Dartford are in action against local rivals and giantkillers Maidstone United on Tuesday night in the National South.
The Darts are unbeaten in their last three games, but it could have been so much more without the concession of late goals. Victory on Boxing Day at Welling United was followed by consecutive draws to start the New Year. The Stones could move up to second with a win, which would cap off an excellent few days after creating history in the F.A Cup on the weekend.
Alan Dowson will have to work out a way to make his side last the distance. In consecutive matches the Darts have let a lead slip deep into injury time to be denied crucial victories. Just days before the new year, Dartford looked set for a Kent derby league double over Welling United. Luke Coulson put the hosts ahead, but in the 97th minute the Wings levelled. Then on the weekend, the Darts took the lead twice in a 2-2 draw at Weston-super-Mare. New loan signing Matty MacArthur scored on debut and Alex Wall put Dartford ahead again. This time in the final minute of injury time the Seagulls equalised. The Darts have now dropped 18 points from winning positions this season.
MacArthur made a positive impact on the side on Saturday. The midfielder from Gillingham not only scored the opener, but he also hit the post. The teenager came straight into the side as well as Jordan Wynter to replace the injured Luke Allen and Richard Chin, who has returned to Charlton Athletic to aid his recovery. If selected Wynter will be facing his former club as well as goalkeeper Ryan Sandford. Defender, Sam Odaudu could be making his 50th Dartford appearance on Tuesday night.
A last-minute goal knocked Dartford out of the F.A Trophy last time they faced Maidstone United almost two months ago. The second round tie finished 1-0 to the Stones with their goal coming from the now departed Levi Amantchi. That was the third consecutive win for Maidstone United in this fixture without conceding a goal.
During their championship winning season a former Dart came back to haunt his former club. Jack Barham scored a hat-trick at the Gallagher Stadium to humble Dartford. The Stones went on to win 4-0. The striker also netted the winner at Princes Park in a 1-0 win ending a 17-match unbeaten home run in the league for the Darts. Maidstone United went on to lift the National South title in 2021/2022. However, Dartford did prevent the Stones from progressing in the F.A Cup that season with their last victory against them. Noor Husin, Danny Leonard and Ade Azeez all scored on the road to send the Darts into the fourth qualifying round.
Maidstone United were headline makers on the weekend with a 1-0 cupset against League One side Stevenage. For the first time in the club’s history, they have reached round four of the F.A Cup. George Elokobi’s side won a penalty when former Dartford man Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong was fouled. The midfielder made 26 appearances for the Darts scoring eight goals. Sam Corne stepped up and scored the spot kick, then later he cleared a Stevenage effort off the line.
The Stones are in the hunt to return to the National League at the first time of asking. Whilst Yeovil Town seem to be running away at the top, victory for the Stones could move them up into second place. At home, Maidstone United have the third best record in the division in terms of points per game. Tonbridge Angels were the last side to visit the Gallagher Stadium and were beaten 2-0, Corne again on target five minutes after Kodi Lyons-Foster put through his own net. Victory over the Angels was their seventh at home this season in the National South and ended a three-game winless run. During that run, the Stones suffered just their second league defeat as hosts this term. The 1-0 loss versus Chippenham Town came after a 5-1 away reverse at Worthing.
|Maidstone United (WWLLDW)
|St Albans City
|Havant & Waterlooville
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 46 / Maidstone United wins: 48 / Draws: 19
Dartford 0 – 1 Maidstone United (18/11/2023 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 0 – 1 Maidstone United (18/04/2022 – National South)
Maidstone United 4 – 0 Dartford (11/12/2021 – National South)
Maidstone United 0 – 3 Dartford (02/10/2021 – F.A Cup)
Maidstone United 0 – 2 Dartford (14/11/2020 – National South)
Maidstone United 0 – 1 Dartford (21/01/2020 – Kent Senior Cup)
- Dartford are on their longest streak without scoring against Maidstone United since the 1920’s. Another blank will set a record of four games without a goal against the Stones.
- The Darts were unbeaten in seven away games in all competitions against the Stones (W6, D1) until last season’s defeat
- Dartford have won four, drawn one, lost one at the Gallagher Stadium since it opened in 2012
On This Day
Dartford have won one of their last seven games on this day and that was 36 years ago. The Darts travelled to Leicester United in the Southern Premier League and come home with a 1-0 win. The last two matches on 9 January were also on the road but ended in defeat. In 1999, Dartford were beaten 1-0 by Yate Town in the Southern League South. Three years ago, Chris Dickson scored a penalty against Braintree Town in a 2-1 loss.