Month: May 2022

Folkestone Invicta v Dartford

Silverware is up for grabs for Dartford when they aim to retain the Kent Senior Cup against Folkestone Invicta on Tuesday night in Chatham.

On the way to winning the last edition of the competition the Darts beat Folkestone Invicta in the quarter-final. Steve King will be hoping for history to repeat itself and help Dartford lift the cup for the thirteenth time. Folkestone Invicta are in their sixth Kent Senior Cup final, but have yet to get their hands on the trophy.

For a second consecutive county cup campaign the Darts will be facing Invicta. In a last eight meeting just over two years ago, Dartford scored two goals in each half on their way to a 4-0 victory. Liam Nash set the Darts on their way with a goal just past the half hour mark. Tyrique Hyde, one of three in the current squad who started in the last game against Invicta, doubled the lead. Billy Crook and Elliot Romain extended Dartford’s advantage to send them into the final four where they beat Phoenix Sports 5-1. In the final played this season back in November, Jake Robinson scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 victory over Whitstable Town.

Highlight’s of the Darts beating Invicta on the way to reaching the 2020 final – Dartford FC TV

Dartford will want to end their season in style after playoff heartbreak on Thursday night. King made just the one change to the side that thrashed Eastbourne Borough 7-2 on the last day of the regular season. Jernade Meade was back in the starting eleven replacing Jordan Wynter. The Darts were unable to find their scoring boots for a second home game in a row drawing another blank, this time against Chippenham Town in the National South playoff eliminator. Dan Roberts had the best opportunity early in the tie, but Dartford created little else at Princes Park. The visitors hit the woodwork and missed the rebound late on in normal time as it finished 0-0. Extra time followed and with both sides still unable to score it went down to penalties. Despite a pair of saves from goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook in the shoot-out, the Darts lost 3-2 and will be playing National South football next season.

The Darts finished fourth in the league and having been knocked out of the playoffs it allows King to select a strong side for the Kent Senior Cup final. After a blistering start to the campaign the Darts lost touch with the front runners dropping too many points in October, November and January. A run of five straight victories in February put Dartford in with a chance, but disappointing defeats on the road and a spell of more draws left too much to do in the end. At Princes Park, King led his side to a 17-game unbeaten home run in the league, the best from the start of a campaign for 96 years. More recently on the road, Dartford have scored 13 in their last two outings beating Slough Town 6-0 before the emphatic victory at Eastbourne Borough.

Folkestone Invicta also had an outstanding start in their Isthmian Premier campaign and at one stage it looked like promotion was a possibility. Neil Cugley guided Invicta to a 12-game unbeaten run from the start of the season picking up 26 points early doors. However, just two wins in eight slowed Folkestone Invicta’s progress. Whilst results became consistently good again, the final run-in saw Invicta drop out of the playoff places after one triumph in their last nine outings, their last fixture an entertaining 4-4 draw with Haringey Borough. In the end they finished their Isthmian Premier League campaign in sixth, missing out on a playoff place.

Helping Folkestone Invicta to their second sixth place finish in a full season in a row, Luke Wanadio permanently signed for the club in February. The winger made 15 appearances and scored five goals since joining from Dartford initially on loan. Wanadio had three spells with the Darts making a total of 99 appearances and scoring 18 times. Defender Ryan Johnson also once donned a Dartford shirt back in the 2009/2010 Isthmian Premier winning campaign appearing 17 times for the club and scoring one goal. This season Johnson made 36 appearances to reach half a century for Invicta.

Story so far

Second Round
Dartford 2-1 Dover Athletic
Jordan Greenidge scored twice on debut to start Dartford’s defence of the Kent Senior Cup. The striker opened his account after eighteen minutes and added a second with fifteen minutes to go. Dover Athletic pulled a goal back, but the Darts went through to the last eight of the competition.

