Tag: F.A Trophy

Needham Market v Dartford

Dartford are on the brink of reaching the F.A Trophy quarter-final for the first time in nine years when they visit Needham Market on the weekend.

The Darts have fond memories of their one and only visit to Bloomfields when they progressed in the F.A Cup. This time round the Marketmen could provide a tougher test after making club history causing upsets along the way.

Alfie Pavey inspired Dartford in the only meeting between the two sides in September 2017 when his first-half hat-trick set the tone. The striker scored from a tight angle, headed in a second and secured the match ball with his third. Early in the second-half Tom Murphy got on the end of a counter attack to make it four before Elliott Bradbrook missed a penalty. Needham Market pulled a goal back through Sam Nunn, but Andy Pugh restored the four-goal lead. The hosts had Billy Holland sent off and to round off the rout, Ryan Hayes made it 6-1 with virtually the last kick of the game.

After a string of draws in the National South and victory in the previous round against National League side Weymouth, the Darts have hit some form and are eight games unbeaten in all competitions. Steve King led his side to three consecutive Kent derby wins beating Tonbridge Angels, Ebbsfleet United and Welling United before their trip to Havant and Waterlooville on Wednesday night.

King made two changes to the side that beat Welling United with Kalvin Kalala coming in for Danny Leonard and new loan signing Ody Alfa making his debut. The 22-year-old from Queens Park Rangers will be with the Darts until the end of the season, the forward has previously had spells with Maidenhead United and last season with Billericay Town. Luke Allen’s strike on the stroke of half-time was enough to secure a 1-0 win and move the Darts within four points of league leaders Dorking Wanderers and up into third place. Havant and Waterlooville rarely threatened in front of goal mainly due to a decent defensive display from the Darts, especially Korey Roberts. Returning from injury, Tom Bonner came off the bench to shore things up at the back and see the game out.

Watch Steve King’s interview with Dartford FC TV

In Dartford’s F.A Trophy run they have overcome a mixture of opponents defeating fellow National South side Bath City on penalties, overcoming Cray Wanderers from the division below and knocking out the Terras in the last round. Experience of a F.A Cup exit to lower league opposition this season means the Darts should not take this tie for granted, especially with the results achieved by Needham Market in the last two rounds of the competition.

The Marketmen under former midfielder Kevin Horlock began their journey in the third qualifying round and are still standing after five games. Horlock has a wealth of Football League experience with Swindon Town, Manchester City in the late nineties and early noughties, West Ham United, Ipswich Town before the tail end of his playing career. Whilst in management, as an assistant at Needham Market, Horlock was also assistant with Northern Ireland’s under 21 side and kept that role whilst managing Chatham Town afterwards. Prior his appointment at Bloomfields in June 2019, he also had a spell as Maldon and Tiptree boss.

Three players, Luke Ingram, Jake Dye and Daniel Morphew are still in the Needham Market squad that lost against he Darts back in 2017. They have played their part in the club’s trophy run which has included wins against St Ives Town, Margate, Welwyn City Garden and most notably Wealdstone and Yeovil Town both of the National League. Ingram is the top appearance maker of this current squad and is in his ninth campaign, Dye is an academy product and has made over 200 appearances and is now in his eighth season with the club and Morphew has been a constant in defence over the years.

In the Southern Premier Central, the Marketmen are playing catch up with games in hand caused by a fantastic trophy run. The Suffolk side are tenth in the league 11 points from a playoff spot with four matches extra to play. In all competitions they are six unbeaten at home with victories over Wealdstone, Hitchin Town and Leiston and draws against Peterborough Sports, Hednesford Town and in their last outing Royston Town. The 2-2 draw with Royston Town stretched their unbeaten league run to four, but they were two up in that game entering the 88th minute. The Marketmen have now lost just once in their last 11 competitive matches and with home advantage, previous upsets under their belt and club history already made they will be looking for yet another scalp.

F.A Trophy story so far…

Third Qualifying Round
St Ives Town 0-2 Needham Market
Paired up against fellow Southern Premier Central side St Ives Town, the Marketmen got their F.A Trophy adventure underway with a two goal victory. Luke Ingram expertly controlled and finished to open the scoring and four minutes from time Byron Lawrence’s superb free-kick sealed the deal.

