Category: Match Preview (Page 2 of 6)

Dartford v Havant and Waterlooville

Title hopes remain just about alive for Dartford and they need to keep up the pressure on the weekend when they host Havant and Waterlooville.

Unbeaten at Princes Park in the league, the Darts claimed another home victory in mid-week stretching their run to fifteen. On the same night league leaders Dorking Wanderers lost meaning Steve King’s side are now seven points behind the top two with a game in hand. Havant and Waterlooville had promotion aspirations of their own at the start of the campaign, the Hampshire club are two points adrift of the playoffs in tenth after victory on Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, King was back in the dugout after having surgery and missing the previous game. The Dartford boss made four changes to the side that were beaten by Chippenham Town. Jordan Wynter hobbled off in the 4-2 loss against the Bluebirds so in came Kory Roberts. Whilst Tyrique Hyde made his first league start in over a month and Ade Azeez and Danny Leonard were selected for their first league outing since defeat at Hungerford Town. Dropping to the bench, Ody Alfa, Jordan Greenidge and Kieran Murtagh were joined by Jake Robinson and Marcus Dinanga, the latter pair missed the trip to Wiltshire on the weekend. Murtagh will be unavailable this weekend as he serves a one match ban for his red card against Chippenham Town.

Two first-half free-kicks gave Dartford the advantage when dead ball specialist Jack Jebb scored directly in the sixteenth minute. The midfielder was at it again from a set-piece when he put one in the box for Danny Leonard to finish, his tenth goal since joining the club in the summer. The Clarets pulled a goal back in the second-half when Tom Blackwell scored. However, the visitors had Eduino Vaz sent off after a foul on George Porter. The Darts held out to claim their ninth home league win of the campaign.

Dartford’s last game against Havant and Waterlooville – Dartford FC TV

Victory once again showed the character within the squad to bounce back from defeat, but now it’s up to the Darts to show enough consistency to close the gap on Dorking Wanderers and Maidstone United, the latter they still have to play next month. King spoke to Dartford FC TV after the game and commented: “We’ve shown different sides to the team. Dorking we was unbelievable, then we go away to Chippenham and it was disappointing that we lost with four goals”. The Dartford boss accepts that his side need to pick up the points by any means possible, he said: “A win is a win, I think that is the important thing this time of year. If we can add some fantastic performances in between that’s brilliant, if we can’t then I don’t really care”.

In the reverse fixture Ody Alfa made his debut after arriving on loan from Queens Park Rangers, but it was Luke Allen’s strike on the stroke of half-time that secured a 1-0 win. Although Havant and Waterlooville rarely threatened in front of goal, Dartford’s solid defensive display helped them through to the final whistle with all three points. The triumph extended the Darts unbeaten run against the Hawks to six. The last meeting at Princes Park was behind closed doors in October 2020. Jack Barham scored twice on Halloween as Dartford recorded a 2-1 win. The striker netted a penalty then headed a Jack Jebb cross home. Josh Taylor pulled a goal back before Billy Clifford was sent off in this niggly affair.

There is every reason for Dartford to be cautious in this tight division. When they played at Westleigh Park last month the Hawks approached the fixture on a poor run. This time Paul Doswell’s side enter this weekend’s game in better form. A loss at Concord Rangers after the Dartford defeat was the last of a four-game streak without picking up a point, in fact the Hawks had picked up just three draws in a run of nine games. This time they come off the back of victories against Ebbsfleet United, a draw at Slough Town and back-to-back wins versus Chelmsford City and Dulwich Hamlet.

Dartford’s last home game against the Hawks in October 2020 – Dartford FC TV

Last month’s signing, Manny Duku scored his first goal for the club in the 4-2 win over Ebbsfleet United and scored the winner against Dulwich Hamlet. Whilst former Dartford striker Alex Wall came off the bench to score in the 2-1 win over Chelmsford City. Wall made eleven appearances on loan at Dartford in 2014 scoring six times. Wall returned to Princes Park in the summer of 2018 but left before a ball was kicked.

On Wednesday night, Havant and Waterlooville saw that unbeaten run extended to five at home to Hungerford Town, who were a place above the Hawks at the start of the evening. Goalkeeper, Ross Worner returned to the side as did Jake McCarthy. The Hawks scored twice in each half to climb above the Crusaders in the National South.

