Tag: Ebbsfleet United

Dartford v Ebbsfleet United

Dartford’s rescheduled North Kent derby takes place on Tuesday night with the prospect of overtaking their rivals Ebbsfleet United in the National South.

The Darts will be desperate to avenge the New Year defeat when they host their local rivals and maintain their unbeaten home record. Last month the Fleet came away with a 1-0 victory thanks to a late strike from Ben Chapman. In Steve King and Dennis Kutrieb’s second North Kent derby it was another tight affair, the first meeting between the two ended goalless. Whilst Dartford created some great opportunities, Ebbsfleet United were good on the ball and Chapman’s winner was enough for the Fleet.

You can catch all the Dartford highlights on Dartford FC TV

The home side has dominated this fixture over the years with just one away victory recorded in the last 13 meetings since Gravesend and Northfleet became Ebbsfleet United in 2007. Dartford’s last victory against their rivals was on Boxing Day just over five years ago when Tom Bonner opened the scoring against his former club and Duane Ofori-Acheampong added a second, Anthony Cook scored Fleet’s consolation. The return fixture ended 1-0 to Ebbsfleet United on New Year’s Day. The sides had to wait another four years to meet again, the 0-0 draw in January last year.

When this fixture was due to take place on Boxing Day there was a three-way tie at the summit of the National South, which included these two local rivals. Due to the number of Covid cases in the Ebbsfleet United camp the match was postponed. A lot can change in a month and now Dartford are ten points behind the leaders whilst Ebbsfleet United have fallen seven points behind top spot and sit in fourth, one place ahead of the Darts but with an inferior goal difference.  

On the weekend, Dartford approached their away trip to Tonbridge Angels on the back of a six game winless run in the National South, although they did beat Weymouth in the F.A Trophy during that time. Finally the league streak was broken and the Darts claimed a 3-2 victory thanks to a terrific Danny Leonard brace to take him to seven goals in all competitions and another Jack Jebb free-kick. Although Dartford found their goalscoring form by hitting three in the league for the first time in a couple of months, the Angels didn’t give in. First the hosts halved the deficit to 2-1 and right at the end they pulled a goal back, then had an effort cleared off the line. Leonard was later substituted in the match after a head injury and Ade Azeez came off after what looked like a hamstring issue.

You can catch all the Dartford highlights on Dartford FC TV

With the departure of defender Ronnie Vint, Josh Hill’s long term injury and Connor Essam missing after picking up a knock against Concord Rangers, new loan signing Korey Roberts made his debut after coming in from National League side Bromley. Dartford boss, Steve King shuffled the midfield with Tyrique Hyde, Leonard and Kieran Murtagh making the starting line up. In form striker, Jake Robinson made a substitute appearance, perhaps being rested for the North Kent derby.

Dartford have managed one Kent derby win in the league this season, the 6-0 thrashing of Welling United, that came two weeks after the 1-1 home draw with Tonbridge Angels. Since then, the Darts have lost to Ebbsfleet United and Maidstone United without scoring. Although, Dartford did beat the Stones in the F.A Cup and claimed victories against Hythe Town in the Kent Senior Cup and Cray Wanderers in the F.A Trophy. Ebbsfleet United have so far won three and lost three of their Kent derbies. Aside from the victory in the reverse fixture against the Darts, the Fleet recorded big wins against Tonbridge Angels (5-1) on the opening day and Welling United (6-0) in November. Ebbsfleet United went out of the F.A Trophy to Cray Wanderers on penalties, but their nemesis this term is Maidstone United who completed a double over the Fleet.

After a 3-2 home loss against the Stones in November, Kutrieb’s side fell to a second defeat against their Kent rivals a week ago. This time it was 4-0 at the Gallagher Stadium, Joan Luque’s penalty, George Fowler and a Sam Corne brace condemned Fleet to a second heavy defeat in a row completing a tough week, not only for Kutrieb but for Sefa Kahraman too. Both Kutrieb and Kahraman were sent off at the Gallagher Stadium, a second match in a row for the latter. Three days earlier, the defender left his side down to ten men for 73 minutes against league leaders Dorking Wanderers, the Fleet were hammered 5-1.

