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.
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.
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.
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
|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
- 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).