Tag: National South (Page 1 of 14)

Dartford v Truro City

Dartford’s spell in the National South comes to an end on Saturday in their final league game of the season against Truro City.

The Darts were relegated to the Isthmian Premier last weekend and return to the division for the first time in 14 years. During a difficult campaign the Kent side have only managed two league victories this calendar year and those were against the bottom two. The White Tigers will be playing in the National South next term after Tuesday night’s triumph versus Dover Athletic guaranteed survival.

At the third time of asking the reverse fixture eventually took place in March. Originally due to be played in Plymouth, the game moved to Taunton before ending up in Gloucester. With Dartford desperate for points and Truro City facing the daunting task of 12 games in 25 days at the time it felt like a six-pointer. Neither side could break the deadlock in a 0-0 draw, Dartford’s only clean sheet since Boxing Day.

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Match highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Only Jordan Wynter and Charlie Sheringham out of the current squad featured the last time Dartford hosted Truro City just over five years ago. The visitors took the lead after half an hour when a deep cross was headed goalwards and kept out by Bailey Vose, but Nick Grimes followed up to score the rebound. Just past the hour mark Dartford equalised and this time it was Elliot Bradbrook who pounced from Ryan Hayes’ saved shot. The 1-1 draw extended the Darts unbeaten home run against the White Tigers after claiming a 4-1 triumph in February 2018 and an entertaining 5-3 win in March 2017.

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Dartford will be pleased to see the end of this campaign and after defeat against champions Yeovil Town they had the chance to progress in the London Senior Cup on Tuesday night. Drawn against former landlords, Cray Wanderers in the quarter final Adrian Pennock made seven changes to the starting lineup. Academy graduates Tom Wray, George Whitefield, Jayden Boulton and Finley Sillince took to the field. Fumnaya Shomotun and Jordan Greenidge were also picked to start.

Pennock’s side left it late to come from behind and set up a last four meeting with Hendon. Early pressure from the Wands was rewarded as early as the second minute. Former Dart, Ellis Brown scored to put the hosts ahead at Hayes Lane. Greenidge used his strength to create an opportunity with half hour played and he took full advantage to level. As the tie approached the prospect of penalties, Dartford managed to force the ball home for the winner.

At the beginning of the year Dartford and Truro City were level on points in mid-table. As much as 2023 has been poor for the Darts, their opponents on the final day have not been able to recreate the form that saw them win six out of seven from late November to early January. The White Tigers went through a spell of picking up just one point in seven attempts at the turn of the year. However, victories against Taunton Town, St Albans City, Slough Town and Maidstone United as well as several draws have kept the points ticking over enough.

Truro City may have been flirting with the bottom four, but with a vast number of postponements they have been playing catch up. This weekend’s fixture will end a run of eight straight ‘home’ matches for the White Tigers. On Tuesday night victory over already relegated Dover Athletic secured the Cornwall club’s National South status. Tyler Harvey netted his 13th of the campaign in the first-half to put them nine points clear of safety with two games remaining. On Thursday night Truro City drew 0-0 with Weymouth

Current League Form

Dartford (DLLWLL) Truro City (LDLWWD)
Yeovil Town A 1-3 Weymouth H 0-0
Worthing H 1-2 Dover Athletic H 1-0
Havant & Waterlooville A 2-1 Maidstone United H 3-1
Eastbourne Borough H 0-2 Yeovil Town H 0-2
Chelmsford City A 1-4 Eastbourne Borough H 0-0
Truro City A 0-0 Torquay United H 1-2

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Truro City wins: 5 / Draws: 3

Last Six Meetings

Truro City 0 – 0 Dartford (26/03/2024 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Truro City (30/03/2019 – National South)
Truro City 3 – 1 Dartford (27/10/2018 – National South)
Dartford 4 – 1 Truro City (24/02/2018 – National South)
Truro City 3 – 1 Dartford (11/11/2017 – National South)
Dartford 5 – 3 Truro City (18/03/2017 – National South)

Statistics

  • Dartford are unbeaten in their last three home games against the White Tigers (W2, D1)
  • The Darts have given up 30 points from winning positions this season
  • Captain, Luke Coulson made his 50th appearance of the season on Tuesday night and is set to win this Dartford’s golden boot this season. The winger is on 11 goals in all competitions, five ahead of Oliver Box.

