet United in 2013. Defeats against Braintree Town (2015) and Ebbsfleet United (2017) followed before the run was stopped in 2018 against Welling United. That win ended a 28 year wait for a home New Year’s Day win, which came against Gravesend and Northfleet, the final score 5-0 after a goalless first-half.

Welling United v Dartford

Steve King faces his former club on Boxing Day and there will be no room for sentiment, when he returns to Park View Road to take on local rivals Welling United.

A point will keep the Darts ahead of the Wings in the National South standings, whilst victory will move Dartford five points ahead of their rivals. For the third consecutive campaign the two sides meet each other over the festive season, the Darts will hope to avenge the defeat they suffered at Park View Road a year ago.

Frustrated with his side’s inconsistency, Steve King guided the Darts to a 3-2 home win against Billericay Town before watching on as Concord Rangers took all three points on the weekend. The Dartford boss described his team as ‘chalk and cheese’ when speaking to www.kentonline.co.uk, he commented: “We deserved the plaudits and to win the game against Billericay”, before adding his thoughts after the 1-0 defeat against Concord Rangers, he explained: “I felt there wasn’t enough quality,” he continued: “Normally you can have five or six off their game and the other six can carry you through but I thought nearly all of them were off their game”.

Crowd favourite, Ryan Hayes was praised for his efforts when he came on as a substitute as he ‘lifted the side’ in the final quarter. However the game hinged on two penalties, in form Dartford striker Elliott Romain hit the post with his spot kick, whilst Joel Nouble scored his penalty to earn the Beachboys victory. Two new signings were introduced to the Dartford faithful and one could be in line to face his former club on Boxing Day.

Sanchez Ming left the Wings a day before he was selected in Dartford’s starting eleven on the weekend. The full back was brought in on loan by King whilst at Welling United from Dulwich Hamlet, Ming signed permanently for the Wings in the summer but has now decided to team up with King once more, he was the only change to the team selected against Billericay Town. Appearing as a substitute on the weekend, Marcel Barrington has joined the Darts from Concord Rangers. The 24 year old was part of the Braintree Town side that beat Dartford in the National South playoffs in May 2018. The striker will already be familiar with midfielders Billy Crook and Luke Allen who were also in the Irons team that were promoted that season. In the three months King has been in charge the squad has a different look with over half of the players involved on Saturday new signings.

Welling United haven’t hit the heights of last term when King led them to the Playoff Final. Mark Goldberg has been in charge since the summer and now the Wings are down in sixteenth place, two points behind Dartford in thirteenth. Last season with King working under Goldberg, Welling United won on Boxing Day beating Dartford 2-0 after goals from two former Darts, Josh Hill and Danny Mills. This time Hill will be back in a Dartford shirt for the festive derby hoping to win at Park View Road again.

After a barren run in the league without finding the net, The Wings found some spark in their 6-2 victory at home against Braintree Town just over a month ago. A 2-0 away defeat at Dorking Wanderers followed in the league then a 2-0 win at home to Hemel Hempstead Town, former Dart, Nathan Green found the net. With their game at league leaders Wealdstone postponed on the weekend, Welling United last played in the National South almost three weeks ago.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 20 / Welling United wins: 9 / Draws: 10

Current League Form

Dartford (LWDLDW) Welling United (WLDLWL)
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-0
Billericay Town H 3-2 Dorking Wanderers A 0-2
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Braintree Town H 6-2
Bath City A 0-3 Dulwich Hamlet H 0-0
Maidstone United H 2-2 Chippenham Town A 0-0
Hampton and Richmond A 2-1 Slough Town A 0-1

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

Stats

Dartford have lost just one of their last six away league games (W4, D1, L1)

Over the last 15 years the Darts have won three out of 11 against Welling United at Park View Road (D4, L4).

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.

On This Day

Last season’s 2-0 Boxing Day defeat against Welling United ended a run of three Boxing Day victories in a row. The last of those triumphs came in dramatic circumstances as Alfie Pavey’s last minute wonder goal separated the two teams two years ago. After the Darts threw away a two-goal lead given to them by an Andy Pugh brace, the home side pulled one back through former Dart, Callum Driver and with three minutes to go Jeffrey Monakana equalised. It looked like a draw was on the cards until in the last-minute Alfie Pavey produced a stunning scissor kick from outside the box to clinch victory. This year will be the fifth time in nine years in which the Darts have faced Welling United on this day. In 2011 the game ended 1-1 at Park View Road and in 2013, the Wings won 2-1.