First Round
Needham Market 3-2 Margate
Making it to the second round created history for Needham Market as they beat Kent club Margate with a dramatic late goal. The Marketmen went two goals up with a Harvey Sayers solo effort and Ben Fowkes’ strike on the stroke of half-time. Margate hit back with second-half goals by Vance Bola and former Dart, Ben Greenhalgh. Then three minutes into stoppage time Hans Mpongo headed the winner.

Second Round
Bath City 0-0 Dartford (Dartford won 5-3 on penalties)
A tight affair at Twerton Park ended with no goals scored after normal time and so the tie went straight to penalties. The Darts scored all five of their spot kicks and after two penalties each gained an advantage when Dan Wilks saved from Alex Fletcher. The Darts kept their heads and with Tyrique Hyde last to go for the visitors, the midfielder slotted home.

Needham Market 3-1 Welwyn City Garden
Although not the winner this time, Mpongo netted again in stoppage time to make sure Needham Market’s journey continued. A division higher than their opponents, the Marketmen scored twice in as many minutes just after the hour mark, first Luke Ingram then Jake Dye. In the last minute Welwyn City Garden halved the deficit, but Mpongo added a third.

Third Round
Cray Wanderers1-3 Dartford
Three goals in five first half minutes settled Dartford’s nerves in round three. The Kent derby against Isthmian Premier League side Cray Wanderers could have been a banana skin but the Darts negotiated their way through to the next round. Jake Robinson opened the scoring past former Dartford goalkeeper Bailey Vose. The striker added a second from the penalty spot and Danny Leonard made it three. The Wands scored a consolation in the second half when Jai Reason scored.

Needham Market 2-1 Wealdstone
The first of two upsets came in the third round as Needham Market knocked out National League side Wealdstone. Callum Sturgess got his side off to a perfect start after eight minutes to set up a trophy shock. Ten minutes before the interval Ingram doubled the lead and when Matthew Buse pulled a goal back it set up a tense finish.

Fourth Round
Dartford 1-0 Weymouth
The Darts knocked out higher league opposition and avenged a National South playoff defeat with victory at Princes Park. Jack Jebb scored the decisive goal and despite pressure from the visitors goalkeeper Dan Wilks kept the Terras at bay.

Yeovil Town 1-1 Needham Market (Needham Market won 8-7 on penalties)
The Marketmen caused a massive upset by beating a team famous for their F.A Cup giantkilling. Goalkeeper Marcus Garnham was the hero with four penalty saves in the shoot-out, after 22 spot kicks the shot stopper kept out Morgan Williams to grab the headlines. Williams has earlier opened the scoring in the first-half, a strike that was cancelled out just before half-time by Fowkes.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Needham Market wins: 0 / Draws: 0

Current Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(DDWWWW)
    Needham Market
(WLWDWD)
   
Havant and Waterlooville A 1-0 Royston Town H 2-2
Welling United H 4-2 Leiston H 3-0
Ebbsfleet United H 1-0 Redditch United A 0-0
Tonbridge Angels A 3-2 Hitchin Town H 3-1
Concord Rangers H 0-0 AFC Rushden & Diamonds A 0-2
Hampton and Richmond H 2-2 Yeovil Town (FAT)* A 1-1

(FAT – F.A Trophy) / * Needham Market won 8-7 on penalties

Previous Meeting

Needham Market 1 – 6 Dartford (30/09/2017 – F.A Cup Third Qualifying Round)

Stats

  • Dartford have won four in a row for the first time since October
  • The Darts have won three F.A Trophy ties this season, the first time since their run to the semi-final in 2012/2013
  • Jack Jebb will make his 50th Dartford appearance if selected on the weekend. The midfielder has started 47 games, made two substitute appearances and has scored seven goals.

On This Day

The Darts completed a league double over Luton Town in the National League on this day. Ryan Hayes fine effort was enough to take victory, earlier in the game Andre Gray struck the post. Dartford’s last away game ended in a 1-1 draw with Braintree Town, the Darts went a goal down after a Billy Burgess own goal and Jon Main levelled the National South match. In 2005, the Dartford brushed aside Berkamsted Town 5-0 in the Southern League Division One East. The only F.A Trophy tie on this day ended without a goal as the Darts drew 0-0 against Atherstone United in 1972, Dartford won the replay 1-0 two days later.

Dartford v Weymouth

Dartford can make the last sixteen of the F.A Trophy for the first time in seven years when they host Weymouth this weekend.