On the weekend, Ebbsfleet United needed to bounce back at home to Hampton and Richmond Borough, who had recently drawn 2-2 with the Darts. The Fleet recorded a 1-0 victory against the Beavers with the winning strike from Will Wood. Ebbsfleet United were pleased to see the return of Joe Martin considering Kahraman began his suspension and Sido Jombati’s injury at Dorking Wanderers. Former Dart, Elliott Romain made a start after fellow striker Rakish Bingham looks to have picked up a long tern injury. Romain made the short journey to Stonebridge Road in the summer after two campaigns at Princes Park. The striker scored 15 in his debut season and added one more last term making 45 appearances in total for the Darts.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 66 / Ebbsfleet United wins: 56 / Draws: 33

Current League Form

Dartford
(DLDDDW)
    Ebbsfleet United
(DWWLLW)
   
Tonbridge Angels A 3-2 Hampton and Richmond H 1-0
Concord Rangers H 0-0 Maidstone United A 0-4
Hampton and Richmond H 2-2 Dorking Wanderers A 1-5
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-1 Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-1
Ebbsfleet United A 0-1 Dartford H 1-0
Braintree Town A 2-2 Billericay Town H 0-0

Previous Meetings (last six)

Ebbsfleet United 1 – 0 Dartford (02/01/2022 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 0 Ebbsfleet United (02/01/2021 – National South)
Ebbsfleet United 1 – 0 Dartford (01/01/2017 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Ebbsfleet United (26/12/2016 – National South)
Ebbsfleet United 1 – 1 Dartford (28/03/2016 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Ebbsfleet United (31/08/2015 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford have won six of their last nine home league games against Ebbsfleet United, drawing two and losing the other
  • The 0-0 draw in the corresponding fixture last term was Dartford’s first league clean sheet against the Fleet since the 5-0 New Years Day victory in 1992.
  • Dartford are 15 games unbeaten at home in all competitions this season, the best home run from the start of a campaign since 2011/12 when they were unbeaten in the first 14 home matches.
  • The Darts are three unbeaten home matches away from equalling the record of 18 home games without a defeat from the start of a season, set in 1908/1909 (competitive matches only). In that campaign Dartford remained unbeaten at home with 17 wins and a draw.

On This Day

Dartford blew away Chippenham Town on their own patch inside the first forty minutes two years ago. Darren McQueen’s spot kick got the goal rush underway and within five minutes Liam Nash and a skillful Amrit Bansal-McNulty finish put the Darts 3-1 up. McQueen found the back of the net again and an own goal left the final score 5-1, all goals in the first half. Victory was the fourth in a row in this day, the previous three all 1-0 wins at home. In 2011, Elliot Bradbrook scored the winner against Braintree Town in the National South, in 1999 the Darts beat Chelmsford City and two years earlier Cinderford Town both in the Southern League South. Stretching back to 1969, Dartford have won seven, drawn one and lost one on 1 February, the previous nine between 1896 and 1964 resulted in just two victories and seven defeats.

Ebbsfleet United v Dartford

One of four teams could end up top of the National South by the end of the weekend. Two of those sides go head to head when Dartford visit local rivals Ebbsfleet United in the North Kent derby.

After the Boxing Day fixture at Princes Park was postponed, the Darts travel to Stonebridge Road knowing a first league away win against the Fleet in 42 years will give them the upper hand over their rivals. Dartford have picked up five draws and suffered as many defeats in their previous league visits since the 1-0 victory in March 1979.

Separated by just two goals in the current National South standings, the Darts and the Fleet are part of a cluster of five teams separated by just four points. Both sides struggled against teams at the foot of the table in their last outing as they watched their other Kent rivals Maidstone United leap to second, leaving Dartford in fourth and Ebbsfleet United in third.

Highlights of Dartford’s last league game at Braintree Town courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Steve King has made twelve changes over the last two games, seven from the heavy 4-0 league defeat in the Kent derby against Maidstone United, then a further five changes from the F.A Trophy victory over Cray Wanderers. King started with the preferred central defensive pair of Tom Bonner and Connor Essam, recalled Kieran Murtagh and Ade Azeez and gave a debut to Kalvin Kalala for the latest outing at Braintree Town.

Kalala impressed King whilst at Torquay United where he left for French fifth tier side Entente Feignies Aulnoye. The 23-year-old showed his ability against the Iron and is seen as a replacement for Emmanuel Sonupe who has moved to El Paso Locomotive in America. Excited by what the winger can bring to the team, King explained to Dartford FC TV: “He’s a fantastic player. When he was at Torquay United and they won the league two years ago he was one of the best players in the division by a country mile”.