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

Dartford v Welling United

There will be no time for New Year sentiment for joint manager Jamie Coyle when his Dartford side host his former club Welling United to kick off 2019.

The former Wings boss spent one season at Park View Road leading them to tenth last term before stepping down. It will be the first time the 35 year old has faced his old team. A year ago he watched the Darts beat his Welling United side twice with the fixture at Princes Park finishing 4-1.

However, it’s not been a great Christmas for Coyle so far. On Boxing Day he watched the Darts fall to a 2-0 defeat against Welling United in the away fixture. The former Dartford defender stated that his side lost the key battles and to rub salt into the Dartford wound to former players scored. Josh Hill nodded his first goal for the Wings from a Nassim L’Ghoul corner and in the second half Danny Mills secured victory.

On Saturday, Coyle was sent off for dissent at East Thurrock United during the 2-2 draw. Charlie Sheringham gave the Darts an early lead which was swiped out when Tom Derry equalised for the Rocks. To make matters worse Lee Noble was red carded leaving the Darts down to ten on the pitch, a minute later Derry scored again. A man down, Dartford rallied and were rewarded when Elliot Bradbrook levelled with fifteen minutes remaining. One point from the last two outings has pushed the Darts down to tenth, two points shy of a playoff place and three behind Welling United.

In the festive clashes last time Andy Pugh and Alfie Pavey came back to haunt the Wings, both players previously had spells with Dartford’s local rivals. On New Year’s Day, a deflected Ryan Hayes shot found its way past Ryan Sandford in the Wings goal to give the hosts the lead, which lasted just five minutes. Elliot Romain equalised when he headed past Deren Ibrahim from close range, then Andy Pugh put Dartford in front before the interval. Alfie Pavey was introduced to the action and the substitute had time to add a brace to earn the Darts a festive double over the Wings.

Last year’s Boxing Day fixture served up a festive treat thanks to Pavey’s last minute wonder goal. The Darts threw away a two goal advantage created by Pugh’s third minute strike and his second goal early in the second half. Welling United halved the deficit when Callum Driver, now at the Darts scored an excellent free-kick. Another set piece made it 2-2 with Jeff Monakana’s penalty levelling the local derby. In the final minute Pavey scored the winner, scissor kicking a shot from the edge of the box for a stunning finale to a thrilling game.

Dartford have enjoyed the upper hand at home against Welling United in the league, losing just once which was five years ago. In 2016, the Darts enjoyed a 2-1 victory with goals by Alex Brown and Elliot Bradbrook and in 2014, Max Cornhill and Harry Crawford helped Dartford win by the same scoreline.

This season Welling United have been challenging at the summit thanks largely to the manager Steve King. Appointed in the summer, King has used his contacts with former clubs Whitehawk and Macclesfield Town. One of those former Whitehawk players was part of Dartford’s squad last term. Danny Mills netted an impressive 58 goals in two season’s under King at Whitehawk building up a decent reputation as a striker. Trying his luck at Ebbsfleet United didn’t quite go to plan and when the Fleet sent him on loan to the Darts his spell divided opinion. In a Dartford shirt he managed six goals in 26 appearances, but made his mark on Boxing Day.

On the weekend, the Wings were beaten by Concord Rangers, only their second home defeat of the campaign. The winner was scored after just a minute when Dean Wilks parried the ball for former Dart, tyrone Sterling to score. The loss leaves Welling United in fourth, ten points behind top spot.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 19 / Welling United wins: 8 / Draws: 10

Current League Form

Dartford (DLWDLW) Welling United (LWDLLW)
East Thurrock United A 2-2 Concord Rangers H 0-1
Welling United A 0-2 Dartford H 2-0
Hungerford Town H 2-1 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
Slough Town H 1-1 Hampton & Richmond A 1-2
Torquay United A 0-2 Torquay United A 1-3
Hampton & Richmond A 1-0 Hungerford Town H 3-1

Previous Meetings

26.12.2018 Welling United 0 Dartford 2
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
06.09.2016 Dartford 2 Welling United 1

Stats

Dartford have won their last four home games against Welling United, their best home run against the Wings

The Darts have won 6, drew 1 and lost 1 of their last eight matches at home versus their local rivals.

