Month: February 2022

Hungerford Town v Dartford

Dartford have the opportunity to close the gap at the top in their rescheduled trip to Hungerford Town on Tuesday night.

The Darts can claim a league double over the Crusaders, something they have never managed to do in the previous five seasons since their opponents were promoted from the Southern Premier League. Victory will move Steve King’s side within four points of league leaders Dorking Wanderers after the Surrey club won on the weekend.

In October, Ade Azeez was the match winner the last time Dartford faced Hungerford Town. After a frustrating first-half for the Darts, Azeez well into his purple patch broke the deadlock after the interval netting his eleventh goal in just ten games, helping him win Player of the Month. Since then, the striker has added three more to his total with his last goal three months ago against Hemel Hempstead Town.

In the last two trips to Bulpit Lane the Darts have picked up four points, a vast improvement on the their first three visits in which they came home with nothing and not even a goal. Last season, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong was the star of the show helping Dartford come from a goal down to win 2-1. The hosts went in front through their main goalscorer Ryan Seager, but the introduction of substitute, Berkeley-Agyepong turned the tables. An excellent finish and a wonderful second goal from the midfielder secured the three points for King’s men.

Footage of Dartford’s last visit to Hungerford Town courtesy of FCVideo.co.uk

Fifteen months earlier, Dartford’s previous visit ended 2-2 with the Crusaders denying the Darts maximum points with two minutes to go. Hungerford Town led courtesy of Zidan Akers then Darren McQueen’s overhead shot levelled the game. Luke Wanadio put Dartford in front until the Crusaders equalised when Conor Lynch followed up a rebound.

Just as Dartford were getting into their groove, unbeaten in eight, they were knocked out of the F.A Trophy against Southern League Premier Central side Needham Market. A second cup upset suffered by the Darts this term and now they are left concentrating on the league, although they do remain in both county cups. When they unexpectedly went out in the F.A Cup, the Darts found it tough to regain their early season form. This time King’s side have shown they can bounce back.

Hosting Bath City on the weekend, the Darts won 2-0 claiming their fifth consecutive league victory in what King described as a ‘workmanlike performance’. Coming in to the starting line up, Kalvin Kalala netted his first goal for the club and towards the end, Danny Leonard won a penalty which Marcus Dinanga scored. King made five changes to the side who lost at Needham Market and gave youngster Junior Tiensia his debut at full back. Che Krabbendam also made his first appearance coming on as a substitute. Tom Bonner made his first start since the Ebbsfleet United win at the beginning of the month, Ody Alfa was preferred up front to Azeez and Hyde replaced the suspended Jack Jebb, who will finish his ban by missing Tuesday night’s fixture.

Continuing to keep the pressure on rivals Maidstone United in second and Dorking Wanderers in top spot, the Darts will want to make this game in hand over the league leaders count before hosting them at the beginning of March. It will not be easy to take full advantage, King commented to Dartford FC TV after the Bath City game: “Hungerford, it doesn’t matter where they are or what they are doing it’s a tough game and they are tough at home to beat. We go there with confidence, five out of five we’ve won in the league, so we’re going to go there and have a right go and see what happens”.

Watch the full post match interview with Steve King on Dartford FC TV

Hungerford Town have ambitions of their own and are just four points away from a playoff spot. Early season form had the Crusaders in the top seven, after the defeat at Princes Park they went on a five game unbeaten run to move them into fifth place. Since that spell came to an end, the Berkshire club have lost just over half their league fixtures winning five, drawing one and losing eight.

The Crusaders have won their last three home games though winning 3-0 against Hampton and Richmond, 2-1 versus Chelmsford City and 3-1 over Dulwich Hamlet. Although their home and away records are almost matching, Hungerford Town’s away form lately has taken a dip, losing three consecutive matches on the road before a draw at Slough Town. On Saturday the Crusaders lost again on the road this time to struggling Braintree Town. Danny Robinson was ‘proud in defeat’ after his side had to play the majority of the match with ten men. Former Dartford striker, Duane Ofori-Achemapong was sent off for two cautions eight minutes apart early in the first half, and despite the disadvantage manager, Robinson felt his side deserved a point.

Ofori-Acheampong scored his first Hungerford Town goals in the 2-2 draw with Slough Town. He made 61 appearances for the Darts scoring 11 goals and was part of the squad that came runner up in the National League in 2017/2018. The striker also had a month loan at Sittingbourne this season scoring five times including a hat-trick against East Grinstead Town.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Hungerford Town wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Dartford
(DWWWWW)
    Hungerford Town
(LWLWDL)
   
Bath City H 2-0 Braintree Town A 0-1
Havant and Waterlooville A 1-0 Slough Town A 2-2
Welling United H 4-2 Dulwich Hamlet H 3-1
Ebbsfleet United H 1-0 Hemel Hempstead Town A 0-1
Tonbridge Angels A 3-2 Chelmsford City H 2-1
Concord Rangers H 0-0 Eastbourne Borough A 2-5

