Dartford play their penultimate home game of the year when they host St Albans City this weekend in the National South.
The Darts had their hearts broken last time the Saints visited Princes Park. A penalty shoot-out defeat in the playoff semi-final ended any hope of promotion. This season neither side have hit the same heights, however both teams have plenty of time to make their way into the top seven.
In a tightly congested mid-table, Dartford are looking for the consistency that will give them a nudge up the table. Last weekend, their run of home matches was split up with a short away trip to Tonbridge Angels. Alan Dowson made two changes to the side, Archie Woods came in for Tyrell Miller-Rodney and Harvey Bradbury returned from suspension. Luke Coulson wasn’t available due to personal commitments.
Dowson’s unbeaten record in league Kent derbies ended emphatically at Longmead. The Dartford boss had won ten and drawn one against his local rivals in the National South. Last weekend his side were three down by half-time as the Angels scored three goals in eleven minutes. Former Dartford striker, Jordan Greenidge got the scoring underway, Lewis Gard doubled the lead and Tariq Hinds added another. To give the scoreline extra gloss for the hosts Greenidge scored again on a miserable afternoon for the Darts.
Defeat leaves Dartford five points from a playoff spot and six points above the relegation places. St Albans City are close behind trailing the Darts by a point. Last term the two sides were hardly separated in the head to head record, winning a game each and drawing the other. Latest form over the last six fixtures is also similar. Dartford may have had two excellent results over Torquay United and Yeovil Town, but they came back down to earth with last weekend’s loss.
The Saints came from behind in their last outing beating Chelmsford City. Former Dart, Ody Alfa set up Callum Watts to put the Clarets ahead. David Noble’s side were given an advantage when Luke Jenkins prevented Shaun Jeffers a goalscoring opportunity. Jenkins was dismissed and Jeffers scored the penalty. St Albans City struggled to find a breakthrough until Ryan Blackman’s late winner.
St Albans City last National South fixture on the road ended in an entertaining 4-4 draw versus Worthing. Another late goal earning the Hertfordshire club something from the game. Four points from their last two games has put behind their defeat at Truro City to start the month.
Dartford have already visited St Albans City this term back in September and lost 1-0. The squad looks stronger now with new signings and fewer players on the treatment table. Three months ago, in extremely hot conditions, Mitchell Weiss scored the winner just before the hour mark.
The Darts have won the last two league clashes at Princes Park against the Saints during the regular National South season. Weeks before that playoff exit, Dowson led his side to a 2-1 victory to secure a runner up spot. In his first spell with the Darts, Chin set up Samir Carruthers for the opener. Jeffers acrobatically equalised in the second-half before Pierre Fonkeu won it for Dartford. In April 2022, the Darts won 3-1 with Keiran Murtagh getting a brace and Marcus Dinanga adding a third.
Current League Form
|St Albans City (LLWLDW)
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 12 / St Albans City wins: 7 / Draws: 7
St Albans City 1 – 0 Dartford (23/09/2023 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 St Albans City (07/05/2023 – National South Playoffs)*
Dartford 2 – 1 St Albans City (22/04/2023 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 1 Dartford (22/10/2022 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 1 St Albans City (23/04/2022 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 3 Dartford (14/08/2021 – National South)
* – St Albans City won 5-3 on penalties
- At Princes Park, Dartford have won the last two in the National South against the Saints
- In this fixture, the Darts have lost just one in the last six league matches at home (W4, D1)
- In normal time at home, Dartford have fared better in this fixture losing just twice in 14 meetings (W7, D5)
- St Albans City have scored in each of their last 16 games against the Darts
On This Day
Dartford have drawn five of their last six matches on this day. Six years ago, the Darts hosted Braintree Town. Andy Pugh put the Darts in front only for Marcel Barrington to level in the second-half. In 2006, Ryan Hayes and Jay May scored in a 2-2 draw at Walton Casuals in the Isthmian Division One South. An away game at Histon ended 2-2 back 23 years ago. Dartford’s only victory in the last six on this day was in the F.A Trophy. The Darts won a replay versus Merthyr Tydfil 4-2 in 1986. Exactly 16 years earlier the same two teams had a Southern League First Division match abandoned after 37 minutes.