Both teams have scored in this fixture in 14 of the last 16 meetings, the exceptions being a 0-0 draw in February 2017 and on Boxing Day

On This Day

Dartford’s 4-1 win on New Year’s Day last season against Welling United was the first home match on 1 January for the Darts since 1999, a 0-0 draw with Margate in the Southern League South. Two years later Dartford thrashed Sittingbourne 5-2 away from home, which started a run of seven consecutive away fixtures on New Year’s Day. The victory in 2001 was the only one until last season, Dartford went on to lose five and draw one, including a 2-1 loss at Park View Road in 2011.

 

Welling United v Dartford

One half of Dartford’s management team will be returning to his old stomping ground on Boxing Day to take on his former club in the National South.

Joint Manager, Jamie Coyle led Welling United to tenth last season in his only campaign as manager of the Wings. In the summer he joined forces with Adam Flanagan to manage the Darts. It will be the first time the former Dartford defender faces the club he left at Park View Road.

Last term, Dartford completed the double over Welling United with Coyle backing the Darts for the National South title after the festive double header. The Boxing Day fixture a year ago was the first of Dartford’s two victories and is remembered for Alfie Pavey’s sensational last minute winning goal. Ryan Hayes set up an early chance for former Welling United striker Andy Pugh, who scored from close range. The pair combined again ten minutes into the second half to put the Darts two up and in control. The hosts fought back when Callum Driver, now at Dartford scored a well taken free-kick and Jeffrey Monakana netted a penalty with three minutes left. With the local derby heading for a draw, in injury time Pavey produced a stunning volley from the edge of the box to win the match. It was the first Dartford league win against Welling United at Park View Road since 1983. The return fixture on New Year’s Day ended 4-1 to the Darts with goals from Hayes, Pugh and two from Pugh.

Coyle has set a target over the Christmas and New Year schedule when Dartford will be involved in five games over a 15 day period, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “We want to get out of Christmas and the New Year still in the play-offs because it would give us something to build on for the second half of the season”, he added: “I still think there’s so much more to come from us. We’ve done okay and we’ve won games but we’re still sitting there thinking there’s so much more we need to improve on. The players know that”.

On Saturday, the Darts were at home to struggling Hungerford Town and gave Phil Roberts his first start for the club. With the absence of Charlie Sheringham, the new striker partnered Jamie Philpot who also returned to the starting line up. Ben Greenhalgh was drafted back in meaning Kudus Oyenuga and Dan Darbyshire also missed out. Philpot rewarded the managers choice by heading in the opener over goalkeeper Jake Weaver. Lee Noble doubled the lead in the second half thumping home with twenty minutes to go, then the visitors pulled a goal back towards the end. Victory moved Dartford into sixth place to move within a point of their Boxing Day opponents and end a run of four games without a win in all competitions.

Similarly to Dartford, their local rivals changed manager over the summer replacing Coyle with the experienced Steve King. Looking towards former teams, King made plenty of changes by signing players who previously played for him at Whitehawk and Macclesfield Town. One of those players is former Dart, Danny Mills who spent half of last season at Princes Park scoring six goals in 26 appearances. The striker had a spell at Whitehawk under King where he netted an impressive 58 goals over two campaigns. Adding attacking options to the frontline, Brendan Kiernan came in from Hampton and Richmond Borough and has netted seven times for the Wings this term, Bradley Goldberg is another option and he is currently on five goals.

Welling United started with Mills and Kiernan on the bench on Saturday, but the starting eleven did include Matthew Paterson, who was signed from Oxford City in October and can be a goal threat. The Wings visited Hemel Hempstead Town on the weekend hoping to end a run of two consecutive defeats. Hope turned to disappointment with twenty minutes to go when Hemel’s Scott Shulton scored, but the Wings equalised with four minutes left when Gavin McCallum scored in off the post.