The fourth round tie will be decided on the day against the National League side who won promotion by beating the Darts in the 2020 playoff final. In what was the last meeting between the two sides, the final score was 0-0 and in the penalty shootout Dartford drew another blank missing all three spot kicks to hand the Terras victory.

For a generation of supporters, a certain quarter-final tie against Weymouth may stir up memories of Dartford’s run to the F.A Trophy final in 1974. The only time these two sides have met in the competition ended in a 2-1 victory for the Darts, an own goal settling the tie. Dartford went on to reach Wembley losing by the same score against Morecambe.

However, Dartford’s record when up against the Dorset club doesn’t make for good reading over the years, their last win over Weymouth coming 32 years ago. After a draw and five consecutive league defeats to the Terras, before the playoff heartbreak, the Darts will enter this fixture as underdogs and hope to cause an upset.

This will be Weymouth’s first ever visit to Princes Park because the return National South fixture in the 2019/2020 campaign wasn’t able to take place, the pandemic cutting short the season. At the Bob Lucas stadium in August 2019, the Darts suffered a 3-1 defeat, Norman Wabo scoring a consolation goal after Abdulai Baggie and a Brett Williams brace putting Weymouth in control.

After consecutive league defeats against Kent rivals, the Darts faced another tough fixture last weekend. Hosting Dulwich Hamlet, the game was put in doubt after heavy rain. Hamlet were a place below Dartford in the table before kick off and on the day couldn’t be separated at full time in a 1-1 draw. King described the conditions as horrendous and praised both sets of players for providing an end to end game. Hamlet took the lead from a through former Dart, Tyrone Sterling. Disappointed by conceding a set piece, King was happier with his side’s approach play and in the second half they were rewarded with another Jake Robinson goal. The striker now has 12 goals in all competitions from just 11 starts and two substitute appearances.

Highlights of Dartford’s last match courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Speaking to Dartford FC TV after the game King praised Robinson, he commented: “there’s moments where games are tight, he will nick you that little winner. He’s not got the legs that he used to have but his in the right place at the right time. He’s a goalscorer and he’s a natural”. Expressing sympathy for the strikers, King identified that his players are getting in good positions on the wing, but the quality of the crossing needs improving, to help the strikers out. The Darts have now won just once in their last five outings in all competitions and that was in the last round of the F.A Trophy against Cray Wanderers.

The Darts will be without full-back Jernade Meade who picked up a hairline fracture, he is likely to be out for a couple of months. However, Luke Allen and Danny Leonard are back in contention. To cover Meade’s position, King has brought in Kai Woollard-Innocent on loan from Queens Park Rangers. The 21 year-old impressed King whilst at Eastbourne Borough last season and has been with Queens Park Rangers since he was eight.

Despite Dartford’s patchy results over the last three months, their opponents are going through a tougher spell. Weymouth have been in torrid form in the National League with seven straight losses, but that sequence was broken up by their F.A Trophy win over Hungerford Town. Sitting third from bottom the Terras last league victory was against the team below them, Kings Lynn at the end of October. The only other home win in the National League was against Maidenhead United and they are one place above the Terras.

Their last outing proved to be the last under Brian Stock as the club parted ways with the former Welsh international on Wednesday. Stock’s final game ended in a 1-0 defeat at home to Southend United. The Terras can look forward to Bradley Ash’s return from injury, the former Chippenham Town and Weston-super-Mare striker came off the bench in the latter stages of the defeat. Tom Bearwish also managed a substitute appearance after being out with injury, whilst Sean Shields is currently unavailable.

Like Dartford, the Terras have a prolific goalscorer from a division below the National League. Brandon Goodship is in his second spell with Weymouth returning to the club from Southend United in the summer. The striker scored 77 goals in 97 appearances in his first spell with the Terras earning an England C cap whilst in the Southern Premier League and consecutive golden boot awards. 

F.A Trophy story so far…

Second Round
Bath City 0-0 Dartford (Dartford won 5-3 on penalties)
A tight affair at Twerton Park ended with no goals scored after normal time and so the tie went straight to penalties. The Darts scored all five of their spot kicks and after two penalties each gained an advantage when Dan Wilks saved from Alex Fletcher. The Darts kept their heads and with Tyrique Hyde last to go for the visitors, the midfielder slotted home.

