Tag: Kent Senior Cup

Folkestone Invicta v Dartford

Silverware is up for grabs for Dartford when they aim to retain the Kent Senior Cup against Folkestone Invicta on Tuesday night in Chatham.

On the way to winning the last edition of the competition the Darts beat Folkestone Invicta in the quarter-final. Steve King will be hoping for history to repeat itself and help Dartford lift the cup for the thirteenth time. Folkestone Invicta are in their sixth Kent Senior Cup final, but have yet to get their hands on the trophy.

For a second consecutive county cup campaign the Darts will be facing Invicta. In a last eight meeting just over two years ago, Dartford scored two goals in each half on their way to a 4-0 victory. Liam Nash set the Darts on their way with a goal just past the half hour mark. Tyrique Hyde, one of three in the current squad who started in the last game against Invicta, doubled the lead. Billy Crook and Elliot Romain extended Dartford’s advantage to send them into the final four where they beat Phoenix Sports 5-1. In the final played this season back in November, Jake Robinson scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 victory over Whitstable Town.

Highlight’s of the Darts beating Invicta on the way to reaching the 2020 final – Dartford FC TV

Dartford will want to end their season in style after playoff heartbreak on Thursday night. King made just the one change to the side that thrashed Eastbourne Borough 7-2 on the last day of the regular season. Jernade Meade was back in the starting eleven replacing Jordan Wynter. The Darts were unable to find their scoring boots for a second home game in a row drawing another blank, this time against Chippenham Town in the National South playoff eliminator. Dan Roberts had the best opportunity early in the tie, but Dartford created little else at Princes Park. The visitors hit the woodwork and missed the rebound late on in normal time as it finished 0-0. Extra time followed and with both sides still unable to score it went down to penalties. Despite a pair of saves from goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook in the shoot-out, the Darts lost 3-2 and will be playing National South football next season.

The Darts finished fourth in the league and having been knocked out of the playoffs it allows King to select a strong side for the Kent Senior Cup final. After a blistering start to the campaign the Darts lost touch with the front runners dropping too many points in October, November and January. A run of five straight victories in February put Dartford in with a chance, but disappointing defeats on the road and a spell of more draws left too much to do in the end. At Princes Park, King led his side to a 17-game unbeaten home run in the league, the best from the start of a campaign for 96 years. More recently on the road, Dartford have scored 13 in their last two outings beating Slough Town 6-0 before the emphatic victory at Eastbourne Borough.

Folkestone Invicta also had an outstanding start in their Isthmian Premier campaign and at one stage it looked like promotion was a possibility. Neil Cugley guided Invicta to a 12-game unbeaten run from the start of the season picking up 26 points early doors. However, just two wins in eight slowed Folkestone Invicta’s progress. Whilst results became consistently good again, the final run-in saw Invicta drop out of the playoff places after one triumph in their last nine outings, their last fixture an entertaining 4-4 draw with Haringey Borough. In the end they finished their Isthmian Premier League campaign in sixth, missing out on a playoff place.

Helping Folkestone Invicta to their second sixth place finish in a full season in a row, Luke Wanadio permanently signed for the club in February. The winger made 15 appearances and scored five goals since joining from Dartford initially on loan. Wanadio had three spells with the Darts making a total of 99 appearances and scoring 18 times. Defender Ryan Johnson also once donned a Dartford shirt back in the 2009/2010 Isthmian Premier winning campaign appearing 17 times for the club and scoring one goal. This season Johnson made 36 appearances to reach half a century for Invicta.

Story so far

Second Round
Dartford 2-1 Dover Athletic
Jordan Greenidge scored twice on debut to start Dartford’s defence of the Kent Senior Cup. The striker opened his account after eighteen minutes and added a second with fifteen minutes to go. Dover Athletic pulled a goal back, but the Darts went through to the last eight of the competition.

Folkestone Invicta 0-0 VCD Athletic (Folkestone Invicta won 3-2 on penalties)
Neither side could make the important breakthrough in a goalless draw after 90 minutes. So the tie went straight to penalties with Invicta making it into the last eight. Out of the four missed penalties all of them missed the target, VCD Athletic failing to score three of them. Invicta were more clinical from 12 yards securing a 3-2 shoot-out victory.

Quarter Final
Margate 2-4 Dartford
Luke Allen opened the scoring after just six minutes to get Dartford on the way, but Margate equalised six minutes later through James Bessey-Saldanha. The Darts pulled away in the second half with goals from Kalvin Kalala, Ade Azeez and Ody Alfa before Vance Bola pulled one back for the hosts.

