Ten years ago, the Glovers beat now Premier League sides Sheffield United, then Brentford at Wembley to reach the Championship. Yeovil Town were punching above their weight back then, but the steady rise up the Football League was deserved. Now the Somerset club have fallen back to the depths they were last at in 1997, when the Isthmian Premier was a step two division. Scoring goals was the major problem for the Glovers last season, they only managed thirty-five, ten fewer than the next worst team. At the other end they had the ninth best defence, which resulted in too many draws, nineteen in total and more than any other club. Only seven wins were recorded, including just one on the road, if only those draws were turned into victories.
2022/2023 Season National League: 22nd F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round F.A Trophy: 3rd Round County Cup: Quarter-Final Top League Scorer: Malachi Linton & Alex Fisher (5 goals)
Manager – Mark Cooper
Well travelled around these shores as a player and manager, Cooper started life in the dugout almost twenty years ago. F.A Cup runs at Tamworth and Kettering Town put his name out there and with the Poppies he won the National North before a short spell at Peterborough United. At Darlington Cooper won the F.A Trophy, then two years later he managed Swindon Town and Notts County in the Football League. Five years at Forest Green Rovers included a historic promotion to League Two via the playoffs. He was at Barrow prior his appointment as Yeovil Town boss in October.
The Glovers welcome back Rhys Murphy after a spell with Southend United. Yeovil Town have also signed the experienced Frank Nouble from Torquay United and taken Will Buse, Josh Owers, Olly Thomas and Zac Bell from Bristol City. Alex Whittle moves south from York City and Jake Hyde arrives from National League champions Wrexham. Jake Wannell remains in the National South switching from Taunton Town as does Jamie Sendles-White from Welling United, whilst Lewis Williams makes the step up from Tiverton Town. Sonny Blu Lo-Everton has also joined the Glovers from Derby County.
Dartford 1 – 2 Yeovil Town (13/01/1990 – F.A Trophy) Dartford 1 – 1 Yeovil Town (23/02/1985 – National League) Yeovil Town 2 – 2 Dartford (22/12/1984 – National League) Yeovil Town 0 – 1 Dartford (12/09/1984 – Bob Lord Trophy) Dartford 1 – 3 Yeovil Town (04/09/1984 – Bob Lord Trophy) Yeovil Town 1 – 1 Dartford (24/02/1984 – National League)
Dartford v Yeovil Town – Saturday 4th November 2023 Yeovil Town v Dartford – Saturday 13th April 2024
It’s been 38 years since the last league meeting between Dartford and Yeovil Town and four of the last five league matches have been drawn.
The Darts have lost just one in the last seven home league games against the Glovers (W2, D4). The last home win was in December 1981 when Dartford won 5-0 in the National League.
Dartford’s last away win in the league was 60 years ago, a 2-0 Southern Premier League victory in 1963, a run of 13 winless away league matches versus Yeovil Town (D5, L8)
If it’s goals you are looking for, then look no further than Worthing. In Ollie Pearce they have a goalscorer and last season the Rebels had the second-best attack in the division, totalling ninety-two league goals. However, at the back they also conceded an astounding seventy-two, the same as bottom club Hungerford Town. The Rebels racked up some big wins, 5-1 at Havant and Waterlooville, 6-0 versus Dulwich Hamlet and 7-0 against Concord Rangers. Were involved in some high scoring matches, a 4-3 win at Hampton and Richmond and a 5-4 loss to St Albans City. They also lost 13-2 on aggregate to champions Ebbsfleet United. For a first ever National South campaign Worthing had a superb time reaching the playoffs where they lost in the semi-final to Oxford City.
2022/2023 Season National South: 4th F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round F.A Trophy: 3rd Round County Cup: Winners Top League Scorer: Ollie Pearce (24 goals)
Manager – Adam Hinshelwood
In his second spell as manager, Hinshelwood claimed the Isthmian Premier League title to earn promotion to the National South, then guided the Rebels to the playoffs. Son of former Dartford defender Paul Hinshelwood, Adam racked up 100 appearances for Brighton and Hove Albion as a player. He took the step into management with Selsey before joining the Rebels the first time but was enticed by Brighton and Hove Albion as a number two. Hinshelwood returned to Woodside Road six years ago and in that time, he has improved results on the pitch leading to Worthing’s highest ever finish.