The Wings have topped the National South at times this season, but have dropped to fourth after Saturday’s draw. A nine game unbeaten run from mid-August to nearly the end of October has given Welling United some good foundations, with their highlight coming at Concord Rangers where they won 5-0. Most recently they have lost three of their last eight, but have tasted defeat just once at Park View Road this season.

Head to Head

Welling United wins: 7 / Dartford wins: 19 / Draws: 10

Current League Form

Welling United (DLLWWD) Dartford (WDWWWL)
Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1 Hungerford Town H 2-1
Hampton and Richmond A 1-2 Slough Town H 1-1
Torquay United A 1-3 Hampton and Richmond A 1-0
Hungerford Town H 3-1 Oxford City H 3-2
Weston-super-Mare H 3-1 Gloucester City A 2-1
Wealdstone H 1-1 Truro City A 1-3

Previous Meetings

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
06.09.2016 Dartford 2 Welling United 1
19.10.2015 Dartford 3 Welling United 1

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in nine competitive meetings against Welling United and seven at Park View Road in all competitions.

In the league the Darts have beaten the Wings just twice away from home, in 1983 and last season. Welling United have won twice in the league at home and the other four meetings ended level.

On This Day

It will be the eighth year in a row Dartford has played on Boxing Day and three of those fixtures have been against Welling United. In 2011, the sides drew 1-1 at Park View Road and two years later the Wings beat the Darts 2-1 at Princes Park. A year ago, Dartford threw a two goal lead away before snatching victory in the final minute. The Darts have also beaten Ebbsfleet United twice, 3-1 in 2012 and 2-1 in 2016, defeated Chelmsford City 1-0 three years ago meaning they have won their last three Boxing Days games. The only other team to get the better of the Darts in the last seven matches on this day was Braintree Town in 2014.  Since reforming the standout Boxing Day clash was in 2007 when Dartford thrashed Canvey Island 6-1 in the Isthmian Division One North.

National League South Season Preview 2018/2019 – Part Four

Truro City |Wealdstone | Welling United | Weston-super-Mare | Woking

Truro City

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Plainmoor

Seven years ago, Truro City propelled themselves up the football pyramid reaching the National South for the first time in their history. Since then they have had financial problems, relegation back to the Southern Premier and a return to the National South. A much more stable club now, the White Tigers reached the playoffs for a second time in three seasons losing to Hampton and Richmond Borough after extra time. At late notice Truro City will groundshare with Torquay United this season as they plan for a new stadium. They also reached the F.A Cup first round for the first time in their history last season, putting in a credible performance against Charlton Athletic in their 3-1 defeat.

Last Season

National South: 7th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Cody Cooke (13 goals)

Average Attendance: 469 (15th in National South)

The Manager – Lee Hodges

In his second spell as manager of Truro City, Lee Hodges has taken the White Tigers to the playoffs in two of the last three campaigns. In his first spell he won the Southern Premier League with the club to complete the Cornwall club’s rise from the Western League, their fourth title in five seasons. As a player he won two league titles with Plymouth Argyle and the promotion to the Football League with Torquay United through the playoffs. Finishing his playing career at Truro City, Hodges first spell as manager ended due to financial problems the club faced, two years ago he returned to Treyew Road to finish off a job.

The Summer

The White Tigers will be pinning their goal scoring hopes on new striker Jared Lewington. A target for manager Lee Hodges last summer Lewington joins from Southern Premier League side Tiverton Town. Midfielder Lloyd Gardner moves from Buckland Athletic whilst Truro City welcome back Louis Rooney from Linfield, who was on loan at Treyew Road in 2016/2017. The Cornwall club have lost some decent players in the process including Cody Cooke to St Mirren, goalkeeper Tom McHale and Ben Gerring to Billericay Town. Fletcher Williams, River Allen and Stewart Yetton have also been released. Alex Hartridge and Max Smallcombe sign on loan from Exeter City, defender Cameron Kelly arrives from Buckland Athletic and goalkeeper Corey Harvey will be on dual registration with Bodmin Town. Hodges has managed to secure the services of Bristol City youngsters Jojo Wollacott and Tom Richards on loan. Wollacott spent time on loan last season with club. Paul Bignot will provide football league experience and has been capped by England at C level.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