Folkestone Invicta 3-1 Ebbsfleet United
Two first-half goals in the space of five minutes changed this tie in Folkestone Invicta’s favour. Club record goalscorer, Ian Draycott added to his career tally putting the hosts ahead, then Invicta went two goals up after David Smith scored one of his 34 netted this term. Rakish Bingham gave Invicta something to think about by getting one back for Fleet, but the tie was settled when Simo Mbonkwi scored on debut

Semi Final
Welling United 2-2 Dartford (Dartford won 5-3 on penalties)
The Darts had one hand removed from the cup they are defending when Welling United went two up. A brace from Henry Burnett had the Wings in control, but Jordan Greenidge got the Darts back in the tie. The returning Dan Roberts won a stoppage time penalty, up stepped Jake Robinson to force a penalty shoot-out. Dartford scored all five and Reice Charles-Cook made a save to see the Darts through to the final.

Hythe Town 0-2 Folkestone Invicta
Two first half strikes from Ade Yusuff and David Smith put Invicta in command, the pair ended up with 62 goals between them this season in all competitions. Over a thousand turned up to watch the semi-final as the kick off was delayed due to crowd congestion. Yussuf scored with a low drilled shot and Smith finished a well taken goal, which was enough to settle this semi-final.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 6 / Folkestone Invicta wins: 10 / Draws: 4

Current Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(WDWLWD)
    Folkestone Invicta
(WDWLDW)
   
Chippenham Town* (NSPO) H 0-0 Hythe Town (KSC) A 2-0
Eastbourne Borough A 7-2 Haringey Borough A 4-4
Braintree Town H 0-1 Margate H 0-1
Slough Town A 6-0 Leatherhead A 1-0
Welling United (KSC)** A 2-2 Corinthian Casuals H 2-2
St Albans City H 3-1 Ebbsfleet United (KSC) H 3-1

NSPO = National South Playoff / KSC = Kent Senior Cup
* lost 3-2 on penalties
** won 5-3 on penalties

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 4 – 0 Folkestone Invicta (25/02/2020 – Kent Senior Cup)
Folkestone Invicta 1 – 4 Dartford (07/12/2011 – Kent Senior Cup)
Dartford 2 – 2 Folkestone Invicta (12/09/2006 – Isthmian League Cup)*
Dartford 1 – 2 Folkestone Invicta (18/01/2005 – Kent Senior Cup)
Folkestone Invicta 0 – 1 Dartford (13/03/2004 – Southern League Division One)
Dartford 1 – 6 Folkestone Invicta (24/02/2004 – Southern League Division One)
*Dartford won 5-3 on penalties

Stats

  • Dartford have played five times against Folkestone Invicta in the Kent Senior Cup (W2, L3)
  • The Darts are three games unbeaten against Invicta (W2, D1) having lost the previous eight in a row between 1998 and 2005
  • The last four meetings have been cup ties and Dartford have won the last three

On This Day

Dartford have only played twice on this day with a record of one win and one defeat. The 1946/1947 Southern League campaign went on until mid-June, so even after the 1-0 loss at Hereford, the Darts still had six more games to go. Dartford ended the season in 11th place, a month earlier they won the Kent Senior Cup for the fifth time. Thirty years later, Dartford played their final home game of the 1976/1977 season beating Atherstone United 2-1, three days later they completed the Southern Premier League in 18th place. Silverware was also picked up that season when they beat Yeovil Town in the Southern League Cup in April.

Welling United v Dartford

Dartford will reach the Kent Senior Cup final for a second time in a row if they can overcome Welling United in the semi-final on Tuesday night.

Unbeaten in the county cup for over three years, the Darts are aiming to earn their 13th Kent Senior title. The current holders have already secured a playoff place in the National South and will be seen as favourites to claim some silverware. Welling United are in a relegation battle hoping to avoid the drop into the Isthmian Premier League, the Wings have three titles to their name last making the final five years ago.

It’s possible both sides will make plenty of changes to their starting eleven with Dartford still trying to achieve a higher finish in the league before the playoffs. Understandably, National South survival will be paramount for Welling United who have three games to keep in front of bottom side Billericay Town.

Dartford boss, Steve King has an excellent record against his former club. Since joining the Darts in October 2019 he has guided them to four wins and a draw, scoring 19 and conceding just four. Welling United have to go back to just over three years for their only triumph in the last ten versus Dartford. However, it was the Wings who came out on top the last time these two sides met in the Kent Senior Cup.

Dartford highlight’s of their last trip to Park View Road – Dartford FC TV

Like this season, the Darts went into that tie in 2016 as cup holders. After a 2-2 draw they went out on penalties. Under the guidance of former Dartford midfielder Jamie Day, the Wings took the lead through another former Darts player, Harry Crawford. Winger, Ryan Hayes scored from the spot to level and Keaton Wood put the Darts in front, but a late equaliser from Matt Fish took the tie to penalties, which Welling United won 4-1.