Folkestone Invicta 0-0 VCD Athletic (Folkestone Invicta won 3-2 on penalties)
Neither side could make the important breakthrough in a goalless draw after 90 minutes. So the tie went straight to penalties with Invicta making it into the last eight. Out of the four missed penalties all of them missed the target, VCD Athletic failing to score three of them. Invicta were more clinical from 12 yards securing a 3-2 shoot-out victory.

Quarter Final
Margate 2-4 Dartford
Luke Allen opened the scoring after just six minutes to get Dartford on the way, but Margate equalised six minutes later through James Bessey-Saldanha. The Darts pulled away in the second half with goals from Kalvin Kalala, Ade Azeez and Ody Alfa before Vance Bola pulled one back for the hosts.

Folkestone Invicta 3-1 Ebbsfleet United
Two first-half goals in the space of five minutes changed this tie in Folkestone Invicta’s favour. Club record goalscorer, Ian Draycott added to his career tally putting the hosts ahead, then Invicta went two goals up after David Smith scored one of his 34 netted this term. Rakish Bingham gave Invicta something to think about by getting one back for Fleet, but the tie was settled when Simo Mbonkwi scored on debut

Semi Final
Welling United 2-2 Dartford (Dartford won 5-3 on penalties)
The Darts had one hand removed from the cup they are defending when Welling United went two up. A brace from Henry Burnett had the Wings in control, but Jordan Greenidge got the Darts back in the tie. The returning Dan Roberts won a stoppage time penalty, up stepped Jake Robinson to force a penalty shoot-out. Dartford scored all five and Reice Charles-Cook made a save to see the Darts through to the final.

Hythe Town 0-2 Folkestone Invicta
Two first half strikes from Ade Yusuff and David Smith put Invicta in command, the pair ended up with 62 goals between them this season in all competitions. Over a thousand turned up to watch the semi-final as the kick off was delayed due to crowd congestion. Yussuf scored with a low drilled shot and Smith finished a well taken goal, which was enough to settle this semi-final.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 6 / Folkestone Invicta wins: 10 / Draws: 4

Current Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(WDWLWD)
    Folkestone Invicta
(WDWLDW)
   
Chippenham Town* (NSPO) H 0-0 Hythe Town (KSC) A 2-0
Eastbourne Borough A 7-2 Haringey Borough A 4-4
Braintree Town H 0-1 Margate H 0-1
Slough Town A 6-0 Leatherhead A 1-0
Welling United (KSC)** A 2-2 Corinthian Casuals H 2-2
St Albans City H 3-1 Ebbsfleet United (KSC) H 3-1

NSPO = National South Playoff / KSC = Kent Senior Cup
* lost 3-2 on penalties
** won 5-3 on penalties

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 4 – 0 Folkestone Invicta (25/02/2020 – Kent Senior Cup)
Folkestone Invicta 1 – 4 Dartford (07/12/2011 – Kent Senior Cup)
Dartford 2 – 2 Folkestone Invicta (12/09/2006 – Isthmian League Cup)*
Dartford 1 – 2 Folkestone Invicta (18/01/2005 – Kent Senior Cup)
Folkestone Invicta 0 – 1 Dartford (13/03/2004 – Southern League Division One)
Dartford 1 – 6 Folkestone Invicta (24/02/2004 – Southern League Division One)
*Dartford won 5-3 on penalties

Stats

  • Dartford have played five times against Folkestone Invicta in the Kent Senior Cup (W2, L3)
  • The Darts are three games unbeaten against Invicta (W2, D1) having lost the previous eight in a row between 1998 and 2005
  • The last four meetings have been cup ties and Dartford have won the last three

On This Day

Dartford have only played twice on this day with a record of one win and one defeat. The 1946/1947 Southern League campaign went on until mid-June, so even after the 1-0 loss at Hereford, the Darts still had six more games to go. Dartford ended the season in 11th place, a month earlier they won the Kent Senior Cup for the fifth time. Thirty years later, Dartford played their final home game of the 1976/1977 season beating Atherstone United 2-1, three days later they completed the Southern Premier League in 18th place. Silverware was also picked up that season when they beat Yeovil Town in the Southern League Cup in April.

