Category: Match Preview (Page 1 of 3)

Dartford v Weymouth

Dartford can make the last sixteen of the F.A Trophy for the first time in seven years when they host Weymouth this weekend.

The fourth round tie will be decided on the day against the National League side who won promotion by beating the Darts in the 2020 playoff final. In what was the last meeting between the two sides, the final score was 0-0 and in the penalty shootout Dartford drew another blank missing all three spot kicks to hand the Terras victory.

For a generation of supporters, a certain quarter-final tie against Weymouth may stir up memories of Dartford’s run to the F.A Trophy final in 1974. The only time these two sides have met in the competition ended in a 2-1 victory for the Darts, an own goal settling the tie. Dartford went on to reach Wembley losing by the same score against Morecambe.

However, Dartford’s record when up against the Dorset club doesn’t make for good reading over the years, their last win over Weymouth coming 32 years ago. After a draw and five consecutive league defeats to the Terras, before the playoff heartbreak, the Darts will enter this fixture as underdogs and hope to cause an upset.

This will be Weymouth’s first ever visit to Princes Park because the return National South fixture in the 2019/2020 campaign wasn’t able to take place, the pandemic cutting short the season. At the Bob Lucas stadium in August 2019, the Darts suffered a 3-1 defeat, Norman Wabo scoring a consolation goal after Abdulai Baggie and a Brett Williams brace putting Weymouth in control.

After consecutive league defeats against Kent rivals, the Darts faced another tough fixture last weekend. Hosting Dulwich Hamlet, the game was put in doubt after heavy rain. Hamlet were a place below Dartford in the table before kick off and on the day couldn’t be separated at full time in a 1-1 draw. King described the conditions as horrendous and praised both sets of players for providing an end to end game. Hamlet took the lead from a through former Dart, Tyrone Sterling. Disappointed by conceding a set piece, King was happier with his side’s approach play and in the second half they were rewarded with another Jake Robinson goal. The striker now has 12 goals in all competitions from just 11 starts and two substitute appearances.

Highlights of Dartford’s last match courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Speaking to Dartford FC TV after the game King praised Robinson, he commented: “there’s moments where games are tight, he will nick you that little winner. He’s not got the legs that he used to have but his in the right place at the right time. He’s a goalscorer and he’s a natural”. Expressing sympathy for the strikers, King identified that his players are getting in good positions on the wing, but the quality of the crossing needs improving, to help the strikers out. The Darts have now won just once in their last five outings in all competitions and that was in the last round of the F.A Trophy against Cray Wanderers.

The Darts will be without full-back Jernade Meade who picked up a hairline fracture, he is likely to be out for a couple of months. However, Luke Allen and Danny Leonard are back in contention. To cover Meade’s position, King has brought in Kai Woollard-Innocent on loan from Queens Park Rangers. The 21 year-old impressed King whilst at Eastbourne Borough last season and has been with Queens Park Rangers since he was eight.

Despite Dartford’s patchy results over the last three months, their opponents are going through a tougher spell. Weymouth have been in torrid form in the National League with seven straight losses, but that sequence was broken up by their F.A Trophy win over Hungerford Town. Sitting third from bottom the Terras last league victory was against the team below them, Kings Lynn at the end of October. The only other home win in the National League was against Maidenhead United and they are one place above the Terras.

Their last outing proved to be the last under Brian Stock as the club parted ways with the former Welsh international on Wednesday. Stock’s final game ended in a 1-0 defeat at home to Southend United. The Terras can look forward to Bradley Ash’s return from injury, the former Chippenham Town and Weston-super-Mare striker came off the bench in the latter stages of the defeat. Tom Bearwish also managed a substitute appearance after being out with injury, whilst Sean Shields is currently unavailable.

Like Dartford, the Terras have a prolific goalscorer from a division below the National League. Brandon Goodship is in his second spell with Weymouth returning to the club from Southend United in the summer. The striker scored 77 goals in 97 appearances in his first spell with the Terras earning an England C cap whilst in the Southern Premier League and consecutive golden boot awards. 

F.A Trophy story so far…

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.

Third Round
Cray Wanderers 1-3 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.

Hungerford Town 0-1 Weymouth
Josh McQuoid’s late winner was enough for the National League side to get past National South’s Hungerford Town. With eight minutes left on the clock, Terras midfielder Cameron Murray split the Crusaders defence with a pass for McQuoid to strike beyond Luke Cairney.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 17 / Weymouth wins: 35 / Draws: 16

Current Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(DLDWLW)
    Weymouth
(LLWLLL)
   
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-1 Southend United H 0-1
Ebbsfleet United A 0-1 Eastleigh A 2-3
Braintree Town A 2-2 Hungerford Town (FAT) A 1-0
Cray Wanderers (FAT) A 3-1 Wrexham A 0-1
Maidstone United A 0-4 Torquay United H 1-2
Billericay Town H 1-0 Woking H 2-3

(FAT – F.A Trophy)

Previous Six Meetings

Weymouth 0 – 0 Dartford* (01/08/2020 – National South Playoff Final)
Weymouth 3 -1 Dartford (17/08/2019 – National South)
Weymouth 2 – 0 Dartford (27/12/1997 – Southern League Southern Division)
Dartford 2 – 3 Weymouth (23/08/1997 – Southern League Southern Division )
Weymouth 2 – 1 Dartford (15/02/1997 – Southern League Southern Division )
Dartford 3 – 5 Weymouth (05/10/1996 – Southern League Southern Division )
* Weymouth won 3-0 on penalties

Stats

  • Dartford’s win percentage over Weymouth is 25%, the second lowest out of teams the Darts have played over 30 times (Yeovil Town is the lowest at 23.44%)
  • The Darts have won their last four cup games since exiting the F.A Cup in October
  • Another appearance from Luke Wanadio will take the winger to a century for the Darts. Over three spells at the club, Wanadio has started 81 times, made 18 substitute appearances and scored 18 goals

On This Day

Dartford have never lost an F.A Trophy tie on this day winning two and drawing two. In 2011, George Purcell scored the winning goal in round two against underdogs Ashford Town (Middlesex) who played two divisions below the Darts. Two replays were required in 1991 as Dartford drew 1-1 in the original rematch with Carshalton Athletic, the Darts went on to win at the third attempt. Lewes were beaten 2-0 in 1983 and five years earlier Dartford drew 2-2 with Horsham both in the first round. The Darts have won their last two games on this day, Jon Wallis and Lee Noble scored in a 2-0 National League win over Macclesfield Town in 2013, two years prior was the F.A Trophy tie with Ashford Town (Middlesex). Apart from the draw with Carshalton Athletic, the Darts have won the other five home games on 15 January including an 11-1 victory over Faversham Town in the 1966 Kent Senior Cup, a 5-1 win against Colchester United in the Southern League back in 1949 and a 5-3 triumph versus Faversham in 1898, also in the Kent Senior Cup.

Dartford v Dulwich Hamlet

Dartford will want to extend their unbeaten home start in the National South to eight games on the weekend when they host Dulwich Hamlet.

The Darts have the only unbeaten home record in the division and will welcome valuable points after two disappointing Kent derby defeats and a draw against second from bottom Braintree Town on the road. Dulwich Hamlet on the other hand know victory will draw them level with Dartford in the league and a game in hand still to play, as fifth place takes on sixth.

Steve King’s side won the reverse fixture back in August with goals from Josh Hill and former Hamlet midfielder Tyrique Hyde. The 2-0 victory kept Dartford’s perfect start to the campaign with maximum points from their opening three games. The Hamlet included four former Darts in their starting eleven, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, Tyrone Sterling, Giovanni McGregor and Darren McQueen, whilst Danny Mills was on the bench.

