The Darts begin their Kent Senior Cup campaign on Tuesday night hosting National League side Bromley.
Dartford have won two of the last three editions of the county competition. After defending their title successfully they relinquished the crown last season. Now they will start their quest to reclaim the silverware against the side they beat in the final twelve years ago.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides in the competition since the 2011 final. Tony Burman led the Darts to a 4-1 victory with Elliot Bradbrook opening the scoring in the first-half. After the break Ryan Hayes doubled the advantage. Goalkeeper, Craig Holloway fumbled into his own net for the third. Then Hayes set up Danny Harris to put Dartford out of sight. Bromley’s Warren McBean scored a consolation for the visitors.
The following year Dartford won promotion to the National League where they stayed for three years. Bromley remained in the National South until reaching the top flight of non league in 2015. So paths have rarely crossed with only five meetings since.
Dartford have won five of the last six against Bromley, which has included a National South double, an F.A Trophy win and a F.A Cup victory. Bromley’s only win in that time came in the F.A Cup. Yet it was the very same competition in which they last met nine years ago.
Drawn in the first round, the Darts set up a tie with Bradford City after beating Bromley 4-3 at Hayes Lane. Louis Dennis put the hosts ahead inside a minute before Harris levelled. Then Dartford went in front twice through Hayes and Bradbrook. However, the Ravens equalised on each occasion after Moses Ademola and then Danny Waldren scored. A Tom Bradbrook header nine minutes from time made sure the Darts progressed into round two for the first time in 30 years.
Now it is Bromley who are in the National League and Dartford in the division below. The Darts may have come close to joining their opponents but playoff heartbreak has denied them. This season Alan Dowson’s side have yet to get going, however on the weekend they entered the top ten.
Taking on Torquay United, Dowson made five changes to the side that lost to Braintree Town. The Dartford boss gave George Alexander his debut after joining on loan from Bromley. The striker has scored seven times for the Ravens in 44 appearances. In the National South the 22-year-old has found goalscoring a bit easier. In his loan spells at Welling United and Slough Town he has managed 15 goals in 33 league games. Richard Chin made his first start for the Darts since the playoff semi-final defeat to St Albans City. On loan for a second time from Charlton Athletic he has now made nine appearances for Dartford. Tyrell Miller-Rodney was back in action after recovering from a slight injury. Harvey Bradbury started up front and Jordan Wynter in midfield after the pair finished serving their suspensions.
A 12 minute spell at the end of the first half put the Darts in control. Three players opened their goalscoring account for the club. The new loan signings grabbing the headlines. Chin’s return went perfectly well and he put the hosts in front with a curling shot into the top corner. Alexander scored on debut with a delightful turn and shot. Finally, Moussa Diarra volleyed his side further ahead in a 3-0 win. A first ever victory over Torquay United and a first clean sheet for over a month helped Dartford move up to tenth.
Alexander isn’t the only Dartford player who has played for Bromley. The most notable is Luke Coulson, who made 135 appearances for the Ravens. Part of the F.A Trophy winning side, the winger joined the Darts in the summer of 2022. Paul Rooney, who was sent off against Braintree Town had six games on loan at Hayes Lane. Jordan Wynter made 14 appearances and Alex Wall played 19 times for the Ravens.
Bromley are now in their ninth season in the National League. Under Andy Woodman they won the F.A Trophy in 2021 beating Wrexham. In May, they were defeated in the playoff semi-finals. Before Woodman arrived, the Ravens also lost a F.A Trophy final to Brackley Town in 2018 and had previously reached the playoffs as well.
Progress has continued under Woodman during this campaign. Second in the National League they are 11 points behind leaders Chesterfield, who beat them in the playoffs six months ago. The Ravens gave a good account of themselves in front of the television cameras earlier this month losing 2-0 to League One side Blackpool.
On Saturday, they faced a long journey to the North East to take on Hartlepool United. The visitors got off to a great start when Michael Cheek put the visitors ahead after four minutes. He scored again to record his tenth of the season just before half-time. The Pools halved the deficit before Ben Krauhaus and Olufela Olomola secured a 4-1 victory.
After Dartford’s homecoming in 2006, the Darts have added four Kent Senior Cup triumphs taking them to 13 in total. Six times winners Bromley last won the tournament in 2007.
Current Form (all competitions)
|Maidstone United (FAT)
FAT – F.A Trophy / FAC – F.A Cup / LSC – London Senior Cup
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 25 / Bromley wins: 28 / Draws: 12
Bromley 3 – 4 Dartford (08/11/2014 – F.A Cup 1st Round)
Dartford 4 – 2 Bromley (12/01/2013 – F.A Trophy 3rd Round)
Bromley 1 – 2 Dartford (09/04/2012 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 2 Bromley (29/10/2011 – F.A Cup 4th Qualifying Round)
Dartford 3 – 1 Bromley (29/08/2011 – National South)
Dartford 4 – 1 Bromley (02/05/2011 – Kent Senior Cup Final)
- The head to head in the Kent Senior Cup is all level. The Darts have won 10, lost 10 and drawn 5 against Bromley
- Dartford’s only win in the last five against the Ravens in this competition was the cup final in 2011
- The Darts have won the last three in the county cup when drawn at home to Bromley
- Dartford have lost just one of the last ten in all competitions versus the Ravens (W7, D2)
On This Day
Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong’s brace completed a comeback against Hungerford Town on this day three years ago. Ryan Seager put the Crusaders in the lead. Then two goals 13 second-half minutes from Berkeley-Agyepong earned all three points.
Eight years ago plenty of future Dartford connections and former players were on display. Losing 2-1 in the F.A Trophy at home Whitehawk, the Darts were up against Steve King, Craig Braham-Barrett, Paul Lorraine, Jake Robinson, Danny Mills and Dave Martin. On the substitutes bench that day was also David Ijaha.
The only previous Kent Senior Cup tie played by Dartford on the 28 November was a 5-2 win over Sittingbourne in 1978.