The result will be familiar to Welling United fans this term, they have drawn both their Kent Senior Cup matches this season 2-2, also with late goals and ended up progressing on penalties. Dartford on the other hand have had a smoother passage to the semi-final with a 2-1 win over relegated National League side Dover Athletic and a 4-2 victory against Isthmian Premier League team Margate.

Dartford have dominated this fixture in the 2021/2022 campaign winning 6-0 at Park View Road in September.  Ade Azeez and Luke Allen both netted a brace, but it was Noor Husin who opened the scoring, whilst Danny Leonard grabbed the other. At Princes Park the Darts weren’t as commanding, Welling United went ahead twice before falling to defeat. Afolabi Akinyemi twice put the Wings in front, but Dartford hit back, firstly when Marcus Dinanga scored his first for the club and secondly, when Danny Leonard equalised. Goals from Allen and a second from Dinanga made sure the Darts won 4-2 to complete a league double over Welling United.

Dartford win at Princes Park in their last meeting against Welling United – Dartford FC TV

The Darts warmed up to the semi-final tie with another 3-1 victory over St Albans City in the National South on the weekend. A repeat of the score on the opening day of the season saw Keiran Murtagh score his first goals for the Darts on his 39th appearance. The midfielder netted a brace before Dinanga scored his ninth in just 12 appearances. Dartford also passed 100 goals in all competitions since the beginning of the season.

Welling United were also in action and earned an important point to give them a slender cushion at the bottom. Yet it could have been so much better as the Wings led 2-1 going into injury time at the end of the match. James Roberts gave Havant and Waterlooville the lead, but Warren Feeney’s side turned the game around after Akinyemi and Ade Shokunbi scored. In the final stages, Jake Andrews equalised for the Hawks in the 95th minute. Feeney will be Welling United’s third manager to take on the Darts this season after Mark Goldberg took temporary charge following Steve Lovell’s sacking in September, and former Dartford boss Peter Taylor was in the dugout back in February.

The winner of this semi-final tie will face either Folkestone Invicta or Hythe Town in the final.

Story so far

Second Round
Dartford 2-1 Dover Athletic
Jordan Greenidge scored twice on debut to start the defence of the Kent Senior Cup. The striker opened his account after eighteen minutes and added a second with fifteen minutes to go. Dover Athletic pulled a goal back, but the Darts went through to the last eight of the competition.

Herne Bay 2-2 Welling United (Welling United won 5-4 on penalties)
A stoppage time equaliser from Bradley Pearce took this tie to penalties, which Welling United won. The Wings took the lead in the first-half when Kristan Campbell set up Matty Hew. Herne Bay’s Dan Johnson scored twice to set up an upset, but up popped Pearce to save the tie for the Wings. The visitors prevailed in spot-kicks with D’Sean Theobalds scoring one of the five for Welling United.

Quarter Final
Margate 2-4 Dartford
Luke Allen opened the scoring after just six minutes to get Dartford on the way, but Margate equalised six minutes later through James Bessey-Saldanha. The Darts pulled away in the second half with goals from Kalvin Kalala, Ade Azeez and Ody Alfa before Vance Bola pulled one back for the hosts.

Welling United 2-2 Tonbridge Angels (Welling United won 4-3 on penalties)
Another late goal and another game of penalties sent Welling United into the last four. The Angels went ahead as early as the ninth minute when Jake Embury scored for the visitors, but Mason Saunders-Henry levelled before the interval. The Wings missed a penalty and Tonbridge Angels took advantage with a goal from Ibrahim Olutade. With time running out Welling United were awarded another spot kick which scored, then the hosts went on to win the shoot-out.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 24 / Welling United wins: 10 / Draws: 10

Current Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(DWDWLW)
    Welling United
(LLDDLD)
   
St Albans City H 3-1 Havant & Waterlooville H 2-2
Maidstone United A 0-1 Dorking Wanderers H 0-4
Billericay Town A 2-0 Eastbourne Borough A 3-3
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Tonbridge Angels (KSC) H 2-2*
Margate (KSC) A 4-2 Ebbsfleet United H 2-4
Oxford City A 1-1 Tonbridge Angels A 0-1

*Welling United won 4-3 on penalties

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 4 – 2 Welling United (05/02/2022 – National South)
Welling United 0 – 6 Dartford (25/09/2021 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 2 Welling United (06/02/2021 – National South)
Dartford 4 – 0 Welling United (01/01/2020 – National South)
Welling United 0 – 3 Dartford (26/12/2019 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Welling United (01/01/2019 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford have played 13 times against Welling United in the Kent Senior Cup (W8, D2*, L3) * – lost one on penalties
  • The Darts have only drawn the Wings once in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final winning 2-0 in 1988. Dartford went on to lift the county cup.
  • Dartford have lost just once in normal time in their last 16 matches against Welling United (W10, D5, L1). The Darts have won five of the last six, drawing the other.
  • The Darts have won by an aggregate score of 10-2 against Welling United this season eclipsing the previous best of 7-0 in the 2019/2020 campaign.