Highlights of Dartford’s last match against the Hamlet courtesy of Dartford FC TV

It was the second consecutive game in which Dartford beat this weekend’s opponents without conceding. The last time the two sides met at Princes Park, just over two years ago, McQueen scored the only goal of the game against his future employers. Previous home ties include a 2-1 win in October 2018, Jamie Philpot and Charlie Sheringham found the back of the net, and a 1-1 draw back in 2007 with Jay May scoring for the Darts. In the two other meetings, the 1996 F.A Trophy third qualifying round tie ended 0-0 and almost a century ago a friendly was won 3-1 by Dartford. Fortunes reverse when the Darts travel to SE22 with the victory in August their only one.

Dartford began 2022 with a 1-0 defeat at North Kent rivals Ebbsfleet United, leaving the Darts five points off the top with a game in hand. King opted to recall Ronnie Vint for his 200th game for the club, whilst Jordan Wynter and Michael Kedman made way for Josh Clarke and Jernade Meade. Also returning to the starting line up was Jack Jebb after his stunning last minute free-kick against Braintree Town, which earned a 2-2 draw. Danny Leonard was missing with Covid, whilst Josh Hill and Luke Allen remain long term absences through injury.

A second Kent derby loss in a row to start the New Year, after the 4-0 reverse at Maidstone United, left the Darts disappointed, King spoke to Dartford FC TV after the game and commented: “We were the better side in terms of the chances we had, I thought we had the clear cut chances. Ebbsfleet looked pleasing on the eye, good on the ball, their rotations were good, their movement was good, they had good energy, but we didn’t deserve to lose that football match”.

King pointed out that one of the factors between the two sides was the difference in professional status giving their opponents a slight edge, he commented: “We only train for two to three hours a week, it showed for me in athleticism. We defended brilliantly, we changed the shape and to a man we were fantastic. The only real time they cut us open was when they scored”.

Dartford can now look forward to a run of home games starting with Dulwich Hamlet. King added: “We haven’t lost at home this season so it will be nice to try and get some points on the board. But, again you look at the games we have got, Ebbsfleet, Dulwich, Weymouth (in the F.A Trophy), it’s an unforgiving division”.

Dartford’s last home match against Dulwich Hamlet – Dartford FC TV

Dulwich Hamlet have recorded the same scores as the Darts over the last two games both against teams in a relegation battle, a 2-2 away draw with Tonbridge Angels was followed up by a 1-0 defeat at home to Welling United. A former Hamlet player came back to haunt his old side by netting the decisive goal, Dipo Akinyemi’s 56th minute strike was enough for the Wings. Those setbacks followed Hamlets excellent 5-2 victory over title chasing Ebbsfleet United in which Dulwich Hamlet came from behind twice. Sterling, McQueen and McGregor all scored and Mills grabbed an assist.

Gavin Rose’s side have only lost one game on the road in the National South and that was to Oxford City towards the end of November. The Hamlet have also scored the third most amount of goals in the division so certainly have enough firepower to challenge the Dartford defence. The London based club have had a steady campaign so far with notable wins against Hemel Hempstead Town which ended 6-0 and a pair of 4-3 victories over Hampton and Richmond Borough and St Albans City.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Dartford
(LDLWWD)
    Dulwich Hamlet
(LDWDLW)
   
Ebbsfleet United A 0-1 Welling United H 0-1
Braintree Town A 2-2 Tonbridge Angels A 2-2
Maidstone United A 0-4 Ebbsfleet United H 5-2
Billericay Town H 1-0 Havant & Waterlooville A 2-2
Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2 Oxford City A 0-2
Oxford City H 0-0 St Albans City A 4-3

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dulwich Hamlet 0 – 2 Dartford (28/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Dulwich Hamlet (25/01/2020 – National South)
Dulwich Hamlet 1 – 1 Dartford (07/12/2019 – National South)
Dulwich Hamlet 2 – 0 Dartford (02/03/2019 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Dulwich Hamlet (20/10/2018 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Dulwich Hamlet (31/03/2007 – Isthmian Division One South)

Stats

  • Dartford are unbeaten in all five home games against Dulwich Hamlet (W3, D2)
  • The Darts have conceded five at home this season in the National South, the fewest in the division
  • Over the last eight league games Dartford are 15th in the form table and Dulwich Hamlet are fourth

On This Day

Dartford have played just once in the Princes Park era and that was at home against Thurrock in 2011. Lee Noble was welcomed back from his loan spell, but it was former Dart, Matt Bodkin who scored the winner. In the nine post World War two matches on this day, before that 1-0 loss, the Darts had won seven, drew one and lost one. In half of those games the Darts have scored four goals beating Lloyds Sittingbourne (1949), Tonbridge (1966), Worcester City (1972), Redditch United (1977) and an entertaining 4-4 draw with Tunbridge Wells in the Kent League back in 1996.

Ebbsfleet United v Dartford

One of four teams could end up top of the National South by the end of the weekend. Two of those sides go head to head when Dartford visit local rivals Ebbsfleet United in the North Kent derby.

After the Boxing Day fixture at Princes Park was postponed, the Darts travel to Stonebridge Road knowing a first league away win against the Fleet in 42 years will give them the upper hand over their rivals. Dartford have picked up five draws and suffered as many defeats in their previous league visits since the 1-0 victory in March 1979.

Separated by just two goals in the current National South standings, the Darts and the Fleet are part of a cluster of five teams separated by just four points. Both sides struggled against teams at the foot of the table in their last outing as they watched their other Kent rivals Maidstone United leap to second, leaving Dartford in fourth and Ebbsfleet United in third.

Highlights of Dartford’s last league game at Braintree Town courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Steve King has made twelve changes over the last two games, seven from the heavy 4-0 league defeat in the Kent derby against Maidstone United, then a further five changes from the F.A Trophy victory over Cray Wanderers. King started with the preferred central defensive pair of Tom Bonner and Connor Essam, recalled Kieran Murtagh and Ade Azeez and gave a debut to Kalvin Kalala for the latest outing at Braintree Town.

Kalala impressed King whilst at Torquay United where he left for French fifth tier side Entente Feignies Aulnoye. The 23-year-old showed his ability against the Iron and is seen as a replacement for Emmanuel Sonupe who has moved to El Paso Locomotive in America. Excited by what the winger can bring to the team, King explained to Dartford FC TV: “He’s a fantastic player. When he was at Torquay United and they won the league two years ago he was one of the best players in the division by a country mile”.

Yet it was a substitute that saved the day on Tuesday with the last kick of the game. A stunning free-kick from Jack Jebb completed a comeback from two down to level the National South fixture as it finished 2-2. The Darts aiming for top spot against a Braintree Town side struggling at the bottom of the table saw the hosts take a two goal lead. Early in the second half Gabriel Piorkowski scored from a fine long distance effort and the lead was doubled through Gio Crichlow. Dartford were up against it and were heading for yet another defeat at Cressing Road, but Jake Robinson’s spot kick gave the Darts hope and when a free-kick was awarded on the edge of the hosts box, Jack Jebb stepped up to steal a point.

The performance was far from Dartford’s best and King acknowledged this in his post match interview with Dartford FC TV. Despite scraping a last minute draw the Darts came away disappointed as they could have gone top of the National South missing an opportunity. On the bright side, the Darts are well within a shout at this stage in the season and King believes that no one will run away with the league title in such a competitive division.

Steve King speaks to Dartford FC TV after the draw with Braintree Town

Luckily Dartford haven’t lost too much ground at the top end of the table. Their tremendous start to the season when they won seven of the opening eight games has been slowed down of late with just two victories in the next nine, during which they have struggled to break down relegation battling teams such as Braintree Town and Billericay Town. Desperate to get back on form, King commented that the North Kent derby will be yet another tough game, but whatever the result his side will not get carried away.

