Dartford start their London Senior Cup campaign this weekend in a home tie against Southern Premier South side Harrow Borough.
The Darts have reached the last eight of the competition on both occasions in which they have entered the competition. Since Alan Dowson has taken charge, Dartford’s only cup victories have been in London Senior Cup beating Tooting and Mitcham United then Metropolitan Police before going out to Haringey Borough. Harrow Borough were knocked out at the first hurdle last season losing to Cockfosters.
Dartford have been drawn against Harrow Borough twice before, both in the F.A Cup at the second qualifying round stage. On each occasion the Darts swept Borough aside with the last encounter coming 12 years ago. Charlie Sheringham is the only survivor of the current squad to have featured in that cup win and he found the back of the net in a 5-0 victory.
The striker scored Dartford’s third as early as the 25th minute to end any signs of a cup upset developing. Borough suffered a massive setback on three minutes when Danny Leech was sent off and the Darts took full advantage. James Rogers opened the scoring, and the lead was doubled by Elliot Bradbrook before Sheringham’s finish. Tom Bonner and Lee Burns added two more in the second half on a comfortable afternoon for the hosts. The other cup tie came in 1970 when the Darts ran out 7-0 winners on the road.
During Dartford’s short stay in the Isthmian Premier League the two sides met four times with both teams completing a double over each other. After winning promotion, the Darts lost both encounters the following season in November 2008 and March 2009. The lively Cody McDonald volleyed Burman’s side in front in the away clash, but goals from Kurt Morlese and Robin Shroot handed Harrow Borough victory. The reverse fixture at Princes Park was settled by Borough’s Dean Fenton who scored the only goal of the game.
The Darts went on to lift the 2009/2010 Isthmian Premier League title and picked up six points against Harrow Borough. Lee Burns found the net twice in a 2-0 triumph at Princes Park, the Darts recording an eleventh win in their first 12 matches. Burns scored a cheeky lob before completing his brace and it could have been three had Adam Flanagan put his penalty away. Three days after clinching the title with a 6-2 away win at Kingstonian, the champions beat Harrow Borough 1-0 in April 2010. Allan Tait was on the end of a slick Dartford move to secure another win.
Dartford’s F.A Cup exit left a gap in the fixture list allowing this cup tie to be brought forward. The Kent derby defeat came at the end of a four game losing streak, which the Darts put behind them with a National South win over Tonbridge Angels last time out. Dowson made four changes to the starting eleven from the team that lost to Welling United. Brandon Barzey, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Luke Coulson and Harvey Bradbury all came into the side. Paul Rooney netted his first for the club since joining in the summer, the midfielder was alert after Coulson’s shot was blocked. The ball fell to Rooney who struck his shot beyond the Angels goalkeeper to score the decisive goal.
On Tuesday night, Dowson had a look at a number of players in a friendly against a Gillingham B Team. Tom Wray, who has started four of the six cup games under Dowson started as well as Tommy Block, who is returning from injury. Manny Adebowale and Jay Boulton were also given game time having not featured this season so far. The Dartford boss also took the opportunity to observe some trialists.
The squad could be utilised again as usually in the county cups Dowson opts to mix experienced players with those on the fringes of the first team. Two players who will no longer be available are Marvin Herschel, who has departed the club after four years, 12 Dartford appearances and three goals. Whilst defender, James Golding has been recalled by his parent club Oxford City after ten appearances and one goal. Block, Luke Allen, Alex Wall and Maxwell Statham have all been on the treatment table recently so will be hoping for minutes.
Harrow Borough have continued to play at the same level ever since Dartford’s promotion in 2010. The only difference is they have moved across to the Southern League from the Isthmian League resulting in more travelling. Still, they have posted consistent league positions except for a fifth place finish the year after the Darts went up and reached seventh place in their first season in the Southern Premier South.
A tough start has seen Borough on the back foot as they took just one point from their opening five games, at one point conceding 13 in three games as they lost heavily to Waltham and Hersham and Basingstoke Town before a 4-2 defeat at home to Poole Town. However, they lost just one more in the league in their next four outings picking up a point at Hendon before beating Sholing at home. Harrow Borough went on to bounce back from their loss at Hanwell Town with victory versus Plymouth Parkway on the weekend. Two late goals saw Borough turn around a one goal deficit after they fell behind to a Jack Crago strike. With seven minutes to go the hosts were level when Lonit Talla scored from close range and five minutes later Mack Miskin won the match for Borough.
On Tuesday night they faced Hayes and Yeading United and former Dart, Norman Wabo gave United the lead from the penalty spot. Six minutes after the interval Harrow Borough found themselves two down when Ronan Silva doubled the deficit. In the final minute Borough conceded a third when substitute Steve Ngunga wrapped up victory for Hayes and Yeading United.
|Dartford (WLLLLW)||Harrow Borough (DLWLWL)|
|Tonbridge Angels||H||1-0||Hayes & Yeading Utd||A||0-3|
|Welling United (FAC)||H||2-3||Plymouth Parkway||H||2-1|
|St Albans City||A||0-1||Hanwell Town||A||1-2|
|Taunton Town||A||0-1||Bracknell Town (FAC)||H||0-2|
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 4 / Harrow Borough wins: 2 / Draws: 0
Last Six Meetings
Dartford 5 – 0 Harrow Borough (01/10/2011 – F.A Cup)
Harrow Borough 0 – 1 Dartford (13/04/2010 – Isthmian Premier)
Dartford 2 – 0 Harrow Borough (03/10/2009 – Isthmian Premier)
Dartford 0 – 1 Harrow Borough (14/03/2009 – Isthmian Premier)
Harrow Borough 2 – 1 Dartford (08/11/2008 – Isthmian Premier)
Harrow Borough 0 – 7 Dartford (17/10/1970 – F.A Cup)
- The Darts have won each of their last three meetings versus Borough
- Dartford have kept three consecutive clean sheets against Harrow Borough
- Only once have both teams scored in this fixture. Dartford have kept four clean sheets to Harrow Borough’s one
On This Day
Alfie Pavey’s first-half hat-trick inspired Dartford to a comfortable 6-1 win over Needham Market in 2017. The F.A Cup third qualifying round was a breeze for the visitors with Tom Murphy, Andy Pugh and Ryan Hayes all finding the back of the net. After just two wins in ten on this day, the Darts are now four unbeaten. In the National League nine years ago Peter Sweeney and Elliot Bradbrook both equalised in a 2-2 draw with Welling United. Two late goals in 2012 earned a 2-1 victory over Hyde at Princes Park. Harry Crawford scored with six minutes on the clock and Richard Rose grabbed the winner with a delicious lob. Dave Martin was the match winner in 2006 against Croydon Athletic in the Isthmian Division One South.