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Dartford v Maidstone United

Dartford slipped into the relegation zone this week and will be desperate to pick up points against Kent rivals Maidstone United.

The Darts are searching for a first home win in the league since November and will be up against a Stones side looking to move into a playoff place. Ady Pennock has lost both games since taking charge at Princes Park and has a big challenge on his hands to guide Dartford to safety. Maidstone United have enjoyed a tremendous F.A Cup run to the fifth round this season and are now concentrating on finishing in the top seven. Three days later the Darts will be hosting the Stones again in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final.

Pennock made his second signing just ahead of Tuesday night’s fixture at Braintree Town. Ronny Nelson was part of Torquay United’s squad last weekend and was an unused substitute against the Darts. Now the central defender will be wearing a Dartford shirt after signing for a month from League Two side Colchester United. The 20-year-old joined the Essex club from Leicester City’s academy.

Dartford’s boss made one change to the side that tasted defeat in Devon. Nelson was put straight into the lineup to replace Joash Nembhard, who was on the bench. Midfielder, Jack Smith made his 50th appearance for the club. Jordan Wynter served the last of his two-match suspension and could face his former side this weekend. Sam Odaudu is still recovering from injury and Elliott Romain’s loan spell has come to an end.

Dartford slipped into the bottom four with a 2-0 defeat in Essex, an eighth loss in their last ten league games. Early bouts of pressure from Braintree Town and a series of corners were too much to handle for the Darts, the hosts finally took advantage through Shaq Coulthirst twenty minutes in. In the second-half Dartford stayed in the game, but a late red card to Jordan Greenidge dashed hopes for an equaliser. That hope was extinguished in stoppage time when Tom Blackwell clinched a second for Braintree Town.

Since Dartford’s last home victory in the National South, at Princes Park they have drawn three and lost four and are currently on a three-game losing streak in the league on their own patch. Four points from the last 33 available home and away has seen the Darts slide into a relegation battle. The situation was worsened on Tuesday night with Taunton Town winning against Torquay United to put Pennock’s side beneath the relegation line.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Next up is the tricky prospect of Maidstone United who Dartford lost to in January at the Gallagher Stadium. Goalkeeper, Billy Terrell made his debut between the sticks in Alan Dowson’s final game as boss, but the loanee from AFC Bournemouth was unable to stop the Darts falling to defeat despite taking the lead. Luke Coulson gave Dartford the lead from the penalty spot. However, the Kent derby turned in the space of five second-half minutes. Harry Kyprianou and Matt Rush scored for the Stones to hand the hosts the three points. Terrell is still waiting for his first clean sheet after making ten appearances so far.

Saturday’s clash will be the third time the Darts have taken on their Kent rivals this season. The pair were drawn together in the F.A Trophy second round back in November Dartford fell to a last gasp goal to Kent rivals Maidstone United in the second round. Another goalkeeper made his debut in this game when Ryan Sandford lined up against his former club. Moussa Diarra came the closest for Dartford in the first half by hitting the woodwork. The hosts had opportunities in the second-half often missing the target. Both goalkeepers were not really troubled until a stoppage time winner from Maidstone United striker Levi Amantchi, who has since made a move to Bromley.

The Stones have got the better of Dartford in recent times winning the previous four meetings. Another triumph will secure a league double over the Darts, which they also achieved last time the two sides were in the same division in 2021/2022. Maidstone United went up as champions in that campaign but made a swift return to the National South after relegation last term. In that title winning season, the Stones came to Princes Park and won 1-0. The main protagonist that day was former Dart, Jack Barham who netted the only goal of the game to end Dartford’s unbeaten home run of 17 games. The striker also claimed the match ball in the reverse fixture with a hat-trick in a 4-0 Maidstone United victory.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

George Elokobi’s side hit the headlines this season in the F.A Cup. The Stones went on an historic run to the fifth round to record their best performance in the competition and the best by a tier six team since Blyth Spartans in 1978. In total Maidstone United played eight ties beating Steyning Town, Winchester City and Torquay United to qualify for the first round proper. They went on to knock out Chesham United before defeating three Football League sides Barrow, Stevenage, Ipswich Town. Eventually their run came to an end with a 5-0 loss at Championship club Coventry City.

Since the last meeting between Dartford and Maidstone United, the Stones have been inconsistent in the National South, perhaps down to the distraction of their cup run. After winning at Princes Park two months ago they occupied third spot, but four wins and defeats plus three draws have seen Elokobi’s side fall out of a top seven place.

Maidstone United aim to get back on track and on Tuesday night they picked up an eleventh home win of the season by beating second place Chelmsford City. Two goals in the final ten minutes from Sam Corne and Matt Rush made the difference. Corne scored from the spot, whilst Rush added his 14th National South goal of the campaign, for Aveley and the Stones. Victory has put the Maidstone United level on points with Bath City, who are in seventh place and was just the tonic after suffering only their third home league defeat of the season on the weekend against St Albans City.

Current Standings

Team Played Points GD
Torquay United 37 41 -3
Taunton Town 33 40 -11
Welling United 37 40 -16
Truro City 32 38 -7
DARTFORD 37 38 -11
Eastbourne Borough 37 34 -26
Havant and Waterlooville 38 32 -27
Dover Athletic 37 22 -31

Current League Form

Dartford (WLDLLL) Maidstone United  (DLWDLW)
Braintree Town A 1-2 Chelmsford City H 2-0
Torquay United A 1-4 St Albans City H 1-2
Aveley H 1-2 Bath City H 2-2
Taunton Town H 1-1 Dover Athletic A 1-0
Slough Town A 2-3 Aveley A 0-2
Dover Athletic A 2-1 Hemel Hempstead H 1-1

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 46 / Maidstone United wins: 49 / Draws: 19

Last Six Meetings

Maidstone United 2 – 1 Dartford (09/01/2024 – National South)
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)

Statistics

  • Dartford are on their longest winless home run in all competitions against Maidstone United, three draws followed by three defeats. One of those draws ended in a penalty shoot-out loss.
  • In the league, Dartford’s current streak of three without a home victory against the Stones (D2, L1) is their longest since 1922 to 1923 (D2, L1)
  • The Darts set an unbeaten record by either side of eight league games in this fixture between 2008 and 2020 (W6, D2). Since then, Dartford have lost three in a row, a fourth would equal a losing league streak set 122 years ago.

On This Day

Dartford have been beaten on this day on the last three occasions with the most recent against Torquay United in 2019, Jamie Reid scored both goals. In the National League six years earlier, the Darts lost 1-0 at Hyde. The last home match on this day was back in 2010 when Boreham Wood won 2-1, Lee Burns the Dartford goalscorer. Prior those three losses, the Darts had lost just one in ten on 16 March. In 1972 they reached the Kent Senior Cup final with a 2-0 victory against Sheppey United.

Braintree Town v Dartford

Dartford face a tough task in their relegation battle when they cross the Thames to take on Braintree Town on Tuesday night.

The Darts have won just one of their last twelve in the National South. The Iron are unbeaten in their last eleven and occupy a playoff place. Only once have Dartford came home with a victory from Cressing Road and that was twelve years ago.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Braintree Town are six unbeaten in this fixture on home soil, yet Dartford have managed to pick up three draws in their previous four visits. Last season’s trip to Cressing Road saw the Darts pick up a creditable point. Under Angelo Harrop the Iron have an impressive record on their own patch. Blair found the back of the Dartford net again before Jernade Meade netted the equaliser.