Third Round
Cray Wanderers 1-3 Dartford
Three goals in five first half minutes settled Dartford’s nerves in round three. The Kent derby against Isthmian Premier League side Cray Wanderers could have been a banana skin but the Darts negotiated their way through to the next round. Jake Robinson opened the scoring past former Dartford goalkeeper Bailey Vose. The striker added a second from the penalty spot and Danny Leonard made it three. The Wands scored a consolation in the second half when Jai Reason scored.

Hungerford Town 0-1 Weymouth
Josh McQuoid’s late winner was enough for the National League side to get past National South’s Hungerford Town. With eight minutes left on the clock, Terras midfielder Cameron Murray split the Crusaders defence with a pass for McQuoid to strike beyond Luke Cairney.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 17 / Weymouth wins: 35 / Draws: 16

Current Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(DLDWLW)
    Weymouth
(LLWLLL)
   
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-1 Southend United H 0-1
Ebbsfleet United A 0-1 Eastleigh A 2-3
Braintree Town A 2-2 Hungerford Town (FAT) A 1-0
Cray Wanderers (FAT) A 3-1 Wrexham A 0-1
Maidstone United A 0-4 Torquay United H 1-2
Billericay Town H 1-0 Woking H 2-3

(FAT – F.A Trophy)

Previous Six Meetings

Weymouth 0 – 0 Dartford* (01/08/2020 – National South Playoff Final)
Weymouth 3 -1 Dartford (17/08/2019 – National South)
Weymouth 2 – 0 Dartford (27/12/1997 – Southern League Southern Division)
Dartford 2 – 3 Weymouth (23/08/1997 – Southern League Southern Division )
Weymouth 2 – 1 Dartford (15/02/1997 – Southern League Southern Division )
Dartford 3 – 5 Weymouth (05/10/1996 – Southern League Southern Division )
* Weymouth won 3-0 on penalties

Stats

  • Dartford’s win percentage over Weymouth is 25%, the second lowest out of teams the Darts have played over 30 times (Yeovil Town is the lowest at 23.44%)
  • The Darts have won their last four cup games since exiting the F.A Cup in October
  • Another appearance from Luke Wanadio will take the winger to a century for the Darts. Over three spells at the club, Wanadio has started 81 times, made 18 substitute appearances and scored 18 goals

On This Day

Dartford have never lost an F.A Trophy tie on this day winning two and drawing two. In 2011, George Purcell scored the winning goal in round two against underdogs Ashford Town (Middlesex) who played two divisions below the Darts. Two replays were required in 1991 as Dartford drew 1-1 in the original rematch with Carshalton Athletic, the Darts went on to win at the third attempt. Lewes were beaten 2-0 in 1983 and five years earlier Dartford drew 2-2 with Horsham both in the first round. The Darts have won their last two games on this day, Jon Wallis and Lee Noble scored in a 2-0 National League win over Macclesfield Town in 2013, two years prior was the F.A Trophy tie with Ashford Town (Middlesex). Apart from the draw with Carshalton Athletic, the Darts have won the other five home games on 15 January including an 11-1 victory over Faversham Town in the 1966 Kent Senior Cup, a 5-1 win against Colchester United in the Southern League back in 1949 and a 5-3 triumph versus Faversham in 1898, also in the Kent Senior Cup.

Cray Wanderers v Dartford

The F.A Trophy returns this weekend as the Darts look to move beyond the third round for the first time since their run to the semi-final eight years ago.

Standing in Dartford’s way are former landlords Cray Wanderers, who caused a shock in the previous round by beating Ebbsfleet United on penalties. The Wands are currently at the wrong end of the Isthmian Premier League, but have made trophy history already setting their best ever run in the competition.

This fixture is steeped in history dating back to the year the Darts were formed in 1888. The two sides formed a close bond in the early nineties when Cray Wanderers offered Dartford a home, playing their part in keeping the Darts alive. The Wands now know what it’s like to be homeless currently playing their fixtures at Bromley’s Hayes Lane and hope to be moving to a new stadium.

The last three meetings between Dartford and Cray Wanderers have all been cup ties, the Wands knocked the Darts out of the Kent Senior Cup in 2017, whilst Dartford beat their opponents in the same competition the season before. In 2011, Ryan Hayes and Danny Harris helped the Darts win the F.A Cup third qualifying round tie 2-1. Dartford have dominated this fixture with Cray Wanderers winning just six of the last 43 meetings, but that will count for nothing come Saturday.

