Dartford have the chance to reach the London Senior Cup semi-final for the first time when they host Haringey Borough.
However, in the only other meeting between the two sides, the Borough scored in the last minute to cause a cup upset back in December 2020. The Darts with home advantage and a division higher were beaten 1-0 in the F.A Trophy third round, Alfred Bawling was the Haringey hero when he headed in from Roman Michael-Percil’s cross. The Borough went on to lose the next round to Dartford’s last opponents, Oxford City.
Alan Dowson made one change to the team that beat Slough Town 1-0 a week ago bringing Maxwell Statham back into the side for winger Malachi Napa. Guaranteed second spot regardless of their result against an in form Oxford City, the Darts were hoping to gather momentum and add to their four match unbeaten run in the National South. Dartford’s mission was accomplished and although they were unable to breach the visitor’s defence, they did manage to keep a fourth clean sheet in a row at Princes Park. Since joining the Darts, goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski has yet to concede at home and against Oxford City he can thank his teammates in front of him for a solid display.
The 0-0 draw keeps Dartford six points clear of Oxford City in the league and moves them seven ahead of Havant and Waterlooville in fourth. The Darts have now won three and drawn three in their last seven outings in all competitions. The only reverse coming in the Kent Senior Cup against Ebbsfleet United who are now 13 points clear at the National South summit.
Haringey Borough had lost five of their last six games in all competitions ahead of their home match against relegation strugglers Brightlingsea Regent on the weekend. After defeating Hastings United towards the end of last month, the Borough were beaten by title chasers Bishop Stortford then drew versus Potters Bar Town in the Isthmian Premier. Another clash with the Scholars three days later finished in a League Cup exit, then three league defeats on the spin at home to Bognor Regis Town and Canvey Island plus one on the road at Billericay Town has seen the the London club going through a dismal patch.
However, the Borough ended their poor run of form in style on Saturday with a 6-1 victory. Six different scorers found the back of the net and it was Erald Desa who started the rout when he tucked away his own rebound to send the hosts a goal up at half-time. Two goals in five early second-half minutes open the floodgates, first Rakim Richards then Ben Allen made it 3-0 and just past the hour Stef Georgiou added a fourth. The goals kept flowing as Callum Ismail and Josiah Bridgeman extended the lead before Brightlingsea Regent’s Jermaine Anderson managed a consolation.
The Darts progressed to the last eight of the London Senior Cup with a victories over Tooting and Mitcham United in October and Metropolitan Police a month ago. Dowson has used the county cups to rest players and integrate academy stars and so far they have performed well. Goalkeeper Tom Wray and defender George Whitefield have started in every senior cup game this term, whilst Jayden Boulton, Ali Mansaray, Jude Russell, Sam Archibald, Archie Panyi and Ollie Box have all featured at some point.
Yet to concede in the London Senior Cup, the Darts progressed from round one thanks to a winning goal from Alex Wall against Tooting and Mitcham United. It took until the 63rd minute for Dartford to break the deadlock and it came when Davide Rodari’s excellent pass was finished by Wall. The players patience paid off in the end after having tow efforts ruled out for offside prior Wall’s winner. In the second round Dowson’s side were able to end Metropolitan Police’s cup run. Once again the Darts had to wait until just after an hour for their opener. This time midfielder, Keiran Murtagh got on the end of Luke Allen’s ball to give the hosts the lead. Virtually from the last kick of the game the advantage was doubled through Pierre Fonkeu from close range.
Haringey Borough had a bye in the first round and won 3-1 against Glebe in round two. Chaynie Fage-Burgin bagged a brace and Scott Durojaiye added one from the penalty spot before the visitors pulled a goal back. The Borough negotiated their way past the Southern Counties Premier East division side avoiding an upset to reach the quarter-final. Last term, Haringey Borough went one step further by getting to the semi-final, but defeat to Hendon denied them a final appearance against Dartford’s conquerors Brentford B.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 0 / Haringey Borough wins: 1 / Draws: 0
Current Form (all competitions)
|Oxford City||H||0-0||Brightlingsea Regent||H||6-1|
|Slough Town||H||1-0||Billericay Town||H||1-3|
|Braintree Town||A||1-1||Canvey Island||H||1-2|
|Chippenham Town||H||2-0||Bognor Regis Town||H||2-5|
|Ebbsfleet United (KSC)||A||1-2||Potters Bar Town (LC)||A||1-3|
|Welling United||A||2-2||Potters Bar Town||H||2-2|
|KSC = Kent Senior Cup / LC = League Cup|
Dartford 0 – 1 Haringey Borough (19/12/2020 – F.A Trophy)
- Dartford have kept four home clean sheets in a row for the first time since December 2019/January 2020
- The Darts last kept five consecutive home clean sheets during the 1990/91 season
- In cup competitions, Alan Dowson has won two and lost three as manager of Dartford
On This Day
Dartford posted a 7-0 win on this day 36 years ago when they thrashed King’s Lynn in the Southern Premier League. In contrast not a single goal was scored in their last outing on this day, a 0-0 Kent derby draw with Welling United in 2017. The Darts beat Tooting and Mitcham United at Princes Park in 2009 with Rob Howard scoring a brace in a 3-1 triumph. In 1934, a 3-0 semi-final replay win over Northfleet United saw the Darts reach the Kent Senior Shield final.