On This Day

Dartford left themselves a lot to do in the Southern League Cup Final on this day in 1988. Peter Taylor missed a penalty in a 3-1 defeat at Bromsgrove Rovers. History suggested Dartford’s chances of winning were slim, only two sides had ever overturned a two-goal first leg deficit in the Southern League Cup Final. When the Darts missed another penalty in the second leg six days later, it looked as if the cup had slipped away. Yet with the Watling Street crowd providing full support, goals from Gary Britnell, Kurt Davidson and Colin Johnson completed a memorable comeback.

Yeovil Town v Dartford

Dartford realistically need to defeat new National South champions Yeovil Town on Saturday to be in with a chance of a dramatic last day survival next weekend.

The Darts are two points from safety with just two matches remaining and need results to go their way to avoid relegation. Last season’s runners up have taken a mighty fall this term and a loss against the Glovers could see them return to the Isthmian Premier League for the first time in 14 years. Yeovil Town have handled their relegation setback in the best way possible by bouncing straight back up to the National League at the first attempt and wrapped up the title on Thursday night.

When Dartford hosted Mark Cooper’s side in November it looked as though the Darts were about to turn the corner. Under Alan Dowson, the 2-2 draw at Princes Park came shortly after victories at Worthing and Torquay United and left them four points shy of a playoff place in twelfth. Since then, the Darts have won just three times in the league in 23 attempts and replaced Dowson with Adrian Pennock.

In the opening ten minutes of the reverse fixture Dartford were almost blown away, but Ryan Sandford’s Player of the Match performance kept the hosts in the game. Yeovil Town took the lead from the spot through Rhys Murphy but could have already scored a few times by then. Somehow Dartford went in at the break level when Luke Allen set up George Alexander. In the second half the hosts improved, and Richard Chin gave the Darts a shock lead with twenty minutes remaining. However, the Glovers showed why they have topped the table for most of the season when Jordan Young equalised to leave the score all square.

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Match highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

This will be Dartford’s first visit to Huish Park, which opened in 1990. When the two sides last met, in the 1984/1985 Alliance Premier League season it was played at Yeovil Town’s former home, the Huish Athletic Ground. The Darts felt as though they had dropped points that day drawing 2-2 against a Yeovil Town side who were reduced to ten men. Dartford went on to finish third that season, their highest ever position. The Glovers ended the campaign bottom and were relegated to the Isthmian League, at the time the equivalent of the National South today.

Dartford’s hopes of surviving the drop were given a boost last weekend in their 2-1 victory away at Havant and Waterlooville. After falling behind, the Darts levelled through Joash Nembhard and shortly afterwards Oliver Box netted the winner. The academy graduate impressed once again, and local reports continue to suggest there is interest for the youngster from Premier League clubs. With Eastbourne Borough also winning on Saturday that meant a victory against Worthing on Tuesday night was pretty much a must win game for the Darts.

Adrian Pennock named an unchanged side and when Luke Coulson scored from the penalty spot there was hope for the hosts. Unfortunately, that hope was extinguished in the second-half as Worthing fought back to secure a playoff place. Bradley Dologhan miss-hot a cross that sailed over goalkeeper Rhys Byrne. Then Nembhard’s misjudgement at the back put in Kane Wills to score the winner.

Yeovil Town clinched the National South title on Thursday night in Gloucester. The Glovers claimed an away win over Truro City, who are yet to confirm their status in the division for next season. Rhys Murphy and Alex Fisher got the celebrations underway with a goal in each half to secure a 2-0 win. The Somerset club are now nine points clear and unsurpassable.

Starting the campaign as one of the favourites brings its own pressure and Yeovil Town have handled that well. After a shock defeat on the opening day to Hemel Hempstead Town, the Glovers took the first month to get familiar with their surroundings. By the start of September, they had won three out of seven and lost to now relegated Havant and Waterlooville. Then a ten-game winning streak propelled Cooper’s side to the top with a comfortable lead. In all competitions they set a club record of 14 consecutive victories. Although they have had minor blips in form on a couple occasions this term, Yeovil Town’s ability of putting winning runs together and their consistency has deservedly kept them at the top of the pile through most of the campaign.