Dartford enter this weekend’s fixture after a tough 4-0 defeat against rivals Maidstone United. Rubbing salt into the Darts wound, Jack Barham took home the match ball with a hat-trick against his former club. The loss ended a seven match unbeaten run in all competitions toppling Steve King’s side off the top of the National South table, but they are level on points with leaders Oxford City. The Dartford boss spoke to Dartford FC TV after the derby defeat, he commented: “We’ve got to get over it and take our medicine, when you lose it’s how you react and it’s how we react next week that is important. There are a lot of tough games to come and we will be ready for the challenges”.

Watch post match interviews and highlights at Dartford FC TV

King tweaked the starting line up opting for wingers rather than the narrow formation he played against Billericay Town. Luke Wanadio and Danny Leonard started instead of Ronnie Vint and Tyrique Hyde and George Porter was in for the injured Jake Robinson. Some good news saw the return of Jack Jebb who featured as a substitute and made his first appearance for almost a month. Luke Allen remains a long term injury and Jordan Wynter has also been sidelined.

Dartford have only managed to progress through two rounds in any one season over the last five campaigns. In fact, the Darts have to go back to 2017 for their last victory in the competition in normal time when they beat Brentwood Town.

Cray Wanderers have already made it through three rounds and in the last they caused an upset at Danny Kedwell’s former club. The Wands boss guided his side to a penalty shoot-out victory over Ebbsfleet United. In that trophy triumph Cray Wanderers had two Dartford connections and a recent signing makes it three. Dartford midfielder, Cameron Brodie is currently on a season long loan with the Wands and has featured in most of their fixtures this season. The young prospect has made 13 appearances for the Darts since coming through the academy system. It was just seven months ago when striker Chris Dickson lifted the F.A Trophy at Wembley with seventh tier side Hornchurch, the striker was on dual registration with Dartford scoring three goals in eight appearances including a brace on his debut. Former goalkeeper, Bailey Vose signed for the Wands just last week after leaving Billericay Town, the shot stopper played 32 times for the Darts over two loan spells.

Kedwell’s side are currently fourth from bottom in the Isthmian Premier League, three points clear of last place. On the weekend they were beaten 1-0 at home against Bishop’s Stortford but grabbed an important victory three days earlier beating Horsham 3-1. Former West Ham United prospect and an experienced football league winger, Kyel Reid opened the scoring, Dickson made it 2-0 and Jamie Yila netted the third. The Wands also have experience with players who have been around the higher divisions of non-league in Dean Beckwith, Jai Reason, their top scorer Anthony Cook and 38-year-old Andy Drury.

The Wands previous best run in the trophy was to the second round and on both occasions they went out to St Albans City in 2005 and again last season. They have made it through three rounds before in 2015 and 2018 going out at the third qualifying round stage.

F.A Trophy story so far…

Third Qualifying Round
Cray Wanderers 4-1 Kings Langley
The scoreline suggests the Wands breezed through, but in truth two late goals secured their passage into round one. Anthony Cook won and scored a penalty for Cray Wandreres to open the scoring only for Alfie Williams to level. The Wands got off to a great start in the second half with a goal from Dean Beckwith, then two goals in the final minute secured the win. Former Dart, Chris Dickson and Daniel Ucheci made sure of a 4-1 victory.

First Round
Cray Wanderers 2-1 Bedfont Sports
Three more late goals made for an entertaining finish to this first round tie. Adam Coombes scored a decisive brace giving Cray Wanderers the lead then netting the winner. Bedfont Sports earlier equalised through Joe Jackson with all three goals coming in the final eleven minutes.

Second Round
Bath City 0-0 Dartford (Dartford won 5-3 on penalties)
A tight affair at Twerton Park ended with no goals scored after normal time and so the tie went straight to penalties. The Darts scored all five of their spot kicks and after two penalties each gained an advantage when Dan Wilks saved from Alex Fletcher. The Darts kept their heads and with Tyrique Hyde last to go for the visitors, the midfielder slotted home.