Stefan Payne opened the scoring from the edge of the box and Duku notched another for the hosts as they looked comfortable at the interval. In the second-half Hungerford Town had goalkeeper Luke Cairney injured, resulting in defender Keith Emmerson going in goal. The Hawks made it count when captain Joe Oastler completed a brace to round of a pleasing night for Doswell’s side.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford
(WWLWLW)
    Havant & Waterlooville
(LWDWWW)
   
Chelmsford City H 2-1 Hungerford Town H 4-0
Chippenham Town A 2-4 Dulwich Hamlet A 1-0
Dorking Wanderers H 3-2 Chelmsford City H 2-1
Hungerford Town A 1-2 Slough Town A 1-1
Bath City H 2-0 Ebbsfleet United H 4-2
Havant and Waterlooville A 1-0 Concord Rangers A 1-3

Previous Meetings (last six)

Havant & Waterlooville 0 – 1 Dartford (09/02/2022 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Havant & Waterlooville (31/10/2020 – National South)
Havant & Waterlooville 1 – 2 Dartford (25/07/2020 – National South Playoff)
Dartford 1 – 1 Havant & Waterlooville (10/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Havant & Waterlooville (13/01/2018 – National South)
Havant & Waterlooville 0 – 0 Dartford (12/08/2017 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford have lost just once in the last ten against Havant and Waterlooville, the Darts have won seven and drawn the other two.
  • The Darts have yet to lose at Princes Park to the Hawks. Since 2010 Dartford have won four drawn two in this fixture.
  • Havant and Waterlooville’s only away victories against Dartford came in a league game in 1999 and a F.A cup tie in 2000.
  • Dartford are 15 home league games unbeaten, the best from the beginning of a season since the 16 set in 1988/89 Southern Premier League.
  • The Darts current unbeaten home league run is also the best run since the 15 at the end of 1995/96 Kent League season and into the start of 1996/97 Southern League South campaign.

On This Day

Dartford played Havant and Waterlooville six years ago on this day and lost 2-0 at Westleigh Park. Veteran striker James Hayter scored to headers to clinch victory for the Hawks. The previous two outings on 19 March have also ended in defeat, 1-0 at home to Barrow in 2013 and two years earlier 2-0 away versus Staines Town. The Darts last victory on this day was back in 1994 when they beat Tunbridge Wells 1-0 away from home in the Kent League. The last home triumph on this day was 32 years ago against local rivals Welling United, the match finished 2-1 in the Kent Senior Cup quarter final replay.

Dartford v Chelmsford City

The Darts hope to return to winning ways against Chelmsford City at Princes Park on Tuesday night in the National South.

Dartford’s title aspirations took a massive blow on the weekend losing 4-2 at Chippenham Town. Although there is still a quarter of the season to go, the ten point deficit from top spot will be difficult to overturn, especially now the Darts have dropped to fifth place.

Steve King made another five changes to the line up that beat Dover Athletic 2-1 in the Kent Senior Cup a week ago. Jordan Wynter was selected for his 100th appearance in place of Kory Roberts. Whilst Ody Alfa, Kalvin Kalala, Jack Jebb and George Porter were also restored to the side having played in the 3-2 victory against Dorking Wanderers.

New striker, Jordan Greenidge had already made an impression with a brace in the the Kent Senior Cup win. He scored his third goal in just his second appearance to get the Darts off to a great start on seven minutes. Then four minutes after Kieran Murtagh was cautioned, the hosts equalised through Jordan Young. Before the interval Murtagh received a second yellow card and was sent off, the second red card in as many away games for the Darts.

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 by netting his first goal in 20 appearances, his last goals against the same opposition in November. However, Chippenham Town secured maximum points with a fourth scored by Joe Hanks.

Highlights of Dartford’s visit to Chelmsford City earlier in the season – Dartford FC TV

It’s a good job Steve King’s side remain unbeaten at Princes Park in the National South this term. If the title and automatic promotion remains out of reach then finishing second will guarantee home advantage in the playoffs. King will need to keep his team focussed on booking a playoff spot first, then aim for that runners up position to aid their attempt at promotion.

Standing in Dartford’s way this weekend is Chelmsford City and possibly two former players. Charlie Sheringham and Chez Isaac both had spells at Princes Park with different degrees of success. Sheringham had three spells with the Darts scoring 54 goals in 119 appearances, before joining the Clarets after an impressive loan spell. Chez Isaac spent just two months at Dartford in 2018 and made 12 appearances in that time, the midfielder moved to Chelmsford City where he has been ever since.

Since his appointment as Dartford boss, Steve King is unbeaten in his three previous matches against Chelmsford City, two of those games were at Princes Park. The first time King led the Darts out to take on the Clarets was almost two years to the day, the last fixture of the 2019/2020 campaign before the season was cut short. Dartford won 3-0 that day with goals from Josh Hill, Elliott Romain and Noor Husin. The two sides didn’t have to wait long for the next meeting as the fixture list threw the pair together on the opening day of the following season. This time the Darts won 1-0 with Ky Marsh-Brown scoring the only goal of the game. The reverse fixture this term ended 0-0 in Essex.

Watch the last time Dartford hosted Chelmsford City at Princes Park – Dartford FC TV

The schedule hasn’t been kind to the Clarets over the last month. Dartford will be the fourth side in the top six to have faced Chelmsford City. In fact Robbie Simpson’s side has yet to taste a win against any team in the top seven with five draws, four one goal defeats and a 2-0 loss at Dorking Wanderers. Despite the number of losses and their current position, Chelmsford City are often competitive and difficult to overcome.