Dartford v Chippenham Town

Dartford start their National South playoff campaign with home advantage against Chippenham Town on Thursday night.

The Darts signed off the regular season in style to bag a home tie in the eliminator round. A resounding 7-2 win on Saturday against an Eastbourne Borough side, who have also made the playoffs will give Steve King’s team confidence in their push for promotion to the National League. Finishing fourth means Dartford are up against Chippenham Town, who sneaked into the playoffs on the final day of the season.

Dartford ended the campaign strongly on the road scoring an incredible 13 goals in their final two away matches. The Darts beat Slough Town 6-0 and followed that up with a handsome win at Eastbourne Borough. Yet in between those victories they lost only their second match at home versus Braintree Town, a second defeat at Princes Park in three games after going an impressive 17 unbeaten on their own patch.

King made another six changes for the final game of the season in a campaign which has seen the Darts use 45 players in all competitions. Dan Roberts retuned to the starting eleven for the first time since November and first league appearance since he came on as a substitute against Ebbsfleet United in February, the forward has been on loan at Carshalton Athletic. Jordan Wynter also returned from injury, whilst Samir Carruthers, Kalvin Kalala, Kristian Campbell and Marcus Dinanga were also selected. Three of those managed to get on the scoresheet justifying King’s rotation policy on the weekend. Dan Roberts opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute, whilst Dinanga and Kalala both netted a brace. Kory Roberts and Jordan Greenidge also found the back of the Eastbourne Borough net on a fantastic afternoon for the Darts.

Dartford sign off the National South campaign in style at Eastbourne Borough – Dartford FC TV

Dinanga approaches the playoffs in red hot form, the striker only joined Dartford in February on loan from Altrincham. In that time the 24-year-old has scored 13 goals in 15 appearances and ended up as Dartford’s top goalscorer in the league. Greenidge is another loanee after arriving from Weymouth, he has taken his opportunities when presented with them scoring six in eight appearances including three in his last two outings. King can also call upon Ade Azeez and Jake Robinson, the pair have scored 33 between them in all competitions since joining in the summer. Defensively, the Darts have managed 18 clean sheets and, in the league, boasted the second-best defensive record. Captain, Tom Bonner has marshalled the back line and since Conor Essam’s injury in March has struck up a good partnership with on loan defender Kory Roberts. Meanwhile, player of the season Dan Wilks has been out injured, but goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook has been more than an adequate replacement in the final four games.

King, who has lost playoff finals with Dartford, Welling United and Whitehawk now has the dilemma of whether to stick with the players involved in the last two away wins or use his squad with the thought of a potential semi-final on Sunday. Although planning too far ahead would be foolish with Chippenham Town on the horizon. The Bluebirds have taken four points off the Darts this term.

Chippenham Town sneaked into the playoffs after some good form. The Bluebirds beat Havant and Waterlooville on the final day to take the last spot from their opponents. The Wiltshire club will be a tough prospect for the Darts having taken four points off them this term

The sides played out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Princes Park during the last meeting at Dartford’s home in November. The Darts came from behind to lead at the break, then twice gave up their advantage. Dan Griffiths put the visitors in front, but his goal was cancelled out by Ade Azeez. The now departed Noor Husin put Dartford in front before the interval and in the second-half Ricky Aguiar equalised again for the visitors. Azeez looked like he’d won the match for the Darts with thirteen to go, but in the final minute Luke Russe rescued a point for the Wiltshire club.

The Darts last home meeting against Chippenham Town back in November – Dartford FC TV

In the return fixture Dartford needed victory to keep the pressure on at the top and keep their title aspirations alive. Having just beaten league leaders Dorking Wanderers a win for Steve King’s side would have put his side in with a really good shout for top spot. However, the Darts were stunned in a 4-2 defeat which saw Keiran Murtagh sent off. The midfielder is likely to miss the playoffs after picking up an injury at Slough Town.