Worthing have signed Joan Luque from Maidstone United this summer along with striker Greg Luer from Eastbourne Borough. Michael Klass moves down a division from Aldershot Town, Roco Rees joins from Brentford and Joe Felix will get another opportunity in the National South after relegation with Dulwich Hamlet. Nicky Wheeler switches from Dorking Wanderers with Harrison Male going the other way. Ricky Aguiar joins on a season long loan from Swindon Town.
Consecutive promotions, two years in the National League and almost consecutive relegations, the Terras have been in the thick of the action over recent seasons. A superior goal difference kept Weymouth up last term avoiding a return to the Southern Premier South, which they won four earlier. The Dorset side beat Dartford to win the National South playoffs in 2020 and after surviving the first campaign in the National League, they went down winless in fifteen until a final day victory over bottom side Dover Athletic. The Terras continued last season in much the same way and once again faced Dover Athletic in the last game. Starting in the drop zone Weymouth needed a win and they did it, claiming a fourth victory in five to narrowly survive another relegation.
2022/2023 Season National South: 19th F.A Cup: 1st Round F.A Trophy: 2nd Round County Cup: Runners Up Top League Scorer: Bradley Ash (18 goals)
Manager – Bobby WIlkinson
Weymouth’s slide needed stopping, after relegation back to the National South then a terrible start to the season they were fighting relegation again. In September the Terras turned to Wilkinson, who had previously guided Hungerford Town to the National South. He won the Southern League Division One South West and Southern League Premier playoffs, then took the Crusaders to sixth in their debut National South campaign on a low budget. His work earned him a move to Wealdstone for a season before he joined Bracknell Town, where he won the Isthmian Division One South Central by a huge margin.
There has been plenty of comings and goings at Weymouth during the summer. It didn’t quite work out for Dan Roberts at Dartford so the forward has moved down to the Jurassic Coast. Another former Dart, Norman Wabo will join him alongside Brandon Goodship, who returns for a third spell with the Terras. The trio will be hoping to replace Bradley Ash’s goals who switched to Torquay United. Following Goodship from Salisbury will be Calvin Brooks and Gerard Benfield, who has turned a loan spell into a permanent deal. Chris McQueen makes his way down from north of the border, Charlie Rowan arrives from promoted Oxford City and Anthony Cheshire from Bracknell Town. Tyrique Clarke joins from Kings Langley, Leo Hamblin from Carshalton Athletic and Tom Stagg from Grays Athletic. Most recently Josh McQuoid has returned to the club from Aldershot Town.
Joel Rollinson (Hungerford Town)
Cameron Murray (Poole Town)
Calvin Brooks (Salisbury)
Nathan Carlyle (St Albans City)
Gerard Benfield (Salisbury)
Harrison Bruton (Portland United)
Brandon Goodship (Salisbury)
Tom Blair (Havant & Waterlooville)
Chris McQueen (Stenhousemuir)
Bradley Ash (Torquay United)
Anthony Cheshire (Bracknell Town)
Luke Nippard (Poole Town)
Tyrique Clarke (Kings Langley)
Dan Matsuzaka (Hendon)
Tom Stagg (Grays Athletic)
Bert White (Wimborne Town)
Leo Hamblin (Carshalton Athletic)
Sammi Bessadi (Enfield Town)
Dan Roberts (Dartford)
Norman Wabo (Eastbourne Borough)
Charlie Rowan (Oxford City)
Josh McQuoid (Aldershot Town)
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 19 / Weymouth wins: 36 / Draws: 16
Weymouth 3 – 1 Dartford (04/03/2023 – National South) Dartford 3 – 0 Weymouth (29/10/2022 – National South) Dartford 1 – 0 Weymouth (15/01/2022 – F.A Trophy) 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 South) *Weymouth won 3-0 on penalties
Weymouth v Dartford – Saturday 12th August 2023 Dartford v Weymouth – Saturday 27th January 2024
Dartford have won just one of the last eight league games against Weymouth (D1, L6)
The Darts have won three and lost two of their last five home matches in the league against the Terras. Those matches have averaged a staggering 6.4 goals a game.