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 1 – 0 Hungerford Town (09/10/2021 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Hungerford Town (16/01/2021 – National South)
Hungerford Town 1 – 2 Dartford (28/11/2020 – National South)
Hungerford Town 2 – 2 Dartford (26/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Hungerford Town (22/12/2018 – National South)
Hungerford Town 1 – 0 Dartford (25/08/2018 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford are five games unbeaten against Hungerford Town, their best sequence versus the Crusaders since the first meeting back in 2016
  • The Darts are unbeaten in all four matches at Princes Park in this fixture, winning two and drawing two
  • Hungerford Town have conceded in each of the last five games against the Darts having previously kept four clean sheets in a row

On This Day

Jack Jebb scored a trademark free-kick on his debut two years ago as the Darts beat Eastbourne Borough. Noor Husin was another debutant, but it was Jebb who opened the scoring. Greg Luer levelled for the Sports, but Darren McQueen’s second-half penalty decided the match. The Darts also won the previous two outings on this day as well, beating Hereford United in the National League back in 2014, Alex Wall and Lee Noble on target. Three years earlier Noble found the net again, scoring the second in a 2-0 victory over Dorchester Town, Danny Harris scoring the other. In the five games prior the three match winning streak on 22 February, Dartford picked up just one point from five matches without scoring a single goal from 1966 to 1997. The biggest score on this day came in 1913 when the Darts racked up eight goals without reply against Rochester in the Kent League.

Dartford v Bath City

Dartford can stretch their unbeaten home run in the National South when they host Bath City on the weekend.

The Darts have won six and drawn six in the league at Princes Park this term and after Tuesday night’s game at Hungerford Town was called off, the Darts remain seven points behind league leaders Dorking Wanderers with a game in hand. Bath City are currently in the bottom five, but as the two previous meetings this season suggest this Saturday’s encounter could be a close call.

In September the Darts claimed three points at Twerton Park and although the score was 3-1 Dartford were made to work hard for the victory. The first half belonged to the visitors and with striker Ade Azeez returning to the starting eleven he opened the scoring with a header. On the stroke of half time Jake Robinson doubled the lead, but Bath City’s Alex Fletcher cut the deficit in the second half. George Porter came on as a substitute and made an impact by putting the game out of Bath City’s reach.

Watch Dartford’s last league win over Bath City earlier this season – Dartford FC TV

The Darts were also drawn against Bath City in the second round of the F.A Trophy in November. A second visit to Twerton Park ended with no goals and so the tie went to penalties, the Darts scored all five penalties meaning Dan Wilks’ save helped the visitors progress 5-3 in the shoot-out. Dartford have form over their opponents winning seven straight matches before Steve King experienced his first league defeat as boss two years ago. The Romans won 3-0 that day, but the Darts have triumphed in their previous two league meetings and won the last at Princes Park when Noor Husin scored the only goal of the game in October 2020.

Highlights of the F.A Trophy tie in October – Dartford FC TV

Just as Dartford were getting into their groove, unbeaten in eight, they were knocked out of the F.A Trophy last weekend against Southern League Premier Central side Needham Market. A second cup upset suffered by the Darts this term and now they are left concentrating on the league, although they do remain in both county cups. King made three changes to the side that beat Havant and Waterlooville almost a week ago. Danny Leonard returned in place of Kalvin Kalala, Jake Robinson and Azeez were paired up front instead of Marcus Dinanga and Ody Alfa. However, it was Luke Ingram’s second half penalty that decided the tie sending Needham Market through to the last eight. Jack Jebb, who made his 50th appearance for the Darts was sent off after the final whistle and will start a two match suspension.

King has decided to strengthen the squad by signing Junior Tiensia from Millwall, the left back has impressed in the under 23 side and signed a professional contract with the Lions in 2019. Previously, the young defender has enjoyed loan spells at Havant and Waterlooville, Dover Athletic and Sutton United.

Watch the last time Dartford hosted Bath City – Dartford FC TV

Dartford continue to chase down the front runners in the division and will need to keep pace as they approach their clash with league leaders Dorking early next month. After a tough spell of two wins in ten, following their shock F.A Cup exit in October, the Darts have clawed back some ground with three consecutive draws then four victories in a row in the National South. Dartford will want to avoid another tough run after a shock cup exit.

Bath City have won one league game in their last seven outings and have found goals hard to come by of late. Three blanks in their last four has resulted in one point from the last twelve available. Last weekend they could have done Dartford a favour by taking points off Dorking Wanderers, but like many before them they fell short losing 2-0. The away defeat at Meadowbank extended the Romans losing streak on the road to four.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 35 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 20

Current League Form

Dartford
(DDWWWW)
    Bath City
(LWLDLL)
   
Havant and Waterlooville A 1-0 Dorking Wanderers H 0-2
Welling United H 4-2 Maidstone United A 1-2
Ebbsfleet United H 1-0 Braintree Town H 0-0
Tonbridge Angels A 3-2 Hampton and Richmond A 0-4
Concord Rangers H 0-0 Eastbourne Borough H 2-1
Hampton and Richmond H 2-2 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-3