The Clarets under Simpson are down in the bottom five, but have one of the better goal differences in the lower half of the table. Victory for Chelmsford City could propel them up a few positions in the standings, however they have lost four on the bounce. On the weekend their latest reverse was against playoff contenders Eastbourne Borough. With the match heading for a goalless draw, goalkeeper Jacob Marsden put the ball in his own net whilst under pressure from Borough’s Charley Kendall.

Marsden has had two tough moments in his last two games, also conceding a penalty in the 2-1 defeat at Havant and Waterlooville. At home to Oxford City, the Clarets had Dara Dada sent off as they went on to lose 2-1 and before that Chelmsford City fell to Dorking Wanderers. The Clarets will visit Princes Park hoping to break their current poor run.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 40 / Chelmsford City wins: 55 / Draws: 23

Current League Form

Dartford
(WWWLWL)
    Chelmsford City
(DWLLLL)
   
Chippenham Town A 2-4 Eastbourne Borough H 0-1
Dorking Wanderers H 3-2 Havant and Waterlooville A 1-2
Hungerford Town A 1-2 Oxford City H 1-2
Bath City H 2-0 Dorking Wanderers A 0-2
Havant and Waterlooville A 1-0 Hampton & Richmond Borough H 1-0
Welling United H 4-2 Braintree Town A 2-2

Previous Meetings (last six)

Chelmsford City 0 – 0 Dartford (25/10/2021 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Chelmsford City (06/10/2020 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 0 Chelmsford City (14/03/2020 – National South)
Chelmsford City 4 – 0 Dartford (12/08/2019 – National South)
Chelmsford City 2 – 1 Dartford (09/01/2019 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Chelmsford City (07/08/2018 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford are 14 home league games unbeaten, the best from the beginning of a season since the 16 set in 1988/89 Southern Premier League.
  • The Darts current unbeaten home league run is also the best run since the 15 at the end of 1995/96 Kent League season and into the start of 1996/97 Southern League South campaign.
  • Dartford have won the last three home games against Chelmsford City. The Darts last won four home fixtures in a row against the Clarets between 1960 and 1965.
  • The Darts have kept three consecutive clean sheets against Chelmsford City. A fourth match without conceding will be a record versus the Clarets.

On This Day

It was a great day for defenders on this day in 2008 when Dartford beat Enfield Town. Not only did the defence keep a clean sheet they were responsible for all three goals. John Guest, Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle all found the back of the net to claim Dartford’s last win on this day. Since then a 0-0 draw with Eastleigh (2011), a 1-1 draw with Cambridge United thanks to a last minute Alex Wall equaliser (2014) and a 2-1 loss against Maidenhead United (2016) means the Darts are winless in three on the 15 March. A 2-0 away victory over Welling United on this day in 1988 set up a Kent Senior Cup final with Maidstone United, the Darts claimed the cup beating the Stones 2-1.

Chippenham Town v Dartford

Dartford return to league action this weekend and are back on the road to face Chippenham Town in the National South.

The Darts are in a good position to challenge for promotion and after an outstanding display against league leaders Dorking Wanderers last weekend, Steve King has challenged his squad to maintain the levels of performance going into the last quarter of the campaign. Chippenham Town, just outside the playoff places are looking to pick up points to get themselves into the top seven.

King praised his whole team after beating Dorking Wanderers last Saturday and after George Porter grabbed a brace, the Darts boss claimed it was the midfielder’s best game in a Dartford shirt deserving of the man of the match award. Porter scored the first and last goal in the 3-2 victory, whilst the National South’s February Player of the Month, Marcus Dinanga scored the other. Dartford have a game in hand over last weekend’s opponents and rivals Maidstone United in second place and are currently seven points adrift leading into the last few months of the season.

Dartford defeat league leaders Dorking Wanderers in the last league match – Dartford FC TV

Injury to loanee Junior Tiensia meant a debut for new loan signing Jayden Sweeney, who arrived from Leyton Orient before the Dorking Wanderers match. King was impressed with Sweeney on the weekend and the full back started again on Tuesday night against Dover Athletic in Kent Senior Cup. However, the headlines were written by Jordan Greenidge who scored twice on his debut to help the Darts into the next round to face Margate. The striker was released in January by Newport County and signed by Weymouth; his debut was against the Darts in the F.A Trophy. Greenidge opened his account after eighteen minutes and added a second with fifteen minutes to go. Midfielder, David Ijaha came off the bench to make an appearance after being out injured for the last eight months. Dover Athletic pulled a goal back, but it wasn’t enough for the National League’s bottom side and so it’s Dartford who progress in the competition they won in November.

Highlights of Dartford’s last match against Dover Athletic in the Kent Senior Cup – Dartford FC TV

This weekend, if the Darts can pick up maximum points, they could either pull away from Ebbsfleet United in fifth or move above Oxford City into third as the pair also play each other on Saturday. King’s side have clawed their way back in contention after five consecutive victories stretched an unbeaten run in the league to eight. However, the last away day put an end to their excellent form as the Darts fell to a 2-1 defeat at Hungerford Town, putting more pressure on the proceeding match against Dorking Wanderers. But once again Dartford proved they can bounce back and after two straight home wins in league and cup, the Darts face a tough away trip to Chippenham Town.

