Dartford are eyeing up a seventh straight National South win when they travel to St Albans City this weekend.
Alan Dowson has guided the Darts up to third place after recording their best winning run in the league for four and half years. Last time on their travels, the Dartford boss recorded back-to-back away victories for the first time since joining the club and is hoping for three in a row on Saturday. After six years in charge of St Albans City, Ian Allinson stepped down from his role and head coach at the end of last month with the Saints in fifteenth. Interim Head Coach, David Noble has since moved the Hertfordshire club up into ninth after an unbeaten start.
Four points behind top spot, Dartford are top of the form guide over the last six fixtures and will head into their trip to Clarence Park with confidence. The Darts opened last season with an away day at St Albans City and it turned out to be a great start to the campaign. Scoring at the end of both halves wrapped up a satisfying afternoon. Ade Azeez headed home a Danny Leonard cross just before the interval. Former Dartford and now ex-St Albans City defender, Tom Bender levelled the game. Dan Roberts was introduced, and it proved pivotal when he scored twice in the closing stages to earn a 3-1 win. Victory in Hertfordshire made it two in a row at St Albans, a place the Darts previously struggled to get a result. The reverse fixture finished the same with Dartford running out 3-1 winners. Kieran Murtagh put on a fine display scoring twice and setting up Marcus Dinanga.
The squad is almost at full strength now Sam Odaudu has returned and with Luke Coulson taking part in Tuesday night’s London Senior Cup tie. Dartford beat Isthmian South Central side Tooting and Mitcham United 1-0 with the winning goal coming from Alex Wall, his second of the season. George Whitefield signed a first team contract after catching Dowson’s eye in the academy and he was rewarded with a debut. Afo Soyemi-Ololade also made his first appearance coming on as a substitute. Dan Wilks is still recovering from an ankle injury which has allowed Joe Young a loan stint in goal.
Dartford have scored two in each of their last five league games and one player adding goals to his creativity is Samir Carruthers, the midfielder has netted six times in his last seven appearances scoring in each of his last three outings. Last weekend at Princes Park he gave the Darts the lead against Tonbridge Angels directly from a corner. Pierre Fonkeu doubled Dartford’s advantage before the away side missed a penalty resulting in a 2-0 Kent derby win. Carruthers also opened the scoring in the 2-1 triumphs at Dulwich Hamlet and at home versus Eastbourne Borough during his scoring spree.
Under David Noble’s stewardship, St Albans City are unbeaten in October with three wins and a draw, one of those victories came in the Hertfordshire Senior Cup. Noble will be pleased with a defence that has been breached just once since he took charge recording three clean sheets. Only Chelmsford City have conceded fewer in the league, but at the other end the Saints have scored less than a goal a game, in fact only five goals in six matches have been witnessed in the league at Clarence Park this term.
However, they were no lack of goals last weekend when St Albans City made the trip to Kent to take on Welling United. A comfortable afternoon saw the Hertfordshire side win 3-0 with last season’s top scorer Shaun Jeffers starting the ball rolling. Zane Banton took advantage of a goalkeeping error which allowed him to put into an empty net from 30 yards and the third came from Jeffers for his second of the day. Victory at Park View Road followed up the 1-0 home win over Concord Rangers in which Joe Neal scored the winner. In Noble’s first league game in charge, the Saints drew 1-1 with Chippenham Town and before that they beat London Colney 2-0 in the senior cup, the interim Head Coach’s first match at the helm.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 11 / St Albans City wins: 6 / Draws: 5
Current League Form
|St Albans City
|Tonbridge Angels||H||2-0||Welling United||A||2-0|
|Dulwich Hamlet||A||2-1||Concord Rangers||H||1-0|
|Hungerford Town||H||2-0||Chippenham Town||H||1-1|
|Eastbourne Borough||H||2-1||Braintree Town||A||0-1|
|Hampton & Richmond||H||2-1||Farnborough||A||2-1|
Last Six Meetings
Dartford 3 – 1 St Albans City (23/04/2022 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 3 Dartford (14/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 St Albans City (17/11/2020 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 2 Dartford (07/03/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 St Albans City (06/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 St Albans City (12/01/2019 – National South)
- Dartford have lost just one of the last six against St Albans City (W4, D1) having won just one of the previous six (D0, L5)
- On the road, Dartford have won in their last two visits to St Albans City having lost the previous four with and aggregate score of 0-11.
- Dartford have gone 19 games without a league draw for the first time since the 2016/2017 season.
On This Day
Brendon Cass stole the show in the F.A Trophy first qualifying round on this day in 2006. The striker helped himself to four goals as Dartford eased to victory against Horsham YMCA. Eddie McClements opened the scoring and Ryan Hayes scored with his trademark curler in a trophy tie that ended up 6-0 to the Darts. Most recently, Luke Wanadio scored the only goal of the game as Dartford went away to Bath City and won in 2016. Dartford’s last game at Princes Park on 22 October ended in defeat against Truro City. The visitors were two goals up after just seven minutes. Tom Bonner pulled a goal back after scoring a rebound, but the Darts couldn’t complete their comeback.