Ebbsfleet United also struggled against Billericay Town as they were held to a 0-0 draw over the Bank Holiday. The Fleet, returning from a Covid outbreak which led to the Boxing Day postponement against the Darts, named a side that included just two changes compared to the team that played ten days prior in the 3-0 win versus Bath City. One of those changes was former Dart, Elliott Romain dropping to the substitutes bench, but the striker featured in both fixtures scoring a brace against Bath City. Whilst with the Darts Romain managed to score 16 goals in 45 appearances and is highly rated by manager Fleet Dennis Kutrieb. However, it was Billericay Town’s goalkeeper Rhys Lovett, a recent signing from Maidenhead United, who earned praise on Tuesday for his outstanding performance in keeping the Fleet out.

Manager Dennis Kutrieb explained that the isolation period was far from ideal as he’d prefer his team to be playing rather than having games postponed. After a ‘rusty’ first half performance at home to Billericay Town which the manager put down to the isolation period his side did improve but disappointingly failed to take all three points. The Fleet boss cited that one day of training made things difficult to get ready for their last match and welcomes the time he now has in the build up to Sunday’s derby, he told BBC Radio Kent: “We can recover and prepare, but at least we have five more days and we should look better. I’m looking forward to the game because it’s a great game…for everyone, for us, for Dartford, for the fans”.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 66 / Ebbsfleet United wins: 55 / Draws: 33

Current League Form

Dartford
(DLWWDD)
    Ebbsfleet United
(DWWLLL)
   
Braintree Town A 2-2 Billericay Town H 0-0
Maidstone United A 0-4 Bath City H 3-0
Billericay Town H 1-0 Concord Rangers H 2-1
Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2 Dulwich Hamlet A 2-5
Oxford City H 0-0 Oxford City A 0-1
Chippenham Town H 3-3 Maidstone United A 2-3

Previous Meetings (last six)

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)
Dartford 1 – 0 Ebbsfleet United (29/10/2013 – F.A Cup)

Stats

  • Dartford last beat Ebbsfleet United as the away team at Stonebridge Road in 1989 during a Kent Senior Cup tie which ended 2-0.
  • Ebbsfleet United are 11 unbeaten in all competitions as the home side in this fixture
  • The 0-0 draw in January was Dartford’s first league clean sheet against the Fleet since the 5-0 New Years Day victory in 1992

On This Day

Dartford are unbeaten in 14 games on this day stretching back to 1954. The Darts have drawn their last two, 0-0 with Ebbsfleet United at the start of 2021 and 1-1 against Chelmsford City in 2016, Tom Bradbrook scoring a 94th minute equaliser. Danny Harris netted the winning goal in 2012 as the Darts beat Welling United 1-0 and in 2010, Lee Burns and James White were on hand in a 2-1 triumph over Cray Wanderers. Other Kent derby fixtures on this day include draws with Sittingbourne (2006) and Dover Athletic (1989) and a 2-1 victory against Maidstone United in 1982. So the unbeaten run includes eight wins and six draws since the Darts last lost on this day, a 9-2 hammering against Llanelly in the Southern League.

Braintree Town v Dartford

Dartford end the year with a short journey across the river to take on National South strugglers Braintree Town on Tuesday.

The Darts had their Boxing Day clash with rivals Ebbsfleet United called off, so after ten days without a game the squad have had the chance to recuperate from their last outing, a 3-1 F.A Trophy win over Cray Wanderers. Braintree Town have had less time to prepare after their loss at rivals Chelmsford City on Sunday.

Dartford’s last trip to Cressing Road at the start of the year didn’t go to plan as they stumbled to a 2-1 defeat. Struggling to find goals, King brought in former Dartford academy striker Femi Akinwande who lined up against his former side. Since then, the striker returned to Braintree Town in the summer before leaving them for Billericay Town just a few weeks ago. The Iron took the lead after half an hour when Percy Kiangebeni’s shot beat Ethan Wady in the Dartford goal. The Iron were two up on the hour as Wady was beaten again, this time by Taofiqol Omowewe. Dartford introduced Chris Dickson before Jazzi Barnum-Bobb was sent off, but despite having ten men the Darts pulled a goal back when Dickson scored a penalty.

The Darts haven’t enjoyed this fixture over the years winning just once at Cressing Road and only beating the Iron on three previous occasions home and away. Dartford’s only victory on the road against the Essex side was back in 2012 when the Darts enjoyed a successful season in the National League. Captain, Tom Bonner is the only member of the current squad who played in that 2-0 victory and he opened the scoring by getting on the end of a Ryan Hayes free-kick. Dartford added a second when Danny Harris started the move that led to Jacob Erskine heading home. Since then the Darts have taken just one point from their last four trips to Cressing Road.

Dartford’s last away win against Braintree Town courtesy of Iron TV

King’s side have had a break from league action and plenty of time to reflect on their previous National South fixture which ended in a 4-0 Kent derby defeat against Maidstone United over two weeks ago. However, the Darts bounced back by moving into the fourth round of the F.A Trophy with the triumph over Cray Wanderers. The Wands had knocked Ebbsfleet United out in the previous round and with seven players missing from the Dartford squad it could have been a difficult afternoon.

Jordan Wynter returned to action after a spell out injured and King was impressed with the defender’s flexibility. Normally played at full back, Wynter was used as a centre back. Jack Jebb started for the first time since mid November and Jake Robinson was back and added more goals to his tally, the striker now has ten goals in as many appearances. Michael Kedman, Ronnie Vint and Emmanuel Sonupe all got a start and Tyrique Hyde was back in the line up.

Hyde set up Robinson’s first, won the penalty for the second and King praised his midfielder’s performance after the game. The Darts scored three goals in five first half minutes with Danny Leonard adding the last, his fifth of the campaign. King is confident five of the seven players who were unavailable will be back for selection, only Luke Allen and Josh Hill have long term injuries.

Braintree Town are locked in a battle to stay up against fellow Essex rivals Billericay Town and Chelmsford City, who they faced on Boxing Day. The Iron suffered another set back going three down before half-time as the Clarets took all three points to move clearer from the drop zone. The experienced Simeon Jackson netted a brace and Tom Blackwell scored the other as Braintree Town lost 3-0. The Iron will meet the Clarets again for the return fixture in the New Year and are now four points adrift from their local rivals.

Ryan Maxwell has now had just over a year in charge of Braintree Town and started off the National South campaign four games undefeated, although three of those ended in draws. The Iron found themselves in trouble with seven straight loses including a 6-0 hammering at Eastbourne Borough, which started a run of one goal in six league matches. Since the end of October results have picked up for the Essex club as they earned three precious points in a 1-0 win over Tonbridge Angels, who have been dragged into the relegation battle.

The Iron drew against Chippenham Town and Concord Rangers before their Boxing Day defeat, but they can take some confidence in the fact that they were leading against Hampton and Richmond Borough for the game that was abandoned last month and recorded victories against Potters Bar Town in the F.A Trophy and Witham Town in the Essex Senior Cup. Even when Braintree Town were knocked out of the trophy in the next round, they took promotion contenders St Albans City to penalties after holding on with ten men for 75 minutes of the match.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Braintree Town wins: 7 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Dartford
(LWWDDL)
    Braintree Town
(LDLWDL)
   
Maidstone United A 0-4 Chelmsford City A 0-3
Billericay Town H 1-0 Concord Rangers A 2-2
Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2 Havant and Waterlooville H 0-2
Oxford City H 0-0 Tonbridge Angels H 1-0
Chippenham Town H 3-3 Chippenham Town A 1-1
Concord Rangers A 0-1 Ebbsfleet United A 0-2

Previous League Meetings (last six)

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)
Braintree Town 3 – 0 Dartford (01/01/2015 – National League)

Stats

  • Dartford have won just one of their last ten matches against Braintree Town, drawing three and losing six
  • The Darts have scored in four of the last five meetings, but failed to score at all in the previous five
  • Braintree Town have scored in their last nine games against the Darts
  • Ronnie Vint could make his 200th appearance for the club. The defender has started 188 games, made 11 substitute appearances and has scored 11 goals for the Darts.