Cray Wanderers 2-2 Ebbsfleet United (Cray Wanderers won 5-3 on penalties)
Up against his former side, manager Danny Kedwell caused a cup upset beating higher league opposition. Cray Wanderers went two up when Jamie Yila scored twice in three first half minutes. Ebbsfleet United hit back with two goals in the final fifteen minutes, first Rakish Bingham then Will Wood’s last minute equaliser forced the tie into penalties. After Michael West missed for the Fleet, Chris Dickson stepped up and scored the winning spot kick.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 34 / Cray Wanderers wins: 21 / Draws: 11

Current Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(LWDWWW)
    Cray Wanderers
(LWLDWD)
   
Maidstone United A 0-4 Bishop’s Stortford H 0-1
Billericay Town H 1-0 Horsham H 3-1
Bath City (FAT)* A 0-0 Worthing A 0-2
Whitstable Town (KSC) H 6-1 Bowers & Pitsea A 1-1
Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2 Ebbsfleet United (FAT)** H 2-2
Cockfosters (LSC) H 9-0 Folkestone Invicta H 2-2

(KSC – Kent Senior Cup / LSC – London Senior Cup / FAT – F.A Trophy)
* Dartford won 5-3 on penalties
** Cray Wanderers won 5-3 on penalties

Previous Six Meetings

Cray Wanderers 4 – 2 Dartford (20/09/2017 – Kent Senior Cup)
Cray Wanderers 1 – 2 Dartford (05/10/2016 – Kent Senior Cup)
Cray Wanderers 1 – 2 Dartford (30/11/2019 – F.A Cup)
Cray Wanderers 1 – 2 Dartford (09/02/2019 – Isthmian Premier)
Dartford 1 – 1 Cray Wanderers (04/08/2018 – Isthmian Premier)
Dartford 0 – 0 Cray Wanderers (21/04/2018 – Isthmian Division One South)

Stats

  • The two sides have met 21 times in cup football with Dartford winning 12 to Cray Wanderers’ six, there have been three draws.
  • After scoring in each of their opening twelve games in all competitions, Dartford have failed to score in six of the last eleven
  • The Darts have scored twice in each of their last four visits to Cray Wanderers winning three and losing one.

On This Day

The Darts met Cray Wanderers on this day back in 1993. The Kent League First Division fixture ended with Dartford winning 1-0, their last victory on the 18 December. In fact, Dartford have not scored on this day for 25 years. To be fair that spans just two matches, the last of which took place in 2004 when the Darts drew 0-0 with Leighton Town in the Southern League Division One East. Five years before that goalless draw, Dartford lost 1-0 at home to Bashley in the Southern League South. The last away fixture and last Dartford goal on this day came in 1996, however it was St Leonards who won the Southern League South match 3-1. The only F.A Trophy tie the Darts have been involved in on the 18 December ended in triumph back in 1976. Dartford beat Ashford Town 2-1 in the third qualifying round.

Bath City v Dartford

Dartford were handed a tough F.A Trophy second round draw against Bath City which takes place on the weekend at Twerton Park.

For a fourth season in a row the Darts open their F.A Trophy campaign away to a National South side. This time they are hoping to start a run they haven’t enjoyed in the trophy for a few years. Dartford last went deep into the competition back in 2013 when they reached the semi-final, whilst Bath City got to the same stage back in 2015. Last term both sides were beaten by lower league opposition with the Darts crashing out to Haringey Borough and the Romans losing to Peterborough Sports.

The two sides last played each other in September with the Darts claiming three National South points at Saturday’s venue. The first half belonged to the visitors and with striker Ade Azeez returning to the starting eleven he opened the scoring with a header. On the stroke of half time Jake Robinson doubled the lead, but Bath City’s Alex Fletcher cut the deficit in the second half. George Porter came on as a substitute and made an impact by putting the game out of Bath City’s reach.

The Darts have form over their opponents winning seven straight matches before Steve King suffered his first league defeat as Dartford boss two years ago. The Romans won 3-0 that day, but have since lost their last two, a 1-0 defeat at Princes Park and this season’s reverse.

You can catch highlights of Dartford’s games on Dartford FC TV

Steve King’s side warmed up with a convincing Kent Senior Cup final victory on Wednesday beating Whitstable Town 6-1, Dartford’s twelfth triumph in the competition. King put out a strong line up which featured a Robinson hat-trick and another impressive performance from midfielder Tyrique Hyde.