Dartford have not won in the league at the Bob Lucas Stadium for 33 years (D1, L4) and also lost a playoff final there in August 2020 on penalties
The Southern Premier South champions spent four seasons away from the National South, claimed their first league title since 1992 and first promotion for twenty years. The Seagulls were flying high from day one going ten games unbeaten, including a 7-0 win over Harrow Borough, before tasting their only defeat in the opening seventeen fixtures. Although they weren’t as prolific in the second half of the season, Weston-super-Mare only lost five matches in the league and had the tightest defence. At home they racked up fifty points, the joint highest with fellow promoted side Truro City and scored more than any other team in the division. Before relegation to the Southern League in 2019, the Seagulls were an ever-present club in the National South since its beginnings fifteen years earlier.
2022/2023 Season Southern Premier South: 1st F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round F.A Trophy: 1st Round County Cup: Quarter-Final Top League Scorer: Dayle Grubb (20 goals)
Manager – Scott Bartlett
In his second spell as manager of Weston-super-Mare, Bartlett has made the West Country his home. His playing career included time at Cirencester Town, then Salisbury City where he played over 400 times for the Whites winning the Southern Premier League and National South playoffs. His first time at Weston-super-Mare started in 2009 and later he was to return as manager. As caretaker boss at Forest Green Rovers, he guided the club to the National League playoff final prior to his first spell as manager of the Seagulls. His second stint at the Woodspring Stadium has brought a Southern Premier South title.
Focusing on keeping the Southern Premier League title squad together most of the side have been retained, including top scorer Dayle Grubb and the experienced duo of Marlon Jackson and Reuben Reid. Meanwhile, Rex Mannings from Bath City and James Soule from Alvechurch have been added to the group, whilst Harry Lee and Ed James will be on loan from Exeter City. Player assistant manager Scott Laird has departed after four years at the club.
Starting their 60th anniversary season with a new manager, Welling United have often began campaigns well and faded. This time the Wings will be hoping to build and keep early season momentum going to finish higher up the table. After eight games last term Welling United were sitting in fifth place and three draws later were still in the top seven. Those stalemates were the beginnings of a barren spell in which the Wings picked up a solitary victory in their next thirteen outings including the 5-1 humbling in their Kent derby with Dartford. Throughout February and March, it was clear Welling United were now fighting the drop. However, four wins in their final five games, including a triumph over the champions Ebbsfleet United, kept them away from danger.
2022/2023 Season National South: 16th F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round F.A Trophy: 3rd Round County Cup: Semi-Final Top League Scorer: Ade Azeez (15 goals)
Manager – Danny Bloor
Eastbourne Borough’s change in ownership and direction saw Bloor leave the Sussex side after three and a half years. He had already gained experience as a manager with Worthing and Eastbourne Town before his move to Borough in November 2019. Bloor was promoted from assistant manager to boss and kept Eastbourne Borough in the National South. Since then, he consistently guided the Sports to the higher end of the table reaching the playoffs just over a year ago, and he led the team to the F.A Cup first round. Joining Welling United in the summer Bloor will bring positivity to the Wings.
Following manager Danny Bloor from his former club Eastbourne Borough will be goalkeeper Lee Worgan, James Vaughan, Mitchell Dickenson and James Burchell. Both Will Wood and Dominic Odusanya experienced relegation with Dulwich Hamlet and Maidstone United respectively, the pair switch to Welling United. Remaining in the National South after time at Worthing, Lewis White is now a Wing and so is former Chelmsford City man TJ Bramble. As well as a number of academy players making the step up, Crossley Lema moves up from Carshalton Athletic and Kain Adom from Hanwell Town. Top scorer and former Dartford striker Ade Azeez has moved down a division to Billericay Town and another ex-Dart, Rob Howard has left the club.