Jordan Greenidge scored to give Dartford a seven minute lead, his first league strike for the club. Four minutes after Kieran Murtagh was cautioned, the hosts equalised through Jordan Young, then before the interval Murtagh received a second yellow card and was sent off. Chippenham Town made the man advantage count in the second period. First, Young put the Bluebirds ahead, then Alefe Santos D’Abadia stretched the hosts lead. Ade Azeez gave Dartford hope, however Chippenham Town secured maximum points with a fourth scored by Joe Hanks.

The Darts last meeting against Chippenham Town in March – Dartford FC TV

Chippenham Town finished 15 points behind the Darts and made it into the playoffs in a pressure game at Havant and Waterlooville. The Bluebirds needed to win at Westleigh Park to fly past the Hawks and into the final playoff place. Heading into the clash, Gary Horgan’s side were four unbeaten with three wins and a draw. The interim manager has only been in charge for five weeks taking over from Mike Cook. Although Horgan lost his first match in charge against runners up Dorking Wanderers, he has improved Chippenham Town’s form at the right time taking the club from eleventh to seventh.

The unbeaten run was extended on the final day with the decisive 2-0 triumph over Havant and Waterlooville. A Jordan Young double was enough to not only secure a top seven finish but also record the club’s highest ever finish in the National South. Young finished top scorer in the league for the Bluebirds with nine goals. Since defeat at Dorking Wanderers, the Wiltshire club kept back-to-back clean sheets in victories over playoff contenders Oxford City and mid-table side Dulwich Hamlet. The Bluebirds took a crucial point against Ebbsfleet United, the side waiting for the winner of this eliminator tie and were disappointed not to have won after squandering the lead twice. A last-minute winner from Noah Coppin against Hungerford Town in their penultimate match set up the final day drama in Hampshire.

The Bluebirds have not only found form at the perfect moment they also have a respectable record against the teams that have made the playoffs. They have lost the fewest against their competitors and have beaten Dorking Wanderers, Dartford and Oxford City. However, those victories came at Hardenhuish Park and on their travels they have yet to beat a side finishing between second and sixth picking up four draws out of five.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford
(WLWWLW)
    Chippenham Town
(LWWDWW)
   
Eastbourne Borough A 7-2 Havant and Waterlooville A 2-0
Braintree Town H 0-1 Hungerford Town H 3-2
Slough Town A 6-0 Ebbsfleet United A 2-2
St Albans City H 3-1 Dulwich Hamlet H 2-0
Maidstone United H 0-1 Oxford City H 1-0
Billericay Town A 2-0 Dorking Wanderers A 0-3

Previous Meetings

Chippenham Town 4 – 2 Dartford (12/03/2022 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 3 Chippenham Town (06/11/2021 – National South)
Chippenham Town 1 – 2 Dartford (27/10/2020 – National South)
Chippenham Town 1 – 5 Dartford (01/02/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Chippenham Town (26/10/2019 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Chippenham Town (13/04/2019 – National South)
Chippenham Town 1 – 2 Dartford (13/10/2018 – National South)
Chippenham Town 2 – 2 Dartford (20/01/2018 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 0 Chippenham Town (09/09/2017 – National South)

Stats

  • The last four meetings between Dartford and Chippenham Town has seen 21 goals (5.25 goals per game)
  • Dartford have lost two of their last three at home after going 17 unbeaten at Princes Park in the league
  • The Darts are unbeaten at home against sides that have reached the playoffs (W3, D2)
  • Chippenham Town have not won on the road against the other teams in the playoffs (D4, L1)
  • Dartford have the joint best home defence conceding 18. Chippenham Town have the joint best away defence conceding just 20.