Dartford lost the reverse fixture against Braintree Town in November when Aaron Blair hit a double for the Iron. Blair’s brace came in the second-half after Rooney had been sent off for the Darts in the first-half. Baris Altintop was in Dartford’s side four months ago, since then he has returned to the Iron. The 23 year-old made 24 appearances during his half a season with the Darts scoring once.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Ady Pennock named his first lineup as Dartford boss on the weekend with Jordan Greenidge making his first start since rejoining the club from Tonbridge Angels. Joash Nembhard completed his suspension so returned to the side and Tommy Block was back from injury. Former Braintree Town midfielder Luke Allen was in action again after making a substitute appearance. Olly Box missed out from the matchday squad as did Paul Rooney who picked up an injury in Dartford’s last outing. Jordan Wynter was suspended and will serve his second game of his two match ban on Tuesday night. Sam Odaudu was still sidelined.

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Highlights courtesy of Official TUFC TV

A positive start and first half from the Darts included an Fumnaya Shomotun effort that struck the post just three minutes in. However the visitors were unable to take their opportunities in the opening forty five and were arguably the better side. Defensive mistakes led to Dartford unraveling during a four minute collapse in the second half. For a consecutive game the Darts conceded quickfire goals and fell to another defeat. At home to Aveley they let in two late goals in three minutes to give up a one goal lead. This time with the scores level Dartford shipped in three goals in five minutes in a 4-1 loss at Torquay United.

Aaron Jarvis scored a penalty, Arkell Jude-Boyd added a second and a goal by Bradley Ash saw the hosts race ahead. Ibby Akanbi pulled one back for the Darts to record his first goal for the club. To rub salt into the wound, former Dart, Duane Ofori-Acheampong added another to Torquay United’s haul.

With Welling United, Eastbourne Borough and Taunton Town all winning, the Darts are edging ever closer to the relegation zone and are just a point clear of the bottom four.

Team Played Points GD
Welling United 37 40 -16
Truro City 32 38 -7
DARTFORD 36 38 -9
Taunton Town 32 37 -14
Eastbourne Borough 36 33 -26
Havant and Waterlooville 37 29 -28
Dover Athletic 37 21 -31

Braintree Town started the year with a Essex derby defeat to Chelmsford City. The Iron had a sense of deja vu as they suffered the same fate on Boxing Day by losing to the Clarets 3-0 in both festive fixtures. Since then Angelo Harrop’s side have gone unbeaten, are in fifth spot and are on course to reach the playoffs. The Iron currently have a three point cushion over eighth place.

On the weekend they were held to a 1-1 draw against fellow playoff chasers Slough Town. Blair scored in his fourth consecutive match to put the hosts in front. Then Slough Town substitute Trae Cook-Appiah was introduced and levelled for the visitors.

It was the second game running in which Braintree Town picked up a point. A week earlier they drew 2-2 at a rejuvenated Welling United. The Iron came from behind twice in the first-half. The Wings took a tenth minute lead through Jack Burchell. Late in the opening forty-five equalised through Blair Then it was a tale of two penalty kicks, Anthony Grant netted for Welling United and Shaq Coulthirst for the Iron.

Despite not being able to pick up maximum points in each of their last two outings, Braintree Town won seven in a row leading up to the pair of draws. To close February they went to Bath City and claimed a 2-1 victory, the four games before that all ended in 1-0 wins against Worthing, Tonbridge Angels, Torquay United and Chippenham Town. The start of last month began with a convincing 3-0 triumph at home to Dover Athletic and January finished with a 2-1 win versus Truro City.

Current League Form

Dartford (LWLDLL) Braintree Town (WWWWDD)
Torquay United A 1-4 Slough Town H 1-1
Aveley H 1-2 Welling United A 2-2
Taunton Town H 1-1 Bath City A 2-1
Slough Town A 2-3 Worthing A 1-0
Dover Athletic A 2-1 Tonbridge Angels H 1-0
Chippenham Town H 0-1 Torquay United H 1-0

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Braintree Town wins: 9 / Draws: 6

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 0 – 2 Braintree Town (21/11/2023 – National South)
Braintree Town 1 – 1 Dartford (18/02/2023 – National South)
Dartford 4 – 1 Braintree Town (05/11/2022 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Braintree Town (02/05/2022 – National South)
Braintree Town 2 – 2 Dartford (28/12/2021 – National South)
Braintree Town 2 – 1 Dartford (09/01/2021 – National South)

Statistics

  • Dartford have recorded just two victories in the last 15 matches against Braintree Town (D5, L8)
  • The Darts have gone 13 games without a clean sheet against the Iron. Their last clean sheet was in a 0-0 draw in 2013.
  • Jack Smith could make his 50th Dartford appearance. The midfielder has made 41 starts, eight substitute appearances and scored four goals for the club
  • The Iron have won 23, drawn 13 and lost just 4 at home in the National South since Angelo Harrop has been in charge

On This Day

Dartford won five in a row on this day between 1983 and 1997, but since then they have not won in just as many attempts. During the Kent League days, the Darts beat Slade Green twice in the nineties (1994 and 1996) on 12 March before a 1-0 win against Buckingham Town in the Southern League Southern Division in 1997. The only point picked up by Dartford in the last five outings on this day came in a 2-2 draw versus Basingstoke Town 13 years ago. Future Dart, Delano Sam-Yorke scored either side of goals from Ryan Hayes and Danny Harris. The Darts were humbled at home in a 6-1 loss to Barking and East Ham United in 2005. The last two matches on this day have ended in 4-2 defeats against Whitehawk in 2016 and Chippenham Town two years ago.

Torquay United v Dartford

Adrian Pennock takes charge of his first Dartford game this weekend when his new side takes on Torquay United.

The new boss has been keeping an eye on recent performances prior his appointment and will put his knowledge and experience to the test on Saturday. Pennock is looking for a positive approach as the Darts get ready to fight to remain in the National South. A run of just one win in 11 games has left Dartford with ’11 cup finals’ to play according to the former Gillingham and Barrow manager.

Torquay United are on a run akin to the Darts with just one victory in 13 attempts. The Gulls solitary league win in that sequence was against bottom of the table Dover Athletic, the only side Dartford have beaten in the league since Boxing Day. The Gulls have since announced they are struggling financially, have seen Gary Johnson leave the club and replaced in the dugout by Aaron Downes.

Dartford claimed their first ever win over Torquay United in the meeting earlier this season. A 12 minute spell at the end of the first half put the Darts in control. Three players opened their goalscoring account for the club. Richard Chin’s return to the club went perfectly well and he put the hosts in front with a curling shot into the top corner. George Alexander scored on debut with a delightful turn and shot. Finally, Moussa Diarra volleyed his side further ahead in a 3-0 win.

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Match highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

The Darts had four previous failed attempts at victory over the Gulls. The first fixture between the two sides came in August 2014 at Princes Park. Elliot Bradbrook skimmed the top of the crossbar from a penalty in a 0-0 draw. Eight months later at Plainmoor, James McQuilkin broke the deadlock from 20 yards. With eight minutes to go, Jordan Chiedozie equalised from close range.