Current League Standings

Team Played Pts GD
Hemel Hempstead 44 49 -15
Truro City 42 48 -11
Torquay United 43 47 -8
Eastbourne Borough 43 45 -25
DARTFORD 44 43 -18
Taunton Town 42 42 -26
Havant & Waterlooville 44 37 -34
Dover Athletic 43 27 -33

Current League Form

Dartford (DDLLWL) Yeovil Town (LDWWLW)
Worthing H 1-2 Truro City A 2-0
Havant & Waterlooville A 2-1 Worthing H 1-3
Eastbourne Borough H 0-2 Torquay United H 3-0
Chelmsford City A 1-4 Braintree Town A 1-0
Truro City A 0-0 Slough Town A 0-0
Hemel Hempstead H 1-1 Chippenham Town H 1-3

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 23 / Yeovil Town wins: 30 / Draws: 33

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 2 – 2 Yeovil Town (09/12/2023 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 2 Yeovil Town (13/01/1990 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 1 – 1 Yeovil Town (23/02/1985 – National League)
Yeovil Town 2 – 2 Dartford (22/12/1984 – National League)
Yeovil Town 0 – 1 Dartford (12/09/1984 – Bob Lord Trophy)
Dartford 1 – 3 Yeovil Town (04/09/1984 – Bob Lord Trophy)

Statistics

  • Dartford’s only two league victories in 2024 have came on the road (D2, L7)
  • The Darts last away win in the league against Yeovil Town was 60 years ago, a 2-0 Southern Premier League victory in 1963, a run of 13 winless away matches in the league versus the Glovers (D5, L8)
  • The Glovers have won 51 points at home in the division, more than any other side. However, they have won one in their last four at Huish Park (D0, L3)

On This Day

Dartford lifted the Kent Senior Trophy for the first and only time on this day in 1996. Facing Chatham Town at Park View Road, the Darts overcame a nervy start eventually winning 3-0 with goals from Dean Bowey, Ricky Bennett and Sean Bristow. In the last five Dartford matches on 13 April the winning side has managed to keep a clean sheet, the last two for the opposition. Taunton Town beat the Darts 1-0 last season at Princes Park and at the same venue four years earlier Chippenham Town recorded the same score. The previous three outings before those defeats went Dartford’s way. Charlie Sheringham scored the only goal of the game against Stockport County in 2013 and Allan Tait was the match winner at Harrow Borough in 2010. In the season before the Darts bagged four without replay versus Canvey Island. Lee Noble, Adam Flanagan, Rob Haworth and Ryan Hayes all finding the back of the net.

Dartford v Worthing

Dartford host their penultimate home game of the season against promotion hopefuls Worthing on Tuesday night.

Adrian Pennock’s side remain in the bottom four, but victory on the weekend has given the Darts hope they can survive the drop. Worthing also claimed maximum points in their last outing defeating table toppers Yeovil Town and all but securing a playoff place.

When the original fixture was due to be played Pennock had just been appointed Dartford boss and Worthing’s manager, Adam Hinshelwood left for York City. Now Aarran Racine will be in the visitor’s dugout and both managers have it all to play for as the season heads down the finishing straight. The Darts need victories to have a chance of holding on to their National South status. The Rebels will be determined to keep momentum going and earn home advantage for the playoffs.