Season Comparison

Dartford
Won 21 Drawn 11 Lost 8 For 75 Against 42 Points 74 Goal Difference +33
(Home record W10, D8, L2, F32, A18, Pts 38, GD +14)

Chippenham Town
Won 16 Drawn 11 Lost 13 For 61 Against 50 Points 59 Goal Difference +11
(Away record W6, D8, L6, F22, A20, Pts 26, GD +2)

Eastbourne Borough v Dartford

Dartford’s final game of the National South season against Eastbourne Borough will decide who both sides will face in the playoffs.

These two sides could easily be going head-to-head again as early as mid-week depending on this weekend’s results. If the Darts finish lower than third, they will be taking on the team that finishes sixth or potentially seventh in the playoff eliminator round.

Dartford are currently fourth and to avoid the eliminator round they must beat Eastbourne Borough and hope Ebbsfleet United drop points at home to Chelmsford City. Any other outcome will see the Darts start their playoff campaign on Wednesday 11 May, if they finish fifth or Thursday 12 May, if they stay in fourth. The Darts can only finish fifth if they lose to Eastbourne Borough and Oxford City beat Bath City at Twerton Park, there also needs to be a three-goal swing.

Eastbourne Borough are likely to finish sixth and can only be caught by seventh place Havant and Waterlooville. For that to happen, the Hawks will need to win their clash for the last playoff spot against eighth place Chippenham Town. Danny Bloor’s side have a six-goal advantage over Havant and Waterlooville.

Playoff fixtures
Wednesday 11 May 2022 – Eliminator Match A (5th v 6th)
Thursday 12 May 2022 – Eliminator Match B (4th v 7th)
Saturday 14 May 2022* – Semi Final (2nd v Eliminator Winner Match A)
Sunday 15 May 2022 – Semi Final (3rd v Eliminator Winner Match B)
Saturday 21 May 2022 – Promotion Final
*Subject to change to Sunday 15 May if both clubs are in agreement

Third place was in Dartford’s hands after an impressive 6-0 away win at Slough Town last weekend. With a Bank Holiday fixture also scheduled, Steve King chose to make six changes in the final home game of the regular season and saw his side come undone in a poor display against lowly Braintree Town. The Dartford boss was without Player of the Season Dan Wilks, so Reice Charles-Cook continued in goal. Keiran Murtagh, who managed to score three times in his last two games looks likely to be out for the playoffs after injury at Slough Town. Jordan Wynter is also struggling with injury, whilst Jernade Meade is being carefully reintroduced after a period on the sidelines, he started in the 1-0 defeat on Monday. In form striker Marcus Dinanga made a substitute appearance against Braintree Town, suggesting King is being cautious about his fitness ahead of the playoffs. Dinanga has scored 11 goals in his 14 appearances for the Darts and could be key to their success.

Highlight’s of Dartford’s last game against Eastbourne Borough – Dartford FC TV

The reverse fixture took place on August Bank Holiday and in only his second start for the club Jake Robinson opened his account with a brace. The first after seven minutes was a predatory finish and the second came from the penalty spot, after some sublime build up play led to a handball. The Sports hit back immediately after the break when Greg Luer made the most of a lack of concentration to cut Dartford’s lead in half. Ade Azeez was brought on and his well-placed header secured victory for the Darts.

Victory over Eastbourne Borough came six months after losing to the Sussex side at Princes Park. The winning goal for the Sports came from Chris Whelpdale. Nine days later the National South 2020/2021 campaign was declared null and void. In fact, Eastbourne Borough were one of the very few teams the Darts played twice that season. Dartford’s last visit to Priory Lane in December 2020 resulted in a 3-1 loss. Charley Kendall, Whelpdale and Joe Rollinson all scored for the hosts, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong netted a consolation.

Eastbourne Borough have had a very good season under Danny Bloor and in the club’s last three full campaigns they had finished eighteenth. The Sports manager joined the Sussex side around the same time King started his Dartford journey, so it’s also his first full season in charge at Priory Lane. Perhaps with the knowledge of almost certainly making the playoffs, their form has dipped since the start of April. Currently on a run of three straight defeats after a pair of draws, the Sports are winless in five league outings, but they had already done enough to guarantee a top seven place.