On This Day

In a Kent derby two years ago Darren McQueen, Elliott Romain and Charlie Sheringham all scored in a 3-0 home win against Tonbridge Angels. Josh Hill was sent off late in the game, but his red card was later rescinded. Six years ago, Elliot Bradbrook rescued a point at home to Margate in a 1-1 draw, the Gate took the lead through Freddie Ladapo, now of League One side Rotherham United. Dartford’s last away game on this day ended in a North Kent derby defeat at Ebbsfleet United and the Darts finishing with nine men. Derek Duncan and Callum Willock scored for the Fleet and Bradbrook netted for the Darts, but after Joe Bruce and James White were red carded it was too difficult to rescue a point for Tony Burman’s side back in 2010. Dartford’s away record on 28 December does not make good reading with one victory back in 1907 against Crayford in the Kent Amateur Cup, the Darts went through with a 2-1 win. Dartford have drawn three and lost seven out of the eleven away games on this day.

Cray Wanderers v Dartford

The F.A Trophy returns this weekend as the Darts look to move beyond the third round for the first time since their run to the semi-final eight years ago.

Standing in Dartford’s way are former landlords Cray Wanderers, who caused a shock in the previous round by beating Ebbsfleet United on penalties. The Wands are currently at the wrong end of the Isthmian Premier League, but have made trophy history already setting their best ever run in the competition.

This fixture is steeped in history dating back to the year the Darts were formed in 1888. The two sides formed a close bond in the early nineties when Cray Wanderers offered Dartford a home, playing their part in keeping the Darts alive. The Wands now know what it’s like to be homeless currently playing their fixtures at Bromley’s Hayes Lane and hope to be moving to a new stadium.

The last three meetings between Dartford and Cray Wanderers have all been cup ties, the Wands knocked the Darts out of the Kent Senior Cup in 2017, whilst Dartford beat their opponents in the same competition the season before. In 2011, Ryan Hayes and Danny Harris helped the Darts win the F.A Cup third qualifying round tie 2-1. Dartford have dominated this fixture with Cray Wanderers winning just six of the last 43 meetings, but that will count for nothing come Saturday.

Dartford enter this weekend’s fixture after a tough 4-0 defeat against rivals Maidstone United. Rubbing salt into the Darts wound, Jack Barham took home the match ball with a hat-trick against his former club. The loss ended a seven match unbeaten run in all competitions toppling Steve King’s side off the top of the National South table, but they are level on points with leaders Oxford City. The Dartford boss spoke to Dartford FC TV after the derby defeat, he commented: “We’ve got to get over it and take our medicine, when you lose it’s how you react and it’s how we react next week that is important. There are a lot of tough games to come and we will be ready for the challenges”.

Watch post match interviews and highlights at Dartford FC TV

King tweaked the starting line up opting for wingers rather than the narrow formation he played against Billericay Town. Luke Wanadio and Danny Leonard started instead of Ronnie Vint and Tyrique Hyde and George Porter was in for the injured Jake Robinson. Some good news saw the return of Jack Jebb who featured as a substitute and made his first appearance for almost a month. Luke Allen remains a long term injury and Jordan Wynter has also been sidelined.

Dartford have only managed to progress through two rounds in any one season over the last five campaigns. In fact, the Darts have to go back to 2017 for their last victory in the competition in normal time when they beat Brentwood Town.

Cray Wanderers have already made it through three rounds and in the last they caused an upset at Danny Kedwell’s former club. The Wands boss guided his side to a penalty shoot-out victory over Ebbsfleet United. In that trophy triumph Cray Wanderers had two Dartford connections and a recent signing makes it three. Dartford midfielder, Cameron Brodie is currently on a season long loan with the Wands and has featured in most of their fixtures this season. The young prospect has made 13 appearances for the Darts since coming through the academy system. It was just seven months ago when striker Chris Dickson lifted the F.A Trophy at Wembley with seventh tier side Hornchurch, the striker was on dual registration with Dartford scoring three goals in eight appearances including a brace on his debut. Former goalkeeper, Bailey Vose signed for the Wands just last week after leaving Billericay Town, the shot stopper played 32 times for the Darts over two loan spells.

Kedwell’s side are currently fourth from bottom in the Isthmian Premier League, three points clear of last place. On the weekend they were beaten 1-0 at home against Bishop’s Stortford but grabbed an important victory three days earlier beating Horsham 3-1. Former West Ham United prospect and an experienced football league winger, Kyel Reid opened the scoring, Dickson made it 2-0 and Jamie Yila netted the third. The Wands also have experience with players who have been around the higher divisions of non-league in Dean Beckwith, Jai Reason, their top scorer Anthony Cook and 38-year-old Andy Drury.

The Wands previous best run in the trophy was to the second round and on both occasions they went out to St Albans City in 2005 and again last season. They have made it through three rounds before in 2015 and 2018 going out at the third qualifying round stage.

F.A Trophy story so far…

Third Qualifying Round
Cray Wanderers 4-1 Kings Langley
The scoreline suggests the Wands breezed through, but in truth two late goals secured their passage into round one. Anthony Cook won and scored a penalty for Cray Wandreres to open the scoring only for Alfie Williams to level. The Wands got off to a great start in the second half with a goal from Dean Beckwith, then two goals in the final minute secured the win. Former Dart, Chris Dickson and Daniel Ucheci made sure of a 4-1 victory.

First Round
Cray Wanderers 2-1 Bedfont Sports
Three more late goals made for an entertaining finish to this first round tie. Adam Coombes scored a decisive brace giving Cray Wanderers the lead then netting the winner. Bedfont Sports earlier equalised through Joe Jackson with all three goals coming in the final eleven minutes.

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.

Cray Wanderers 2-2 Ebbsfleet United (Cray Wanderers won 5-3 on penalties)
Up against his former side, manager Danny Kedwell caused a cup upset beating higher league opposition. Cray Wanderers went two up when Jamie Yila scored twice in three first half minutes. Ebbsfleet United hit back with two goals in the final fifteen minutes, first Rakish Bingham then Will Wood’s last minute equaliser forced the tie into penalties. After Michael West missed for the Fleet, Chris Dickson stepped up and scored the winning spot kick.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 34 / Cray Wanderers wins: 21 / Draws: 11

Current Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(LWDWWW)
    Cray Wanderers
(LWLDWD)
   
Maidstone United A 0-4 Bishop’s Stortford H 0-1
Billericay Town H 1-0 Horsham H 3-1
Bath City (FAT)* A 0-0 Worthing A 0-2
Whitstable Town (KSC) H 6-1 Bowers & Pitsea A 1-1
Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2 Ebbsfleet United (FAT)** H 2-2
Cockfosters (LSC) H 9-0 Folkestone Invicta H 2-2

(KSC – Kent Senior Cup / LSC – London Senior Cup / FAT – F.A Trophy)
* Dartford won 5-3 on penalties
** Cray Wanderers won 5-3 on penalties

Previous Six Meetings

Cray Wanderers 4 – 2 Dartford (20/09/2017 – Kent Senior Cup)
Cray Wanderers 1 – 2 Dartford (05/10/2016 – Kent Senior Cup)
Cray Wanderers 1 – 2 Dartford (30/11/2019 – F.A Cup)
Cray Wanderers 1 – 2 Dartford (09/02/2019 – Isthmian Premier)
Dartford 1 – 1 Cray Wanderers (04/08/2018 – Isthmian Premier)
Dartford 0 – 0 Cray Wanderers (21/04/2018 – Isthmian Division One South)

Stats

  • The two sides have met 21 times in cup football with Dartford winning 12 to Cray Wanderers’ six, there have been three draws.
  • After scoring in each of their opening twelve games in all competitions, Dartford have failed to score in six of the last eleven
  • The Darts have scored twice in each of their last four visits to Cray Wanderers winning three and losing one.