On Saturday, Dartford travelled to Hampshire in a relegation six pointer against Havant and Waterlooville. Pennock made three changes to the side that lost 2-0 at home to Eastbourne Borough on Easter Monday. Injuries to Tommy Block and Brandon Barzey meant Jack Smith and Olly Box were introduced to the starting eleven. Alex Wall was brought in to replace Jordan Greenidge. Tyrell Miller-Rodney was named on the bench and made a late appearance after recovering from tonsillitis. Manny Adebowale, Oliver Bray, Tom Wray and Sam Odaudu were on the injury list.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Joash Nembhard returned to his former side with a goal and Oliver Box became the match winner as the Darts claimed their first league win in 11 attempts. In the first half Dartford were unfortunate not to be ahead with Alex Wall and Box coming close. Havant and Waterlooville tested Rhys Byrne occasionally, but the Darts goalkeeper was equal to the task. Despite being the better side, Dartford went a goal behind in the second half. Harrison Sodje was down injured when the hosts took advantage through an excellent strike from James Roberts. Yet the Darts showed great character and when Nembhard headed over the line, his fourth goal of the season and third against his former side, the visitors were on level terms. Just four minutes later Luke Coulson set up Box to smash the ball into the roof of the net. A couple of good saves from Byrne at the end made sure the score remained 2-1 to the Darts.

Results elsewhere leaves Dartford a point below Eastbourne Borough. In order to remain in the division it looks as though the Darts will have to stop a winless run of nine at home stretching back to November. Pennock will have two opportunities starting with Worthing and ending the campaign against Truro City. In between those two fixtures Dartford travel to champions elect Yeovil Town.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

The reverse fixture against Worthing this season was a topsy-turvy affair. The Darts came from behind, let a lead slip, but ended up winning. Worthing went in front when Danny Cashman scored. Then in the space of 15 minutes at the end of the first-half Dartford were 3-1 to the good. Wall capitalised on some poor defending, captain Coulson netted from the edge of the box and Jordan Wynter then grabbed a rare goal. The Rebels fought back with a superb strike from Ricky Aguiar before Ollie Pearce levelled the score. There was one more twist with six minutes to go, Miller-Rodney put away the winner.

Worthing completed the double over the Darts last season winning 2-1 at Princes Park. In a story akin to this season Dartford let a one goal lead slip after going in front through Connor Essam. The Rebels equalised in the second-half when Callum Kealy scored and in the last minute Joel Cobran netted the decisive goal. Five months later Worthing won 3-0 in a game that saw Wall sent off and Maxwell Statham score an own goal. The prolific Pearce and former Dart, Davide Rodari scored the other two goals.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Three consecutive defeats and a draw threatened to derail Worthing, however a playoff place is pretty much guaranteed, barring a drastic goal difference swing and poor run of form. The Rebels bounced back with three victories on the spin. The latest triumph came on the weekend against Yeovil Town.

Pearce grabbed a brace and is on course to reach the 40 mark for the season and Brad Dolaghan also scored in a 3-1 win. In front of a home crowd, Yeovil Town had the chance to wrap up the National South title, but the Rebels denied the Glovers. Pearce won a penalty in the first half and the league’s top scorer added another to his tally to put the visitors ahead. On the stroke of half-time Joe Felix pounced on a defensive error to set up Dolaghan to make it 2-0. Alex Fisher headed a goal back for the Glovers with six minute to play, but Pearce sealed the deal seven minutes into injury time.

Over the Easter period Racine’s side claimed maximum points scoring seven and conceding one. On Good Friday they breezed past Havant and Waterlooville with a 5-1 triumph and on the Monday defeated Hampton and Richmond 2-0. Pearce grabbed a brace against the Hawks whilst Dolaghan repeated the feat versus the Beavers.

The Sussex side are top scorers in the division with 94 goals and England C international Ollie Pearce has 38 of them. Last term they were the second highest scorers and despite conceding plenty over the last two years their attacking philosophy has paid dividends. Having missed out in the playoffs almost twelve months ago Worthing will be aiming to go one better and reach the National League for the first time in their history.

Current League Standings

Team Played Pts GD
Hemel Hempstead 44 49 -15
Torquay United 43 48 -8
Truro City 40 47 -9
Eastbourne Borough 42 44 -25
DARTFORD 43 43 -17
Taunton Town 40 41 -22
Havant & Waterlooville 43 36 -34
Dover Athletic 43 27 -33

Current League Form

Dartford (LDDLLW) Worthing (LLDWWW)
Havant & Waterlooville A 2-1 Yeovil Town A 3-1
Eastbourne Borough H 0-2 Hampton & Richmond H 2-0
Chelmsford City A 1-4 Havant & Waterlooville A 5-1
Truro City A 0-0 Bath City H 2-2
Hemel Hempstead H 1-1 Chippenham Town A 1-3
Maidstone United H 0-2 Farnborough H 2-3