Four months ago, the sides played out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Princes Park. Dartford 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 meeting against Chippenham Town back in November – Dartford FC TV

Dartford have always come away with something when visiting Hardenhuish Park. Their first trip to play Chippenham Town in January 2018 ended 2-2. Since then, the Darts have won all three visits scoring nine but have yet to keep a clean sheet. Last time out in Wiltshire, Moussa Bakayoko scored nine minutes into his Dartford debut and after Joe Hanks equalised, Tom Bonner netted the winner late in the second half. Just over two years ago the Darts ran out 5-1 winners with all the goals coming in the first half. Darren McQueen opened and closed the rout with goals in between from Liam Nash, Amrit Bansal-McNulty and an own goal. The first of the three victories in a row came in October 2018 when goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim scored the decisive goal in a 2-1 triumph.

Chippenham Town’s playoff aspirations have faltered lately, and they have been consistent in their inconsistency this season with ten wins, draws and defeats. The Bluebirds are only four points away from seventh place, but winless in four National South games. During that spell the Wiltshire club have lost both away fixtures 1-0, first against Welling United at the beginning of the run and then on the weekend at Braintree Town. Their two outings between those defeats ended in 1-1 home draws against Eastbourne Borough then versus Hampton and Richmond Borough. On both occasions Chippenham Town took the lead only to concede late equalisers.

After defeat at Braintree Town, Cook called on his team to be more ruthless in front of goal, but he was pleased with the overall performance and the opportunities they created. Since the start of the year Chippenham Town have failed to score in half of their league games and when they have found the net on the three occasions in their last six outings, they have not scored more than once. Cook has added to his striking options to address the lack of goals. Mohammad Dabre has come in from Swindon Town on loan and Jordan Young has turned his loan into a permanent deal, signing from Gloucester City.

The Bluebirds have been difficult to beat against the top sides this term, picking up home wins against St Albans City and Dorking Wanderers. They have only lost twice to the current sides above them in the National South, but six of those eleven matches have ended in the points being shared including the draw at Princes Park in November.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Chippenham Town wins: 1 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Dartford
(WWWWLW)
    Chippenham Town
(DWLDDL)
   
Dorking Wanderers H 3-2 Braintree Town A 0-1
Hungerford Town A 1-2 Hampton & Richmond Borough H 1-1
Bath City H 2-0 Eastbourne Borough H 1-1
Havant and Waterlooville A 1-0 Welling United A 0-1
Welling United H 4-2 Concord Rangers H 1-0
Ebbsfleet United H 1-0 Chelmsford City A 0-0

Previous Meetings (last six)

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)

Stats

  • The Darts are unbeaten in all four visits to Chippenham Town (W3, D1)
  • In this fixture both teams have scored in six of the eight meetings. Both teams have only failed to net in one game each.
  • This match as produced 16 goals in four games at Hardenhuish Park averaging four goals a game
  • David Ijaha’s appearance on Tuesday night means Dartford have used 40 players in all competitions this season
  • Jordan Wynter can make his 100th appearance for the Darts if selected. The versatile defender has made 90 starts and 9 substitute appearances scoring twice.

On This Day

It has been 25 years since Dartford last won on 12 March and that was a 1-0 victory against Buckingham Town in the Southern League South. That was the last triumph of five in a row on this day stretching back to 1983. The last two away wins on 8 March were both against Slade Green in the Kent League, the Darts won 1-0 in 1994 and 2-0 a year later. Dartford’s last outing on this day came moments after Steve King lost his job at Whitehawk six years ago. Interim manager Pablo Asensio had taken two games in charge before coming up against Dartford, but Burman’s side threw away a two goal lead courtesy of an Andy Pugh brace. Future Dart, Danny Mills scored a hat-trick as the Hawks came back to win 4-2. In 2011, Dartford drew 2-2 with Basingstoke Town at the Camrose, Ryan Hayes and Danny Harris scored the goals. One game to forget was in 2005 when Dartford lost 6-1 at home to Barking and East Ham United in the Southern League Division One East.

Dartford v Dover Athletic

The Darts begin their defence of the Kent Senior Cup on Tuesday night when they host National League strugglers Dover Athletic.

Steve King led Dartford to the county cup title in November when his side thrashed Whitstable Town 6-1 in the belated 2019/2020 final. A Jake Robinson hat-trick as well as goals from Danny Leonard, George Porter and Tyrique Hyde sealed Dartford’s twelfth Kent Senior Cup title.

Returning to his former club, Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler needs to work a miracle to save the Whites from National League relegation. His side are bottom of the table on minus four points after beginning the campaign with a twelve point deficit. The ex Dartford midfielder made 215 appearances and scored 30 goals in the Watling Street days over a few spells between 1982 and 1990.