After both sides were relegated to the National South, in different seasons, their paths crossed again during the 2018/2019 campaign. Torquay United came out on top on both occasions winning 2-0 home and away. At Princes Park, the Gulls went top of the league thanks to two goals in the final quarter of the match. Ruairi Keating crashed a volley into the roof of the net and Jamie Reid sealed maximum points. By the time the reverse fixture came around, Torquay United were battling for the title. Gary Johnson’s side were reduced to ten men as early as the 13th minute when Jean-Yves Koue Niate was sent off. Despite having a man advantage Dartford couldn’t make it count. Instead, Reid scored another two goals against the Darts to complete a double.

The Darts are perilously close to the relegation zone after a late capitulation over a week ago against Aveley. Dartford now have a four-point cushion, but those on their tails have games in hand which could see Pennock’s side drop into the bottom four. The 52-year-old will use his experience and contacts to try and guide his latest club towards safety. He has already secured the return of Jordan Greenidge from Tonbridge Angels. The striker was on loan at Dartford during the 2020/2021 season where he managed six goals in eight appearances.

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Interview courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Once again, crucial points were dropped from a winning position in Dartford’s last outing. In Tony Burman’s last game as interim manager, he made three changes to the starting lineup. Tyrell Miller-Rodney and Olly Box returned to the side at the expense of Maxwell Statham, who picked up a knock and Elliott Romain, whilst Manny Adebowale replaced the suspended Joash Nembhard at the back. Brandon Barzey was named on the bench after recovering from a hamstring injury he picked up over a month ago. Tommy Block, Sam Odaudu and Luke Allen were still on the injury list.

Dartford put in a good performance for most of the game and were rewarded when Fumnaya Shomotun scored his second in as many games. Rooney was forced off injured leaving defensive options dwindling, which Aveley took advantage from. With ten minutes to go and against the run of play Nana Kyei equalised. A couple of minutes later Billy Terrell conceded a penalty and Siju Odelusi completed the turnaround.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Torquay United are facing financial problems off the pitch which has seen them serve notice of their intention to appoint administrators. At present that just means the Gulls are looking to find new owners. However, should the club enter administration then a ten-point deduction and transfer embargo will be imposed. Since the announcement Gary Johnson departed as manager and in his place is Aaron Downes. His first game was against Aveley in which he witnessed a two-goal lead vanish either side of half-time. Aaron Jarvis and Bradley Ash netted their tenth goals of the season to put Torquay United in command. However, Siju Odelusi pulled one back from the spot just before the break. Eduino Vaz equalised early in the second-half to secure a 2-2 draw.

Last weekend Torquay United secured a third consecutive draw in a 1-1 stalemate at Weymouth. Arkell Jude-Boyd scored his first goal for the Gulls to put Torquay United ahead. Once again, Downes’ side let the lead slip and conceded just before half-time when Ezio Touray made it 1-1.

The start of Torquay United’s current run of draws, which also includes a 1-1 stalemate with Farnborough, ended a sequence of five straight defeats against playoff chasing opponents. The Gulls were beaten by Worthing, St Albans City, Maidstone United, Slough Town and Braintree Town. In 2024, the only victory tasted by the Devonshire side was at home versus bottom of the table Dover Athletic. That triumph is their only one in 14 attempts in all competitions stretching back to mid-December.

Torquay United’s current run of form, like Dartford’s is concerning. Only the Devonshire club have a 14-point cushion over the relegation zone and are just ten points away from the playoffs. So, the off-field issues may have a huge impact on how their season pans out. A points deduction will drag them into a battle at the bottom and a fight for survival. Should Torquay United find investors then they are likely to have enough to remain in the National South.

Current League Form

Dartford (LLWLDL) Torquay United (LLLDDD)
Aveley H 1-2 Weymouth A 1-1
Taunton Town H 1-1 Aveley H 2-2
Slough Town A 2-3 Farnborough A 0-0
Dover Athletic A 2-1 Braintree Town A 0-1
Chippenham Town H 0-1 Slough Town H 3-4
Bath City A 0-1 Maidstone United A 2-3

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Torquay United wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 3 – 0 Torquay United (25/11/2023 – National South)
Torquay United 2 – 0 Dartford (16/03/2019 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 2 Torquay United (04/12/2018 – National South)
Torquay United 1 – 1 Dartford (04/04/2015 – National League)
Dartford 0 – 0 Torquay United (23/08/2014 – National League)

Statistics

  • Only Torquay United and Dover Athletic (3) have picked up fewer points in the last eight games than Dartford (4)
  • Goalkeeper, Billy Terrell has yet to keep a clean sheet in his nine appearances since joining the club on loan

On This Day

Dartford have won their last six fixtures on 9 March and are unbeaten in their last ten. The run includes two F.A Trophy quarter-final wins, a Kent Senior Trophy triumph and a Southern League Cup semi-final draw. One of those F.A Trophy victories was on route to reaching Wembley in 1974. Thanks to an own goal, the Darts beat Weymouth 2-1 on the road.

Three years later Dartford drew 1-1 with Kettering Town in the Southern League Cup semi-final first leg. The return fixture at Watling Street finished 4-2 to send the Darts into the final where they beat Yeovil Town 3-1 on aggregate.

In 1996 Dartford had an almighty title tussle with Furness eventually losing out on goal difference. The two sides met on this day in the Kent Senior Trophy semi-final and Dean Bowey scored the winner. Steve Robinson went on to lift the trophy after the Darts beat Chatham Town 3-0 in the final.

Lee Burns scored the winner against Maidstone United in the Isthmian Premier League Kent derby in 2010. The Darts claimed a huge scalp in the National League beating Wrexham 2-1 in 2013. Burman’s side came from behind after Danny Wright opened the scoring at Princes Park. Jack Evans equalised for the hosts and Elliot Bradbrook netted a stoppage time header. Dartford’s last game on this day was four years ago when Phil Roberts scored a stunning volley and Charlie Sheringham converted from the spot.

Dartford v Aveley

Dartford will be searching for a much needed home win in the league when they host Aveley on Tuesday night.

It’s been three months since the Darts won at Princes Park in the National South. However they did manage to pick up a draw in their last outing on their own patch. In his fourth spell in charge, so far Tony Burman has stopped a losing streak and picked up four points in his last three matches. Yet those points are all Dartford have to show from the last 24 available.

Aveley are dreaming of a third consecutive promotion and are hanging just outside the playoff places. The Essex club won the Isthmian Division One North title, the Isthmian Premier playoffs and are now a point from the top seven. Danny Scopes has masterminded the Millers rise and they have lost just once in their last nine league matches.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

During the Bank Holiday August weekend, Dartford played Aveley for the first time since 2010 and came home with a 1-0 win. The Darts had enough chances in the first-half, but the Millers came closest when they hit the crossbar from a free kick. In the second-half Dartford persisted and after a penalty decision was overturned and a goalmouth scramble wasn’t converted they finally broke the deadlock when Harvey Bradbury headed a last minute winner.

Aveley’s last visit to Princes Park was almost 14 years ago. On a day when Dartford were presented with the Isthmian Premier League trophy, the Darts played out a 2-2 draw. Rob Howarth headed in the opener on ten minutes, but the visitors were soon level through Ryan Edgar. Dartford went back in front thanks to a well taken Billy Burgess volley. Aveley found themselves level again seven minutes from time when Sherwin Stanley scored.