On This Day

The Darts met Cray Wanderers on this day back in 1993. The Kent League First Division fixture ended with Dartford winning 1-0, their last victory on the 18 December. In fact, Dartford have not scored on this day for 25 years. To be fair that spans just two matches, the last of which took place in 2004 when the Darts drew 0-0 with Leighton Town in the Southern League Division One East. Five years before that goalless draw, Dartford lost 1-0 at home to Bashley in the Southern League South. The last away fixture and last Dartford goal on this day came in 1996, however it was St Leonards who won the Southern League South match 3-1. The only F.A Trophy tie the Darts have been involved in on the 18 December ended in triumph back in 1976. Dartford beat Ashford Town 2-1 in the third qualifying round.

Maidstone United v Dartford

Dartford lead the National South table and head into Saturday’s fixture against rivals Maidstone United hoping to maintain their position.

In a very competitive campaign, the Darts have a one point advantage at the summit. The Stones are just six points behind down in fifth place. A Kent derby that has already been played out earlier in the season, former players facing their old club, a top of the table clash and a healthy rivalry should make for an atmospheric afternoon.

Dartford came out on top in the F.A Cup tie back in October winning 3-0. Noor Husin’s free-kick, a Danny Leonard strike and a third from Ade Azeez made sure Steve King’s side moved into the next round. On that day King was impressed with Dartford’s commitment and ‘dogged determination’ as his players executed the ‘perfect gameplan’.

More Dartford highlights are available at Dartford FC TV

Since the F.A Cup victory, sandwiched between beating Hungerford Town and Hemel Hempstead Town, the Darts went on a five match winless streak picking up just three points. The gap at the top closed, but others in the league have been unable to take advantage from their games in hand leaving Dartford in a strong position. On Saturday they secured top spot with a 1-0 win over bottom of the table Billericay Town. The Essex side were reduced to ten men late on when their goalkeeper was sent off and an outfield player was forced to go in goal.

King named an unchanged side to the one that knocked Bath City out of the F.A Trophy, but the performance was less than impressive, he spoke to Dartford FC TV after the game and commented: “I thought we was poor today. Told the boys that and the team talk at the end lasted ten seconds. I was disappointed”. Now seven games unbeaten in all competitions, King is just happy to bag another three points despite the performance, he explained: “You can’t play well every week, but I just know the players have got a standard in there that they have set. There have been games in the last seven where we have been back playing some fantastic football, but today we were awful”.

Watch highlights of Dartford’s latest win via Dartford FC TV

Jake Robinson scored the winning goal against his former side and he will be one of a few players who have played for Maidstone United in the past. The striker had a short stay at the Gallagher Stadium scoring just once before re-joining Billericay Town. For Dartford he now has five league goals in as many starts. George Porter scored four goals in twelve games for the Stones last season before switching allegiances and Jordan Wynter also had a spell there but has been recently out injured for the Darts.

Since Maidstone United’s F.A Cup exit to the Darts, their seven game unbeaten league run from the start of the campaign ended. The Stones picked up just two points in the next six games dropping off the pace at the top but have managed to keep in touch with victories over Chippenham Town and Ebbsfleet United. Like the Darts they also progressed in the F.A Trophy with a penalty shoot-out triumph over Billericay Town.

After a weekend break, Maidstone United have had time to recharge after their 3-2 Kent derby win over Ebbsfleet United, denying the Fleet a chance to move above Dartford. The Stones twice came from behind helped by goals from Joan Luque and a brace by Sam Corne. Out of the former Darts at the club only Elliott Romain made an appearance from off the bench. Jack Barham was last involved as a substitute in the F.A Trophy tie and although Alfie Pavey is part of the squad, he is out on loan at Dover Athletic.

In last season’s league fixture Dartford won 2-0 but had to wait for two late goals from Tom Bonner and Charlie Sheringham. The Darts also won a Kent Senior Cup tie 1-0 in January with Ky Marsh-Brown netting the decisive goal. Dartford went on to belatedly lift the cup beating Whitstable Town 6-1 just last month.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 46 / Maidstone United wins: 45 / Draws: 19

Current League Form

Dartford
(WWDDLL)
    Maidstone United
(WWDLLD)
   
Billericay Town H 1-0 Ebbsfleet United A 3-2
Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2 Chippenham Town H 1-0
Oxford City H 0-0 Havant & Waterlooville A 0-0
Chippenham Town H 3-3 Slough Town H 0-1
Concord Rangers A 0-1 Hungerford Town A 2-3
Dorking Wanderers A 0-1 Dulwich Hamlet A 0-0

Previous Meetings (last six)

Maidstone United 0 – 3 Dartford (02/10/2021 – F.A Cup)
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)

Stats

  • Dartford have won their last three visits to the Gallagher Stadium without conceding a goal
  • The Darts are eight league games unbeaten against Maidstone United (W6, D2)
  • Maidstone United’s last league victory over Dartford was 4-1 on 3 March 2007 in the Isthmian Division One South
  • Since both sides have reformed, the Darts have won seven, drawn two and lost one in the league against the Stones

On This Day

Dartford took on big spending Crawley Town in the F.A Trophy in a memorable encounter that ended 3-3. The Red Devils were topping the National League table and won promotion to the Football League that season with a staggering 105 points, but the Darts earned a replay eventually going through. A stoppage time equaliser delayed Crawley Town’s blushes after Dartford led by two, twice in the game. Charlie Sheringham and Ryan Hayes scored, then Richard Brodie halved the deficit. Sheringham restored the two goal advantage, but the Sussex club came back with late goals from Craig McAllister and Dean Howells. In the replay three days later, Tom Champion scored the winner in a famous victory.

One game away from a prestigious F.A Cup tie with Manchester United in the F.A Cup third round, Dartford hosted a second round replay with AFC Bournemouth after a 1-1 draw. The return fixture ended 4-1 to the Cherries and the Darts were left to reflect on what could have been.

Dartford v Billericay Town

Fresh from progression in the F.A Trophy, Dartford return to National South action this weekend when they host bottom of the table Billericay Town.

Unbeaten in four against this weekend’s opponents, the Darts have played their last three matches at Princes Park against the Blues, all ending in victories. Whilst the Darts are challenging at the top, Billericay Town are three points adrift at the foot of the table.

The last two meetings came in different campaigns as each season was cut short. Last term a Charlie Sheringham inspired hat-trick led the Darts to a comfortable 3-0 triumph. Returning from a loan spell, the striker impressed in the second half netting all three of his goals to see off the Essex side. In the previous season, this match was much closer with the Darts edging out Billericay Town 3-2, goals from Darren McQueen and a brace from Elliott Romain. It was also a tight affair back in April 2019 with Dartford heading for defeat until a late brace from Tom Murphy made sure the Darts completed a 2-1 comeback.

Look back at previous meetings against Billericay Town by visiting Dartford FC TV

Potentially, Jake Robinson could line up against his former club having been a prolific scorer for the Essex side over two spells. One of his Billericay Town goals was in that 3-2 reverse back in December 2019. In April 2018, the striker made history at New Lodge scoring 57 goals in one season to set a club record. He netted 13 times in the following campaign and moved to Maidstone United. After three months with the Stones and just one goal, he returned to Billericay Town and picked up where he left off. Robinson impressed again in his second spell adding many more goals to his tally.

At Dartford, the 35 year-old has spent time on the sidelines recovering from injury and a start on the weekend will be his first in the league since September, when he scored against Bath City to make it three league goals in four National South appearances. Coming back to match fitness, manager Steve King has started Robinson in the recent cup games where he scored against Cockfosters and claimed the matchball with a hat-trick in the Kent Senior Cup final win over Whitstable Town.

Robinson also started in Dartford’s last outing which ended in a penalty shoot out victory at Bath City in the F.A Trophy. That takes the Darts unbeaten run to six now, which includes three wins and three draws in normal time. Another former Billericay Town player involved in Saturday’s win was Luke Wanadio, who made his way across the Thames with Robinson in the summer, the winger came on as a substitute as the Darts claimed a 5-3 triumph in the shoot-out.