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 0 – 0 Bath City (27/11/2021 – F.A Trophy)*
Bath City 1 – 3 Dartford (04/09/2021 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Bath City (17/10/2020 – National South)
Bath City 3 – 0 Dartford (30/11/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 0 Bath City (09/02/2019 – National South)
Bath City 1 – 2 Dartford (04/08/2018 – National South)
* – Dartford won 5-3 on penalties

Stats

  • Dartford have won their last five home games against Bath City
  • Bath City have failed to score at Princes Park in their last four visits
  • The Darts have kept nine clean sheets in their last 15 meetings against Bath City
  • The Romans have lost all seven games against the current top five

On This Day

Dartford’s last two games on this day ended 4-0 with a resounding victory in 2008 over Arlesey Town and a heavy defeat in 2011 against Hampton and Richmond Borough. Adam Flanagan, Junior Kadi, Brendon Cass and Eddie McClements all netted against Arlesey Town 14 years ago in the Isthmian Division One North. The Darts went on to lift the title by nine points and scored 107 goals in the process. The last home win on this day was a derby victory over rivals Dover Athletic in 1980, the Darts cruised to a 3-0 triumph in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final. Their last three home games on 19 February have ended in defeat versus Hampton and Richmond Borough, Newport Isle of Wight (2000) and Witney Town (1997).

Needham Market v Dartford

Dartford are on the brink of reaching the F.A Trophy quarter-final for the first time in nine years when they visit Needham Market on the weekend.

The Darts have fond memories of their one and only visit to Bloomfields when they progressed in the F.A Cup. This time round the Marketmen could provide a tougher test after making club history causing upsets along the way.

Alfie Pavey inspired Dartford in the only meeting between the two sides in September 2017 when his first-half hat-trick set the tone. The striker scored from a tight angle, headed in a second and secured the match ball with his third. Early in the second-half Tom Murphy got on the end of a counter attack to make it four before Elliott Bradbrook missed a penalty. Needham Market pulled a goal back through Sam Nunn, but Andy Pugh restored the four-goal lead. The hosts had Billy Holland sent off and to round off the rout, Ryan Hayes made it 6-1 with virtually the last kick of the game.

After a string of draws in the National South and victory in the previous round against National League side Weymouth, the Darts have hit some form and are eight games unbeaten in all competitions. Steve King led his side to three consecutive Kent derby wins beating Tonbridge Angels, Ebbsfleet United and Welling United before their trip to Havant and Waterlooville on Wednesday night.

King made two changes to the side that beat Welling United with Kalvin Kalala coming in for Danny Leonard and new loan signing Ody Alfa making his debut. The 22-year-old from Queens Park Rangers will be with the Darts until the end of the season, the forward has previously had spells with Maidenhead United and last season with Billericay Town. Luke Allen’s strike on the stroke of half-time was enough to secure a 1-0 win and move the Darts within four points of league leaders Dorking Wanderers and up into third place. Havant and Waterlooville rarely threatened in front of goal mainly due to a decent defensive display from the Darts, especially Korey Roberts. Returning from injury, Tom Bonner came off the bench to shore things up at the back and see the game out.

Watch Steve King’s interview with Dartford FC TV

In Dartford’s F.A Trophy run they have overcome a mixture of opponents defeating fellow National South side Bath City on penalties, overcoming Cray Wanderers from the division below and knocking out the Terras in the last round. Experience of a F.A Cup exit to lower league opposition this season means the Darts should not take this tie for granted, especially with the results achieved by Needham Market in the last two rounds of the competition.

The Marketmen under former midfielder Kevin Horlock began their journey in the third qualifying round and are still standing after five games. Horlock has a wealth of Football League experience with Swindon Town, Manchester City in the late nineties and early noughties, West Ham United, Ipswich Town before the tail end of his playing career. Whilst in management, as an assistant at Needham Market, Horlock was also assistant with Northern Ireland’s under 21 side and kept that role whilst managing Chatham Town afterwards. Prior his appointment at Bloomfields in June 2019, he also had a spell as Maldon and Tiptree boss.

Three players, Luke Ingram, Jake Dye and Daniel Morphew are still in the Needham Market squad that lost against he Darts back in 2017. They have played their part in the club’s trophy run which has included wins against St Ives Town, Margate, Welwyn City Garden and most notably Wealdstone and Yeovil Town both of the National League. Ingram is the top appearance maker of this current squad and is in his ninth campaign, Dye is an academy product and has made over 200 appearances and is now in his eighth season with the club and Morphew has been a constant in defence over the years.

In the Southern Premier Central, the Marketmen are playing catch up with games in hand caused by a fantastic trophy run. The Suffolk side are tenth in the league 11 points from a playoff spot with four matches extra to play. In all competitions they are six unbeaten at home with victories over Wealdstone, Hitchin Town and Leiston and draws against Peterborough Sports, Hednesford Town and in their last outing Royston Town. The 2-2 draw with Royston Town stretched their unbeaten league run to four, but they were two up in that game entering the 88th minute. The Marketmen have now lost just once in their last 11 competitive matches and with home advantage, previous upsets under their belt and club history already made they will be looking for yet another scalp.