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Highlights courtesy of sonytino

In a relegation six pointer on the weekend Dartford could only manage a home draw on Saturday against Taunton Town. New signing Ibby Akanbi made his debut replacing Olly Box in the starting lineup, who had scored three in his first two senior league starts. Tom Clifford kept his place in the side for his home debut. Tyrell Miller-Rodney was back in the squad after serving a one match ban. Elliott Romain made his 50th Dartford appearance in his second spell with the club.

The Darts were on the wrong end of a chaotic few minutes in the first-half. Akanbi was felled in the Taunton Town box, but claims for a penalty were waved away. The visitors went on a counter attack which resulted in Maxwell Statham conceding a spot kick, which Nick Grimes scored. Dartford struggled to get a grip on the game, however against the run of play Luke Coulson put in a cross for Fumnaya Shomotun to level at the far post, his first goal for the Darts. It remained level in the second-half and in the closing stages Alex Wall went close before Grimes was sent off right at the end.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Tony Burman spoke to Dartford FC TV after the game and said: “We haven’t lost and we’ve gained a point, which is a good thing. I thought we played alright again to be fair”, the Dartford boss felt his side could have played with more tempo as the home side and found it hard to breakdown a five man Taunton Town defence. Burman believes the character of his side was a positive from the games, he added: “We’ve gone a goal down and we’ve come back, and that’s a good sign for the future. I’m pleased with the effort again, I can’t fault that, and we have just got to keep believing and get confidence and I’m sure that things will be okay”.

Since Burman’s return to the dugout, the Darts have failed to win at home in the league and on Tuesday night he will be hoping to break that duck, he commented: “It’s very important because we have got to get points. We’ve got two very good sides coming up as well, but they are at the better end of the table, so hopefully the supporters and the team will be up for the game”. Focusing on the fixture against Aveley he added: “It’s going to be a tough game. We’ve got to have an attitude where we have to be nice and positive”.

Brandon Barzey may be in contention to return after recovering from a hamstring injury. Tommy Block and Luke Allen are possibly a week a way from a comeback. Sam Odaudu will be out for a few weeks and Joash Nembhard is facing a suspension for the red card against Slough Town last week.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Aveley have been the surprise package of the National South this season taking some scalps along the way. By early November the Essex side were in second and three points behind league leaders Yeovil Town winning ten of their opening 16 fixtures. After a fantastic start to life in the National South, Aveley went through a sticky spell failing to win any of their next nine picking up just three points in the process. However, the Millers have showed character to get out of a barren run and since Boxing Day they have restored their early season form.

Fresh off the back of beating playoff contenders Hampton and Richmond Borough and Maidstone United, the Millers also faced a West Country side in a spot of bother off the field. News of Torquay United entering into administration and manager Gary Johnson departing wasn’t the ideal preparation for the Devonshire club as they hosted Aveley on the weekend. Yet it was the Gulls who went 2-0 up against Danny Scopes’ side with goals from Aaron Jarvis and Bradley Ash. The Millers were given hope just before half-time when Siju Odelusi pulled a goal back. The visitors were level early in the second-half after Eduino Vaz hit a stunning volley.

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLWLD) Aveley (WDLWWD)
Taunton Town H 1-1 Torquay United A 2-2
Slough Town A 2-3 Maidstone United H 2-0
Dover Athletic A 2-1 Hampton & Richmond A 1-0
Chippenham Town H 0-1 Worthing H 0-3
Bath City A 0-1 Taunton Town A 2-2
Farnborough A 1-2 Eastbourne Borough A 2-1

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 6 / Aveley wins: 2 / Draws: 3

Last Six Meetings

Aveley 0 – 1 Dartford (26/08/2023 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 2 Aveley (17/04/2010 – Isthmian Premier League)
Dartford 4 – 5 Aveley (15/12/2009 – Isthmian League Cup)
Aveley 1 – 4 Dartford (24/10/2009 – Isthmian Premier League)
Aveley 2 – 2 Dartford (29/12/2007 – Isthmian Division One North)
Dartford 3 – 0 Aveley (13/11/2007 – Isthmian League Cup)

Statistics

  • Dartford are unbeaten in the league at home against the Millers (W2, D2)
  • The Darts have lost just one league game versus Aveley (W5, D3) back in 2005
  • In the 11 previous meetings, an average of 4.18 goals a game have been scored in this fixture

On This Day

Danny Harris took home the match ball after bagging a hat-trick on this day in 2012. The Darts recorded a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Basingstoke Town in the National South. Harris scored either side of the interval to give the hosts a two goal lead. The deficit was halved when Stuart Lake netted for the visitors. Tony Garrord added a third for the Darts and Harris completed his treble. Two years earlier Dartford came home with a rare away win at Boreham Wood, Elliot Bradbrook scoring the decisive goal. In 1973, the Darts cruised to the Kent Senior Cup final with a 6-1 triumph over Canterbury City. Dartford went on to win the two legged final beating Folkestone Town 10-4 on aggregate.

Dartford v Taunton Town

Dartford search for their first ever victory over Taunton Town this weekend in a vital National South six pointer at Princes Park.

The Darts eased their worries last weekend with an important derby day win against bottom side Dover Athletic. That put Tony Burman’s side eight points clear of the drop zone until a narrow loss at Slough Town on Tuesday night cut the margin to five.

Taunton Town are closer to the bottom four with off field problems making their task even harder. The Peacocks have slid down the National South table and for now are on the right side of the relegation line by a single point. This week the Somerset club had better news, but still face financial challenges.

In mid-week Burman stuck to the starting eleven that beat Dover Athletic on Saturday. Facing a team 17 home games unbeaten the last thing the Darts needed was to fall behind in the first minute. Nathan Minhas was at the far post to take advantage of a long throw to give Slough Town an early lead. The hosts were in front for just five minutes though. Ollie Box scored on his first senior league start on the weekend and netted another on Tuesday night. The youngster’s excellent beginning to life in the first team continued with a composed finish.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

The Rebels regained their lead when Fumnaya Shomotun conceded a penalty and Johnny Goddard converted. Box’s night got even better to bring Dartford level again with a deft flick. A back and forth first half took another turn approaching half-time. The hosts sent in another long throw, the Darts failed to clear and David Ogbonna made it 3-2. Unfortunately that turned out to be the winning goal and with Joash Nembhard’s late red card, the defender will soon be facing a suspension.

Striker, Ibby Akanbi could make his debut after joining on loan from St Albans City. The 26-year-old has experience in the National South with Kent sides Maidstone United and Tonbridge Angels as well Worthing. Akanbi has also had spells in the National League with Aldershot Town and Dagenham Redbridge. Sam Odaudu, Tommy Block and Luke Allen have all been out injured, Tyrell Miller-Rodney missed the Slough Town defeat through suspension.

Last time the Darts faced Taunton Town was earlier this season. Dartford suffered a narrow defeat down in Somerset which ended an unbeaten run of four. In a close encounter, Dave Sims-Burgess’ goal proved to be decisive for the hosts condemning the Darts to a third consecutive defeat against the Peacocks.

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Highlights courtesy of Taunton Town Football Club

In the only meeting at Princes Park between the two sides back in April 2023, the Peacocks came out on top once again. The visitors started the better and saw Ollie Chamberlain strike the woodwork before Nat Jarvis tapped in the rebound only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. The Darts responded when they hit the post after Allen’s teasing cross and later in the first-half his shot came off the crossbar. Very little happened in the second forty five until Taunton Town’s Cameron Evans netted a winner with three minutes to go.