On This Day

Dartford lifted the Kent Senior Cup in 2016 beating Charlton Athletic in the final at Princes Park. Having beaten Welling United, Gillingham, Herne Bay and Greenwich Borough on the way, the Darts took on the Addicks and won 3-1. Elliot Bradbrook opened the scoring before Charlton Athletic levelled nine minutes later. Ronnie Vint then Ben Francis scored in the second-half to claim the cup. In 1988, Dartford staged a superb second leg comeback to win the Southern League Cup. Finding themselves 3-1 down from the first leg, the Darts won 3-0 at Watling Street to win the cup 4-3 on aggregate thanks to goals from Gary Britnell,, Kurt Davidson and Colin Johnson. in 2008, Brendon Cass scored the winner against Wingate and Finchley on the final day of the season to help continue the Isthmian Division One North title celebrations. The Darts wrapped up the title early and lifted the trophy at Princes Park on this day.

Margate v Dartford

Kent Senior Cup holders Dartford have the chance to progress to the last four of the competition when they travel to Isthmian Premier League side Margate.

Retaining the trophy is now Dartford’s best chance of silverware after a draw on Saturday left them further behind in the National South. The twelve time winners have won their last five Kent Senior Cup ties. In their way are Margate who are aiming for a top ten finish in the Isthmian Premier League,now the playoffs are out of reach. The Gate will want to stay on track in their quest to win two pieces of silverware this term after making it into the Isthmian League Cup final.

The Darts injury woes in defence continued last week with Connor Essam likely to be out for the remainder of the season. Goalkeeper, Dan Wilks was rested on the weekend after suffering a groin strain, Jordan Wynter and Jernade Meade have been out injured and Josh Hill has been missing for most of the campaign. One player to have glued the defence together over the years is captain Tom Bonner, who made his 400th appearance for the club on the weekend. Midfielders, Luke Allen and George Porter have also been sidelined giving manager Steve King some selection problems of late.

King has admitted that he needs to be careful with who he selects for this quarter-final tie, he spoke to Dartford FC TV on Saturday and said: “I’ve just got to give all the subs minutes that haven’t played. We’ve got to be very careful because we’ve only got two centre halves in the club and we can’t sign anymore”, he added: “It’s not about getting through in that top competition now, for me we will do our best to go and win it, but I need to think about the team very seriously”.

Watch the full interview with Steve King – Dartford FC TV

The trip to Oxford City on the weekend only saw King make two changes with Reice Charles-Cook making his debut in goal and Olumide Durojaiye making his first start for the club. The pair become the 27th and 28th players to make a first start under King this season in all competitions, with Durojaiye filling in at full back.

New goalkeeper, Charles-Cook played against Dartford when he was at Swindon Town, the 27-year-old was on the right side of a 5-1 thrashing in the F.A Cup first round tie five years ago. Prior his time with the Robins, Charles Cook played over 50 times for Coventry City and is a Grenada international. However he was unable to keep out Oxford City’s Joe Iaciofano which turned out to be the equaliser in a 1-1 draw. Dartford came away from Oxfordshire with a point after Marcus Dinanga scored from the spot inside three minutes, the striker has now scored six in eight appearances for the Darts. The away point stretches Dartford’s current unbeaten run to four games.

Dartford were last drawn against Margate in 2013 in the match that never took place. Unable to fit the fixture into their schedule, the Darts were forced to pull out of the competition handing Margate a route into the next round. Since then the Darts have won three of the last four meetings, drawing the other. The most recent was five years ago in the National South. Elliot Bradbrook scored twice, Luke Wanadio and Alfie Pavey grabbed the other goals in a 4-0 home win. In the same season, Dartford’s last visit to Hartsdown Park in September 2016 finished 2-0, this time goals were claimed by Andy Pugh and Bradbrook from the spot in the final fifteen minutes.

Dartford’s last game against Margate in 2017 in the National South – Dartford FC TV

Excluding the walkover in this competition nine years ago, Margate last won at home against the Darts in 1998, a 3-0 Kent Senior Cup second round victory. Dartford are unbeaten in their last seven actual visits to Margate. The last time the Gate triumphed in this fixture was at Princes Park in March 2010 when James Pinnock scored the only goal of the game.

There will be a couple of familiar faces to Dartford as two former players look set to face their old side. Ben Greenhalgh had two seasons with the Darts and was brought to the club by former managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle. The midfielder played 62 games scoring seven times. This season he has managed 16 goals in the Isthmian Premier League and makes the top five goalscorers in the division. Sam Blackman was another signing by Dartford’s previous management duo, however his spell was cut short after a serious injury. Blackman only managed one game for the Darts before moving to Concord Rangers and appearing in the 2020 F.A Trophy final. Margate will have Samuel Odaudu unavailable for the quarter-final after the youngster extended his loan spell from the Darts. The 19-year-old made his Dartford debut in the 5-2 London Senior Cup win against Athletic Newham in September.

