Dartford aim to build momentum ahead of the playoffs and next up is an away trip to Slough Town on the weekend.
A runner up spot is out of reach for the Darts and so their attention turns to moving into third and receiving a bye into the semi-finals of the playoffs. Although mathematically they can still draw level on points with second place Dorking Wanderers, the Darts will need a massive goal swing. After victory in their last league outing, Steve King’s side are sitting in fourth just a point behind rivals Ebbsfleet United and level on goal difference.
Slough Town can still make the playoff places but were hindered by Tuesday night’s result at Concord Rangers. The Rebels are four points from a top seven finish with two games remaining. The Berkshire club enter this weekend’s game unbeaten in their last five league matches drawing their last two.
The Darts can go into Saturday’s fixture with confidence after beating St Albans City last weekend and then reaching a second Kent Senior Cup final in a row. In their penultimate home game of the regular National South season, Steve King’s side put their derby day defeat against Maidstone United behind them. Four changes were made to the starting eleven with goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook making his third appearance. Kristian Campbell, Ade Azeez and Keiran Murtagh all returned to the line-up with Murtagh making an important contribution to the game. The midfielder scored twice and set up Marcus Dinanga in a 3-1 victory which saw the Darts pass 100 goals in all competitions since the start of the campaign. Dinanga will be hoping to maintain his scoring streak having scored in five of his last six appearance, taking his tally to nine in 12 appearances for the season.
A further eight changes were made in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final against Welling United on Tuesday night in a tie that went to penalties. Former Slough Town forward, Dan Roberts returned to the squad on the bench and made an impact in a dramatic twist at the end of the game. The Darts found themselves two goals down by half-time when Henry Burnett scored twice. Dartford rallied in the second-half and Jordan Greenidge scored his 4th for the club in seven appearances to provide hope. Deep into stoppage time, Dan Roberts won a penalty, up stepped Jake Robinson to net his 17th of the campaign. Dartford scored all five penalties and Charles-Cook made a crucial save to secure a 5-3 shoot-out victory.
The reverse fixture against Slough Town in August ended with Dartford earning a comfortable 3-0 triumph. In the first competitive game in front of home fans since March 2020, Noor Husin gave a masterclass in midfield and his man of the match performance was rewarded with a goal. Against his old club, Dan Roberts impressed with a key pass for the opening goal and a couple of assists, whilst Ade Azeez and George Porter netted the other two goals.
Dartford’s last visit to Arbour Park came in December 2020 when they drew Slough Town in the F.A Trophy second round. Like Tuesday night’s county cup win, Dartford came from two goals down to take the game to penalties. Josh Jackson and Warren Harris put the hosts in command, but goals from Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong and Moussa Bakayoko within three minutes of each other forced spot-kicks, Dartford won 6-5 in the shoot-out. That was the third time the two sides met in that campaign over a two-month period. The Rebels won a F.A Cup tie 1-0 at Princes Park and in the league, Dartford triumphed at home with both goals from Chris Dickson.
The Darts last visited the Rebels in a National South fixture back in January 2020. On the scoresheet that day for Slough Town was Dan Roberts, he also netted in the reverse fixture that season as his former club completed a league double. However, the two sides were to meet again in the playoffs and this time the Darts won 3-0 thanks to Charlie Sheringham’s brace and Luke Wanadio’s strike.
Slough Town have put a positive run together to try and gatecrash the playoffs, however in their current sequence of five without defeat they have drawn three and those dropped points could be decisive. On Tuesday night they went to Concord Rangers knowing victory will give them a better chance of a top seven finish. It looked good for the Rebels just past the hour mark when Ben Harris scored, but the Beachboys were level when Mamadou Jobe netted in the 1-1 draw. The result was a repeat of their weekend game against Chelmsford City in which Slough Town threw away a lead, this time whilst the Clarets were down to ten men. Prior the two draws, the Rebels put back-to-back wins together beating Tonbridge Angels 1-0 and Hemel Hempstead Town 2-0.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 6 / Slough Town wins: 3 / Draws: 3
Current League Form
|St Albans City||H||3-1||Chelmsford City||A||1-1|
|Maidstone United||H||0-1||Hemel Hempstead Town||H||2-0|
|Billericay Town||A||2-0||Tonbridge Angels||A||1-0|
|Hemel Hempstead Town||H||1-1||Eastbourne Borough||H||2-2|
|Oxford City||A||1-1||Dorking Wanderers||A||0-5|
|Hampton & Richmond||A||1-0||Braintree Town||H||0-2|
Previous Meetings (last six)
Dartford 3 – 0 Slough Town (21/08/2021 – National South)
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 are unbeaten in their last three matches against Slough Town (W2, D1)
- Five of the six visits to Arbour Park have ended with three or more goals scored, the Darts have won 3, drawn 2 and lost 1. The defeat being the only game with less than three goals scored.
- The Darts have kept three clean sheets in their last five games against the Rebels having previously gone seven consecutive fixtures without keeping a clean sheet when playing the Berkshire club.
On This Day
The last four games played on this day were all end of season fixtures, the most recent ended in a dismal 4-0 defeat at St Albans City six years ago. However, five years earlier the Darts enjoyed an entertaining 3-2 win at Maidenhead United with goals from Charlie Sheringham, Jack Pallen and Ryan Hayes. Barton Rovers were beaten 2-0 on their own patch to close out the 2005/2006 Southern League Division One Eastern campaign and 12 months earlier Dartford lost their last home game on this day 3-0 against East Thurrock United in the same division. In 1988, Dartford kept their Southern Premier League title hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over VS Rugby. However, the season ended in heartbreak the following week as they lost on goal difference to Aylesbury United by just four goals. Two years earlier, Dartford said goodbye to the top tier of non-league as they were relegated from the Alliance Premier League. The Darts lost 5-0 at Runcorn and had to wait 26 years to return to the non-league top flight.