It’s been just over five years since Dartford knocked out Dover Athletic in the F.A Trophy first round. The Darts, a division below, earned a replay after the first match at Princes Park finished 1-1. Ronnie Vint scored the equaliser in both fixtures, first levelling after Ricky Miller’s strike. Then in the return game at the Crabble he equalised after Jim Stevenson put Dover Athletic ahead. The winner was scored by Luke Wanadio, currently on loan at Folkestone Invicta to send Dartford through. Victory erased memories of the 6-1 thrashing Dover Athletic dished out on the Darts almost a year earlier in the National League.

Highlights of the last meeting between Dartford and Dover Athletic at Princes Park – Dartford FC TV

Last week King had to move fast to cover yet another injury to a defensive player ahead of the big 3-2 victory against league leaders Dorking Wanderers. Having already signed full back Junior Tiensia on loan from Millwall, the youngster’s injury in the London Senior Cup defeat to Brentford B forced King into bringing in Jayden Sweeney on loan from Leyton Orient. Sweeney has turned out for Wealdstone this term and scored twice in five games, whilst at Orient the 20-year-old has made six appearances this season. The full back position should see the return of Jernade Meade in the coming weeks after his time out with injury, defender Josh Hill remains out for the long term and Luke Allen came off injured on Saturday.

King made four changes to the side that lost in the London Senior Cup. Sweeney made his debut for the injured Tiensia, Connor Essam returned to the starting eleven instead of Kory Roberts, Kalvin Kalala was picked ahead of Tyrqiue Hyde and Marcus Dinanga was back with Robinson on the bench. The Darts got off to an excellent start going two up inside the first quarter of the match, first George Porter then Dinanga, the striker’s third goal in his last four outings. Wanderers halved the deficit ten minutes into the second half before Porter double his league tally for the season. That goal turned out to be the winner as Dorking Wanderers got their second of the afternoon later on.

Dartford’s win takes them to within seven points of the league leaders with a game in hand and stretches their unbeaten home league run to an impressive fourteen, the longest unbeaten home streak from the start of a league campaign since 1987/1988 season, which ended at 16.

Recently Dover Athletic have had their fair share of injury problems and last week an unexpected illness struck captain Ryan Hanson who had to undergo emergency surgery, the midfielder will need around three weeks to recover. Ahead of the Barnet game on the weekend, Marshall Wratten, Myles Judd, and Noah Carney all returned to the squad. Player coach Reda Johnson was back in training, but Arjanit Krasniqi, Alex Green, Seth Twumasi and Travis Gregory were all missing through injury.

Dover Athletic’s woes continued on Saturday with a heavy 6-0 defeat against Barnet, one of Hessenthaler’s former clubs. That leaves the Whites a massive 21 points adrift at the bottom of the National League and still in search for their first away win this season. Dover Athletic have now lost five of their last six picking up a single point in the process since their solitary league victory against Eastleigh in January. Prior beating the Hampshire side, the Whites had picked up just one point in the previous 17 outings.

A week ago the Whites announced the loan extension of former Dartford striker Alfie Pavey. The Maidstone United player moved to the Crabble in late November and has scored five times for Dover Athletic during his spell. At Dartford, Pavey enjoyed a successful time narrowly missing out on the National South title in 2017/2018 but won the league’s Player of the Year after scoring 27 goals. The striker ended up having three spells with the club which included two periods on loan.

The winner of this Kent Senior Cup tie will play Margate, who beat Gillingham in the last round.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 33 / Dover Athletic wins: 34 / Draws: 25

Current League Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(WLWLLW)
    Dover Athletic
(LLLDLL)
   
Dorking Wanderers H 3-2 Barnet A 0-6
Brentford B (LSC) H 0-2 Grimsby Town H 1-3
Hungerford Town A 1-2 Aldershot Town A 0-0
Bath City H 2-0 Torquay United H 1-3
Needham Market (FAT) A 0-1 Stockport County A 0-1
Havant and Waterlooville A 1-0 Southend United H 0-1

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dover Athletic 1 – 2 Dartford (13/12/2016 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 1 – 1 Dover Athletic (10/12/2016 – F.A Trophy)
Dover Athletic 6 – 1 Dartford (17/01/2015 – National League)
Dartford 2 – 1 Dover Athletic (16/09/2014 – National League)
Dartford 0 – 3 Dover Athletic (04/03/2014 – Kent Senior Cup)
Dartford 3 – 1 Dover Athletic (03/12/2011 – National South)

Stats

  • In Kent Senior Cup ties Dartford and Dover Athletic are level in the head to head record. Both sides have won nine games with two draws.
  • The Darts are unbeaten in their last seven home Kent Senior Cup ties in normal time. Dartford have won six and drew the other, but went out on penalties in that game.
  • Dover Athletic are the last side to beat the Darts in normal time in the Kent Senior Cup at Princes Park. The Whites won 3-0 back in the 2014 last eight.
  • Jordan Wynter can make his 100th appearance for the Darts if selected. The versatile defender has made 90 starts and 9 substitute appearances scoring twice.