King was pleased to get through into the next round on a difficult afternoon where the ‘wind played havoc with the game’. Speaking to Dartford FC TV after the trophy tie, King felt it was a similar game to the league meeting between the two teams when each side dominated a half each.

Looking forward to this weekend’s league match, King is not taking Billericay Town’s lowly league position for granted and feels the Darts are starting to reach their early season promise, he explained: “We’re six unbeaten now and we’ve got to continue and keep the run going. Billericay are having a tough time at the moment”, he continued: “It’s going to be another tough game, if we drop the standards we will lose the football match. That’s the pressure that’s on, they need to stand up and be counted and I think a lot of the games lately we’ve been okay, we’ve been back to somewhere near to what we was”.

Catch post match interviews with Steve King at Dartford FC TV

Billericay Town started the campaign with Kevin Watson in charge, but after just one point from the opening six league games he left the New Lodge. Jody Brown was appointed and the day after he watched the Blues win their first league game of the season beating a decent Dulwich Hamlet side. Brown was in the dugout for the next fixture and claimed the club’s second straight success on debut winning against Slough Town. Since then they have suffered six National South defeats on the spin. During their current run they have netted just twice and shipped in fourteen goals.

Brown has made a few adjustments to the squad adding a former Dart in Denilson Carvalho to the team. Carvalho had a very brief spell with Dartford and his only appearance was in the 3-0 win against Billericay Town. Before Brown’s arrival, the Blues squad already had a number of links with the Darts and in particular signings made by Steve King. Midfielder, Bagasan Graham moved into the New Lodge in September, his only start for the Darts was in the 1-1 draw with Tonbridge Angels this season. Rowan Liburd and Norman Wabo also had a spell at Princes Park in 2019/2020, Liburd is currently out on loan at Cheshunt, but Wabo is featuring under Brown. The forward scored four times in his spell with Dartford in 18 appearances. He was also on target in Billericay Town’s last game, his fifth of the season, but they went out of the F.A Trophy on penalties against Maidstone United.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Billericay Town wins: 2 / Draws: 1

Current Form

Dartford
(WDDLLD)
    Billericay Town
(LLLLLL)
   
Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2 Hampton & Richmond Borough H 0-1
Oxford City H 0-0 Chippenham Town A 0-3
Chippenham Town H 3-3 Hungerford Town H 1-4
Concord Rangers A 0-1 Welling United A 0-1
Dorking Wanderers A 0-1 St Albans City A 1-4
Chelmsford City A 0-0 Tonbridge Angels H 0-1

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 1 – 0 Billericay Town (12/01/2021 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 0 Billericay Town (14/12/2019 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Billericay Town (22/04/2019 – National South)
Billericay Town 1 – 1 Dartford (15/09/2018 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 4 Billericay Town (06/03/2010 – Isthmian Premier)
Billericay Town 1 – 0 Dartford (02/02/2010 – Isthmian Premier)

Stats

  • Dartford have won their last three matches against Billericay Town all at Princes Park
  • The Darts are four games unbeaten against the Blues
  • Billericay Town’s only victories against the Darts came in 2010, when Dartford won the Isthmian Premier League

On This Day

Yohance Lewis scored a brace in an Isthmian League Cup tie against Whitstable Town on this day in 2007. His goals helped the Darts reach the fourth round in a 3-0 victory, Tom Bradbrook netted the other. That is Dartford’s only triumph on this day in their last seven attempts. The Darts have lost the last two 2-0 against Torquay United in 2018 and 1-0 versus Nuneaton Town six years earlier. A couple notable wins on this day include a 5-0 thrashing over Wealdstone in the Southern League Cup back in 1989 and an away F.A Trophy triumph against rivals Gravesend and Northfleet in 1971, the Darts progressed in a 2-0 victory.

Bath City v Dartford

Dartford were handed a tough F.A Trophy second round draw against Bath City which takes place on the weekend at Twerton Park.

For a fourth season in a row the Darts open their F.A Trophy campaign away to a National South side. This time they are hoping to start a run they haven’t enjoyed in the trophy for a few years. Dartford last went deep into the competition back in 2013 when they reached the semi-final, whilst Bath City got to the same stage back in 2015. Last term both sides were beaten by lower league opposition with the Darts crashing out to Haringey Borough and the Romans losing to Peterborough Sports.

The two sides last played each other in September with the Darts claiming three National South points at Saturday’s venue. 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.

The Darts have form over their opponents winning seven straight matches before Steve King suffered his first league defeat as Dartford boss two years ago. The Romans won 3-0 that day, but have since lost their last two, a 1-0 defeat at Princes Park and this season’s reverse.

You can catch highlights of Dartford’s games on Dartford FC TV

Steve King’s side warmed up with a convincing Kent Senior Cup final victory on Wednesday beating Whitstable Town 6-1, Dartford’s twelfth triumph in the competition. King put out a strong line up which featured a Robinson hat-trick and another impressive performance from midfielder Tyrique Hyde.

Dartford got off to a super start after just three minutes, Kieran Murtagh hit the crossbar and moments later Danny Leonard’s excellent strike opened the scoring. The Darts were controlling the game and when Hyde won a penalty, Robinson stepped up to make it two. The pair were involved again just past the half hour mark when Hyde’s effort was turned in by Robinson. The Darts continued relentlessly; Michael Kedman ran down the left wing delivered the ball to George Porter for his fourth of the season. Then just before the interval Hyde made it 5-0. In the second half, Robinson completed his hat-trick bending the ball beyond the goalkeeper after he was played in on goal by Hyde. Whitstable Town did find the back of the Dartford net, a Danny Walder free kick was a worthy consolation. Victory now means both Dartford men’s and women’s teams hold the county cup.

After the 9-0 trouncing of Cockfosters in the London Senior Cup in which Emmanuel Sonupe netted a hat-trick, the Darts were back to winning ways in the National South too. Recalled from his loan spell at Hemel Hempstead Town, Hyde’s first task back in league action for the Darts was to take on his old teammates. The midfielder scored twice in a 3-2 victory, which also saw Ade Azeez score his fourteenth of the season. Since returning from his loan spell, Hyde has scored twice on his first league game back against the Tudors, netted in the London Senior Cup versus Cockfosters and added another to his tally in the Kent Senior Cup final.

Bath City reached the National South playoffs in consecutive campaigns before last term was abandoned. This season the Romans have yet to draw in the league and their inconsistency leaves them occupying sixteenth place. But they do approach Saturday’s trophy tie off the back of a 2-1 victory against Concord Rangers, a late goal from their top scorer Cody Cooke sealed the triumph. Jerry Gill highlighted his side’s first half dominance in an interview with Bath City Radio, he commented: “I thought we should have come in four up in the first half…once we got into our flow, we were the dominant side”.

After a victory Gill is excited about the trophy tie coming up this weekend, he added: “Obviously now we really look forward to it, when you get a win everyone’s up for it”. The Bath City boss is optimistic, he added: “Dartford have had a little bit of a wobble, but they are still in a very strong position in the league. For us it’s a home game and on the weekend, it felt like fortress Twerton again. Second half against Dartford here, I remember us going down the hill and we absolutely dominated the game and bombarded them, but they caught us on the counter attack”. 

