Dartford go back on the road to face some familiar faces this weekend when they make the short journey to Dulwich Hamlet.
The Darts moved into third place last Saturday after collecting a fourth consecutive league victory, their fifth in six outings. Hamlet are transitioning after a change in manager and just two wins in ten National South games.
After an inconsistent start to the campaign, which included five defeats in all competitions, manager Alan Dowson has turned Dartford’s form around to get his side into the playoff places. The latest triumph came at home against a difficult yet struggling Hungerford Town. Marvin Herschel scored his second in three league starts for the club, charging down a clearance from the goalkeeper and passing the ball into an empty net. Alex Wall silenced any critics with his first since re-joining the Darts to seal a 2-0 win with his well struck shot. The third straight home victory means Dartford have maximum points in their last four National South fixtures having also beaten Eastbourne Borough, Hampton and Richmond Borough and Kent rivals Dover Athletic.
Dartford coach, Martin Tyler was delighted with the reaction of his players to exiting the F.A Cup early, he spoke to Dartford FC TV and said: “After the Beckenham game we’ve had a few heart to hearts with the players and we’ve won three games. Admittedly all of them have been at home and not by extravagant margins, but it’s been a great response”. The Darts kept a first clean sheet at Princes Park this term and Tyler was keen to single out Jordan Wynter’s move from full back to defensive midfield as the cornerstone to Dartford’s improved defending.
Looking ahead to this weekend Tyler expects a tough challenge at Champion Hill when they face Dulwich Hamlet, he commented: “They are always competitive, they’ve had a change this season after a long period of stability. They’ve always put out competitive teams against us, so we will see what it’s now like. I would expect the same under the new regime, it’s a fine football club”. Midfielder, Samir Carruthers will be available after serving his one match ban for five cautions this season. Charlie Sheringham missed last weekend because of personal matters, so should be available on Saturday. Dan Wilks is recovering from his ankle injury, Sam Odaudu is getting closer to a return, whilst Luke Coulson was substituted against Hungerford Town after picking up an injury.
Over the last few years there have been plenty of connections between Dartford and Dulwich Hamlet. In fact, one of those connections scored in the corresponding fixture last season. Josh Hill smashed in the opening goal at Champion Hill in Dartford’s last visit there, the defender is now part of Hamlet’s squad. The 31-year-old made 66 appearances for the Darts scoring seven goals before moving to SE22. In that 2-0 win for Dartford, Tyrique Hyde scored the other, he also spent time at both clubs during his career to date. At Princes Park last season it was Tyrone Sterling, a former Dart who put Dulwich Hamlet in front. However, the match ended all square after Jake Robinson equalised.
As well as Hill, former Dartford academy graduate Ronnie Vint has been impressing at Champion Hill. The central defender spent nine years with Dartford’s senior team turning out 202 times, scoring 11 goals. George Porter made 37 appearances over two years contributing to six goals, Kalvin Kalala was also part of last season’s squad netting five goals in 26 appearances. Whilst Danny Mills has been with Hamlet for longer, joining the London based club in 2019 after a loan spell with Dartford in which he scored seven times in 26 appearances. Sanchez Ming takes the list of former players to six, the defender played 13 times under Steve King.
Since the former Dartford contingent signing in the summer, the boss that brought them to Dulwich has left. Gavin Rose’s contract wasn’t extended last month after taking charge of more than 550 games and winning two promotions in his 13 years with the club. His departure came with the club in 21st place after a 3-1 defeat against Tonbridge Angels and fourth loss in a row. After winning on the opening day of the season and drawing the next two, Dulwich Hamlet lost six consecutive matches. The last of those losses saw new interim Head Coach, Paul Barnes take charge of his first league match for the club. Leading up to the defeat at Chippenham Town, Barnes had won two out of two in cup competitions.
Athletic Newham were beaten 5-2 in the London Senior Cup and a 2-1 F.A Cup win over Margate saw Hamlet into the third qualifying round which took place last weekend. Ahead of the cup tie versus Folkestone Invicta, Barnes did manage to record his first league win since taking over by beating newly promoted strugglers Cheshunt. However, his side ended up suffering a F.A Cup exit to the Isthmian Premier League side and last season’s Kent Senior Cup runners up. Former Hamlet man, Ade Yussuf scored the only goal of the game for Folkestone Invicta three minutes into the second half. That came after another ex-Dulwich player Nathan Green was sent off in the first half.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 4 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 3 / Draws: 4
Current League Form
|Eastbourne Borough||H||2-1||Chippenham Town||A||1-2|
|Hampton & Richmond||H||2-1||Hemel Hempstead Town||H||1-3|
|Dover Athletic||A||3-1||Tonbridge Angels||A||1-3|
|Chippenham Town||A||1-2||Welling United||H||1-2|
|Hemel Hempstead Town||A||2-0||Eastbourne Borough||A||1-2|
Last Six Meetings
Dartford 1 – 1 Dulwich Hamlet (08/01/2022 – National South)
Dulwich Hamlet 0 – 2 Dartford (28/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Dulwich Hamlet (25/01/2020 – National South)
Dulwich Hamlet 1 – 1 Dartford (07/12/2019 – National South)
Dulwich Hamlet 2 – 0 Dartford (02/03/2019 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Dulwich Hamlet (20/10/2018 – National South)
- The Darts have lost just one of the last six meetings with the Hamlet (W3, D3)
- After losing on each of their first three visits to Champion Hill, Dartford are unbeaten in their last two there (W1, D1)
- Dartford have managed a four game winning streak in the league for a second time this calendar year. The Darts recorded five consecutive victories from 29 January to 19 February last season
- The Darts are on the longest current winning steak in the division, but need another five consecutive victories to match rivals Ebbsfleet United’s nine wins in a row from the start of the campaign.
On This Day
A brace from Duane Ofori-Acheampong rewarded the long travelling Dartford fans who witnessed a 5-0 victory on this day. The Darts beat Truro City down in Cornwall with Keaton Wood, Andy Pugh and Alex Brown also geting their names on the scoresheet. Matthew Godden scored five goals in nine appearances whilst on loan in 2013/14, one of his goals came in the 1-1 draw with Salisbury on this day in 2013. Godden went on to make it in the Football League with Peterborough United and is currently at Coventry City.