The reverse fixture in August 2022 ended in a 2-1 loss. Newly promoted Taunton Town came from behind to take all three points down in Somerset. Davide Rodari opened the scoring before Sims-Burgess and Ross Stearn completed the comeback for the Peacocks.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Taunton Town started this season in promising fashion tasting defeat just once in their opening 12 games. By early October they were joint top on points with Yeovil Town and very much the surprise package. Since then the club have been battling to stay afloat as they fell down the league standings. The Peacocks have won just once, a 4-0 home triumph against Farnborough on 9 December, since their excellent start. Now they are winless in 11 and recently against fellow struggling teams, Dover Athletic, Welling United and Truro City they only managed draws. Last weekend the Peacocks were humbled at St Albans City 6-0 stretching their run f failing to score to three matches.

On top of the on field issues the Peacocks have struggled to get home fixtures played and Tuesday night was no exception. Another postponement and with Truro City moving into Wordworth Drive means 20 games need to be crammed in between now and the end of April. Off the field the Somerset were facing a winding up petition from HMRC, had been placed under a transfer embargo and Chairman, Kevin Sturmey has been signed off from work. In January several players departed the club and prior the embargo loan deals and reinforcements from Bridgwater and Taunton College have plugged the gaps. On Wednesday the club released a statement confirming they have settled a HMRC bill and the transfer embargo has been lifted.

The Peacocks will see this weekend’s game as one of three key fixtures coming up. In March they have to travel to Eastbourne Borough after an ‘away’ game against tenants Truro City a fortnight earlier.

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLLWL) Taunton Town (DLDDDL)
Slough Town A 2-3 St Albans City A 0-6
Dover Athletic A 2-1 Truro City H 0-0
Chippenham Town H 0-1 Welling United A 0-0
Bath City A 0-1 Aveley H 2-2
Farnborough A 1-2 Weymouth H 0-2
Weymouth H 0-1 Dover Athletic H 1-1

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 0 / Taunton Town wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Last Six Meetings

Taunton Town 1 – 0 Dartford (09/09/2023 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Taunton Town (13/04/2023 – National South)
Taunton Town 2 – 1 Dartford (20/08/2022 – National South)

Statistics

  • Dartford have lost their last two league games at home. The last time they lost three consecutive league matches at Princes Park was in March 2015 in the National League
  • The Darts have only ever lost three in a row in the National South once. That was in their debut campaign back in 2010/2011
  • Taunton Town were one of three teams to complete the league double over Dartford last season

On This Day

Danny Harris made his 300th start for the club on this day six years ago and celebrated with a 4-1 win against Truro City. Andy Pugh, Alex Brown and Danny Mills all scored before an own goal added a fourth for the Darts. A Kent derby versus Dover Athletic also took place on this day in 2007. Brendon Cass and Mark Green were the scorers in a 2-2 draw at the Crabble in the Isthmian Division One South.

Slough Town v Dartford

Dartford will hope to gain momentum at Slough Town on Tuesday night and end the Rebels outstanding unbeaten home run in the National South.

The Darts earned a morale boosting victory on the weekend in their attempt to pull away from a relegation battle. Slough Town dropped points but still managed to preserve their recent run at home thanks to two late goals.

Dartford secured an important win in the Kent derby relegation six pointer versus Dover Athletic on Saturday. After a run of five straight league defeats, another against the division’s bottom side would have damaged the Darts morale even more. Instead Tony Burman’s held their nerve when it mattered and collected three potentially vital points.

Three changes were made to the starting lineup. Tommy Block and Sam Odaudu were out with injuries picked up in the loss at home to Chippenham Town. In came Tom Clifford to make his debut and Maxwell Statham. Meanwhile academy graduate Olly Box was preferred to the experience of Alex Wall, a decision that paid dividends. Tyrell Miller-Rodney was missing through suspension and Luke Allen has not been involved in a matchday squad since his injury against Welling United at the end of last year. Winger, Brandon Barzey is still recovering from a hamstring injury picked up in the defeat at home to Weymouth.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Dartford created the better chances in the opening exchanges and weren’t threatened by the hosts in the first half. Box crowned his ever first league start for the club with his first league goal. The youngster scored from the edge of the area.

The second-half was a different story as Dover Athletic searched for an equaliser. After hitting the Dartford crossbar, the Whites levelled when Destiny Oladipo finished past. An evenly poised contest was finally settled from the spot. A handball led to the Darts winning a penalty. Luke Coulson held his nerve to score the winner and complete a league double over the Whites for a second year running.

Burman spoke to Dartford FC TV after the game and was relieved his side bagged maximum points, he said: “I’m really pleased for the supporters. I’m pleased for the players as I think they have tried their hardest since I’ve been here. They’ve worked really hard and things just haven’t come off for them. I’m just pleased that for all their efforts over the last few games we’ve actually stopped the run that we were on”. The Dartford boss was also delighted at Box’s first league start, but confirmed he had to substitute the youngster to protect an ankle injury.

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Interview courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Dartford’s first league win in 2024 has provided an eight point cushion over the bottom four. This weekend the Darts face another relegation threatened side in Taunton Town, but first they must focus on getting a positive result against playoff hopefuls Slough Town.

A task made harder by the fact the Rebels went 17 home games unbeaten in all competitions on the weekend. Despite what manager Scott Davies called a poor performance his side came away with a 2-2 draw against Chippenham Town to maintain their incredible run on their own patch. It’s an incredible turnaround for a team that lost six of the opening seven league matches and were bottom with three points when they played the Darts in September.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

A lacklustre performance last time against Slough Town left the Darts losing a lead. Baris Altintop scored his first and only goal in a Dartford shirt to put the hosts in front. However, the Rebels turned the game around when future Darts loanee George Alexander equalised in the twelfth minute. Tyrese Dyce scored the decisive goal which set the Berkshire club on their way to climbing the table. Since the loss to Davies’ side, the Rebels have moved up to tenth in the division and are now just three points away from a playoff place.

Last season the Darts completed a double over Slough Town which included a win at Arbour Park. The Rebels took the lead in the first-half through Josh Jackman and continued to be in front at the interval. In the second-half, Dowson tweaked the side with the introduction of Pierre Fonkeu and that proved pivotal later on. Charlie Sheringham scored to put Dartford on level terms, then Fonkeu won it for the Darts. That secured a fourth consecutive triumph at Arbour Park for Dartford to go with the 6-0 win in April 2022, the penalty shoot-out success in December 2020 and the 3-0 playoff victory in July 2020. At Princes Park just under a year ago, Keiran Murtagh made the difference with an early goal.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Slough Town have showed character to come back from a poor start to the season and on the weekend they had to dig in again. Finding themselves two down against Chippenham Town, the Rebels grabbed a draw after David Ogbonna and Nathan Minhas scored in the 84th and 87th minutes. In their previous outing they were involved in a seven goal thriller at Plainmoor where they beat Torquay United 4-3. Slough Town had to come from behind three times and could have settled for a draw when Dan Bayliss levelled with eight minutes to go. Instead, in injury time Leon Chambers-Parillon netted a winner. Both games featured former Dartford academy defender Temi Eweka, who made three appearances for the senior team. Eweka signed for Slough Town in August from Maidenhead United and was on loan with the Rebels last term.