24.02.2018 Dartford 4 Truro City 1
11.11.2017 Truro City 3 Dartford 1
18.03.2017 Dartford 5 Truro City 3
08.10.2016 Truro City 0 Dartford 5
05.04.2016 Truro City 3 Dartford 0
19.09.2015 Dartford 0 Truro City 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 27 October 2018 at Treyew Road

Saturday 30 March 2019 at Princes Park

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Wealdstone

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Vale Stadium

On 21 August 2017 a monumental change happened at Wealdstone. A generation of supporters would only know the club with Gordon Bartlett at the helm, he stepped down after twenty-two years. A big change after Bartlett managed one win in the five games at the start of the season. In came Bobby Wilkinson from Hungerford Town who led the Stones to their obligatory mid-table position come the end of the season. The new regime started in good form with one defeat in twelve games and then Wealdstone returned to their norm. This summer has seen a major overhaul of players and so after four campaigns in the National South, the Stones will be looking at a playoff place.

Last Season

National South: 11th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: Semi-Final

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: David Pratt (14 goals)

Average Attendance: 880 (3rd in National South)

The Manager – Bobby Wilkinson

It came as a shock when Bobby Wilkinson quit Hungerford Town early last season, after all he had spent seven seasons improving the Crusaders. He led the Berkshire club to promotion through the Southern League South & West playoffs and went on to win the Southern Premier playoffs. In Hungerford Town’s first campaign in the National South he guided them to an impressive sixth, missing out on the playoffs due to ground grading requirements. Wilkinson also got the Crusaders to the F.A Trophy last eight on two occasions during his time there. This summer is the first with the Stones for the new boss and has seen many changes to the playing personnel.

The Summer

Bobby Wilkinson went early with transfers this summer having had the majority of last season to assess his players. Plenty of players departed including defender Ian Gayle to Woking, and a squad worth arrived. Former Dartford defender Tom Gardiner will be a Wealdstone player, signed from St Albans City he made 75 appearances for the Darts between 2015 and 2017. Ebbsfleet United missed a trick when they didn’t give Yado Mambo the number five shirt, he will certainly be wearing that number with the Stones. A superb F.A Cup hat-trick put Matthew Lench in the limelight last term, the midfielder joins having scored 15 times for Slough Town last season. Wadah Ahmidi and Sam Hatton follow each other from Staines Town, the same goes for Rhys Tyler, Stefan Brown and James Clark from Wilkinson’s former club Hungerford Town and Godfrey Poku and Freddie Grant from Oxford City. Montel Agyemang from East Thurrock United, Marvel Ekpiteta from Bishop’s Stortford, Jake Sheppard from Reading’s academy team and Connor Stevens from Watford U23’s all join the Stones. Bradley Hudson-Odoi returns to the club, the Stones Junior Player of the Year in 2015/2016 has been away with Hampton and Richmond Borough, Sutton United, Eastleigh and Maidstone United. Goalkeeper Callum Thomas impressed Bobby Wilkinson during pre-season and joins from Charlton Athletic. Striker, Joe White rejoins the Stones on loan from Stevenage, he previously scored six goals in 17 appearances for Wealdstone.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

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
26.01.2016 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 2
03.10.2015 Wealdstone 2 Dartford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 18 March 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 5 January 2019 at Vale Stadium

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Welling United

Founded: 1963 / Ground: Park View Road

A new start for the Wings who finished tenth last season, out goes new Dartford boss Jamie Coyle and in comes former Whitehawk manager Steve King. Welling United have plenty of experience in the top two tiers of non-league football going back to the late seventies. The Kent side were amongst the front runners in the first three months of last season thanks to a six-game winning streak. A drop of form in November and December as well as a poor end to the season left the Wings eight points shy of the playoffs. Since relegation from the National League, Welling United have stabilised in the National South and will be pushing for the playoffs under new management.

