Dartford can make it three league wins in a row when they host Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday night.
The Darts have made an inconsistent start, but after a consecutive league victory on the weekend they are in eighth place, just a point outside the playoffs. Their opponents on Tuesday night have started to climb the table and are just two points behind Dowson’s men.
Dartford racked up ten goals against Eastbourne Borough last term winning the corresponding fixture last season 3-1 with Jake Robinson opening his account with a brace. The striker’s first after seven minutes was a predatory finish and after excellent build up play leading to a penalty, Robinson netted another. The Sports hit back immediately after the break when Greg Luer scored, but Ade Azeez was brought on as a substitute and his well-placed header secured victory.
Dartford emphatically completed a double over the Sussex club when they last played in May. With both sides already booking playoff places, the Darts strolled to a 7-2 away win. Dan Roberts opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute, whilst Marcus Dinanga and Kalvin Kalala both netted a brace. Kory Roberts and Jordan Greenidge also found the back of the net.
Over the last four years the honours have been even between these two sides with four wins apiece and two draws. Previously Dartford had dominated this fixture racking up an unbeaten run of 12, which included eight victories.
Last week, Dowson had a busy time in the loan market ahead of the Hampton and Richmond Borough game. The Dartford boss brought in Jack Smith from Stevenage for a month, who made his debut on the weekend. Smith has played 29 times for Stevenage’s first team having come through the youth system, he has also had time on loan at Braintree Town and Kettering Town. Going the other way, after signing from Slough Town in the summer of 2020, Dan Roberts has gone back to his previous club on a month loan. The forward has made 37 appearances since joining Dartford, 26 of them have been as a substitute. Meanwhile, Kwaku Frimpong has returned to AFC Wimbledon after just two substitute appearances, the midfielder’s red card in the F.A Cup exit would have seen him suspended until the end of his loan spell. Likewise, Adam Lovatt was recalled by his parent club Sutton United, the midfielder played five times during his short stay.
Dartford were forced to make a few changes to the side that beat Hampton and Richmond Borough on Saturday. Luke Coulson, Dan Wilks and Sam Odaudu were all out injured, however Luke Allen returned to the starting eleven after missing the win at Dover Athletic and defeat against Beckenham Town. Marvin Herschel was given his first ever league start and made it one to remember, whilst loan signing Smith made his first appearance too. Davide Rodari and Kristian Campbell were also back in the side.
Once again, Charlie Sheringham made an impact scoring within a matter of minutes of coming on as a substitute, his second in as many games to continue Dartford’s run of scoring in every game this season. The striker’s opening goal was much needed for a Dartford side who suffered a shock F.A Cup exit and were desperate to avoid their fourth straight home defeat, for the first time in six and half years. Sheringham was involved again setting up Herschel for his first goal for the club on his league debut. With three minutes remaining Dartford’s hopes of keeping a first clean sheet at home this term were dashed when Jake Gray’s deflected effort set up a nervy finish. Samir Carruthers picked up a fifth caution of the season, the midfielder will serve a match suspension in Dartford’s next game.
Eastbourne Borough are showing signs of recovery after a poor start to the campaign, perhaps a hangover from last season. The Sports lost their last four league fixtures last term and were defeated in the playoff eliminator. The Sussex club tasted three consecutive losses at the start of this campaign conceding nine in those games. Since then Danny Bloor’s team have lost just one of their last six competitive matches to climb up to twelfth place in the National South standings.
On the weekend, Eastbourne Borough recorded their first away win of the season in a 4-2 victory at Concord Rangers. The Sports were two up by the interval with goals from Jacob Hutchinson and Shiloh Remy. Concord Rangers got their first of the afternoon through Danny Green, but the two goal lead was restored by Jayden Perez. With eight minutes to go Green gave the Beachboys some hope, however Greg Luer scored a fourth for the visitors to seal the three points. Featuring in Eastbourne Borough’s side was Kai Innocent, who made eight appearances with the Darts last season.
The win over Concord Rangers followed a F.A Cup victory over Uxbridge which set up a Sussex derby with Worthing in the next round. Consecutive triumphs is a good response to a side that were beaten 1-0 by Welling United a fortnight ago. Prior that loss, the Sports picked up maximums at home to Dulwich Hamlet and Dover Athletic and sandwiched between a draw against unbeaten Worthing.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 14 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 8 / Draws: 4
Current League Form
|Hampton & Richmond||H||2-1||Concord Rangers||A||4-2|
|Dover Athletic||A||3-1||Welling United||H||0-1|
|Chippenham Town||A||1-2||Dover Athletic||H||3-1|
|Hemel Hempstead Town||A||2-0||Worthing||A||1-1|
|Taunton Town||A||1-2||Hungerford Town||A||0-2|
Last Six Meetings
Eastbourne Borough 2 – 7 Dartford (07/05/2022 – National South)
Dartford 3 –1 Eastbourne Borough (30/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Eastbourne Borough (09/02/2021 – National South)
Eastbourne Borough 3 – 1 Dartford (05/12/2020 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Eastbourne Borough (22/02/2020 – National South)
Eastbourne Borough 0 – 2 Dartford (02/11/2019 – National South)
- Dartford completed a league double over Eastbourne Borough last season. Out of eleven seasons in which the two sides have been in the same division there has been nine doubles (Dartford 6 v Eastbourne Borough 3).
- Dartford have won seven of the last ten at home against Eastbourne Borough (D1, L2), but have also lost two of the last four (W2) at Princes Park against the Sports.
- The Darts have conceded in each of their last seven home games against Eastbourne Borough.
- Seven of Dartford’s nine league games have ended 2-1 (W2, L5)
On This Day
Dartford came from behind to claim a National League victory away at Nuneaton Borough on this day in 2014. Two goals in the final 12 minutes earned the win after Borough took the lead through Craig Curran. A penalty dispatched by Elliot Bradbrook levelled the match and Danny Harris headed home the winner two minutes later. The last home game on 27 September saw the Darts knocked out of the F.A Cup at the second qualifying round stage. Dartford, then of the Isthmian Premier League were drawn against Hampton and Richmond Borough, a division above. The Beavers had Dean Wells sent off in the first half but managed to win after Barrie Matthews nodded the only goal of the game. That defeat is just one of three at home on 27 September, Dartford have won eight and drawn two on their own patch on this day.