The only meetings between the two sides in the F.A Trophy came in 1980. Dartford drew 1-1 in the first round at Watling Street. The replay was a night to forget for the Darts as they were beaten 6-1 in the replay.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 35 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Current Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(WWWDDL)
    Bath City
(WDWDLW)
   
Whitstable Town (KSC) H 6-1 Concord Rangers H 2-1
Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2 Hampton & Richmond Borough H 1-3
Cockfosters (LSC) H 9-0 Dulwich Hamlet A 0-3
Oxford City H 0-0 Portishead Town (SPC) H 3-0
Chippenham Town H 3-3 Welling United H 2-1
Concord Rangers A 0-1 Slough Town A 0-2

(KSC – Kent Senior Cup / LSC – London Senior Cup / SPC – Somerset Premier Cup)

Previous Meetings

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 2 – 0 Bath City (21/04/2018 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford have won four of their last five trips to Twerton Park
  • The Darts have kept five clean sheets in their last ten meetings with Bath City
  • In that same period Dartford have only failed to score once versus the Romans
  • The Darts have scored 18 goals in their last three games and conceded just twice. Beating a run of 16 goals in three games from this season between 18 September and 28 September (5-1 v Hythe Town, 6-0 v Welling United, 5-2 v Athletic Newham)
  • Dartford have never scored five or more goals in four consecutive matches

On This Day

Dartford put on a masterclass on their way to becoming Isthmian Division One North champions in 2007. The Darts hit Witham Town for seven at Princes Park in a 7-2 victory. Brendon Cass and Eddie McClements both scored a brace, Jay May, Ryan Hayes, Jamie Coyle were the other scorers. The Darts last played on this day three years ago in the F.A Trophy going out in a replay against Eastbourne Borough. A former Dart came back to haunt his old club after Dartford almost staged a dramatic comeback from two down. Andre Coker then Taylor Fisher scored two goals in the final minute to level the tie. However, there was one last twist when Tom Gardiner won it for the Sports in injury time.

Dartford v Whitstable Town – Kent Senior Cup Final

Dartford finally have the chance to win their first piece of silverware in five years when they host the delayed Kent Senior Cup final against Whitstable Town.

The Darts have won the competition eleven times and are second in the all-time winners list. Whitstable Town, who kick started the competition just over two years ago are aiming for an upset and their first ever Kent Senior Cup title.

Separated by two divisions, the Darts will be wary of playing opponents from a lower division. It was only last month they went out of the F.A Cup to AFC Sudbury, a team at the same level of Whitstable Town. However, Dartford have played two county cup games against lower league opposition since making this final, beating Athletic Newham 5-2 and Cockfosters 9-0 in the London Senior Cup, both teams three divisions below the Darts.

Six of the current squad played in the semi-final twenty months ago, Jordan Wynter, Tom Bonner, Noor Husin, Jack Jebb and Luke Wanadio as well as Ronnie Vint, who returned from his loan spell at Dulwich Hamlet to start Saturday’s game against Hemel Hempstead Town.

Tyrique Hyde made a substitute appearance in the 5-1 win over Phoenix Sports that got Dartford to the final, since then the midfielder left the Darts, returned to Princes Park, then was sent out on loan this season. Hyde was recalled from Hemel Hempstead Town and made an immediate impact on his return to Vauxhall Road on the weekend. Dartford claimed their first league win since early October beating the Tudors 3-2. It was Hyde who scored twice, opening the scoring before the hosts equalised. Ade Azeez netted a penalty, his 14th goal of the season in 17 appearances, then Hyde gave the Darts a two goal cushion before Hemel Hempstead Town’s late consolation.

Dartford’s last game with Whitstable Town in 2011 – for more archived highlights visit Dartford FC TV

Whitstable Town have had a tough start to their campaign and poor form saw Lloyd Blackman step down as manager. Just one cup win and a single league point in their opening ten competitive matches led to a change in the dugout. In stepped Keith McMahon and his first task was to win the Kent Senior Cup semi-final, which was dramatically achieved in the last minute against Gillingham. McMahon went on to win his first league game, but since then he has picked up just four points in the last seven outings, three of those points on Saturday.

McMahon will want his side to make the cup final more competitive than the club’s only other appearance. The Oystermen reached the 2009 Kent Senior Cup final and lost 6-1 to Welling United, former Dartford striker Charlie Sheringham scored for the Wings that day. The new boss approaches Wednesday’s finale after a ending their six game winless run by beating Hythe Town. Recently McMahon has bolstered his attack with new signings Kemo Darboe and Stephen Okoh. Earlier in the month he signed former Hungerford Town and Wealdstone striker Harry Goodger as well as Luke Griffiths, Alex Gaggin, Luke Illsley and Luca Woodhouse. Illsley and Gaggin both scored in the 3-0 win on Saturday, Danny Walder added the third late on.

Dartford have played just as many cup games against Whitstable Town as they have league fixtures in the past. During the Darts three year spell in the Kent League First Division they won three, drew two and lost once to the Oystermen. The last three meetings have all been cup ties with the most recent ten years ago. Dartford thrashed Whitstable Town 6-1 in the Kent Senior Cup quarter-final on the way to lifting the cup. The only other Kent Senior Cup fixture also ended in a Dartford win in 2001 when the score was 2-1.

Twice the Darts have beaten Wednesday’s finalists on the way to picking up silverware, in 1996 another 2-1 victory in round three helped Dartford on their way on route to a Kent Senior Trophy triumph. Whitstable Town’s only cup win in six was back in 1993 when they knocked out the Darts of the Kent League Cup with a 2-1 victory.

It’s been a long road to get the 2019/2020 final played, in fact Dartford secured their spot in the final way back in March last year. The Oystermen had to wait until last month to play their semi-final and book their place.

Route to the Final

Round 1
Cray Valley Paper Mills 1-2 Whitstable Town
Harry Stannard took advantage of a defensive mistake early on to give the Oystermen the lead. Aaron Millbank was fouled in the penalty box and took the spot kick to put Whitstable two up. Cray Valley Paper Mills pulled a goal back through Josh James.

Round 2
Maidstone United 0-1 Dartford – highlights
Having played each other three times in November 2019, two months later the two sides met again. Only Josh Hill from the current Dartford squad started this game, but the decisive goal came from winger Ky Marsh-Brown.

Welling United 1-2 Whitstable Town
The Isthmian Division One South East side had to come from a goal down to win this one. Welling United went ahead when Dipo Akinyemi’s shot hit the post and went in off goalkeeper Dan Eason. A brace from Marshall Wratten secured revenge for the 6-1 final defeat in 2009.

Quarter Final
Dartford 4-0 Folkestone Invicta – highlights
The last eight tie was a bit easier for the Darts as they cruised into the semi-final. Liam Nash opened the scoring just past the half hour mark. Six minutes later Tyrique Hyde, in his first spell at the club netted a spot kick. Billy Crook and Elliott Romain added to the score in the second half.

Whitstable Town 1-0 Ramsgate
Into the last eight and Whitstable Town edged past Ramsgate to make the last four. A solitary goal by substitute Charles Etumnu was enough to see the Oystermen through to the semi-final. Whitstable Town played the last half hour with ten men after Liam King was shown a straight red.

Semi Final
Dartford 5-1 Phoenix Sports – highlights
Goals continued to flow, and this time Dartford hit five starting with Jordan Wynter’s first half strike. Nash doubled the lead before Kehinde Aileru scored a penalty for Phoenix Sports. The Darts raced away in the final half hour with goals from Romain, Amrit Bansal-McNulty and Nash’s second.

