Alan Dowson returns to the Beveree with his Dartford side this weekend to take on one of his former clubs Hampton and Richmond Borough in the National South.
Dartford’s boss spent almost four years with the Beavers winning the Isthmian Premier League before establishing the Middlesex side in the National South. Taking his place in the away dugout on Saturday, Dowson has turned around recent fortunes for the Darts and hopes to continue their current winning streak. After four straight defeats last month, Dartford approach this weekend’s fixture on the back of three consecutive victories.
Paul Rooney scored his first for the club in the 1-0 Kent derby win over Tonbridge Angels, whilst an own goal was the decisive factor in the London Senior Cup tie with Harrow Borough and last weekend Chippenham Town were comfortably beaten.
Dowson made seven changes to the side that won in the cup and three alterations to the team that started the last league game. Tyrell Miller-Rodney was missing through suspension after picking up five cautions, the midfielder should be available for selection on Saturday. Former Hampton and Richmond defender Tommy Block managed 35 minutes against Harrow Borough as he makes his way back from injury, but the defender took no part in the 4-1 win at Chippenham Town. Joshua Johnson is back in a Dartford shirt for his second loan spell with the club. The midfielder from Oxford United made six appearances last season. Lucas Defise made his debut after coming on as a substitute in Wilstshire and goalkeeper Emmanuel Idem was on the bench.
Harvey Bradbury scored a couple of penalties to put Dartford in control at Hardenhuish Park on Saturday. First, Joash Nembhard was clipped in the box giving Bradbury the opportunity from twelve yards to score his first in six games. The striker hit his spot kick straight down the middle to put the Darts ahead. Moussa Diarra won the second penalty when a tangle of legs sent him to the ground, Bradbury opted to fire into the corner and increase the advantage. A third was added before half-time when former Hampton and Richmond Borough winger Brandon Barzey was rewarded for his endeavour with his first goal for the club. Putting pressure on the Chippenham Town defence the Montserrat international charged down the goalkeeper’s clearance and slotted into an empty net.
Sloppy defending allowed the hosts back into the game when Owen Windsor pulled a goal back, but Johnson made it a perfect return to the Darts by firing a shot into the top corner and secure victory. Maxwell Statham played his first league match in over a month, but the full back didn’t finish the game after picking up a red card for two bookings.
Earlier this season, the reverse fixture with Hampton and Richmond Borough ended all square. Dartford went ahead when Block sent in a cross for Bradbury to powerfully header into the top corner. The Beavers levelled with eight minutes remaining after the officials gave a questionable corner. The Darts were unable to clear their lines and when the ball fell to Inman he fired in the equaliser. Barzey was in the thick of the action late on when he received a straight red card for his lunge on an opponent leaving Dartford hanging on in the closing stages.
It was the second draw in a row against the Middlesex side following a goalless stalemate in April last season. The final game of the campaign had nothing riding on the result, so Dowson elected to rest most of the side in preparation for the playoff semi-final a week later. The Darts were unable to net against Alan Julian, one of their former goalkeepers during a second 0-0 draw in three visits to the Beveree.
Last weekend, Hampton and Richmond Borough secured a late win against bottom of the table side Havant and Waterlooville. Connor Kurran-Browne’s strike saw the Beavers come from behind to win 2-1. The Hawks had led from the penalty spot when James Roberts netted the opener. Ruaridh Donaldson put Hampton and Richmond Borough back on level terms before Kurran-Browne’s winner ten minutes from time. That leaves the Beavers in nineteenth but only one win away from the Darts in twelfth. Victory at Westleigh Park on Saturday ended a run of three without a win for Mel Gwinnet’s side who drew 1-1 with Weston-super-Mare prior two defeats. The Beavers lost to current league leaders Yeovil Town 2-1 and were dumped out of the F.A Cup by Isthmian Premier League side Lewes, losing 3-0 at the Dripping Pan.
Current League Form
|Dartford (WLLLWW)||Hampton & Richmond (LLWDLW)|
|Chippenham Town||A||4-1||Havant & Waterlooville||A||2-1|
|Tonbridge Angels||H||1-0||Yeovil Town||H||1-2|
|St Albans City||A||0-1||Weston-super-Mare||A||1-1|
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 9 / Hampton and Richmond Borough wins: 5 / Draws: 6
Last Six Meetings
Dartford 1 – 1 Hampton & Richmond Borough (15/08/2023 – National South)
Hampton & Richmond Borough 0 – 0 Dartford (29/04/2022 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Hampton & Richmond Borough (24/09/2022 – National South)
Hampton & Richmond Borough 0 – 1 Dartford (26/03/2022 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 2 Hampton & Richmond Borough (22/01/2022 – National South)
Hampton & Richmond Borough 0 – 0 Dartford (10/10/2020 – National South)
- Dartford have lost just one of the last 13 league games against Hampton and Richmond Borough (W6, D6) and are unbeaten in the last six (W2, D4)
- The Darts have kept three consecutive clean sheets at the Beveree (W1, D2)
- Dartford could make it three consecutive league wins for the first time this season and the first time since December 2022/January 2023
- There has been just one goal in the last three meetings at the Beveree between Dartford and Hampton and Richmond Borough. The Darts won 1-0 in March 2022.
- Jordan Wynter made his 150th appearance for the Darts in the reverse fixture, this time he could make his 150th start
On This Day
Dartford have won their last four on this day and are unbeaten in five. In fact, they have only lost one in their last nine outings on 14 October. The last game on this day was six years ago when Alfie Pavey scored the only goal in the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round tie at Burgess Hill Town. In 2006, goals from Richard Avery, Anthony Hogg and Jay May handed Dartford a 3-1 Isthmian Division One South win over Godalming Town. Three years earlier the same score saw the Darts beat Sittingbourne in a Southern League Division One East fixture, whilst in 1989 Heybridge Swifts were beaten 1-0 in the F.A Cup third qualifying round. Dartford have won their last five away games on this day including a 3-1 win against Bexley United in 1970 and a 2-1 victory over Ashford United in 1961. The Darts also beat local rivals Gravesend and Northfleet 2-0 at home in 1967.