Dartford will be eager to bounce back from a difficult week when they take on Oxford City on Tuesday night in the National South.
After an unbeaten run of 11 games in all competitions and picking up an impressive 31 points from a possible 33 in the league, the Darts lost twice in a row to see their good form come to an end. Oxford City have been have not lost at home in the league since the opening day and will fancy their chances.
The journey to Marsh Lane last season ended in a 1-1 draw with goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook making his debut. The shot stopper was unable to keep out Joe Iaciofano’s equaliser that day after the Darts had taken the lead in the third minute through a Marcus Dinanga penalty. The two sides couldn’t be separated in the earlier meeting at Princes Park either playing out a 0-0 stalemate. In October 2019, the Darts won 1-0 in Oxford with Ben Greenhalgh’s curling shot being the decisive goal in the game. Overall, Dartford have avoided defeat against Tuesday’s opponents in their last four matches, winning two and drawing two.
Alan Dowson has plenty of work to do ahead of the visit to Marsh Lane. Last weekend they were beaten on the road at Farnborough missing an opportunity to top the standings. Instead they ended the day in third after falling to a 3-1 loss against the Hampshire side. After acknowledging the poor performance, Dowson made four changes to the team to face Swindon Supermarine on Saturday in the F.A Trophy second round.
Kristian Campbell scored a consolation goal against Farnborough and he was named in the starting eleven alongside goalkeeper Tom Wray and loanee Joshua Johnson. Once again the Darts missed the central defensive partnership of Tom Bonner and Connor Essam. Bonner was suspended versus Farnborough, but the captain returned on the weekend. This time Essam was unavailable and the unfortunate Wray conceded four as the Darts failed to score. Yet another cup upset went against the Darts and having conceded seven goals over the past week, Dowson needs his players to respond on Tuesday night.
Oxford City were also dumped out of the trophy against lower league opposition. Last season, Plymouth Parkway were two divisions below the Hoops. After winning promotion, the Devonshire club have now claimed an cupset beating Ross Jenkins’ team on penalties. Iaciofano had put City ahead only for Harrison King to level and take the tie to spot kicks.
In the National South, Oxford City have one of the best home records in the division tasting defeat just once and that was on the opening day. Since then they have gone a dozen home games unbeaten winning eight and drawing four. Oxford City have dished out a 5-0 hammering of Concord Rangers, were the first team to take points off league leaders Ebbsfleet United and have won three of their last four at Marsh Lane. Form on the road has not been as great and explains why City are ninth in the table, but just a point from a top seven spot.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 8 / Oxford City wins: 3 / Draws: 5
Current League Form
|Braintree Town||H||4-1||Hemel Hempstead Town||H||2-2|
|Slough Town||A||2-1||Farnborough Town||A||1-2|
|St Albans City||A||1-1||Taunton Town||H||2-1|
Last Six Meetings
Oxford City 1 – 1 Dartford (02/04/2022 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 0 Oxford City (13/11/2021 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 0 Oxford City (11/01/2020 – National South)
Oxford City 0 – 1 Dartford (12/10/2019 – National South)
Oxford City 2 – 1 Dartford (27/04/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 Oxford City (13/11/2018 – National South)
- Dartford are four games unbeaten against Oxford City (W2, D2) and have kept three clean sheets in those matches
- Dartford have scored in each of their eight visits to visiting Marsh Lane and are unbeaten in their last two there (W1, D1)
- If the Darts avoid defeat it will be their best unbeaten run when visiting Oxford City.
On This Day
Dartford have failed to win on this day since 1988 when they beat Crawley Town 4-0 in the Southern League Cup second round. In league football you have to go back two years earlier when they defeated Folkestone 5-0 in the Southern Premier League. In 1989, the Darts took Football League side Exeter City to a F.A Cup first round replay, but lost the away tie 4-1. Dartford’s last six games on 22 November have been away from home, the last was a 2-2 draw at Welling United in 2016 in the Kent Senior Cup. Goals from Ryan Hayes and Keaton Wood weren’t enough as the Wings went through 4-1 on penalties.