Last Season

National South: 10th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Bradley Goldberg (10 goals)

Average Attendance: 541 (10th in National South)

The Manager – Steve King

Nothing but a top seven finish will be acceptable for Steve King at Welling United. The ambitious manager was appointed this summer after he departed Whitehawk. To be fair his task of keeping the Hawks up last term was difficult considering the ground he had to make up, despite improvements they still went down. In his first spell at Whitehawk life was rosier, King kept the Hawks up, reached a playoff final and made it to the F.A Cup second round, almost earning a tie with Everton. He had spells managing Lewes, Northwich Victoria and Farnborough before he took Macclesfield Town to the F.A Cup fourth round in 2013.

The Summer

It seems to be theme that managers are looking towards their former clubs and it’s no different for Steve King. The new Welling United boss has brought in goalkeeper Daniel Wilks, Jordon Gibbons and Nassim L’Ghoul from relegated Whitehawk. King is also familiar with John Paul Kissock who also had a spell with the Hawks before joining Southport, the pair also worked together at Macclesfield Town and will both be working wioth each other once more. Former Canadian international, Gavin McCallum won the Supporters Player of the Year with Eastbourne Borough last term, scorer of 15 goals in 39 games the midfielder will be a Welling United player this season. Richard Orlu has been signed from Woking, the former Dover Athletic defender could pair up with Anthony Acheampong, who joins the Wings for his third spell after signing from Dulwich Hamlet. Ben Jefford and Jack Parkinson have left Park View Road along with Director of Football, Tristan Lewis. French centre-back Thierry Audel worked with King at Macclesfield Town. Since leaving the SIlkmen he played for Crewe Alexandra, Notts County and Barrow. King also once got the best out of Danny Mills when at Whitehawk, the striker scored 58 goals over two seasons there. Signed from Ebbsfleet United, he went out on loan last term to Dartford where he scored six in 26 games. David Ijaha is another from Whitehawk, the midfielder includes St Albans City, Harrow Borough and Wealdstone as former clubs. Guinea-Bissau international Arnaud Mendy will also be part of the Wings squad this season and has represented Luton Town, Macclesfield Town, Lincoln City and Whitehawk. Hampton and Richmond Borough’s Player of the Season, Brendan Kiernan moves to Park View Road, the 25-year-old has played for Ebbsfleet United, Bromley and AFC Wimbledon in the past.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 19 / Welling United wins: 7 / Draws: 10

Previous Meetings

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
06.09.2016 Dartford 2 Welling United 1
19.10.2015 Dartford 3 Welling United 1

Next Meetings

Wednesday 26 December 2018 at Park View Road

Tuesday 1 January 2019 at Princes Park

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Weston-super-Mare

Founded: 1887 / Ground: Woodspring Stadium

The longest serving club currently in the National South, the Seagulls recorded their highest finish since 2014 and it could have been better. The Somerset club were always chasing the playoff spot without really threatening to break into the top seven. At home, Weston-super-Mare took advantage of those clubs below them in the table tasting defeat just once. They swept aside Eastbourne Borough and Wealdstone 5-1 but were also capable of losing to struggling Whitehawk by the same score line. Those inconsistencies cost the Seagulls a better campaign and when they lost eight of their last eleven fixtures, the Somerset club knew a fifteenth consecutive season in the National South would beckon.

Last Season

National South: 12th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Gethyn Hill (19 goals)

Average Attendance: 492 (14th in National South)

The Manager – Marc McGregor

Formerly a player and assistant manager at Weston-super-Mare, Marc McGregor took the step up last summer. He already had experience as a player coach with Worcester City and played for Oxford United and Notts County. The former England C international moved to Forest Green Rovers and was there until Ian Holloway took him on at Queens Park Rangers. Injury forced McGregor to quit playing full time and so he had spells with Tamworth and Hinckley. He guided the Seagulls to a County Cup triumph in his first campaign and the club’s highest finish since 2014 when they ended up in twelfth.