F.A Trophy story so far…

Third Qualifying Round
St Ives Town 0-2 Needham Market
Paired up against fellow Southern Premier Central side St Ives Town, the Marketmen got their F.A Trophy adventure underway with a two goal victory. Luke Ingram expertly controlled and finished to open the scoring and four minutes from time Byron Lawrence’s superb free-kick sealed the deal.

First Round
Needham Market 3-2 Margate
Making it to the second round created history for Needham Market as they beat Kent club Margate with a dramatic late goal. The Marketmen went two goals up with a Harvey Sayers solo effort and Ben Fowkes’ strike on the stroke of half-time. Margate hit back with second-half goals by Vance Bola and former Dart, Ben Greenhalgh. Then three minutes into stoppage time Hans Mpongo headed the winner.

Second Round
Bath City 0-0 Dartford (Dartford won 5-3 on penalties)
A tight affair at Twerton Park ended with no goals scored after normal time and so the tie went straight to penalties. The Darts scored all five of their spot kicks and after two penalties each gained an advantage when Dan Wilks saved from Alex Fletcher. The Darts kept their heads and with Tyrique Hyde last to go for the visitors, the midfielder slotted home.

Needham Market 3-1 Welwyn City Garden
Although not the winner this time, Mpongo netted again in stoppage time to make sure Needham Market’s journey continued. A division higher than their opponents, the Marketmen scored twice in as many minutes just after the hour mark, first Luke Ingram then Jake Dye. In the last minute Welwyn City Garden halved the deficit, but Mpongo added a third.

Third Round
Cray Wanderers1-3 Dartford
Three goals in five first half minutes settled Dartford’s nerves in round three. The Kent derby against Isthmian Premier League side Cray Wanderers could have been a banana skin but the Darts negotiated their way through to the next round. Jake Robinson opened the scoring past former Dartford goalkeeper Bailey Vose. The striker added a second from the penalty spot and Danny Leonard made it three. The Wands scored a consolation in the second half when Jai Reason scored.

Needham Market 2-1 Wealdstone
The first of two upsets came in the third round as Needham Market knocked out National League side Wealdstone. Callum Sturgess got his side off to a perfect start after eight minutes to set up a trophy shock. Ten minutes before the interval Ingram doubled the lead and when Matthew Buse pulled a goal back it set up a tense finish.

Fourth Round
Dartford 1-0 Weymouth
The Darts knocked out higher league opposition and avenged a National South playoff defeat with victory at Princes Park. Jack Jebb scored the decisive goal and despite pressure from the visitors goalkeeper Dan Wilks kept the Terras at bay.

Yeovil Town 1-1 Needham Market (Needham Market won 8-7 on penalties)
The Marketmen caused a massive upset by beating a team famous for their F.A Cup giantkilling. Goalkeeper Marcus Garnham was the hero with four penalty saves in the shoot-out, after 22 spot kicks the shot stopper kept out Morgan Williams to grab the headlines. Williams has earlier opened the scoring in the first-half, a strike that was cancelled out just before half-time by Fowkes.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Needham Market wins: 0 / Draws: 0

Current Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(DDWWWW)
    Needham Market
(WLWDWD)
   
Havant and Waterlooville A 1-0 Royston Town H 2-2
Welling United H 4-2 Leiston H 3-0
Ebbsfleet United H 1-0 Redditch United A 0-0
Tonbridge Angels A 3-2 Hitchin Town H 3-1
Concord Rangers H 0-0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds A 0-2
Hampton and Richmond H 2-2 Yeovil Town (FAT)* A 1-1

(FAT – F.A Trophy) / * Needham Market won 8-7 on penalties

Previous Meeting

Needham Market 1 – 6 Dartford (30/09/2017 – F.A Cup Third Qualifying Round)

Stats

  • Dartford have won four in a row for the first time since October
  • The Darts have won three F.A Trophy ties this season, the first time since their run to the semi-final in 2012/2013
  • Jack Jebb will make his 50th Dartford appearance if selected on the weekend. The midfielder has started 47 games, made two substitute appearances and has scored seven goals.

On This Day

The Darts completed a league double over Luton Town in the National League on this day. Ryan Hayes fine effort was enough to take victory, earlier in the game Andre Gray struck the post. Dartford’s last away game ended in a 1-1 draw with Braintree Town, the Darts went a goal down after a Billy Burgess own goal and Jon Main levelled the National South match. In 2005, the Dartford brushed aside Berkamsted Town 5-0 in the Southern League Division One East. The only F.A Trophy tie on this day ended without a goal as the Darts drew 0-0 against Atherstone United in 1972, Dartford won the replay 1-0 two days later.

Havant and Waterlooville v Dartford

Dartford travel full of confidence when they visit Havant and Waterlooville in the National South on Wednesday.

The Darts have had a fantastic week with three consecutive Kent derby victories to move them fourth in the table, seven points behind the league leaders with a game in hand. Meanwhile, Havant and Waterlooville are going through a tougher spell and are without a win in seven sitting in mid-table.