Welling United 2 – 2 Dartford (04/02/2023 – National South) Dartford 5 – 1 Welling United (01/11/2022 – National South) Welling United 2 – 2 Dartford (26/04/2022 – Kent Senior Cup)* Dartford 4 – 2 Welling United (05/02/2022 – National South) Welling United 0 – 6 Dartford (25/09/2021 – National South) Dartford 2 – 2 Welling United (06/02/2021 – National South) * – Welling United won 5-3 on penalties
Welling United v Dartford – Tuesday 26th December 2023 Dartford v Welling United – Saturday 30th December 2023
Dartford are unbeaten in eight league games against Welling United (W6, D2) and have lost just one in the last 16 league matches (W10, D5)
At home, the Darts have taken 22 out of the last 24 points available versus the Wings (W7, D1) and have only ever lost one league match to Welling United in December 2013 (W10, D2)
Dartford are unbeaten in their last three league games at Park View Road (W2, D1) and have lost just once in their last nine league visits (W3, D5)
Club captain, Connor Riley-Rowe scored a 95th minute playoff winner to earn Truro City a place back in the National South. Having led twice, the White Tigers found it difficult to shake off Bracknell Town in the final, but they got the job done in the end. Truro City return for a third spell and over the last decade after bounced around step two and three of non-league. The Cornwall club enjoyed a rapid rise between 2006 and 2011 winning five promotions, but the ambition of moving to a purpose-built stadium had stalled. Currently groundsharing with Plymouth Parkway at Bolitho Park around sixty miles away, the White Tigers lost just once at home in the league finishing in third place, just four points behind the champions.
2022/2023 Season Southern Premier South: 3rd F.A Cup: 1st Qualifying Round F.A Trophy: 1st Round Top League Scorer: Tyler Harvey (27 goals)
Manager – Paul Wotton
A Plymouth Argyle stalwart in his playing days, Wotton had two spells with the Pilgrims at the start and end of his professional career. He made almost 500 appearances in total for Argyle and turned out for Southampton, Oxford United and Yeovil Town before his return to the Devonshire club. He won League Two and One whilst at Home Park and picked up the Football League Trophy with Southampton. It’s no surprise his coaching career also began at Plymouth Argyle and in July 2019 he took on the manager’s role at Truro City winning promotion last season.
Dan Rooney and Billy Palfrey won’t have to move anyway despite a switch from Plymouth Parkway. The White Tigers are currently groundsharing with Parkway and have signed the pair. Ryan Law arrives from Plymouth Argyle and Obed Yeboah from AFC Wimbledon. From a lot further afield, James Melhado moves from Salford City and Sam Sanders comes in on loan from York City.
Dan Rooney (Plymouth Parkway)
Matt Wright (Bideford AFC)
Billy Palfrey (Plymouth Parkway)
Cory Harvey (Plymouth Parkway)
James Melhado (Salford City)
Ryan Law (Plymouth Argyle)
Obed Yeboah (AFC Wimbledon)
Sam Sanders (York City)
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 3 / Truro City wins: 5 / Draws: 2
Dartford 1 – 1 Truro City (30/03/2019 – National South) Truro City 3 – 1 Dartford (27/10/2018 – National South) Dartford 4 – 1 Truro City (24/02/2018 – National South) Truro City 3 – 1 Dartford (11/11/2017 – National South) Dartford 5 – 3 Truro City (18/03/2017 – National South) Truro City 0 – 5 Dartford (08/10/2016 – National South)
Truro City v Dartford – Saturday 11th November 2023 Dartford v Truro City – Saturday 20th April 2024
The last seven meetings between the two sides have averaged 4.32 goals per game. Dartford have scored 17 to Truro City’s 14 (W3, D1, L3)
The Darts are unbeaten in their last three home games against the White Tigers (W2, D1)
Dartford’s only win away at Truro City was 5-0 in October 2016, since then they have lost two in a row
One of three former Football League clubs in the National South and favourites to return to the National League, Torquay United have been here before. Relegated out of the League Two nine years ago, the Gulls slipped further down the pyramid in 2018. However, Torquay United bounced back in style winning the National South at the first attempt. National League runners up two years later, the Devonshire club have regressed again since. Yet they put up an excellent fight in their attempt for survival last season winning five and drawing two of their last eight fixtures. The damage was done early in the campaign when they won just twice in their opening sixteen. Although the Gulls showed signs of improvement, a relapse in February and March gave them too much to do.