Margate had a tough March in the league and are currently on a run of five defeats in six. Although they claimed all three points against Haringey Borough and beat the same side in the League Cup to reach the final, manager Jay Saunders has four games to try and keep his team in the top ten. Three of Margate’s fixtures are against teams around them in the division, however they can be excused for concentrating on cup competitions. The eight times Kent Senior Cup winners are looking to claim the title for the first time since winning the county cup three times in a row between 2003 and 2005, the last time they appeared in the final.

Story so far

First Round
Margate 5-0 Cray Valley Paper Mills
The Gate cruised into the next round beating 2019 F.A Vase finalists Cray Valley Paper Mills. Calvin Ekpiteta opened the scoring with just four minutes on the clock and the lead doubled when Vance Bola netted a header. Reece Prestedge added a third from a free-kick and James Bessey-Saldanha scored twice in the second-half.

Second Round
Dartford 2-1 Dover Athletic
Jordan Greenidge scored twice on debut to start the defence of the Kent Senior Cup. The striker opened his account after eighteen minutes and added a second with fifteen minutes to go. Dover Athletic pulled a goal back, but the Darts went through to the last eight of the competition.

Margate 2-2 Gillingham (Margate won 4-3 on penalties)
A dramatic ending saw Margate almost go out of the competition, but former Dartford midfielder Ben Greenhalgh came up with a late leveller. Fyn Rutherford put the hosts in front early in the second-half then the Gills turned the tie around. Ronald Sithole equalised before Charlie Kelman looked to have won the match for the League One side with three minutes to go. Margate were awarded a penalty in the last minute which Greenhalgh scored.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 48 / Margate wins: 43 / Draws: 29

Current League Form

Dartford
(WLWDWD)
    Margate
(LWWLLL)
   
Oxford City A 1-1 Potters Bar Town H 0-1
Hampton & Richmond A 1-0 Lewes A 0-2
Havant & Waterlooville H 1-1 Bognor Regis Town A 1-4
Chelmsford City H 2-1 Haringey Borough (LC) A 3-2
Chippenham Town A 2-4 Haringey Borough H 3-1
Dover Athletic (KSC) H 2-1 Potters Bar Town A 0-2

KSC – Kent Senior Cup / LC – League Cup

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 4 – 0 Margate (21/03/2017 – National South)
Margate 0 – 2 Dartford (13/09/2016 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Margate (28/12/2015 – National South)
Margate 0 – 2 Dartford (29/08/2015 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Margate (23/03/2010 – Isthmian Premier League)
Margate 0 – 4 Dartford (18/08/2009 – Isthmian Premier League)

Stats

  • This will be the 15th time Dartford have played Margate in the Kent Senior Cup (W6, D2, L6)
  • The pair have met twice at the Quarter-Final stage. In 1947, the Darts won 4-0 and in 1979 after a 1-1 draw, Dartford won the replay 4-2.
  • In 1970 Dartford beat Margate 5-1 on aggregate to lift the Kent Senior Cup.

On This Day

Alex O’Brien scored an important late equaliser at Potters Bar Town on this day. Challenging for the Isthmian Division One North with AFC Sudbury, the Darts were two down until Jay May then O’Brien scored to earn a draw. For an eighth time in a row Dartford have played away on this day. Between 1998 and 2016, the Darts have won once on their travels on 5 April and that was the 3-0 win over Ramsgate in the 2011 Kent Senior Cup semi-final. Charlie Sheringham scored twice and Ryan Hayes the other to send Burman’s boys into the final. The Darts went on to lift the county cup with a 4-1 victory against Bromley. Dartford’s last outing on this day was a 3-0 loss at Truro City, two years earlier they visited Sincil Bank and drew 0-0 with Lincoln City in the National League. The Darts have won once in the last 13 games on 5 April going back to 1977 when they beat Wimbledon 1-0 in the Southern Premier League.

Dartford v Dover Athletic

The Darts begin their defence of the Kent Senior Cup on Tuesday night when they host National League strugglers Dover Athletic.

Steve King led Dartford to the county cup title in November when his side thrashed Whitstable Town 6-1 in the belated 2019/2020 final. A Jake Robinson hat-trick as well as goals from Danny Leonard, George Porter and Tyrique Hyde sealed Dartford’s twelfth Kent Senior Cup title.

Returning to his former club, Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler needs to work a miracle to save the Whites from National League relegation. His side are bottom of the table on minus four points after beginning the campaign with a twelve point deficit. The ex Dartford midfielder made 215 appearances and scored 30 goals in the Watling Street days over a few spells between 1982 and 1990.