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLLLW) Slough Town (DLLWWD)
Dover Athletic A 2-1 Chippenham Town H 2-2
Chippenham Town H 0-1 Torquay United A 4-3
Bath City A 0-1 Weston-super-Mare H 2-0
Farnborough A 1-2 Yeovil Town A 1-3
Weymouth H 0-1 Dover Athletic A 0-1
Maidstone United A 1-2 Worthing A 1-1

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 9 / Slough Town wins: 4 / Draws: 3

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 1 – 2 Slough Town (05/09/2023 – National South)
Slough Town 1 – 2 Dartford (25/10/2022 – National South)
Slough Town 0 – 6 Dartford (30/04/2022 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 0 Slough Town (21/08/2021 – National South)
Slough Town 2 – 2 Dartford (15/12/2020 – F.A Trophy)*
Dartford 2 – 0 Slough Town (21/11/2020 – National South)
* – Dartford won 6-5 on penalties

Statistics

  • Dartford have lost just one in eight at Arbour Park (W5, D2)
  • The Darts have won the last two at Slough Town with an aggregate score of 8-1.
  • Slough Town’s 13 home games without defeat in the National South is the second longest streak currently in the division behind Yeovil Town’s 17 matches.

On This Day

Danny Harris made his 200th Dartford appearance and Andy Pugh scored against Eastbourne Borough on this day eight years ago. The Darts trailed when Nathaniel Pinney netted for the Sports, however Dartford responded at Priory Lane with Pugh’s strike. Tom Bradbrook was sent off leaving the Darts hanging on for a point, whilst Elliot Romain was featuring for the Sussex club. Dartford’s last win on this day was a hard thought 3-2 victory at Princes Park versus Ashford Town (Middlesex) in the Isthmian Premier League. An own goal set Dartford on their way, then Harris and Lee Burns added to the tally.

Dover Athletic v Dartford

Dartford have a crucial Kent derby this weekend when they take on Dover Athletic in the National South.

The Darts travel to the Crabble desperate for a win having lost their last five league games. Dartford have yet to record a point during Tony Burman interim spell in charge. Four single goal defeats have left his side in a relegation battle. The Darts are six points clear of the drop but have played more games than the three teams around them in the standings.

Dover Athletic’s woes have continued having just about survived the drop last term. The Whites, who finished last in the National League just under two years ago are bottom again in the National South. Jake Leberl’s side will need to find victories if they are to pull off a great escape.

Tuesday night’s loss at home to Chippenham Town was a missed opportunity for the Darts to put some distance between themselves and the bottom four. Instead, they extended their losing streak to their worst for nine years. It was in that run back in 2015 that Dover Athletic recorded a 6-1 victory over the Darts at the Crabble.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Burman made one change to the side that were beaten 1-0 by Bath City last weekend ahead of the game against Chippenham Town. Midfielder, Jack Smith replaced Tyrell Miller-Rodney, who wasn’t in the matchday squad. In the first-half the Darts were unlucky not to add to their one goal in their last four league games. Several close-range efforts were kept out by the visitors as Dartford looked for an important opener. Instead, it was the Bluebirds who found the winner taking advantage of a defensive mistake in the second-half.

The Dartford boss spoke to Dartford FC TV after the game and said: “We’re obviously disappointed with the result again. We’ve had chances in the first half to maybe at least score one goal. We’ve been really punished severely again for a mistake which has cost us. It seems like when that is happening it’s changing the game for us completely and all confidence and belief drains from us. We didn’t do enough to win the game, but I still think we had enough to get something from it”.

Tommy Block was forced off after half an hour in mid-week with a possible hamstring injury and later in the match Sam Odaudu left the pitch injured. The Darts are also waiting for Luke Allen to return, who has not featured since the end of December. However, Burman has signed Tom Clifford on a month’s loan from King’s Lynn Town. The full back spent his youth in Sidcup before Tottenham Hotspur spotted the left sided player where he played in their academy. Clifford signed his first professional contract with Southend United where he made 67 appearances in the Football League and National League. Loan spells at Bishop’s Stortford and Concord Rangers followed before he joined King’s Lynn Town in August. Manny Adebowale and Paul Rooney could also face their former club.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

On Bank Holiday August Dartford won the reverse fixture against Dover Athletic at Princes Park. James Golding and Lewis Manor scored in a game that the hosts controlled. Golding stabbed home from close range and Manor headed past Billy Terrell, now Dartford’s goalkeeper. Luke Coulson could have made it three, but missed a penalty.

Last season the Darts completed a double over Dover Athletic which included a 3-1 win at the Crabble. All the goals came in the first-half with Samir Carruthers getting the first, Coulson added a second and Maxwell Statham a third. Just before half-time the Whites pulled a goal back through Luke Baptiste. At Princes Park, Harvey Bardbury had the hosts ahead before Jordan Higgs equalised. With seven minutes remaining Allen popped up for the Darts to score the winner. 

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Dover Athletic have conceded nine goals in their last two outings and six of those were against Worthing last weekend. In a ten goal thriller the Whites put up a fight versus the playoff contenders and league’s top scorers. In the Dover Athletic goal was former Dartford keeper Daniel Jinadu. The Rebels moved into a three goal lead prior the Whites scoring twice before the interval, George Wilkinson and Baptiste scoring the goals. Worthing’s Ollie Pearce completed a hat-trick and added his fourth to put the hosts 6-2 ahead. Yet again Dover Athletic threatened to comeback as Wilkinson netted again and in injury time Archie Hatcher made it 6-4.

A week earlier Dover Athletic lost 3-0 at Braintree Town, however they did win in their last league game at the Crabble. The Whites beat Slough Town thanks to a George Nikaj goal. The Whites who started the campaign with Mitch Brundle in charge have only recorded three victories in the National South. However, they have drawn the most in the division and have only lost six out of 16 at home.

Current League Form

Dartford (DLLLLL) Dover Athletic (DLLWLL)
Chippenham Town H 0-1 Worthing A 4-6
Bath City A 0-1 Braintree Town A 0-3
Farnborough A 1-2 Slough Town H 1-0
Weymouth H 0-1 Tonbridge Angels H 1-2
Maidstone United A 1-2 Torquay United A 0-1
Weston-super-Mare A 2-2 Taunton Town A 1-1

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 17 / Dover Athletic wins: 11 / Draws: 12

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 2 – 0 Dover Athletic (28/08/2023 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Dover Athletic (10/04/2023 – National South)
Dover Athletic 1 – 3 Dartford (13/09/2022 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Dover Athletic (08/03/2022 – Kent Senior Cup)
Dover Athletic 1 – 2 Dartford (13/12/2016 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 1 – 1 Dover Athletic (10/12/2016 – F.A Trophy)

Statistics

  • Dartford have won seven of the last nine league games against Dover Athletic (D1, L1).
  • The Dart have won the last five matches in all competitions against the Whites, a record run against their opponents.
  • The Darts have won just three times in the league at the Crabble in 10 attempts (D4, L3)

On This Day

Dartford have won their last two away games on this day with the last victory coming six years ago. The Darts beat Wealdstone 2-1 in the National South but had to leave it late. The Stones were reduced to ten men when Iffy Allen, now part of Dover Athletic’s squad was sent off. Despite the man advantage, the Darts fell behind. Then two goals in three minutes from Danny Mills and Alfie Pavey kept Dartford top of the league. In 1996, the Darts made a short trip to Corinthian where they won their Kent League fixture 3-0. Dartford have met Dover Athletic on this day before back in 1990. The Southern Premier League fixture finished 1-1. Twelve years before Dover folded, the Darts won 3-1 in a Kent Floodlight Cup fixture.