On This Day

Ricky Bennett scored a hat-trick on this day in 1997 to help Dartford to a 6-0 victory over Clevedon Town in the Southern League South. A brace from Glenn Payne and one for the club’s all time appearance maker Steve Robinson sealed a handsome victory. The Darts have an extraordinary record on 8 March winning 17 and drawing six of their 26 games. Currently they are 11 matches unbeaten on this day with the last two outings in the Kent Senior Cup. In 2016, the Darts beat Greenwich Borough 2-1 in the semi-final with goals from Ronnie Vint and George Sykes. Five years earlier Dartford defeated Whitstable Town 6-1, Danny Harris, Jon Main, two from Adam Burchell, Tom Bonner and Charlie Sheringham fired the Darts into the next round. In both season’s the Darts went on to lift the Kent Senior Cup. Another notable result on this day includes the 4-0 triumph against Newport Isle of Wight in 2003.

Dartford v Dorking Wanderers

Dartford can extend their unbeaten league run at Princes Park on Saturday when they host league leaders Dorking Wanderers in the National South.

The Darts have yet to taste defeat at home in the league all season and if they avoid a loss on the weekend that run will stretch to fourteen. However, Dorking Wanderers have a ten point cushion over Steve King’s side and lead the National South by six points after a big victory last weekend.

Over a week ago, Dartford failed to take their chance to move closer to Dorking Wanderers when they lost 2-1 at Hungerford Town. A win would have closed the gap to four points before the Wanderers faced fellow title chasers Maidstone United. Instead, the deficit remained at seven and when Marc White’s side beat their closest league rivals last weekend, the Surrey side increased their advantage.

Despite Dartford creating excellent chances in the first half against Hungerford Town they couldn’t break the deadlock. In the second half the Darts found themselves two down and a man down when Junior Tiensia was sent off. Jake Robinson scored a consolation goal, but it was too late to stage a dramatic comeback. Defeat ended a run of five straight league wins in the National South after victories against Kent sides Tonbridge Angels, Ebbsfleet United and Welling United followed by Havant and Waterlooville and Bath City.

On Tuesday night, the Darts were in London Senior Cup action against a young Brentford B side, unfortunately Dartford were knocked out losing 2-0 to the Bees ending an 18 match unbeaten home run in all competitions. King welcomed back Jack Jebb from suspension, Tom Bonner returned to the line up, Ody Alfa, George Porter, Tyrique Hyde and Jake Robinson were also selected. Junior Tiensia started after his red card against Hungerford Town, the youngster will serve a match suspension this weekend. Jernade Meade and Josh Hill remain sidelined through injury.

Games against Dorking Wanderers are rarely dull and although just one goal separated the sides back in October, Jordan Wynter scoring an unlucky late own goal at Meadowbank, the previous three meetings have yielded an average of over five goals per game. Apart from Dorking Wanderers claiming all three points on their own turf four months ago, the away side has won the other three fixtures.

Dartford’s last meeting with Dorking Wanderers – highlights from Dartford FC TV

In the first ever meeting between the two sides, Tony Burman returned to the dugout as interim boss before Steve King joined the Darts. Dorking Wanderers’ Niall McManus hit a brilliant long-range effort to start the scoring spree, but a quick-fire Ben Greenhalgh brace had the Darts in front. Former Dartford man Jason Prior scored from the spot before Charlie Sheringham gave Dartford their one goal lead back. The final six minutes saw Giuseppe Sole equalise for the Surrey club, Lee Noble sent off for the Darts and James McShane scoring the winner for the Wanderers with two minutes remaining.

The return fixture was equally as enthralling with a further five goals netted in a 3-2 Dartford victory. Darren McQueen and Elliott Romain gave the Darts a two-goal lead. However, Dorking Wanderers hit back when Jimmy Muitt and then Luke Moore restored parity. After eight minutes of injury time, McQueen won a penalty and scored it to win it at the end for the Darts.

Last season the 3-2 score line was reversed with Wes Fogden opening the scoring for the Wanderers. Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong equalised only for Prior to add another goal to his career tally against Dartford. Jack Jebb levelled with one of his free-kick’s and with fifteen minutes to go Matthew Briggs won it for Dorking Wanderers.

Dorking Wanderers arrive at Princes Park in red hot form winning 13 of their last 14 league outings. Only Tonbridge Angels have stopped the Surrey side winning 3-1 early last month. After a steady start to their campaign, Wanderers were in 13th on 4 December and trailing Dartford by ten points, the Darts were top of the division after their 1-0 victory over Billericay Town. Since then, White guided them to ten consecutive victories including the 8-0 mauling of Havant and Waterlooville on Boxing Day, a 5-1 triumph in the top of the table clash with Ebbsfleet United in January and a week later a 5-0 victory against Billericay Town.