To add to the recent good form, Dartford are unbeaten in their last nine matches against the Hawks, winning seven and drawing two. The last of those victories was in the previous meeting back in October 2020 at Princes Park. Behind closed doors due to Covid restrictions, Jack Barham scored twice on Halloween as Dartford recorded a 2-1 win. The striker netted a penalty then headed a Jack Jebb cross home. Josh Taylor pulled a goal back before Billy Clifford was sent off in this niggly affair.

Highlights of Dartford’s last meeting with Havant and Waterlooville – Dartford FC TV

It was Dartford’s second 2-1 triumph against the Hampshire side in a row, the previous came at Westleigh Park in the delayed 2019/2020 playoff semi-final, also behind closed doors. The parallels last season’s meeting being Darren McQueen netting a brace, one of which was a penalty and Havant and Waterlooville being reduced to ten men when Josh Taylor was red carded. This time Dartford came from behind to win after Jonah Ayunga had put the hosts ahead.

Despite the contrasting form between the two sides and Dartford’s recent record over Paul Doswell’s side, manager Steve King isn’t being complacent, he spoke to Dartford FC TV after the Welling United triumph and commented: “Havant are not having a great time, but they are good side and they have got some very good players, so if you are not on it they will beat you. They are a capable side, some of their players I would take, they are fantastic players so it’s just not working for them at the moment, but sometimes it takes just one result for you to kick on”.

Dartford took maximum points last week starting with the 3-2 victory over Tonbridge Angels they followed that up with a terrific team effort to beat rivals Ebbsfleet United 1-0. On Saturday they completed a Kent derby hat-trick running out 4-2 winners against Welling United, but it was far from easy. Led by former Dartford player manager Peter Taylor, the Wings took the lead twice making the Darts work hard for their three points. King made just the one change to the side that beat Ebbsfleet United bringing in Connor Essam for the injured Tom Bonner.

Dartford FC TV brings you highlights of Dartford matches plus post match interviews

Conceding within the opening minutes through Afolabi Akinyemi’s strike, Dartford were on level terms when new signing Marcus Dinanga lobbed Jack Sims in the Welling United goal. However, moments after equalising the visitors won a penalty which Akinyemi scored. It was all level again before the interval when Danny Leonard scored his eighth of the season in an entertaining half. In the second half, the Darts showed their quality and when Luke Allen fired from outside of the box and Dinanga grabbed hos second with a superb finish the points were safe.

King pointed out after the game that the quality of finishing and the ‘game changers’ from the substitutes bench made the difference. He also praised his two goal hero Dinanga and is confident the striker can bring more to the side, he said: “Marcus will score goals for us, give him the right service he will score goals for us. He has got a little bit of everything, wins headers, he’s strong boy, he’s got a good left foot and he took his goals well”.

The trio of competitive derbies have taken its toll on the squad and leading up to the Havant and Waterlooville game Steve King has freshened the squad up. With Tom Bonner and Josh Hill injured on the weekend, the Darts have already brought in Korey Roberts and was forced to field Essam ahead of schedule after his shoulder injury. Jernade Meade remains out, the impressive Leonard was hauled off with a leg issue on Saturday and Josh Clarke hasn’t featured since the home draw with Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Catch Dartford FC TV speaking to manager Steve King after the Welling United victory

Winless in seven league games, Havant and Waterlooville were expected to be higher in the league standings this term. The Hawks won back to back titles to reach the National League before relegation after their first season back in that division. The Hampshire side were declared runners up two years ago in the National South, losing their playoff against the Darts. Last term their record was that of a mid-table side when the season was cut short after just 14 games.

Confidence took a massive blow on Boxing Day when Havant and Waterlooville were trounced 8-0 by Dorking Wanderers, the Hawks had Paul Rooney sent off after just four minutes. Since then Paul Doswell’s team have picked up three points and their winless run at Westleigh Park is now at nine in the league, stretching back to the 5-2 win against Concord Rangers on 9 October. On Saturday they fell to their second defeat in a row losing at home to St Albans City, that result followed the 3-1 loss at Oxford City. Prior those losses, the Hawks managed to draw two on the spin versus bottom side Billericay Town and lowly Tonbridge Angels. Whilst the New Year started with a return fixture against Dorking Wanderers which ended 3-1 to the Surrey side.

One player who could make a return to Princes Park is Alex Wall. The striker was a used substitute on the weekend and made 11 appearances on loan at Dartford in 2014 scoring six times. Wall returned to Princes Park in the summer of 2018, but left before a ball was kicked. Since then, Wall has had a successful spell with Concord Rangers reaching the F.A Trophy final as well as spells at Hemel Hempstead Town and Woking, before joining Havant and Waterlooville in the summer.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / Havant and Waterlooville wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Dartford
(DDDWWW)
    Havant & Waterlooville
(DLDDLL)
   
Welling United H 4-2 St Albans City H 0-1
Ebbsfleet United H 1-0 Oxford City A 1-3
Tonbridge Angels A 3-2 Tonbridge Angels H 1-1
Concord Rangers H 0-0 Billericay Town A 1-1
Hampton and Richmond H 2-2 Dorking Wanderers H 1-3
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-1 Hemel Hempstead Town H 0-0