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, Eastbourne Borough first lost in what was an important game at the time for Billericay Town. The Sports fell to their first home loss since early February and only their fifth on their own patch this term in the National South. Two early goals gave the visitors hope of staying in the division, although that hope was ended two days later. Eastbourne Borough pulled a goal back through Charlie Walker, but it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat to the team bottom of the table. Then on Monday they lost 2-0 at Tonbridge Angels to leave them in sixth place but guaranteed their highest finish since returning to the National South in 2011.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 13 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 8 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Dartford
(DWLWWL)
    Eastbourne Borough
(WDDLLL)
   
Braintree Town H 0-1 Tonbridge Angels A 0-2
Slough Town A 6-0 Billericay Town H 1-2
St Albans City H 3-1 Havant and Waterlooville A 0-3
Maidstone United H 0-1 Welling United H 3-3
Billericay Town A 2-0 Slough Town A 2-2
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Concord Rangers H 2-0

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 3 – 1 Eastbourne Borough (30/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Eastbourne Borough (09/02/2021 – National South)
Eastbourne Borough 3 – 1 Dartford (05/12/2020 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Eastbourne Borough (22/02/2020 – National South)
Eastbourne Borough 0 – 2 Dartford (02/11/2019 – National South)
Eastbourne Borough 6 – 0 Dartford (20/04/2019 – National South)

Stats

  • After going 12 games unbeaten against the Sports, Dartford have won three of the last seven meetings (D0, L4)
  • Dartford have won just two of their last eight final matches of the season (D2, L4) both on the South coast (Poole Town and Bognor Regis Town)

On This Day

Dartford were beaten in the National South playoff semi-final against Chelmsford City five years ago. Two goals in the final twenty minutes put the Clarets 2-0 up on aggregate, Duane Ofori-Acheampong scored a last minute consolation. That defeat is one of only two on this day, the Darts also lost 1-0 to Bath City in 1977. Dartford have won six and drawn two in the ten outings on 7 May. The last victory came in 1983 when Dartford won on the road at Enderby Town in the Southern Premier League. Between 1927 and 1955, the Darts won all five on this day including a 7-0 Southern League East victory over Bournemouth and Boscombe Reserves in 1932. Dartford are unbeaten when away from home on this day, winning three and drawing the other.

Dartford v Braintree Town

Dartford prepare for the National South playoffs in their last home league game of the season against Braintree Town this Bank Holiday.

The Darts secured a place in the playoffs after their Good Friday victory. Since then they have been jockeying for a league position to get as much home advantage as possible for the end of season finale. Braintree Town managed to turn their fortunes around this season after looking like they were in serious relegation trouble.

A convincing win on Saturday at Slough Town will give Steve King’s side plenty of confidence ahead of this Bank Holiday fixture. Two changes were made to the last league outing which the Darts won 3-1 against St Albans City. After his goal in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final, Jordan Greenidge started as well as Olumide Durojaiye. In form striker, Marcus Dinanga took barely any time at all to open the scoring and the advantage doubled when Keiran Murtagh flicked in Jack Jebb’s corner. Murtagh waited until his 39th appearance for his first goals for the club last weekend, now he has three in his last two. However, the midfielder’s afternoon was cut short when he went off injured. By half-time the Darts were three up through Dinanga, his 11th goal in only 13 appearances. Kalvin Kalala got in on the act with his second league goal for the Darts. Greenidge justified his selection in the starting line up with Dartford’s fifth, since arriving from Weymouth the striker has scored five in seven games. To wrap things up, Durojaiye scored his first goal for the Darts, to make it 6-0.

Back in December, Dartford visited Cressing Road to take on Braintree Town who were second from bottom. The Darts who were joint top at the time came away with a point but only just. Perhaps that gave Braintree Town the belief they needed to improve results over the next three months. Kalvin Kalala made his Dartford debut and his new side had to wait until the last kick of the game to snatch a point. A stunning stoppage time free-kick from Jack Jebb completed a two goal comeback after a Jake Robinson penalty halved the deficit. The visitors went two goals up through Gabriel Piorkowski and Gio Crichlow.

