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.
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…
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.
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.
|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)
- 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.