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 2 – 1 Havant & Waterlooville (31/10/2020 – National South)
Havant & Waterlooville 1 – 2 Dartford (25/07/2020 – National South Playoff)
Dartford 1 – 1 Havant & Waterlooville (10/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Havant & Waterlooville (13/01/2018 – National South)
Havant & Waterlooville 0 – 0 Dartford (12/08/2017 – National South)
Havant & Waterlooville 0 – 2 Dartford (19/03/2016 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford are unbeaten in their last four away games against Havant and Waterlooville winning three and drawing the other
  • The Darts have only lost once at Westleigh Park, the 1-0 defeat in April 2011 is the last time the Hawks beat Dartford.
  • Havant and Waterlooville won the first five meetings between the two sides from 1999 to 2011, since then Dartford have been unbeaten in the last nine

On This Day

A ‘ghost goal’ earned Dartford a crucial point at AFC Sudbury on this day in a 2-2 draw. John Guest headed the Darts in front, but James Rowe’s brace put the hosts a goal up. Then came the controversy, Brendon Cass tried forcing the ball over the goal line but came up short, but the referee thought otherwise and gave the goal. Only two of the current squad were involved in Dartford’s last win on 9 February. Jordan Wynter and Tom Bonner were part of the defence three years ago as the Darts beat Bath City 3-0 at Princes Park. Goals from Lee Noble, Charlie Sheringham and Phil Roberts cemented a convincing win. Dartford’s last outing on this day was a 1-0 home loss versus Eastbourne Borough twelve months ago. On the road to Wembley in 1974, the Darts negotiated their way into round three of the F.A Trophy with a 2-1 replay victory at Minehead, despite having top scorer John Mitchell sent off.

Dartford v Welling United

A third consecutive Kent derby for the Darts could see them complete a double over Welling United against a former player manager this weekend.

Over the last week Dartford have beaten Tonbridge Angels as well as local rivals Ebbsfleet United and now face Peter Taylor and his Welling United side. The current Wings boss wasn’t in charge when the Darts hammered the Wings on their own patch 6-0 back in September. To add extra spice in the dugout, Steve King will also face one of his former clubs, who he led to the playoff final in May 2019 before moving to Dartford five months later.

Dartford were fast out of the blocks in the reverse fixture at Park View Road, Noor Husin finishing a well worked move in the opening minutes of the game. Dan Roberts set up Ade Azeez midway through the first half and when Danny Leonard scored his first league goal for the club, the Darts were three up before half-time. Dartford’s excellent combination play continued and a two-minute brace from Luke Allen stretched the lead to five and there was still time for Azeez to grab his second in the rout.

Highlights of Dartford’s win against Welling United in September courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Allen was also on the scoresheet in the last meeting between the two sides at Princes Park. In Steve Lovells first game in charge at Welling United almost a year ago, the Wings went two up through former Dart, Lyle Della-Verde and a penalty converted by Anthony Cook. It took a spell of five second-half minutes for the Darts to level when Allen started the comeback and Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong completed it, denying the Wings their first win at Dartford since Boxing Day 2013. Lovell left the Wings five days before the 6-0 drubbing earlier this season. 

Much of King’s success at Welling United was built on excellent home form, something the Dartford boss is recreating this season. The Darts approached their rescheduled North Kent derby at home to Ebbsfleet United on the back of a 15 game unbeaten run at Princes Park in all competitions this term. Danny Leonard maintained his place in the side despite being taken off against Tonbridge Angels with a head injury, Ade Azeez was absent after he looked to have picked up an injury in the same game, Jernade Meade and Connor Essam are also nursing injuries. Jake Robinson and Luke Allen returned to the starting eleven and Marcus Dinanga made his Dartford debut. The 24-year-old has already played for Altrincham in the National North and has also had a loan spell at Kidderminster Harriers.

Watch Dartford’s victory over Ebbsfleet United – Dartford FC TV

Jake Robinson scored a first half winner by getting on the end of Kai Innocent’s cross to take him to nine league goals. The striker has now scored 11 in his last 13 appearances in all competitions, and could have added another with a glorious chance just before the half hour mark. Former Dart, Elliott Romain was replaced by Dominic Poleon at half-time, the striker should have scored early in the second half and came close again later on for the Fleet. The visitors piled on the pressure looking for the equaliser and after making all their substitutes Joe Martin went off injured leaving the Fleet down to ten men for the final 15 minutes. Dartford’s excellent performance was rewarded with a 1-0 win to extend the unbeaten home run to 16.

Former Welling United centre back, Josh Hill will not get to face his old side as he is out for the rest of the season. However, Dan Wilks and Jack Jebb are likely to feature, the pair were down at Park View Road during Steve King’s reign there. George Porter is another of the Darts to return to his former home. 

Welling United manager, Peter Taylor had one of the most successful spells in Dartford’s history between July 1986 and 1990. Whilst player manager he made 253 appearances and scored 94 goals. He led the Darts to two Southern League runner up finishes, two Southern League Cup titles and reached the F.A Trophy semi-finals twice. After managing the Darts, Taylor was one of the most successful England under 21 managers, famously took charge of the England senior team for a game giving David Beckham the captain’s armband and has gained vast amounts of experience with various Football League clubs.