It’s been just over five years since Dartford knocked out Dover Athletic in the F.A Trophy first round. The Darts, a division below, earned a replay after the first match at Princes Park finished 1-1. Ronnie Vint scored the equaliser in both fixtures, first levelling after Ricky Miller’s strike. Then in the return game at the Crabble he equalised after Jim Stevenson put Dover Athletic ahead. The winner was scored by Luke Wanadio, currently on loan at Folkestone Invicta to send Dartford through. Victory erased memories of the 6-1 thrashing Dover Athletic dished out on the Darts almost a year earlier in the National League.

Highlights of the last meeting between Dartford and Dover Athletic at Princes Park – Dartford FC TV

Last week King had to move fast to cover yet another injury to a defensive player ahead of the big 3-2 victory against league leaders Dorking Wanderers. Having already signed full back Junior Tiensia on loan from Millwall, the youngster’s injury in the London Senior Cup defeat to Brentford B forced King into bringing in Jayden Sweeney on loan from Leyton Orient. Sweeney has turned out for Wealdstone this term and scored twice in five games, whilst at Orient the 20-year-old has made six appearances this season. The full back position should see the return of Jernade Meade in the coming weeks after his time out with injury, defender Josh Hill remains out for the long term and Luke Allen came off injured on Saturday.

King made four changes to the side that lost in the London Senior Cup. Sweeney made his debut for the injured Tiensia, Connor Essam returned to the starting eleven instead of Kory Roberts, Kalvin Kalala was picked ahead of Tyrqiue Hyde and Marcus Dinanga was back with Robinson on the bench. The Darts got off to an excellent start going two up inside the first quarter of the match, first George Porter then Dinanga, the striker’s third goal in his last four outings. Wanderers halved the deficit ten minutes into the second half before Porter double his league tally for the season. That goal turned out to be the winner as Dorking Wanderers got their second of the afternoon later on.

Dartford’s win takes them to within seven points of the league leaders with a game in hand and stretches their unbeaten home league run to an impressive fourteen, the longest unbeaten home streak from the start of a league campaign since 1987/1988 season, which ended at 16.

Recently Dover Athletic have had their fair share of injury problems and last week an unexpected illness struck captain Ryan Hanson who had to undergo emergency surgery, the midfielder will need around three weeks to recover. Ahead of the Barnet game on the weekend, Marshall Wratten, Myles Judd, and Noah Carney all returned to the squad. Player coach Reda Johnson was back in training, but Arjanit Krasniqi, Alex Green, Seth Twumasi and Travis Gregory were all missing through injury.

Dover Athletic’s woes continued on Saturday with a heavy 6-0 defeat against Barnet, one of Hessenthaler’s former clubs. That leaves the Whites a massive 21 points adrift at the bottom of the National League and still in search for their first away win this season. Dover Athletic have now lost five of their last six picking up a single point in the process since their solitary league victory against Eastleigh in January. Prior beating the Hampshire side, the Whites had picked up just one point in the previous 17 outings.

A week ago the Whites announced the loan extension of former Dartford striker Alfie Pavey. The Maidstone United player moved to the Crabble in late November and has scored five times for Dover Athletic during his spell. At Dartford, Pavey enjoyed a successful time narrowly missing out on the National South title in 2017/2018 but won the league’s Player of the Year after scoring 27 goals. The striker ended up having three spells with the club which included two periods on loan.

The winner of this Kent Senior Cup tie will play Margate, who beat Gillingham in the last round.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 33 / Dover Athletic wins: 34 / Draws: 25

Current League Form (all competitions)

Dartford
(WLWLLW)
    Dover Athletic
(LLLDLL)
   
Dorking Wanderers H 3-2 Barnet A 0-6
Brentford B (LSC) H 0-2 Grimsby Town H 1-3
Hungerford Town A 1-2 Aldershot Town A 0-0
Bath City H 2-0 Torquay United H 1-3
Needham Market (FAT) A 0-1 Stockport County A 0-1
Havant and Waterlooville A 1-0 Southend United H 0-1

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dover Athletic 1 – 2 Dartford (13/12/2016 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 1 – 1 Dover Athletic (10/12/2016 – F.A Trophy)
Dover Athletic 6 – 1 Dartford (17/01/2015 – National League)
Dartford 2 – 1 Dover Athletic (16/09/2014 – National League)
Dartford 0 – 3 Dover Athletic (04/03/2014 – Kent Senior Cup)
Dartford 3 – 1 Dover Athletic (03/12/2011 – National South)

Stats

  • In Kent Senior Cup ties Dartford and Dover Athletic are level in the head to head record. Both sides have won nine games with two draws.
  • The Darts are unbeaten in their last seven home Kent Senior Cup ties in normal time. Dartford have won six and drew the other, but went out on penalties in that game.
  • Dover Athletic are the last side to beat the Darts in normal time in the Kent Senior Cup at Princes Park. The Whites won 3-0 back in the 2014 last eight.
  • Jordan Wynter can make his 100th appearance for the Darts if selected. The versatile defender has made 90 starts and 9 substitute appearances scoring twice.