Yet it was a substitute that saved the day on Tuesday with the last kick of the game. A stunning free-kick from Jack Jebb completed a comeback from two down to level the National South fixture as it finished 2-2. The Darts aiming for top spot against a Braintree Town side struggling at the bottom of the table saw the hosts take a two goal lead. Early in the second half Gabriel Piorkowski scored from a fine long distance effort and the lead was doubled through Gio Crichlow. Dartford were up against it and were heading for yet another defeat at Cressing Road, but Jake Robinson’s spot kick gave the Darts hope and when a free-kick was awarded on the edge of the hosts box, Jack Jebb stepped up to steal a point.

The performance was far from Dartford’s best and King acknowledged this in his post match interview with Dartford FC TV. Despite scraping a last minute draw the Darts came away disappointed as they could have gone top of the National South missing an opportunity. On the bright side, the Darts are well within a shout at this stage in the season and King believes that no one will run away with the league title in such a competitive division.

Steve King speaks to Dartford FC TV after the draw with Braintree Town

Luckily Dartford haven’t lost too much ground at the top end of the table. Their tremendous start to the season when they won seven of the opening eight games has been slowed down of late with just two victories in the next nine, during which they have struggled to break down relegation battling teams such as Braintree Town and Billericay Town. Desperate to get back on form, King commented that the North Kent derby will be yet another tough game, but whatever the result his side will not get carried away.

Ebbsfleet United also struggled against Billericay Town as they were held to a 0-0 draw over the Bank Holiday. The Fleet, returning from a Covid outbreak which led to the Boxing Day postponement against the Darts, named a side that included just two changes compared to the team that played ten days prior in the 3-0 win versus Bath City. One of those changes was former Dart, Elliott Romain dropping to the substitutes bench, but the striker featured in both fixtures scoring a brace against Bath City. Whilst with the Darts Romain managed to score 16 goals in 45 appearances and is highly rated by manager Fleet Dennis Kutrieb. However, it was Billericay Town’s goalkeeper Rhys Lovett, a recent signing from Maidenhead United, who earned praise on Tuesday for his outstanding performance in keeping the Fleet out.

Manager Dennis Kutrieb explained that the isolation period was far from ideal as he’d prefer his team to be playing rather than having games postponed. After a ‘rusty’ first half performance at home to Billericay Town which the manager put down to the isolation period his side did improve but disappointingly failed to take all three points. The Fleet boss cited that one day of training made things difficult to get ready for their last match and welcomes the time he now has in the build up to Sunday’s derby, he told BBC Radio Kent: “We can recover and prepare, but at least we have five more days and we should look better. I’m looking forward to the game because it’s a great game…for everyone, for us, for Dartford, for the fans”.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 66 / Ebbsfleet United wins: 55 / Draws: 33

Current League Form

Dartford
(DLWWDD)
    Ebbsfleet United
(DWWLLL)
   
Braintree Town A 2-2 Billericay Town H 0-0
Maidstone United A 0-4 Bath City H 3-0
Billericay Town H 1-0 Concord Rangers H 2-1
Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2 Dulwich Hamlet A 2-5
Oxford City H 0-0 Oxford City A 0-1
Chippenham Town H 3-3 Maidstone United A 2-3

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 0 – 0 Ebbsfleet United (02/01/2021 – National South)
Ebbsfleet United 1 – 0 Dartford (01/01/2017 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Ebbsfleet United (26/12/2016 – National South)
Ebbsfleet United 1 – 1 Dartford (28/03/2016 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Ebbsfleet United (31/08/2015 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Ebbsfleet United (29/10/2013 – F.A Cup)

Stats

  • Dartford last beat Ebbsfleet United as the away team at Stonebridge Road in 1989 during a Kent Senior Cup tie which ended 2-0.
  • Ebbsfleet United are 11 unbeaten in all competitions as the home side in this fixture
  • The 0-0 draw in January was Dartford’s first league clean sheet against the Fleet since the 5-0 New Years Day victory in 1992

On This Day

Dartford are unbeaten in 14 games on this day stretching back to 1954. The Darts have drawn their last two, 0-0 with Ebbsfleet United at the start of 2021 and 1-1 against Chelmsford City in 2016, Tom Bradbrook scoring a 94th minute equaliser. Danny Harris netted the winning goal in 2012 as the Darts beat Welling United 1-0 and in 2010, Lee Burns and James White were on hand in a 2-1 triumph over Cray Wanderers. Other Kent derby fixtures on this day include draws with Sittingbourne (2006) and Dover Athletic (1989) and a 2-1 victory against Maidstone United in 1982. So the unbeaten run includes eight wins and six draws since the Darts last lost on this day, a 9-2 hammering against Llanelly in the Southern League.