Highlight’s of Dartford taking on Braintree Town in December – Dartford FC TV

Over the years Dartford have found victories rare against Braintree Town with only three in 15 attempts. In fact the Essex side went eight unbeaten against the Darts, until the last time they visited Princes Park in August 2019. On that day, a late Norman Wabo goal was decisive in a 2-1 win for the Darts. Former Dartford academy player, Femi Akinwande put the Iron in front before Luke Wanadio missed a penalty. However, the hosts recovered with goals from former Braintree Town midfielder Luke Allen and Wabo’s winner. Tony Burman was in charge in the only other home win against the Essex side back in 2011, Elliot Bradbrook netting the only goal of the game.

Highlight’s of Dartford’s last win over Braintree Town – Dartford FC TV

The 2-2 draw at the end of last year was the start of four draws in five for the Darts, a period that saw them lose ground at the top. Although King’s side made up ground with five straight victories, away defeats at Hungerford Town and Chippenham Town dented their title aspirations. The Darts were hanging in the title race until a pair of draws early last month and since Good Friday’s win over Billericay Town they have also reached a second Kent Senior Cup final in a row.

During that same period Braintree Town tightened up at the back going through a spell of eight clean sheets in eleven games. Between mid January through to mid March, the Iron only lost twice picking up six wins and five draws including a victory over Ebbsfleet United, their only victory against a top six side this season. That’s not to say they have fared badly against the teams at the top because they have drawn five against those teams.

In April, the Iron could have easily been dragged back in to the relegation battle after three straight defeats without scoring. However four points in their last two outings, a draw with Oxford City followed by Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Hemel Hempstead Town guarantee National South football next season.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Braintree Town wins: 7 / Draws: 5

Current League Form

Dartford
(DDWLWW)
    Braintree Town
(WLLLDW)
   
Slough Town A 6-0 Hemel Hempstead Town H 3-1
St Albans City H 3-1 Oxford City A 1-1
Maidstone United H 0-1 Concord Rangers H 0-1
Billericay Town A 2-0 Havant and Waterlooville A 0-4
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Hampton and Richmond H 0-1
Oxford City A 1-1 SloughTown A 2-0

Previous Meetings (last six)

Braintree Town 2 – 2 Dartford (28/12/2021 – National South)
Braintree Town 2 – 1 Dartford (09/01/2021 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Braintree Town (24/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Braintree Town (06/05/2018 – National South Playoff)
Dartford 1 – 1 Braintree Town (23/12/2017 – National South)
Braintree Town 2 – 2 Dartford (08/08/2017 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford are yet to lose to a team in the bottom six (W8, D3)
  • The Darts have lost just once at home in the league this season (W10, D8, L1). The last time they lost one at home in the league was in the 1995/96 Kent League First Division campaign (W16, D2, L1)
  • Dartford have scored in their last three games against Braintree Town. The Darts have never scored in four consecutive matches against the Iron.

On This Day

Dartford are unbeaten in their last ten games on this day recording eight victories in that time, including a Kent Senior Cup final win and a National South semi-final playoff victory. The Darts won promotion to the National League ten years ago and the 1-0 playoff semi-final win at Basingstoke Town helped set them on their way. Lee Noble scored an important winner in the first leg, but not quite as important as the winner he scored 11 days later in the final. A year before saw Dartford lift the county cup for the first time in 23 years by beating Bromley 4-1 in the final. Elliot Bradbrook, Ryan Hayes, Danny Harris and an own goal ensured the Darts picked up some silverware. Heartbreakingly, it was 26 years ago that Dartford lost the Kent League First Division title on goal difference in tense and dramatic circumstances. Needing to beat league leaders Furness on the final day of the season, the Darts only managed a 1-1 draw after Sean Bristow equalised.