On This Day

Ricky Bennett scored a hat-trick on this day in 1997 to help Dartford to a 6-0 victory over Clevedon Town in the Southern League South. A brace from Glenn Payne and one for the club’s all time appearance maker Steve Robinson sealed a handsome victory. The Darts have an extraordinary record on 8 March winning 17 and drawing six of their 26 games. Currently they are 11 matches unbeaten on this day with the last two outings in the Kent Senior Cup. In 2016, the Darts beat Greenwich Borough 2-1 in the semi-final with goals from Ronnie Vint and George Sykes. Five years earlier Dartford defeated Whitstable Town 6-1, Danny Harris, Jon Main, two from Adam Burchell, Tom Bonner and Charlie Sheringham fired the Darts into the next round. In both season’s the Darts went on to lift the Kent Senior Cup. Another notable result on this day includes the 4-0 triumph against Newport Isle of Wight in 2003.

Dartford v Whitstable Town – Kent Senior Cup Final

Dartford finally have the chance to win their first piece of silverware in five years when they host the delayed Kent Senior Cup final against Whitstable Town.

The Darts have won the competition eleven times and are second in the all-time winners list. Whitstable Town, who kick started the competition just over two years ago are aiming for an upset and their first ever Kent Senior Cup title.

Separated by two divisions, the Darts will be wary of playing opponents from a lower division. It was only last month they went out of the F.A Cup to AFC Sudbury, a team at the same level of Whitstable Town. However, Dartford have played two county cup games against lower league opposition since making this final, beating Athletic Newham 5-2 and Cockfosters 9-0 in the London Senior Cup, both teams three divisions below the Darts.

Six of the current squad played in the semi-final twenty months ago, Jordan Wynter, Tom Bonner, Noor Husin, Jack Jebb and Luke Wanadio as well as Ronnie Vint, who returned from his loan spell at Dulwich Hamlet to start Saturday’s game against Hemel Hempstead Town.

Tyrique Hyde made a substitute appearance in the 5-1 win over Phoenix Sports that got Dartford to the final, since then the midfielder left the Darts, returned to Princes Park, then was sent out on loan this season. Hyde was recalled from Hemel Hempstead Town and made an immediate impact on his return to Vauxhall Road on the weekend. Dartford claimed their first league win since early October beating the Tudors 3-2. It was Hyde who scored twice, opening the scoring before the hosts equalised. Ade Azeez netted a penalty, his 14th goal of the season in 17 appearances, then Hyde gave the Darts a two goal cushion before Hemel Hempstead Town’s late consolation.

Dartford’s last game with Whitstable Town in 2011 – for more archived highlights visit Dartford FC TV

Whitstable Town have had a tough start to their campaign and poor form saw Lloyd Blackman step down as manager. Just one cup win and a single league point in their opening ten competitive matches led to a change in the dugout. In stepped Keith McMahon and his first task was to win the Kent Senior Cup semi-final, which was dramatically achieved in the last minute against Gillingham. McMahon went on to win his first league game, but since then he has picked up just four points in the last seven outings, three of those points on Saturday.

McMahon will want his side to make the cup final more competitive than the club’s only other appearance. The Oystermen reached the 2009 Kent Senior Cup final and lost 6-1 to Welling United, former Dartford striker Charlie Sheringham scored for the Wings that day. The new boss approaches Wednesday’s finale after a ending their six game winless run by beating Hythe Town. Recently McMahon has bolstered his attack with new signings Kemo Darboe and Stephen Okoh. Earlier in the month he signed former Hungerford Town and Wealdstone striker Harry Goodger as well as Luke Griffiths, Alex Gaggin, Luke Illsley and Luca Woodhouse. Illsley and Gaggin both scored in the 3-0 win on Saturday, Danny Walder added the third late on.

Dartford have played just as many cup games against Whitstable Town as they have league fixtures in the past. During the Darts three year spell in the Kent League First Division they won three, drew two and lost once to the Oystermen. The last three meetings have all been cup ties with the most recent ten years ago. Dartford thrashed Whitstable Town 6-1 in the Kent Senior Cup quarter-final on the way to lifting the cup. The only other Kent Senior Cup fixture also ended in a Dartford win in 2001 when the score was 2-1.

Twice the Darts have beaten Wednesday’s finalists on the way to picking up silverware, in 1996 another 2-1 victory in round three helped Dartford on their way on route to a Kent Senior Trophy triumph. Whitstable Town’s only cup win in six was back in 1993 when they knocked out the Darts of the Kent League Cup with a 2-1 victory.