Dartford v Chippenham Town

Dartford have the opportunity to close the gap on their opponents Chippenham Town on Tuesday night.

The Darts are just two places above the bottom four and four points behind the Bluebirds with a game in hand. However, Tony Burman’s side are also looking over their shoulder and hoping to put some distance between those below them in the table.

Dartford are on their worst league run in eight years and bottom of the form guide. Just six points above the relegation zone, the Darts need to turn recent improved performances into much needed points. Chippenham Town are not in the greatest form themselves. The Bluebirds have won one of their last eight and haven’t tasted victory on the road this year.

Tony Burman seems to be getting closer to his first points since returning to the dugout. In each of the three league games he has been in charge, the Darts have lost by a single goal. On the weekend it was Bath City’s turn to benefit. Burman made one change to his side that started the 2-1 reverse at Farnborough. In came new loan signing and familiar face Elliott Romain. The striker joins on loan from Isthmian Premier side Horsham to start his second spell with the Darts. Previously the 32-year-old scored 16 times in 45 appearances for Dartford before leaving in June 2020. The match was decided when goalkeeper, Billy Terrell made a mistake and despite Joash Nembhard’s effort to clear the ball off the line, Cody Cooke tucked home the ninth minute winner for Bath City.

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Interview courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Burman spoke to Dartford FC TV after the game and said: “In the first half we wasn’t that great. We got caught on the ball trying to play out from the back. Bath should have increased their lead as we were not organised in the first half. We came out second half and had a great response from the players. I thought we put enough pressure on Bath to equalise”. The second-half provides optimism and with three struggling sides to play in the next their next four outings, the Darts will be hoping their luck will change. The Dartford boss added: “We need something to change and hopefully you can just believe and hope that things will go our way”.

After two difficult fixtures on the road, the Darts will be determined to make home advantage count and help them end their current run. At Princes Park they have drawn two and lost one of their previous three in the National South. Dartford’s last home win in the league was their joint biggest in the competition this season, against Torquay United in late November.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Victory on Tuesday night will complete a double over Chippenham Town. When the Darts travelled to Wiltshire in early October they beat the Bluebirds 4-1. Harvey Bradbury scored a couple of penalties to put Dartford in control at Hardenhuish Park. A third was added before half-time when Brandon Barzey was rewarded for his endeavour and his first goal for the club. Owen Windsor pulled a goal back, but Joshua Johnson sealed the win. Maxwell Statham was sent off after picking up two yellow cards.

Chippenham Town last visited Princes Park just over a year ago. Jack Smith scored and assisted for the hosts in a 2-0 win for the hosts. The midfielder opened the scoring in the second minute. Later on, Smith set up Luke Allen to put the game to bed.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

The Bluebirds have failed to score in their last two outings. On the weekend they were beaten with a former Dart scoring the winner. Fifteen minutes from time Braintree Town grabbed the only goal of the game when Tom Blackwell’s corner was headed home by Baris Altintop.

Just over a week ago, Gary Horgan’s side were in Kent and went home with nothing to show. Kodi Lyons-Foster put Tonbridge Angels in front before Sean Shields added a second. Prior their two match losing streak, the Bluebirds beat Havant and Waterlooville and picked up creditable draws against Torquay United and Aveley.

Current League Form

Dartford (DDLLLL) Chippenham Town (LDDWLL)
Bath City A 0-1 Braintree Town H 0-1
Farnborough A 1-2 Tonbridge Angels A 0-2
Weymouth H 0-1 Havant & Waterlooville H 1-0
Maidstone United A 1-2 Torquay United H 1-1
Weston-super-Mare A 2-2 Aveley A 2-2
Welling United H 1-1 Hemel Hempstead H 2-3

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 6 / Chippenham Town wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Last Six Meetings

Chippenham Town 1 – 4 Dartford (07/10/2023 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 0 Chippenham Town (11/02/2023 – National South)
Chippenham Town 2 – 1 Dartford (03/09/2022 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 0 Chippenham Town (12/05/2022 – National South Playoff)*
Chippenham Town 4 – 2 Dartford (12/03/2022 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 3 Chippenham Town (06/11/2021 – National South)
* Chippenham Town won 3-2 on penalties

Statistics

  • Dartford’s clean sheet in the home fixture last season was their first against Chippenham Town since the first meeting in September 2017
  • Dartford are unbeaten in three home league matches against the Bluebirds (W1, D2)
  • In normal time the Darts have only lost once at Princes Park against the Wiltshire side (W2, D3). Chippenham Town added a penalty shoot-out win in May 2022 to their solitary league victory in April 2019
  • Dartford last lost five league games in a row during the 2014/2015 National League campaign. The run started on Boxing Day 2014 until 17 January 2015.

On This Day

Dartford have won their last three league games on this day with the last coming 14 years ago. During the Isthmian Premier League title winning campaign, the Darts brushed Tonbridge Angels aside at Longmead. Ryan Johnson, Danny Harris, Elliot Bradbrook and Rob Haworth scored in a 4-1 win. In another title chasing season the Darts beat Crockenhill 1-0 in 1996, but ended up runners up of the Kent League on goal difference. The same end of season fate happened to Dartford in 1988. The Darts beat Shepshed Charterhouse 5-1 that year on 13 February and went on to finish second by four goals. Hopefully goal difference won’t be a factor this term.

Bath City v Dartford

Dartford chase their first league win under interim manager Tony Burman this weekend when they visit playoff chasers Bath City in the National South.

The Darts have lost both league fixtures since Burman’s return to the dugout. His side were second best at home to Weymouth a fortnight ago. Last weekend an improved performance saw Dartford narrowly lose down at Farnborough. However, two county cup victories have given players plenty of opportunity to impress and regain some confidence.

Bath City have won their last two National South matches and occupy the final playoff spot. The Romans have games in hand over the teams above them and hope to put some distance between them and those below the dotted line.

Winless in five league outings, the first time since the start of the 2019/2020 campaign, Dartford have sunk to nineteenth and are just six points clear of the relegation zone. The squad has been hampered by the loss of strikers with Harvey Bradbury, Lewis Manor and George Alexander all leaving recently.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Yet the Kent Senior Cup may have been a welcome distraction and has offered Burman a silver lining. In the 3-2 home win over Sevenoaks Town, Fumnaya Shomotun was impressive for the Oaks, so much so that Burman signed the former Barnet winger. The 26-year-old received plaudits in his debut against Farnborough Town and was lively against Queens Park Rangers Development Team in the London Senior Cup.