Dartford got off to a super start after just three minutes, Kieran Murtagh hit the crossbar and moments later Danny Leonard’s excellent strike opened the scoring. The Darts were controlling the game and when Hyde won a penalty, Robinson stepped up to make it two. The pair were involved again just past the half hour mark when Hyde’s effort was turned in by Robinson. The Darts continued relentlessly; Michael Kedman ran down the left wing delivered the ball to George Porter for his fourth of the season. Then just before the interval Hyde made it 5-0. In the second half, Robinson completed his hat-trick bending the ball beyond the goalkeeper after he was played in on goal by Hyde. Whitstable Town did find the back of the Dartford net, a Danny Walder free kick was a worthy consolation. Victory now means both Dartford men’s and women’s teams hold the county cup.

After the 9-0 trouncing of Cockfosters in the London Senior Cup in which Emmanuel Sonupe netted a hat-trick, the Darts were back to winning ways in the National South too. Recalled from his loan spell at Hemel Hempstead Town, Hyde’s first task back in league action for the Darts was to take on his old teammates. The midfielder scored twice in a 3-2 victory, which also saw Ade Azeez score his fourteenth of the season. Since returning from his loan spell, Hyde has scored twice on his first league game back against the Tudors, netted in the London Senior Cup versus Cockfosters and added another to his tally in the Kent Senior Cup final.

Bath City reached the National South playoffs in consecutive campaigns before last term was abandoned. This season the Romans have yet to draw in the league and their inconsistency leaves them occupying sixteenth place. But they do approach Saturday’s trophy tie off the back of a 2-1 victory against Concord Rangers, a late goal from their top scorer Cody Cooke sealed the triumph. Jerry Gill highlighted his side’s first half dominance in an interview with Bath City Radio, he commented: “I thought we should have come in four up in the first half…once we got into our flow, we were the dominant side”.

After a victory Gill is excited about the trophy tie coming up this weekend, he added: “Obviously now we really look forward to it, when you get a win everyone’s up for it”. The Bath City boss is optimistic, he added: “Dartford have had a little bit of a wobble, but they are still in a very strong position in the league. For us it’s a home game and on the weekend, it felt like fortress Twerton again. Second half against Dartford here, I remember us going down the hill and we absolutely dominated the game and bombarded them, but they caught us on the counter attack”. 

The only meetings between the two sides in the F.A Trophy came in 1980. Dartford drew 1-1 in the first round at Watling Street. The replay was a night to forget for the Darts as they were beaten 6-1 in the replay.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 35 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Current Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(WWWDDL)
    Bath City
(WDWDLW)
   
Whitstable Town (KSC) H 6-1 Concord Rangers H 2-1
Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2 Hampton & Richmond Borough H 1-3
Cockfosters (LSC) H 9-0 Dulwich Hamlet A 0-3
Oxford City H 0-0 Portishead Town (SPC) H 3-0
Chippenham Town H 3-3 Welling United H 2-1
Concord Rangers A 0-1 Slough Town A 0-2

(KSC – Kent Senior Cup / LSC – London Senior Cup / SPC – Somerset Premier Cup)

Previous Meetings

Bath City 1 – 3 Dartford (04/09/2021 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Bath City (17/10/2020 – National South)
Bath City 3 – 0 Dartford (30/11/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 0 Bath City (09/02/2019 – National South)
Bath City 1 – 2 Dartford (04/08/2018 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 0 Bath City (21/04/2018 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford have won four of their last five trips to Twerton Park
  • The Darts have kept five clean sheets in their last ten meetings with Bath City
  • In that same period Dartford have only failed to score once versus the Romans
  • The Darts have scored 18 goals in their last three games and conceded just twice. Beating a run of 16 goals in three games from this season between 18 September and 28 September (5-1 v Hythe Town, 6-0 v Welling United, 5-2 v Athletic Newham)
  • Dartford have never scored five or more goals in four consecutive matches

On This Day

Dartford put on a masterclass on their way to becoming Isthmian Division One North champions in 2007. The Darts hit Witham Town for seven at Princes Park in a 7-2 victory. Brendon Cass and Eddie McClements both scored a brace, Jay May, Ryan Hayes, Jamie Coyle were the other scorers. The Darts last played on this day three years ago in the F.A Trophy going out in a replay against Eastbourne Borough. A former Dart came back to haunt his old club after Dartford almost staged a dramatic comeback from two down. Andre Coker then Taylor Fisher scored two goals in the final minute to level the tie. However, there was one last twist when Tom Gardiner won it for the Sports in injury time.