Dartford will need to pick themselves up against Cray Wanderers in the London Senior Cup quarter-final on Tuesday night.

Relegation back to the Isthmian Premier League was confirmed at the weekend with a loss at newly crowned National South champions Yeovil Town. The Darts will be meeting the Wands next season as they return to the third tier of non-league for the first time in 14 years.

Needing at least a point to potentially take their campaign to the last day, Adrian Pennock stuck to the same side that beat Havant and Waterlooville, but lost to Worthing. In the end nothing more than a victory was required as their closest rivals claimed three points on Saturday. All that was immaterial though because the Darts finished their travels in the league with a 3-1 defeat.

Yet Dartford did have the smallest glimmer of hope when they took a shock lead through top scorer Luke Coulson. The captain netted his eleventh in all competitions in the fifth minute. Yeovil Town we’re back on level terms just three minutes later through Sam Pearson and before half-time Dylan Morgan put the champions ahead. In the second-half, Rhys Byrne saved Frank Nouble’s penalty and Alex Fisher added a third for the Glovers.

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Match highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

The Darts have negotiated their way through two rounds of the London Senior Cup so far starting out in September. Drawn against Harrow Borough of the Isthmian Premier League, Dartford won 1-0. Despite the low scoreline the Darts were dominant, but still had to rely on an own goal by Borough’s Henry Lukombo. In the second round the tie went all the way to penalties against Queens Park Rangers U23’s. Oliver Box scored the equaliser that forced spot-kicks and then netted the winner in the shootout.

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Match highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Dartford’s last four meetings against Cray Wanderers have been in cup competition and on three occasions the Darts have progressed to the next round. The most recent of those ties came in December 2021 in the F.A Trophy third round. A Jake Robinson brace and a Danny Leonard goal in the space of five first-half minutes earned a 3-1 victory. Cray Wanderers came out on top in the previous county cup clash though. In the Kent Senior Cup the Wands won 4-2 in round one back in September 2017. At the same stage a year earlier Andy Pugh and Duane Ofori-Acheampong helped Dartford to a 2-1 triumph. The same score in the 2011 F.A Cup third qualifying clash saw the Darts progress with goals from Ryan Hayes and Danny Harris.

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Match highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Former Dartford captain Tom Bonner could feature for the Wands. The defender come out of retirement and after a spell with Havant and Waterlooville, he signed for Cray Wanderers in November. Bonner made 456 appearances for the Darts and won two Kent Senior Cups and the National South playoffs whilst at Princes Park. David Ijaha and Ellis Brown are also part of the Wands squad, Ijaha played 12 games for Dartford and Brown started just six and made 15 appearances from the bench.

Neil Smith’s team have secured a sixth season in the Isthmian Premier league and are currently in 16th place. The Wands had a slow start to their campaign losing their opening five whilst scoring just once. Then they went to promotion contenders Chatham Town and won 5-1. Inconsistency and a glut of draws from November to January left the Wands’ season in the balance. A positive period in February saw Smith’s side take 17 points from 21 available making life more comfortable. Since then form has taken a dip and they have won just one league fixture in their last nine outings.

Cray Wanderers’ London Senior Cup journey began in November at home against Tooting and Mitcham United. The Wands beat the Combined Counties Premier South side 4-2.  Yahya Bamba, who scored twice against the Darts for Eastbourne Borough just over a fortnight ago bagged a brace, while Gary Lockyer and Nyren Clunis added a third and fourth. In round two Cray Wanderers defeated Fisher 3-0 to move into the last eight. Tayo Oyebola, Alfie Evans and Anthony Cook all scored to overcome their Southern Counties East Division opponents.

Some silverware for Dartford will provide a small amount of consolation and victory on Tuesday night will set up a semi-final against Hendon of the Southern Premier League South.

Current Form

Dartford (DLLWLL) Cray Wanderers (LDDLLL)
Yeovil Town A 1-3 Horsham A 0-2
Worthing H 1-2 AFC Hornchurch A 0-2
Havant & Waterlooville A 2-1 Hashtag United H 1-3
Eastbourne Borough H 0-2 Margate A 1-1
Chelmsford City A 1-4 Chatham Town H 2-2
Truro City A 0-0 Folkestone Invicta H 0-1

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 35 / Cray Wanderers wins: 21 / Draws: 11

Last Six Meetings

Cray Wanderers 1 – 2 Dartford (18/12/2021– F.A Trophy)
Cray Wanderers 4 – 2 Dartford (20/09/2017 – Kent Senior Cup)
Cray Wanderers 1 – 2 Dartford (05/10/2016 – Kent Senior Cup)
Cray Wanderers 1 – 2 Dartford (15/10/2011 – F.A Cup)
Cray Wanderers 1 – 2 Dartford (02/01/2010 – Isthmian Premier)
Dartford 1 – 1 Cray Wanderers (026/12/2009 – Isthmian Premier)


  • Dartford have won 17 of their last 22 away games against Cray Wanderers (D2, L3)
  • In county cups (all Kent Senior) the Darts have progressed on eight occasions when drawn against the Wands (W8, D3, L2)
  • Dartford have a 72.5% win rate versus Cray Wanderers over the last 40 meetings in all competitions (W29, D6, L5)

On This Day

On the penultimate game of the 2012/2013 National League campaign the Darts enjoyed a 3-2 win against Forest Green Rovers on this day. Victory lifted Dartford into seventh place with goals from Danny Harris and a brace from Elliot Bradbrook. Although Tony Burman’s side dropped one place on the final day they were crowned the best part-time team in the country. After a mediocre season in the Southern Division One East, Dartford recorded a 6-2 triumph over basement boys Tilbury in 2005. The last fixture on this day for the Darts ended 0-0 versus Basingstoke Town in the National South eight years ago.