Dartford are on the road again this weekend when they take on Hemel Hempstead Town in the National South.
Improved form has seen the Darts push up the table. Three league victories in their last five leaves Alan Dowson’s side three points away from the playoff places. Avoiding defeat will keep Dartford above this weekend’s opponents.
Hemel Hempstead Town are a point behind in a congested mid-table. The Tudors have a balanced home record and have drawn six of their last nine. In mid-week their unbeaten run of eight league matches came to an end.
On Tuesday, for the first time this season Dartford gained a point after falling behind. Eastbourne Borough scored early in the second-half when Fletcher Holman took advantage of a defensive error. A piece of individual skill from Brandon Barzey made sure the Darts came home with something to show. The draw at Priory Lane was Dartford’s tenth point from the last 15 available, one more than their opening nine games. Dowson made no changes to the starting eleven and no substitutions down in Sussex. After the game the Dartford boss suggested he will ‘freshen things up’ ahead of this weekend’s fixture.
Victory followed a 2-0 home win against bottom of the table Havant and Waterlooville. Joash Nembhard scored against his former team and this weekend will face another of his previous clubs. The central defender played 30 times for the Tudors during the 2021/22 season. His partner at the back Moussa Diarra also had a spell for Hemel Hempstead Town winning promotion to the National South. Over three campaigns, Diarra made 82 appearances. Strikers Alex Wall and Charlie Sheringham have hardly featured this term. The pair have also spent time at Vauxhall Road during their careers. Wall returned to the Dartford squad in mid-week after recovering from injury.
The Tudors have a couple of former Dartford players of their own. Goalkeeper, Craig King wore the number one jersey 18 times. Leaving on loan to Hemel Hempstead Town, he went on to make a permanent switch to the Hertfordshire side. Josh Hill left in the same season and played 68 games for the Darts scoring 7 goals.
The away side won both games last season with Dartford taking the honours at Vauxhall Road. Former Tudor, Samir Carruthers delicately curled the opener into the top corner from just inside the box. The 29-year-old added another scoring directly from a free-kick. The reverse fixture finished 3-1 to Hemel Hempstead Town at Princes Park. Jack Westbrook gave the away team the lead before Connor Essam’s equaliser. Approaching the interval, Kyle Ajayi scored a stunner and late in the match Jeremie Mukendi grabbed a third.
Hemel Hempstead Town won their first two this season, then lost the next two. Since then the Tudors have become draw specialists in the league. Three consecutive stalemates was followed by an away win at Chelmsford City. Bradley Quinton’s side picked up another point before an impressive home win against Torquay United. Two trips to Kent resulted in plenty of goals as they drew on both occasions. Their match at Tonbridge Angels ended 3-3, then they secured a 2-2 draw at Dover Athletic. The Tudors showed plenty of character against Dover Athletic, twice coming from behind with ten men. However, they were unable to repeat the comeback when they lost 2-0 at home to Braintree Town on Tuesday night.
Current League Form
|Dartford (LWWLWD)||Hemel Hempstead Town (WDWDDL)|
|Eastbourne Borough||A||1-1||Braintree Town||H||0-2|
|Havant & Waterlooville||H||2-0||Dover Athletic||A||2-2|
|Hampton & Richmond||A||3-4||Tonbridge Angels||A||3-3|
|Chippenham Town||A||4-1||Torquay United||H||3-2|
|St Albans City||A||0-1||Chelmsford City||A||2-1|
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 8 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 2 / Draws: 5
Last Six Meetings
Dartford 1 – 3 Hemel Hempstead Town (14/01/2023 – National South)
Hemel Hempstead Town 0 – 2 Dartford (29/08/2022 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Hemel Hempstead Town (09/04/2022 – National South)
Hemel Hempstead Town 2 – 3 Dartford (20/11/2021 – National South)
Hemel Hempstead Town 1 – 3 Dartford (10/11/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Hemel Hempstead Town (31/08/2019 – National South)
- Hemel Hempstead Town won the first and last league meetings against the Darts. In between those defeats Dartford were unbeaten in 12 league matches (W7, D5)
- The Darts are on a streak of five consecutive victories at Vauxhall Road and are unbeaten in six (W5, D1)
On This Day
Unbeaten in their last three games on 28 October, the Darts have only lost one of the last nine on this day. Up against his former team, Tom Bender was the unfortunate St Albans City defender to hand Dartford all three points in 2017. Elliot Bradbrook put Dartford in front at Princes Park. Charlie Walker equalised before Bender’s own goal.
Nine years earlier the Darts were involved in a thrilling comeback. AFC Hornchurch went 3-0 up by half-time. However goals from Cody McDonald, Rob Haworth and Jamie Day stunned the visitors in a 3-3 draw.
The last match on the road on this day was back in 2006 when Brendon Cass scored twice. The striker’s brace helped Dartford to a 3-1 win over Corinthian Casuals. Ryan Hayes scored the other goal in the Isthmian Division One South fixture.