The Summer

Jamie Lucas joins permanently after two loan spells with the club. The striker scored 12 in 21 for Weston-super-Mare at the age of 19. Outside of his spells with the Seagulls, the striker has played for Gloucester City, Boreham Wood, Woking, Bath City and F.A Trophy finalists Brackley Town. He has also made four appearances for Bristol Rovers. Former Dart, Ben Swallow has joned from Bognor Regis Town, the midfielder made 11 appearances for Dartford in 2014. Danny Greenslade has left the Somerset club for Hereford F.C. Tristan Plummer has decided to move onto pastures new, signing with Bitton A.F.C. After a successful trial with the Seagulls, Eli Phipps signs from Colchester United.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 8 / Weston-Super-Mare wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

07.04.2018 Dartford 3 Weston-super-Mare 1
23.09.2017 Weston-super-Mare 3 Dartford 0
17.01.2017 Dartford 3 Weston-super-Mare 2
26.11.2016 Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 4
20.08.2016 Weston-super-Mare 1 Dartford 2
05.03.2016 Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 29 September 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 6 April 2019 at Woodspirng Stadium

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Woking

Founded: 1945 / Ground: Enclosed Ground

Relegated from the National South after six years, the Cards needed one more goal entering the last minute of the season. Poised at 1-1 with Dover Athletic and needing victory, Woking conceded instead ending their stay in the National League. The Surrey club were promoted to the top non-league division as champions in the season Dartford went up with them. The Cards held their own until last term and looked to be doing the same again at the end of November. After victory against Ebbsfleet United on 21 November 2017, Woking won just three more games as they slumped towards the bottom four. A win in their penultimate fixture gave them hope but it wasn’t to be for the Cards.

Last Season

National League: 21st

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Charlie Carter (12 goals)

Average Attendance: 2024 (8th in National League)

The Manager – Alan Dowson

Alan Dowson represented Millwall, Fulham, Bradford City and Darlington before non-league football came calling. He spent time at Slough Town, Gateshead then Waltham and Hersham, where he got his break as a manager. Staying in Surrey, Dowson then took charge of Kingstonian where he won the Isthmian Division One South. He was unveiled as Hampton and Richmond Borough’s manager in 2014 and two years later led the Beavers to the Isthmian Premier League title. Dowson made his former club contenders for promotion to the National League losing last season’s playoff final. Now he will start a new challenge back in Surrey to get Woking back to the National League at the first attempt.

The Summer

Top scorer in a struggling season, Charlie Carter attracted the attention of Chesterfield and moved to the newly relegated National League side. Josh Staunton also makes the step up a division by switching to FC Halifax Town. With a new boss at the helm many more have arrived, mainly from his former side Hampton and Richmond Borough and last season’s runners up Dartford. Nathan Collier worked with Dowson at Hampton and Richmond Borough and now has his man back, Collier joins from Dartford having made 21 appearances for them last season. Struggling with injury, striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong only managed six starts for the Darts last term and along with the impressive goalkeeper Berti Schotterl, who kept six clean sheets in 13 outings the total of former Dartford players reaches three. Dowson has taken Charlie Wassmer with him from his old club, the defender was namesd in the National South’s team of the season and after over 150 appearances for Hampton and Richmond Borough, Josh Casey follows. Jack Cook formed a partnership with Wassmer with the Beavers last term and they will team up again. Ian Gayle adds more strength to the back line from Wealdstone and winger Nicky Wheeler comes in from Billericay Town. Christian Jolley was given his break in 2009 by Alan Dowson at Kingstonian, they now pair up again. Jolley went on to play for AFC Wimbledon, Newport County, Forest Green Rovers, Grimsby Town then Margate. Max Kretzschmar returns to the Cards after one season with Hampton and Richmond Borough, where he scored 14 goals in 39 league appearances last season. Striker, Jake Hyde made 130 appearances in the Football League for Barnet, York City, and Stevenage. Last season Hyde played for Maidenhead United in the National League. Former Burgess Hill Town striker, Greg Luer spent more than three years with Hull City making eight appearances. Loan spells in League One with Port Vale and Scunthorpe United, and League Two with Stevenage followed and now he is at Woking.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Woking wins: 5 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

03.03.2015 Dartford 1 Woking 3
12.08.2014 Woking 1 Dartford 1
18.02.2014 Dartford 5 Woking 1
12.11.2013 Woking 3 Dartford 0
01.04.2013 Dartford 4 Woking 1
14.08.2010 Woking 1 Dartford 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 1 December 2018 at Kingsfield

Saturday 23 February 2019 at Princes Park

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