Highlights of the last time Dartford hosted Welling United courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Since taking charge of Welling United, the Wings have recorded five league victories and three draws from 17 games. Five points clear of Braintree Town below them, Welling United have earned enough points to close the gap on teams above them, only goal difference separates them with Tonbridge Angels and Chelmsford City are only two points better off. Yet to beat a top five team this term, Taylor’s side have been picking up points against their direct competitors down at the bottom.

However, they did have a chance to put more distance between themselves and Braintree Town in their last outing over ten days ago, but the game finished 2-2. The Iron were even two up with the first goal coming fortuitously, Welling United goalkeeper Jack Sims punched the ball against Braintree Town’s Matt Johnson and into the net. Kyran Clements got on the end of a long throw to double the Iron’s lead, but the Wings fought back. Two headers one from Dipo Akinyemi and the other by Aaron Barnes made sure the points were shared. Welling United also had an opportunity to pass Chelmsford City in the National South standings three weeks ago, this time the game ended scoreless. 

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 23 / Welling United wins: 10 / Draws: 10

Current League Form

Dartford
(LDDDWW)
    Welling United
(LWLDLD)
   
Ebbsfleet United H 1-0 Braintree Town A 2-2
Tonbridge Angels A 3-2 Oxford City H 0-1
Concord Rangers H 0-0 Chelmsford City A 0-0
Hampton and Richmond H 2-2 St Albans City H 2-3
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-1 Dulwich Hamlet A 1-0
Ebbsfleet United A 0-1 Maidstone United A 1-4

Previous Meetings (last six)

Welling United 0 – 6 Dartford (25/09/2021 – National South)
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)

Stats

  • Dartford have lost just once in their last 15 matches against Welling United, winning nine and drawing five
  • The Darts are seven home games unbeaten versus the Wings winning six in a row before the draw in February last year
  • Dartford have kept four clean sheets in the last five fixtures against Welling United
  • The Wings have only won three times in 20 attempts when visiting Dartford

On This Day

Ronnie Vint’s 97th minute winner on a Tuesday night at the Kingfield sparked jubilant celebrations three years ago. The academy graduated who recently moved to Dulwich Hamlet headed the winner as the Darts recorded their first ever away win against Woking. Eleven years ago, Datford fans embarked on the long journey to the North East, but came home defeated as their side went out of the F.A Trophy losing to Gateshead 3-0 in the third round. Future Dartford legend, Lee Noble impressed Tony Burman in a 2-2 draw with Brentwood Town in 2008. The midfielder scored the equaliser against the Darts after Brendon Cass and John Guest had put Dartford 2-1 up. Since reforming, Dartford’s only two home matches on this day have resulted in comfortable victories. Tonbridge Angels were beaten 3-0 in the 1999/2000 Southern League South season and Crockenhill defeated 4-1 in the Kent League back in 1994.

Dartford v Ebbsfleet United

Dartford’s rescheduled North Kent derby takes place on Tuesday night with the prospect of overtaking their rivals Ebbsfleet United in the National South.

The Darts will be desperate to avenge the New Year defeat when they host their local rivals and maintain their unbeaten home record. Last month the Fleet came away with a 1-0 victory thanks to a late strike from Ben Chapman. In Steve King and Dennis Kutrieb’s second North Kent derby it was another tight affair, the first meeting between the two ended goalless. Whilst Dartford created some great opportunities, Ebbsfleet United were good on the ball and Chapman’s winner was enough for the Fleet.

You can catch all the Dartford highlights on Dartford FC TV

The home side has dominated this fixture over the years with just one away victory recorded in the last 13 meetings since Gravesend and Northfleet became Ebbsfleet United in 2007. Dartford’s last victory against their rivals was on Boxing Day just over five years ago when Tom Bonner opened the scoring against his former club and Duane Ofori-Acheampong added a second, Anthony Cook scored Fleet’s consolation. The return fixture ended 1-0 to Ebbsfleet United on New Year’s Day. The sides had to wait another four years to meet again, the 0-0 draw in January last year.

When this fixture was due to take place on Boxing Day there was a three-way tie at the summit of the National South, which included these two local rivals. Due to the number of Covid cases in the Ebbsfleet United camp the match was postponed. A lot can change in a month and now Dartford are ten points behind the leaders whilst Ebbsfleet United have fallen seven points behind top spot and sit in fourth, one place ahead of the Darts but with an inferior goal difference.  

On the weekend, Dartford approached their away trip to Tonbridge Angels on the back of a six game winless run in the National South, although they did beat Weymouth in the F.A Trophy during that time. Finally the league streak was broken and the Darts claimed a 3-2 victory thanks to a terrific Danny Leonard brace to take him to seven goals in all competitions and another Jack Jebb free-kick. Although Dartford found their goalscoring form by hitting three in the league for the first time in a couple of months, the Angels didn’t give in. First the hosts halved the deficit to 2-1 and right at the end they pulled a goal back, then had an effort cleared off the line. Leonard was later substituted in the match after a head injury and Ade Azeez came off after what looked like a hamstring issue.