After the defeat at home to Tonbridge Angels, the Wanderers have dusted themselves down and recorded three wins on the bounce, the most recent a crucial 1-0 win over Maidstone United. A record crowd turned out for the match with the Stones and it was Josh Taylor’s first goal for the club that made the difference.

Former Dartford striker Prior has often done well when facing the Darts, he has scored against Dartford for Dorking Wanderers, beat the Darts to the National South title at Havant and Waterlooville scoring a last-minute winner on the final day and netted a hat-trick whilst at Bognor Regis Town. Unfortunately for Prior he remains a long-term absentee along with Giuseppe Sole, whilst Matthew Briggs was stretchered off against Maidstone United. Returning to the side last weekend, Wes Fogden has recovered from injury and Barry Fuller served his final game of his suspension in the victory over Maidstone United.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Dorking Wanderers wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Dartford
(WWWWWL)
    Dorking Wanderers
(WWLWWW)
   
Hungerford Town A 1-2 Maidstone United H 1-0
Bath City H 2-0 Chelmsford City H 2-0
Havant and Waterlooville A 1-0 Bath City A 2-0
Welling United H 4-2 Tonbridge Angels H 1-3
Ebbsfleet United H 1-0 Oxford City H 1-0
Tonbridge Angels A 3-2 Billericay Town A 5-0

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dorking Wanderers 1 – 0 Dartford (30/10/2021 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 3 Dorking Wanderers (07/11/2020 – National South)
Dorking Wanderers 2 – 3 Dartford (04/01/2020 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 4 Dorking Wanderers (07/09/2019 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford can set their best unbeaten home run in the league for 13 years. The Darts went 13 unbeaten from 24 March 2009 to 24 November 2009
  • If Dartford stretch the run to 14, it will be their best unbeaten home run in a single league campaign and best from the start of a season since 2005/2006.
  • Dorking Wanderers have kept five clean sheets in their last six league games and last failed to score on the opening day of the season.

On This Day

Dartford have won five out of seven recorded home games on this day, but their last Princes Park outing in 2013 ended 1-1 against Stockport County in the National League. Danny Harris rescued a point for the Darts after Mark Cullen put the Hatters ahead. The previous four home matches involved victories without conceding, Dartford racked up 19 goals in the process. Maidenhead United were beaten 3-0 in the National South fixture in 2011, Charlie Sheringham opened the scoring and Elliot Bradbrook grabbed a brace. Back in 1969, Dartford trounced local rivals Gravesend and Northfleet 5-0 in the Kent Floodlight League, thrashed Guildford City 6-0 in 1938 in the Southern League Midweek Section and eased to a 5-0 victory over Norwich City Reserves in 1927’s Southern League East Section. On the road, Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle’s side beat Hemel Hempstead Town 2-1 thanks to Phil Roberts’ late goals three years ago.

Dartford v Brentford B

Dartford could move into the semi-final of the London Senior Cup and set a new club record on Tuesday night when they host Brentford B.

The Darts can stretch their unbeaten home run from the start of a season to nineteen matches in all competitions, surpassing the record set in 1908/1909. Dartford have gone longer unbeaten home, but not from the beginning of a campaign and over one season.

In their way will be a young Brentford B side who have just returned from the Atlantic Cup in Portugal and in their last outing narrowly lost to AS Monaco. Although Dartford entered the London Senior Cup last term, this is the first campaign in which they have completed any fixtures. In the hunt for the National South title and still in two county cups, the Darts have a real opportunity to get some silverware to add to the belated Kent Senior Cup triumph back in November.

Dartford’s eight game unbeaten run in the league and five match winning streak came to an end last week. The Darts visited Bulpit Lane to take on Hungerford Town knowing that winning their game in hand would close the gap at the top to four points. Despite creating excellent chances in the first half Dartford couldn’t break the deadlock, then in the second half found themselves two down and a man down when Junior Tiensia was sent off. Jake Robinson scored a consolation, his 16th goal in 21 appearances in all competitions.

Highlights of Dartford’s defeat at Hungerford Town – Dartford FC TV

Steve King spoke to Dartford FC TV after the game and commented: “The score line flattered Hungerford…it’s not a true reflection of the game. We should have been out of sight in the first half, we missed five unbelievable chances”. Although his side remains seven points from the league leaders, King is pleased with how February turned out, he added: “We’ve taken 15 points out of the last 18, we’d have taken that if anyone offered us that six games ago, so we’ve had a good month”.

Taking their chances has been problematic at times this season and King is still waiting to find the right type of striker, he explained: “We need a forward, we need a certain type of forward. We’ve got to pick the right one’s, I’m not going to add numbers for the sake of adding numbers”. One of those forwards, Marcus Dinanga missed the Hungerford Town defeat through injury and midfielder Jack Jebb was suspended. Dinanga is hopeful for a return for the crucial top of the table clash with Dorking Wanderers, whilst Jebb’s suspension has been served so he could feature against Brentford B. In other injury news, Josh Hill remains a long term absentee and Jernade Meade is progressing in his recovery and is about three weeks away from a return to training.