2022/2023 Season National League: 21st F.A Cup: 1st Round F.A Trophy: 5th Round County Cup: 1st Round Top League Scorer: Aaron Jarvis (15 goals)
Manager – Gary Johnson
The most experienced manager in the National South this season, Johnson has been managing teams for over 35 years, has plenty of Football League experience and has even managed the Latvian national team. Very successful in the West Country, Johnson has won the F.A Trophy, National League and League Two with Yeovil Town. He claimed the National League title again at Cheltenham Town and won the National South in Torquay United’s last stint in the division. Only at Bristol City has Johnson managed more games, where he almost took the club to the Premier League, losing out in the Championship playoff final.
Torquay United have trimmed their squad, but they are a full time team and have plenty under contract. So there hasn’t been too many additions over the summer as they aim to get back to the National League. Bradley Ash scored 18 times for a struggling Weymouth last season and he will get the chance at Plainmoor to impress. Jack Stobbs arrives from Oldahm Athletic and Callum Thomas has been added to the squad from the academy. Will Jenkins-Davies and Finley Craske join on loan from Plymouth Argyle
Torquay United 2 – 0 Dartford (16/03/2019 – National South) Dartford 0 – 2 Torquay United (04/12/2018 – National South) Torquay United 1 – 1 Dartford (04/04/2015 – National League) Dartford 0 – 0 Torquay United (23/08/2014 – National League)
Dartford v Torquay United – Saturday 25th November 2023 Torquay United v Dartford – Saturday 9th March 2024
Dartford have never beaten Torquay United, but have only played four times against the Gulls
The Darts have yet to score at Princes Park against Torquay United
Dartford’s only goal against the Gulls was scored at Plainmoor by Jordan Chiedozie in April 2015
Last season saw the Angels record their highest ever league position since the seventies. Back then Tonbridge Angels were in the Southern Premier, one of two top flight non-league divisions. Since promotion to the National South four years ago they have finished twice in the lower half of the table and now twice in the top ten. Like the campaign before, the Kent club enjoyed a better second half of the season, but this time they flirted with the idea of making the top seven. In 2023, the Angels only lost five times in the league finishing just four points shy of the playoff places, Tonbridge Angels will try and take the next step this time around.
2022/2023 Season National South: 9th F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round F.A Trophy: 2nd Round County Cup: Quarter-Final Top League Scorer: Jordan Greenidge (14 goals)
Manager – Jay Saunders
The first full time manager to be appointed by the Angels in modern times, Saunders left Margate where he was popular as a player and boss. In management he took Maidstone United from the Isthmian Division One South to the National League within four years. Saunders won the Isthmian Premier League title between two playoff triumphs to get the Stones to the top flight of non-league. His shock departure from the Gallagher Stadium benefited Margate, where he reached the League Cup Final and finished eighth in the Isthmian Premier League before his switch to Tonbridge Angels last summer.
The Angels have gone for players with National South experience signing Gianni Crichlow from Havant and Waterlooville, Jordan Higgs from Dover Athletic and Stefan Payne from Welling United. Jo Boachie and Johl Powell both suffered relegation last term with Hungerford Town and Dulwich Hamlet, whilst Kodi Lyons-Foster arrives from Aldershot Town. Former Dartford defender Craig Braham-Barrett joins a number of ex-Darts at Dulwich Hamlet.
Winning the Southern Premier South title earned Taunton Town their first attempt at the National South and they passed with a tight defence. Goals were at a premium when the Peacocks played, keeping fourteen clean sheets as they finished with the sixth best defence in the division. At the other end of the pitch, they ended in the same position for fewest goals, meaning matches involving the Somerset club averaged the lowest goals per game. Yet it served Taunton Town well as they made themselves at home with a mid-table finish to secure another season in the National South. Although February was a sticky period for the Peacocks, they coped with the heavy April schedule by winning six of their last ten fixtures keeping them clear from a relegation scrap.
2022/2023 Season National South: 14th F.A Cup: 1st Round F.A Trophy: 4th Round County Cup: 2nd Round Top League Scorer: Ross Stearn (8 goals)
Manager – Rob Dray
A first ever season at National South level for the club, Dray continued his success as Taunton Town boss with a respectable campaign. He became part of the backroom team in the summer of 2016 and two years later was lifting the Southern Division One West title. Shortly after Dray was promoted to interim manager before being appointed Head of Football, guiding the Peacocks to second in their first ever campaign in the Southern Premier League South. He then went one better the following season winning the division, to secure promotion to the National South, and last term guided the Peacocks to mid-table.