It’s been a long road to get the 2019/2020 final played, in fact Dartford secured their spot in the final way back in March last year. The Oystermen had to wait until last month to play their semi-final and book their place.

Route to the Final

Round 1
Cray Valley Paper Mills 1-2 Whitstable Town
Harry Stannard took advantage of a defensive mistake early on to give the Oystermen the lead. Aaron Millbank was fouled in the penalty box and took the spot kick to put Whitstable two up. Cray Valley Paper Mills pulled a goal back through Josh James.

Round 2
Maidstone United 0-1 Dartford – highlights
Having played each other three times in November 2019, two months later the two sides met again. Only Josh Hill from the current Dartford squad started this game, but the decisive goal came from winger Ky Marsh-Brown.

Welling United 1-2 Whitstable Town
The Isthmian Division One South East side had to come from a goal down to win this one. Welling United went ahead when Dipo Akinyemi’s shot hit the post and went in off goalkeeper Dan Eason. A brace from Marshall Wratten secured revenge for the 6-1 final defeat in 2009.

Quarter Final
Dartford 4-0 Folkestone Invicta – highlights
The last eight tie was a bit easier for the Darts as they cruised into the semi-final. Liam Nash opened the scoring just past the half hour mark. Six minutes later Tyrique Hyde, in his first spell at the club netted a spot kick. Billy Crook and Elliott Romain added to the score in the second half.

Whitstable Town 1-0 Ramsgate
Into the last eight and Whitstable Town edged past Ramsgate to make the last four. A solitary goal by substitute Charles Etumnu was enough to see the Oystermen through to the semi-final. Whitstable Town played the last half hour with ten men after Liam King was shown a straight red.

Semi Final
Dartford 5-1 Phoenix Sports – highlights
Goals continued to flow, and this time Dartford hit five starting with Jordan Wynter’s first half strike. Nash doubled the lead before Kehinde Aileru scored a penalty for Phoenix Sports. The Darts raced away in the final half hour with goals from Romain, Amrit Bansal-McNulty and Nash’s second.

Whitstable Town 1-0 Gillingham
A perfect and dramatic start for new manager Keith McMahon as his side claimed another single goal victory against a young Gillingham side. As the tie headed to a climax, up popped Tom Carlton in the last minute to send the Oystermen into their second ever Kent Senior Cup final.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 8 / Whitstable Town wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Current Form

Dartford
(WWDDLL)
    Whitstable Town
(WLLLDL)
   
Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2 Hythe Town A 3-0
Cockfosters (LSC) H 9-0 Burgess Hill Town H 0-1
Oxford City H 0-0 Chichester City A 1-2
Chippenham Town H 3-3 Hastings United A 1-4
Concord Rangers A 0-1 Three Bridges H 1-1
Dorking Wanderers A 0-1 Ashford United A 0-2

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 6 – 1 Whitstable Town (08/03/2011 – Kent Senior Cup)
Dartford 3 – 0 Whitstable Town (04/12/2007 – Isthmian League Cup)
Dartford 2– 1 Whitstable Town (27/11/2001 – Kent Senior Cup )
Dartford 2 – 0 Whitstable Town (24/02/1996 – Kent League First Division)
Whitstable Town 1 – 2 Dartford (24/01/1996 – Kent Senior Trophy)
Whitstable Town 2 – 2 Dartford (16/09/1995 – Kent League First Division)

Stats

  • Dartford have scored five or more in each of their last three county cup games (5-1 versus Phoenix Sports in the Kent Senior Cup, 5-2 against Athletic Newham and 9-0 versus Cockfosters both in the London Senior Cup)
  • The Darts have scored 23 and conceded three in their last four county cup games
  • Dartford have won 11 of their last 14 county cup ties
  • Emmanuel Sonupe has scored five goals in his first two county cup games for the Darts (both London Senior Cup)
  • Whitstable Town have won three Kent Senior Trophy titles, but never the Kent Senior Cup

On This Day

Top of the Isthmian Premier League and home to Tooting and Mitcham United, the Darts found themselves 2-0 down on this day in 2009. Dartford showed their championship winning credentials fighting back to win 3-2 with two goals from Ryan Hayes and the other from Rob Howard.

Dartford’s run to the F.A Trophy semi-final started on this day in 2012. In a memorable season when the Darts finished eighth in the National League, Tony Burman’s side beat Kingstonian in round one with goals from Jacob Erskine, Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris and Nathan Collier. Six years later in the same competition Kudus Oyenuga forced a replay with a goal four minutes from time in a 1-1 draw with Eastbourne Borough, the Darts went out in the third qualifying round replay.

The only other time the Darts played a Kent Senior Cup tie on this day was in 1923 when they beat Charlton Athletic Reserves 1-0 in the first round.