Six changes were made to the side that lost 2-1 at Farnborough. Academy graduates, Ashton Day was given his senior debut and Olly Box made his second career start for the Darts. Tom Wray and Sam Odaudu made up five players who featured having come through the academy ranks, George Whitefield who made a substitute appearance. Box netted in the Kent Senior Cup game a week earlier and this time he scored the equaliser that took QPR’s youngsters to penalties. The Darts progressed winning 5-4 from the spot and set up a last eight tie with Cray Wanderers.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Whilst Dartford’s attack was potent last time they met Bath City, their defence was leaky in an entertaining 3-3 draw on the opening day at Princes Park. Former manager, Alan Dowson handed out eight debuts to a new look team. One of those debutants, Tyrell Miller-Rodney grabbed the first goal of the season. Captain, Luke Coulson led by example by putting the Darts two up. In the space of three second-half minutes Bath City were level through Ewan Clark and then Scott Wilson. Coulson netted again and despite the Romans being reduced to ten men they equalised once more courtesy of a stunning effort by Jordan Thomas.

Dartford’s previous visit to Twerton Park was more successful. Last season’s opening fixture ended with a 2-1 victory. Pierre Fonkeu’s double brought back all three points. However, it took until 65 minutes to open his account capitalising on goalkeeper, Dan Wilks’ long ball. Five minutes later the striker made it two from close range after applying pressure on Bath City’s defence. The reverse fixture at Princes Park finished 0-0.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Bath City were looking for their first win of 2024 when this fixture was due to take place last month. The Romans won on Boxing Day beating Chippenham Town on the road. The return fixture on New Year’s Day finished goalless and then they were beaten by Yeovil Town and Slough Town. The Romans were also knocked out in the fourth round of the F.A Trophy by Coalville Town.

Since then, Bath City have regained their stride with a pair of 1-0 victories. Cody Cooke scored his 12th league goal of the season in the away triumph over Weston-super-Mare. Four days later Clark was the match winner in the home win against Eastbourne Borough.

Current League Form

Dartford (WDDLLL) Bath City (WDLLWW)
Farnborough A 1-2 Eastbourne Borough H 1-0
Weymouth H 0-1 Weston-super-Mare A 1-0
Maidstone United A 1-2 Slough Town H 1-2
Weston-super-Mare A 2-2 Yeovil Town A 0-2
Welling United H 1-1 Chippenham Town H 0-0
Welling United A 1-0 Chippenham Town A 2-1

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 37 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 22

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 3 – 3 Bath City (05/08/2023) – National South)
Dartford 0 – 0 Bath City (10/12/2022 – National South)
Bath City 0 – 2 Dartford (06/08/2022 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 0 Bath City (19/02/2022 – National South)
Bath City 0 – 0 Dartford (27/11/2021 – F.A Trophy)*
Bath City 1 – 3 Dartford (04/09/2021 – National South)
* – Dartford won 5-3 on penalties

Statistics

  • The Darts have lost just once in their last 15 league games against the Romans (W11, D3)
  • In those 15 league games Dartford have kept ten clean sheets
  • In the league, the Darts have lost just one of their last eight at Twerton Park (W5, D2) and have won in five of their last six visits there.
  • Dartford have lost three consecutive league games, they have not lost four in a row in the National South since March 2016.

On This Day

Dartford have played 21 times on 10 February and have lost just three. The Darts have won 14 of their fixtures on this day with the last victory coming in 2007. Steve Hafner and Brad Potter scored as the Darts beat Sittingbourne in the Isthmian Division One South. Dartford’s last outing was a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Chelmsford City six years ago, Ryan Hayes scoring against the Clarets. On the road, Dartford have won six, drawn three and lost one on 10 February.

Dartford v Queens Park Rangers

Dartford will be hoping to progress into the last eight of the London Senior Cup for a third year in a row when they host a Queens Park Rangers development side on Tuesday night.

The Darts won their last county cup tie in the Kent competition beating Sevenoaks Town a week ago. Victory against the Oaks booked a place in the semi-final. That winning feeling didn’t last long though as they fell to defeat on the weekend at Farnborough in the National South.

Tony Burman made six changes to the side won in the Kent Senior Cup. Coming straight into the side, Fumnaya Shomotun made his debut after lining up against the Darts as a Sevenoaks Town player. Tommy Block made his first league appearance since the end of August. Approaching the National South fixture, both Dartford and Farnborough were without a win in four league matches, Boro were looking for their first points of 2024.

It was all square at the break, but five minutes into the second-half Farnborough won a penalty at Cherrywood Road. Aaron Kuhl stepped up and scored from 12 yards. The lead lasted just two minutes as the Darts got back on level terms. Tyrell Miller-Rodney scored his third goal for the club. However, Burman’s side were unable to hold on and with 12 minutes remaining Reggie Young scored the winner for Boro. Dartford have now gone five league games without a win for the first time since the start of the 2019/2020 season under Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle.

The Darts made it to round two of the London Senior Cup back in September. Drawn against Harrow Borough of the Isthmian Premier League, Dartford won 1-0. That was Block’s last start for the Darts before his return on the weekend. Despite the low scoreline Dartford were dominant, but still had to rely on an own goal by Borough’s Henry Lukombo.

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Match highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

QPR under 21’s are going strong in the Premier League Professional Development division under former player Paul Furlong. The R’s are unbeaten in their last eight league matches and have not lost at home. Sitting in third place they are two points away from Sheffield United under 21’s and six points behind Birmingham City under 21’s, although they have three games in hand over the Blues.

A week ago, QPR’s development side beat Cardiff City under 21’s with a couple of second half strikes from Harry Murphy and Micah Anthony. Their league victory came after making it through the first round of the London Senior Cup at Corinthian Casuals. The R’s included first team player Albert Adomah in the line up against the Isthmian Premier League side. Whilst Murphy and Anthony found the back of the net again, Lorent Talla and Arkell Jude-Boyd also got themselves on the scoresheet in a 4-1 win.

Current Form

Dartford (DDLLWL) QPR Development Team (WDDLWW)
Farnborough A 1-2 Cardiff City U21 A 2-0
Sevenoaks Town (KSC) H 3-2 Corinthian Casuals (LSC) A 4-1
Weymouth H 0-1 Exeter City U21 (Fr) H 1-2
Maidstone United A 1-2 Ipswich Town U21 A 3-3
Weston-super-Mare A 2-2 Swansea City U21 A 0-0
Welling United H 1-1 Colchester United U21 A 6-3

KSC – Kent Senior Cup / LSC – London Senior Cup / Fr – Friendly

Statistics

  • This will be the third campaign in the London Senior Cup for the Darts. On the previous two occasions they reached the quarter-finals.
  • Dartford have won five of their seven London Senior Cup ties scoring 19 and conceding six
  • The Darts have kept four clean sheets in the London Senior Cup and only failed to score once, versus Brentford B, another development team

On This Day

Dartford have progressed in four of their five cup games on this day. The last was 11 years ago which sent the Darts to within a two legged tie of Wembley. In the F.A Trophy last eight replay against FC Halifax Town. After falling behind before the break, two goals in as many minutes had Dartford ahead. First, Lee Noble equalised and then Elliot Bradbrook scored. Ryan Hayes scored a trademark curler, but the Darts were hanging on after the Shaymen netted late. In 1982, Dartford were knocked out of the same competition at the second round stage losing 2-0 versus Northwich Victoria. Other cup ties on this day include a 4-0 win at Tonbridge in the 1979 Eastern Floodlit Cup quarter-final, a 1-0 Kent Senior Cup victory against Bromley in 1935 and a 4-0 triumph in the Chatham Charity Cup last eight in 1909 at home to Sheppey United.

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