After a solid first season in the National South, the Peacocks have concentrated on retaining most of the squad from last season. Austen Booth has made the step up from Plymouth Parkway, Dan Lavercombe arrives from FC United of Manchester and Phil Mendonca from Exeter City. One player they will miss is Jake Wannell who moved to Yeovil Town.
Playoff finalists, St Albans City had an excellent season and with a striker of Shaun Jeffers goalscoring prowess they finished sixth, only three points off third place Oxford City, who they lost to in the final. The Saints were taken to extra time twice on the road in the playoffs, first beating Chelmsford City 1-0 then Dartford 5-3 on penalties. Maybe another away match for the final was one game too many as they were beaten 4-0. In November, the Hertfordshire club recorded the joint biggest away win in the National South last term winning 6-0 at Hampton and Richmond Borough. That kick started a spell of seven victories and a draw from nine outings and from March the Saints finished strongly taking their momentum into the playoffs.
2022/2023 Season National South: 6th F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round F.A Trophy: 2nd Round County Cup: 2nd Round Top League Scorer: Shaun Jeffers (27 goals)
Manager – David Noble
A successful interim spell as manager in the early stages of last season, Noble was given the permanent job. His creative style as a player translated on to the pitch as he guided St Albans City to the playoff final. Noble joined the Saints back in 2016, became club captain and then a coach whilst making almost 150 appearances for the club. His playing career started out at Arsenal, a loan move to Watford and onto West Ham United. Afterwards Noble went on to make over 300 Football League appearances which included time at Boston United, Bristol City and Exeter City.
Bobby Dunn was only at Dartford for a short time and had limited opportunity to impress, now the midfielder gets the chance at St Albans City. Making the step up to the National South, Andronicas Gergiou arrives from Kings Langley and Sam Brown from Banbury United. As well as Nathan Carlyle joining from Weymouth, Jack James has also switched to the Saints from Gloucester City. Dan Bowry moves from Worthing and Charlie McDonald from Queens Park Rangers. Getting another chance in this division is Raul da Silva who was relegated with Cheshunt last season. Ben Wyatt completed a move from Torquay United.
Bobby Dunn (Dartford)
Munashe Sundire (Slough Town)
Raul da Silva (Cheshunt)
Scott Leslie (Eastbourne Borough)
Andronicas Gergiou (Kings Langley)
Devante Stanley (Havant and Waterlooville)
Jack James (Gloucester City)
Tafari Moore (Oxford City)
Sam Brown (Banbury United)
Joy Mukena (Crawley Town)
Nathan Carlyle (Weymouth)
Callum Adebiyi (Chesham United)
Dan Bowry (Worthing)
Joe Neal (AFC Sudbury)
Charlie McDonald (Queens Park Rangers)
George Morrall (Cheshunt)
Ben Wyatt (Torquay United)
Huw Dawson (Kettering Town)
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 12 / St Albans City wins: 6 / Draws: 7
Dartford 1 – 1 St Albans City (07/05/2023 – National South Playoffs)* Dartford 2 – 1 St Albans City (22/04/2023 – National South) St Albans City 1 – 1 Dartford (22/10/2022 – National South) Dartford 3 – 1 St Albans City (23/04/2022 – National South) St Albans City 1 – 3 Dartford (14/08/2021 – National South) Dartford 0 – 1 St Albans City (17/11/2020 – National South) * – St Albans City won 5-3 on penalties
St Albans City v Dartford – Saturday 9th September 2023 Dartford v St Albans City – Saturday 23rd December 2023
Dartford are unbeaten in their last four league games against St Albans City (W3, D1) and have lost just once in the last eight league matches (W5, D2)
The Darts have won the last two in the National South at home against the Saints and have lost just one in the last six at Princes Park in the league (W4, D1)
Dartford are unbeaten in three league games at Clarence Park (W2, D1) after losing the previous four without scoring