Dartford will want to get back to winning ways when they host bottom of the table Slough Town on Tuesday night.
After securing their first victories over the Bank Holiday weekend, the Darts were beaten on Saturday by a single goal leaving them three points off the top seven. Slough Town prop up the National South with just a solitary win to their name. The Rebels have lost their last three and have the leakiest defence in the division.
The Darts have got the better of Slough Town over the last three years claiming maximum points in the last five National South meetings. Throwing in a playoff victory and a penalty shoot out triumph in the F.A Trophy, the Darts have had plenty of joy in this fixture. The Rebels did manage to defeat Dartford in the F.A Cup during that period, but their only ever victories in the league came in the 2019/20 campaign when they completed a double over the Darts.
Kieran Murtagh scored the winning goal in last season’s fixture against the Rebels. Justifying Alan Dowson’s decision to select the midfielder in the starting lineup, Murtagh headed home Luke Coulson’s cross. Alex Wall also had an opportunity ruled out for offside, but Dartford went on to win 1-0.
Just under a year ago the Darts also won against the Berkshire side on their travels. Slough Town took the lead in the first-half through Josh Jackman, however Dartford showed character after going behind. Charlie Sheringham put the Darts on level terms in the second-half. Then the introduction of Pierre Fonkeu proved pivotal, the forward completed the turnaround with the match winner.
On the weekend Dartford suffered a narrow defeat down in Somerset ending an unbeaten run of four. In a close encounter with Taunton Town, Dave Sims-Burgess’ goal proved to be decisive for the hosts condemning the Darts to a second loss this season. Dowson made two changes to the side that beat Aveley 1-0 and Dover Athletic 2-0 over the Bank Holiday period.
Moussa Diarra made his debut after signing on loan from Barnet until January and Maxwell Statham returned to the starting eleven. Red carded against his former club Hampton and Richmond Borough last month, Brandon Barzey served the last of his three match ban. Tommy Block was unfit for Saturday, Sam Odaudu was out injured and Alex Wall is returning to fitness having yet to feature this season. Luke Allen was not involved in the squad despite coming back from injury against Dover Athletic, Lewis Manor was ill and Charlie Sheringham had been away all week.
Dowson reverted to playing one up front at Taunton Town, but has acknowledged he’d prefer an extra striker, he told Dartford FC TV after the game: “We had thirty balls in the box today. If Lewis Manor would have played it would have been a lot different because I think he would have had a hat-trick to be honest”, he added: “I know I’ve got too many players who are a bit of the same up front. I’m not daft, I am looking very hard to get a little nippy one because I wanted to go two up top”. The Dartford boss is hopeful new loan signing Archie Woods will add more creativity to help out the forwards, Dowson was impressed by the youngster and commented: “In the final third we didn’t create anything, but I thought when young Archie came on he created things and he looked lively”.
Woods was named on the bench and came on to make his debut. The 19-year-old has been signed from West Ham United until the end of the season. The midfielder made 22 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers under 21 side last season after securing a professional contract in the summer last year.
Slough Town have had a tough start to their campaign with one win in seven. Although the Rebels have scored in each game they have the worst defence in the National South, form highlighted by their 5-2 home defeat against Tonbridge Angels on the weekend.
It was the Rebels who went in front with player manager, Scott Davies leading by example by scoring. At the break the sides were level after an attempted clearance from a James Fielding header found the back of Slough Town’s net. Ibby Akanbi started the second-half scoring spree for the Angels, Kodi Lyons-Foster added a third and Ruben Soares-Junior a fourth. Slough Town’s Rohun Luthra saved a penalty before it became 5-1 when Nathan Wood scored with his first touch. In the final minute George Alexander netted a consolation for the hosts.
Former Dartford player Temi Eweka took part in the defeat versus Tonbridge Angels and could face his old side. The defender played for the Rebels on loan last season from Maidenhead United and signed for the Berkshire club in the summer. Coming through the Darts academy, Eweka made three appearances for Dartford during the 2017/2018 campaign before leaving for VCD Athletic.
Davies has led his side to one victory this term and that was against newly promoted Weston-super-Mare. Alexander, who scored against the Darts for Welling United last season netted a first-half hat-trick in a 3-0 win. Either side of that triumph the Rebels have lost three in a row, opening their campaign with a 2-1 loss at Maidstone United. Beaten by the same scoreline at home to Dover Athletic, Slough Town went on to get soundly defeated 4-1 by Worthing. Another pair of 2-1 losses to Torquay United and Chippenham Town followed the win in Weston, and their sixth defeat was recorded on the weekend.
|Dartford (LDDWWL)||Slough Town (LLWLLL)|
|Taunton Town||A||0-1||Tonbridge Angels||H||2-5|
|Dover Athletic||H||2-0||Chippenham Town||A||1-2|
|Hampton & Richmond Borough||H||1-1||Worthing||H||1-4|
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 9 / Slough Town wins: 3 / Draws: 3
Last Six Meetings
Dartford 1 – 0 Slough Town (21/02/2023 – National South)
Slough Town 1 – 2 Dartford (25/10/2022 – National South)
Slough Town 0 – 6 Dartford (30/04/2022 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 0 Slough Town (21/08/2021 – National South)
Slough Town 2 – 2 Dartford (15/12/2020 – F.A Trophy)*
Dartford 2 – 0 Slough Town (21/11/2020 – National South)
* – Dartford won 6-5 on penalties
- Dartford have won five consecutive league games against Slough Town with an aggregate score of 14-1
- The Darts have kept three clean sheets in a row against the Rebels in the league at Princes Park
- Luke Coulson has now made 50 appearances for the Darts (42 starts, 8 sub, 9 goals)
- Slough Town have lost all three games this season against Kent sides
On This Day
Dartford have not conceded a goal on this day in 36 years, scoring 18 without reply. Unbeaten in their last seven games on 5 September the last five fixtures have seen the Darts keep consecutive clean sheets. The most recent was the 4-0 victory at Whitehawk six years ago in which Alfie Pavey, Ryan Hayes, Elliot Bradbrook and Lyle Della-Verde all scored. The only team to hold the Darts to a draw in that spell was Bath City in 2015 at Twerton Park. Hendon were soundly beaten 5-0 in 2009, goals from Lee Burns, Rob Haworth, a brace from Jay May and Lee Noble secured three Isthmian Premier League points during the title winning campaign. The same score was recorded five years earlier in the F.A Cup preliminary round win over Horsham YMCA, and in the F.A Vase back in 1995 Steyning Town were beaten 4-0.