You can catch all the Dartford highlights on Dartford FC TV

With the departure of defender Ronnie Vint, Josh Hill’s long term injury and Connor Essam missing after picking up a knock against Concord Rangers, new loan signing Korey Roberts made his debut after coming in from National League side Bromley. Dartford boss, Steve King shuffled the midfield with Tyrique Hyde, Leonard and Kieran Murtagh making the starting line up. In form striker, Jake Robinson made a substitute appearance, perhaps being rested for the North Kent derby.

Dartford have managed one Kent derby win in the league this season, the 6-0 thrashing of Welling United, that came two weeks after the 1-1 home draw with Tonbridge Angels. Since then, the Darts have lost to Ebbsfleet United and Maidstone United without scoring. Although, Dartford did beat the Stones in the F.A Cup and claimed victories against Hythe Town in the Kent Senior Cup and Cray Wanderers in the F.A Trophy. Ebbsfleet United have so far won three and lost three of their Kent derbies. Aside from the victory in the reverse fixture against the Darts, the Fleet recorded big wins against Tonbridge Angels (5-1) on the opening day and Welling United (6-0) in November. Ebbsfleet United went out of the F.A Trophy to Cray Wanderers on penalties, but their nemesis this term is Maidstone United who completed a double over the Fleet.

After a 3-2 home loss against the Stones in November, Kutrieb’s side fell to a second defeat against their Kent rivals a week ago. This time it was 4-0 at the Gallagher Stadium, Joan Luque’s penalty, George Fowler and a Sam Corne brace condemned Fleet to a second heavy defeat in a row completing a tough week, not only for Kutrieb but for Sefa Kahraman too. Both Kutrieb and Kahraman were sent off at the Gallagher Stadium, a second match in a row for the latter. Three days earlier, the defender left his side down to ten men for 73 minutes against league leaders Dorking Wanderers, the Fleet were hammered 5-1.

On the weekend, Ebbsfleet United needed to bounce back at home to Hampton and Richmond Borough, who had recently drawn 2-2 with the Darts. The Fleet recorded a 1-0 victory against the Beavers with the winning strike from Will Wood. Ebbsfleet United were pleased to see the return of Joe Martin considering Kahraman began his suspension and Sido Jombati’s injury at Dorking Wanderers. Former Dart, Elliott Romain made a start after fellow striker Rakish Bingham looks to have picked up a long tern injury. Romain made the short journey to Stonebridge Road in the summer after two campaigns at Princes Park. The striker scored 15 in his debut season and added one more last term making 45 appearances in total for the Darts.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 66 / Ebbsfleet United wins: 56 / Draws: 33

Current League Form

Dartford
(DLDDDW)
    Ebbsfleet United
(DWWLLW)
   
Tonbridge Angels A 3-2 Hampton and Richmond H 1-0
Concord Rangers H 0-0 Maidstone United A 0-4
Hampton and Richmond H 2-2 Dorking Wanderers A 1-5
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-1 Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-1
Ebbsfleet United A 0-1 Dartford H 1-0
Braintree Town A 2-2 Billericay Town H 0-0

Previous Meetings (last six)

Ebbsfleet United 1 – 0 Dartford (02/01/2022 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 0 Ebbsfleet United (02/01/2021 – National South)
Ebbsfleet United 1 – 0 Dartford (01/01/2017 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Ebbsfleet United (26/12/2016 – National South)
Ebbsfleet United 1 – 1 Dartford (28/03/2016 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Ebbsfleet United (31/08/2015 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford have won six of their last nine home league games against Ebbsfleet United, drawing two and losing the other
  • The 0-0 draw in the corresponding fixture last term was Dartford’s first league clean sheet against the Fleet since the 5-0 New Years Day victory in 1992.
  • Dartford are 15 games unbeaten at home in all competitions this season, the best home run from the start of a campaign since 2011/12 when they were unbeaten in the first 14 home matches.
  • The Darts are three unbeaten home matches away from equalling the record of 18 home games without a defeat from the start of a season, set in 1908/1909 (competitive matches only). In that campaign Dartford remained unbeaten at home with 17 wins and a draw.

On This Day

Dartford blew away Chippenham Town on their own patch inside the first forty minutes two years ago. Darren McQueen’s spot kick got the goal rush underway and within five minutes Liam Nash and a skillful Amrit Bansal-McNulty finish put the Darts 3-1 up. McQueen found the back of the net again and an own goal left the final score 5-1, all goals in the first half. Victory was the fourth in a row in this day, the previous three all 1-0 wins at home. In 2011, Elliot Bradbrook scored the winner against Braintree Town in the National South, in 1999 the Darts beat Chelmsford City and two years earlier Cinderford Town both in the Southern League South. Stretching back to 1969, Dartford have won seven, drawn one and lost one on 1 February, the previous nine between 1896 and 1964 resulted in just two victories and seven defeats.