The squad has also been reduced recently allowing King to bring in replacements, Luke Wanadio’s loan stay at Folkestone Invicta has been extended until the end of the season. Former Brentford full back, Josh Clarke left the club to focus on resolving some injury issues and getting fit for next season, the 27 year-old played ten times for Dartford. D’Sean Theobalds short stay has ended with the Darts after seven appearances and he remains in Kent to play for Welling United. Michael Kedman has also departed to get more game time, he only managed eight appearances this term.

Brentford B scraped through the last round on penalties beating Harrow Borough, but it was just a week ago they were taking on AS Monaco who fielded the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Kevin Volland and Aleksandr Golovin. The young Bees were beaten 2-1 with their goal coming from Nathan Young-Coombes, the in form striker who scored twice in this year’s Atlantic Cup out in Portugal.

The mid-season tournament serves as a competition for European clubs from national leagues which do not play over the winter months. The Bees picked up a solitary win from their three games beating Danish side Brondby IF 1-0, the winning goal coming from Young-Coombes. Either side of that victory, Brentford B lost both games 2-1. In the opening game Tristan Crama’s goal wasn’t enough against Icelanders, Breidablik and in the final fixture Young-Coombes netted again versus Swedish outfit Halmstads BK.

Story so far…

First Round
Dartford 5-2 Athletic Newham
Finally Dartford made their London Senior Cup debut after having to pull out last term. The Darts twice came from behind to eventually go through with goals from George Porter and a pair of braces from Emmanual Sonupe and Dan Roberts.

Fisher 0-2 Brentford B
Dom Jefferies and Tristan Crama scored the goals to take Brentford B into the next round. Jefferies was on the end of Val Adedokun’s cross to open the scoring. Crama scored from a well worked free-kick to ensure a passage into round two.

Second Round
Dartford 9-0 Cockfosters
The Darts recorded their biggest win since 1975 to reach the quarter-final. Sonupe took home the match ball with a hat-trick. Tyrique Hyde scored on his return from a loan spell before an own goal made it 2-0. D’sean Theobalds and Sonupe doubled the score going into half-time. Connor Essam made it five then Sonupe completed his trio of goals. Jake Robinson and Dan Roberts capped off the dynamic display.

Harrow Borough 1-1 Brentford B (Brentford B won 5-4 on penalties)
Jude Russell put the Bees ahead goal in the first half, but the Boro equalised through James Ewington’s strike. Nathan Young-Coombes scored the winning penalty kick in a match that featured Josh Dasilva, who was lining up against Arsenal recently and was sent off on the weekend against Newcastle United.

Current Form

Dartford
(WWWLWL)
    Brentford B
(WWLWLL)
   
Hungerford Town A 1-2 AS Monaco A 1-2
Bath City H 2-0 Halmstads BK N 1-2
Needham Market (FAT) A 0-1 Brondby IF N 1-0
Havant and Waterlooville A 1-0 Briedablik N 1-2
Welling United H 4-2 Harrow Borough (LSC)* A 1-1
Ebbsfleet United H 1-0 Hanwell Town (MSC) A 4-1

(FAT – F.A Trophy / LSC – London Senior Cup / MSC – Middlesex Senior Cup / N -Neutral venue / * Brentford B won 5-4 on penalties)

Stats

  • Dartford’s record unbeaten home run in competitive matches stands at 31 games. The run includes all 18 home matches in the 1908-1909 campaign plus 13 of the following season. (W28, D3)
  • The Darts are the top scorers in this season London Senior Cup with 14 goals in two games

On This Day

An injury time Jamie Coyle penalty earned Dartford all three Isthmian Division One North points in 2008 against Waltham Forest. In the title winning campaign, the Darts left it late to maintain their position at the top. Three years later Dartford stretched their unbeaten home run on 1 March to five thanks to a Basingstoke Town own goal. The Darts have also beaten Tonbridge in a Southern League Cup third round replay 4-0 in 1988, Faversham Town 1-0 in the Kent League Cup third round in 1995 and drew 2-2 against Waterlooville in the Southern League Southern Division (1997). Dartford’s last two meetings on this day were on the road and ended in a 3-0 loss to Southport (2014) and 2-2 draw with Hayes and Yeading United (2016), the Bradbrook brothers scoring a goal each.

Hungerford Town v Dartford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

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

Previous Meetings (last six)

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

Stats

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

On This Day

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

Dartford v Bath City

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

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

Previous Meetings (last six)

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

Stats

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

On This Day

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

Needham Market v Dartford

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

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

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

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

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

Watch Steve King’s interview with Dartford FC TV

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

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

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

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

F.A Trophy story so far…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head to Head

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

Current Form (all competitions)

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

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

Previous Meeting

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

Stats

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

On This Day

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

Havant and Waterlooville v Dartford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

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

Previous Meetings (last six)

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

Stats

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

On This Day

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

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