Dartford make their long-awaited London Senior Cup debut on Tuesday night with a home tie against Essex League club Athletic Newham.
Last season the Darts pulled out of the competition after their season was halted, but the cup did finally conclude in May. It is expected that this year’s edition of the London Senior Cup will provide Dartford with an extra opportunity to rotate their squad, now they have more depth than previous campaigns.
Goalkeeper Craig King has been limited to one game this term, whilst others like Luke Wanadio, George Porter, Luke Allen, Ronnie Vint have started less than half of the league matches so far. Steve King confirmed in an interview with Dartford FC TV last week he will use “players that need minutes”, he also said: “We’re going to get some third years in as well, one’s that are too old for the F.A Youth Cup game the following night”. Jake Robinson has been out with injury and will need more time to recover, Jordan Wynter is likely to be rested after playing with a groin strain over the last few matches and Jake Jebb missed Dartford’s last game after picking up an achilles injury.
The Darts won their last cup match beating Hythe Town 5-1 in the F.A Cup and on the weekend they demolished Welling United in the National South. Ade Azeez made it nine goals in eight games for the club with a hat-trick in the cup and another two against the Wings, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if the striker is given a rest. Noor Husin opened the scoring within a minute on Saturday before Azeez and Danny Leonard gave Dartford a three goal lead going into the break. In his first league start of the season, Luke Allen netted a brace within a two minute spell, then Azeez rounded off a memorable afternoon with number six. Dartford have now scored eleven goals in their last two games, something they last did when they went on to win the Isthmian Premier League.
Dartford’s confidence is at a high and King described his side’s performance in the 6-0 derby demolition of Welling United as “something special”, he commented: “That was the best we’ve ever played across a ninety minutes. The amount of chances we created, that should have been double figures. Some of that football was top level”.
Athletic Newham were only formed six years ago as a youth team and began their quest into senior football a year later by joining the Essex Alliance Football League. The Kings won promotion to the Essex Senior League last term based on results of the last two abandoned seasons.
In 2019/2020, the Kings were in second place in the Eastern Counties Division One South. The London based club were in a strong position, five points behind with three games in hand. Last term they were second again and point behind the leaders, but enough to move up a division. Athletic Newham have started life in the Essex Senior League with six wins, three draws and two defeats and are amongst the league’s top scorers with 28 goals, Richard Kone impressing with 17 goals in his first ten games. The striker sparked interest from Billericay Town in the summer before landing a trial with Colchester United.
In their last league outing, Athletic Newham had to switch the venue to their opponents Redbridge, who they already played earlier in the season, and for a second meeting in a row the pair drew 2-2. That result came off the back of a 3-1 home win over Saffron Walden Town and their only league defeat in eight against league leaders Stansted. There was a period earlier in the campaign where goals flowed, the Kings racked up 16 in four games losing 6-3 to Takeley before beating Southend Manor 4-3, St Margaretsbury 6-1 and Ilford 3-2.
The Kings have already had some cup experience this term having made history in the F.A Cup. Making their debut in the competition they won their preliminary round tie 3-1 versus Virginia Water in a replay. In the next round Athletic Newham went out to Hanwell Town losing 5-0.
Head to Head
No previous meetings
|Hythe Town (FAC)||H||5-1||Saffron Walden Town||H||3-1|
|Bath City||A||3-1||Little Oakley||A||1-1|
- Dartford’s 6-0 away win over Welling United is their biggest on the road since 1997 against Clevedon Town in the Southern League South.
- Last time the Darts scored five or more in consecutive games was 2009 (won 5-0 versus Hendon in Isthmian Premier League then 6-1 against Chipstead in the F.A Cup).
- Dartford have not scored five or more goals in three consecutive games since 1975 (the Darts beat Crawley Town 10-0, drew with Stourbridge 5-5 and defeated Hillingdon Borough 5-0).
On This Day
Dan Roberts scored a brace two years ago, unfortunately it sparked a come back for Slough Town as the Darts threw away a two goal lead to lose 3-2. Charlie Sheringham then Josh Hill scored in a two minute first half spell, but Roberts pulled a goal back almost immediately. Roberts equalised in the second half and Matthew Lench scored the winner. Tuesday night will be the eighth consecutive home game on this day, the Darts winning three and losing four of the last seven. Adam Birchall was the match winner in 2013 as he netted the only goal of the game versus Southport in the National League. Dartford’s last cup match on this day was a 2-1 F.A Cup second qualifying round home defeat against Staines Town in 1997. Dartford did win their last away fixture on 28 September at the same stage of the F.A Cup back in 1991 winning 1-0 over Ford United.