Whitstable Town 1-0 Gillingham
A perfect and dramatic start for new manager Keith McMahon as his side claimed another single goal victory against a young Gillingham side. As the tie headed to a climax, up popped Tom Carlton in the last minute to send the Oystermen into their second ever Kent Senior Cup final.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 8 / Whitstable Town wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Current Form

Dartford
(WWDDLL)
    Whitstable Town
(WLLLDL)
   
Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2 Hythe Town A 3-0
Cockfosters (LSC) H 9-0 Burgess Hill Town H 0-1
Oxford City H 0-0 Chichester City A 1-2
Chippenham Town H 3-3 Hastings United A 1-4
Concord Rangers A 0-1 Three Bridges H 1-1
Dorking Wanderers A 0-1 Ashford United A 0-2

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 6 – 1 Whitstable Town (08/03/2011 – Kent Senior Cup)
Dartford 3 – 0 Whitstable Town (04/12/2007 – Isthmian League Cup)
Dartford 2– 1 Whitstable Town (27/11/2001 – Kent Senior Cup )
Dartford 2 – 0 Whitstable Town (24/02/1996 – Kent League First Division)
Whitstable Town 1 – 2 Dartford (24/01/1996 – Kent Senior Trophy)
Whitstable Town 2 – 2 Dartford (16/09/1995 – Kent League First Division)

Stats

  • Dartford have scored five or more in each of their last three county cup games (5-1 versus Phoenix Sports in the Kent Senior Cup, 5-2 against Athletic Newham and 9-0 versus Cockfosters both in the London Senior Cup)
  • The Darts have scored 23 and conceded three in their last four county cup games
  • Dartford have won 11 of their last 14 county cup ties
  • Emmanuel Sonupe has scored five goals in his first two county cup games for the Darts (both London Senior Cup)
  • Whitstable Town have won three Kent Senior Trophy titles, but never the Kent Senior Cup

On This Day

Top of the Isthmian Premier League and home to Tooting and Mitcham United, the Darts found themselves 2-0 down on this day in 2009. Dartford showed their championship winning credentials fighting back to win 3-2 with two goals from Ryan Hayes and the other from Rob Howard.

Dartford’s run to the F.A Trophy semi-final started on this day in 2012. In a memorable season when the Darts finished eighth in the National League, Tony Burman’s side beat Kingstonian in round one with goals from Jacob Erskine, Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris and Nathan Collier. Six years later in the same competition Kudus Oyenuga forced a replay with a goal four minutes from time in a 1-1 draw with Eastbourne Borough, the Darts went out in the third qualifying round replay.

The only other time the Darts played a Kent Senior Cup tie on this day was in 1923 when they beat Charlton Athletic Reserves 1-0 in the first round.

Hemel Hempstead Town v Dartford

Dartford return to National South action this weekend at Hemel Hempstead Town and aim to record a first league win for over a month.

The Darts may have suffered single goal defeats in their last two matches on the road, but they can approach this weekend’s fixture with confidence after an emphatic London Senior Cup victory on Tuesday night. Progressing to the next round ended a run of six games without a win in all competitions.

Steve King made seven changes and named a strong side against Essex Senior League side Cockfosters and was rewarded with a 9-0 victory, Dartford’s biggest win since 1975 when they beat Crawley Town by ten without reply. Recalled from his loan spell at Hemel Hempstead Town, Tyrique Hyde made an immediate impact by opening the rout. The midfielder made seven appearances for the Tudors and during his loan spell Hemel Hempstead Town’s form improved. The Darts benefited from an own goal before new D’Sean Theobalds made it three and Emmanuel Sonupe netted on the stroke of half time. The goals kept coming in the second half when former Tudor, Connor Essam got in on the act, Sonupe completed a hat-trick, the returning Jake Robinson got the eighth and Dan Roberts finished the job. The last time Dartford ended a match with nine goals on the scoreboard was the 1972 F.A Cup first qualifying round tie against Hemel Hempstead Town, the final score was 9-2.

Catch Dartford highlights on Dartford FC TV

As well as Theobalds, Robinson and Sonupe amongst the changes from the entertaining 0-0 draw with Oxford City, Tom Bonner returned to the starting eleven after serving a suspension, Michael Kedman made only his fourth start, Danny Leonard was in after the winger missed the Oxford City match through illness and there was a first appearance for former Brentford full back Josh Clarke. The 27-year-old spent seven years with the Bees and made 72 appearances and has had plenty of loan spells during that time.

Dartford’s last National South outing saw an improved performance against promotion challengers Oxford City. Although the game finished 0-0 the Darts created plenty of chances to win, instead the stalemate took King’s side to five without victory in the league. Despite the barren spell, King thought his side were ‘fantastic’ on the weekend and deserved the win. King confirmed after the game that Luke Allen needed to be assessed, the midfielder was stretchered off and taken to hospital, whilst Jordan Wynter will continue to be out for the foreseeable future. Noor Husin is expected to return after being away on international duty.

Away from home the winless run is four games in all competitions stretching back to the impressive 3-0 F.A Cup triumph over rivals Maidstone United. The Darts have failed to score in their last three on the road, but after the London Senior Cup goal fest, the three scored at home against Chippenham Town a fortnight ago, the encouraging chances created last weekend and their early season form shows Dartford have enough potential in front of goal.

For all the post match interviews visit Dartford FC TV

The last visit to Vauxhall Road was just over a year ago when Dartford extended their unbeaten run over the Tudors to nine by winning 3-1. Essam caused problems for his former club and opened the scoring. Jack Jebb got his second assist of the afternoon when Nathan Carlyle put in his own net. The Darts went three up before half-time through Elliott Romain before Bernard Christie pulled one back for the hosts in the second half.

Hemel Hempstead Town are searching for their first win against Dartford since August 2015 when they opened their campaign as a newly promoted club with a 1-0 victory. This season started precariously for the Hertfordshire club, but former Dartford winger, Ky Marsh-Brown scored on his debut in a 4-2 defeat against Maidstone United. The Tudors went on to lose their first six in the league including a 6-0 reverse at home to Dulwich Hamlet. A first point was earned at home to Eastbourne Borough and a second consecutive draw this time in the F.A Cup against Ware of the Isthmian South Central division ended Lee Bircham’s time as manager. The Tudors were knocked out in the replay and now they have former Oxford City boss, Mark Jones in charge.

Since Jones’ arrival form has improved and he immediately guided his new side off the bottom of the table. In his first league game in charge, the Tudors recorded their first win against Billericay Town and traded places with their opponents. Despite a heavy 4-0 defeat against his old club Oxford City, Jones has overseen two victories and two draws in the last four outings. In the previous two matches Alfie Cerulli and Craig Fasanmade were the two goalscorers, Fasanmade played under Jones at Oxford City and scored against the Darts back in January for Hungerford Town.

As well as Essam and Hyde having links with Hemel Hempstead Town, Deshane Dalling who has made just one start and three substitute appearances for the Darts turned out for the Tudors earlier in the season. Dartford goalkeeper, Craig King is currently on loan at Vauxhall Road where he has so far made one appearance.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 6 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Dartford
(DDLLDW)
    Hemel Hempstead Town
(WDWDLW)
   
Oxford City H 0-0 Chelmsford City A 2-1
Chippenham Town H 3-3 Dorking Wanderers H 2-2
Concord Rangers A 0-1 Chippenham Town A 2-1
Dorking Wanderers A 0-1 Welling United H 1-1
Chelmsford City A 0-0 Oxford City H 0-4
Hungerford Town H 1-0 Billericay Town A 3-2

Previous Meetings

Hemel Hempstead Town 1 – 3 Dartford (10/11/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Hemel Hempstead Town (31/08/2019 – National South)
Hemel Hempstead Town 1 – 2 Dartford (05/03/2019 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 0 Hemel Hempstead Town (11/08/2018 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 Hemel Hempstead Town (17/03/2018 – National South)
Hemel Hempstead Town 0 – 3 Dartford (26/08/2017 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford are unbeaten in their last nine games against Hemel Hempstead Town, winning five and drawing four
  • The Darts have won on their last three visits to Vauxhall Road scoring eight and conceding two
  • The last time Dartford went six league games without a win in a season was towards the end of the 2018-2019 campaign 

On This Day

Carl Rook’s brace eleven years ago was enough for Dartford to beat Thurrock in the third qualifying round of the F.A Trophy. Victory was the Darts third away win in a row on 20 November after triumphs against Waltham Forest in 2007 and Stamford in 1999. Jamie Coyle scored twice against Waltham Forest, Ryan Hayes and Brendon Cass added to the score in a 4-2 win, the Darts went on to claim the Isthmian Division North title that season. Dartford’s last away league defeat on this day was back in 1965 against Wellington Town in the Southern Premier League.

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