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Worthing wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Last Six Meetings

Worthing 3 – 4 Dartford (14/11/2023 – National South)
Worthing 3 – 0 Dartford (28/01/2023 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 2 Worthing (27/08/2022 – National South)
Worthing 1 – 2 Dartford (26/09/2009 – F.A Cup)
Worthing 2 – 1 Dartford (20/11/1982 – F.A Cup)
Dartford 3 – 0 Worthing (12/11/1927 – F.A Cup)

Statistics

  • Dartford are on their longest winless run at home in the league since 2014/2015 when they went 11 games without a home win between November 2014 and April 2015 in the National League.
  • The Darts have recorded just two league wins in 2024 in 18 attempts (D4, L12)
  • The last victory for the Darts at home against Worthing was 97 years ago in a F.A Cup tie (W2, L1)
  • Oliver Box is already Dartford’s second highest scorer this season in all competitions with six goals in 15 appearances

On This Day

Dartford won the Southern League Cup for the first time on this day back in 1977. The Darts drew 1-1 against Yeovil Town in the first leg in Somerset and shocked the then four times winners early in the second leg at Watling Street. Keith Robinson scored a 15th minute penalty to put the Darts in front. Then six minutes later Vic Akers caught out Yeovil’s goalkeeper with a strike from 35 yards. Dartford won 2-0 on the day and 3-1 on aggregate to lift the cup. Dartford’s last outing on this day was two years ago when they drew 1-1 at home against Hemel Hempstead Town, Marcus Dinanga rescued a point in the last minute. Eight years ago, Lee Burns ended up in goal as Dartford won at the Gallagher Stadium to claim a Kent derby victory over Maidstone United. Elliot Bradbrook scored a tenth minute penalty, Keaton Wood scored an own goal and Nathan Ferguson scored the winner.

Havant and Waterlooville v Dartford

Dartford have four games to save their National South status and face another six pointer at Havant and Waterlooville this weekend.

The Darts slipped into the bottom four over Easter with a pair of defeats. On Good Friday they were beaten by promotion chasing Chelmsford City and three days later lost a crucial match versus Eastbourne Borough. With no victories in their last ten league outings and Adrian Pennock desperate for his maiden win as Dartford boss the pressure is on. Havant and Waterlooville looked set on filling one of the other relegation spots at the end of February, but the Hawks have since gained eleven points to give themselves a glimmer of hope.

Pennock’s side took a major blow on Easter Monday as they fell to a 2-0 home loss to Eastbourne Borough. The disappointment was compounded by the fact that the Sports climbed above the Darts in the standings swapping safety for a relegation place. Dartford are now a point behind the Sussex club having played an extra game. Meanwhile, Havant and Waterlooville may have suffered a heavy reverse on Good Friday, but a late Ryan Seagar winner at Aveley on Monday put the Hampshire club within five points of Eastbourne Borough.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

In their quest for survival Dartford could all but confirm Havant and Waterlooville’s relegation from the National South. A rare victory for the Darts and a win for Eastbourne Borough against Weymouth will leave the Hawks needing to win all three of their remaining fixtures. However, Dartford also need the Sussex side to drop points to be in with a chance of climbing out of the drop zone.

Three changes were made to the starting eleven that lost 4-1 at Chelmsford City on Good Friday. Pennock selected Harrison Sodje, Luke Allen and Tommy Block against Eastbourne Borough. Oliver Bray was out with a hamstring strain and will be assessed ahead of this weekend’s trip to Hampshire and Manny Adebowale is also on the treatment table. Sam Odaudu is not yet available but has been working on his recovery.

An early groin injury to Block was a sign of things to come as he lasted just ten minutes. Then a goalkeeping error by Rhys Byrne gifted Yahya Bamba a tap in to put the visitors in command. Late in the first-half Eastbourne Borough struck the post twice either side of Brandon Barzey leaving the pitch with a hamstring injury. The Darts were fortunate to be just a goal down at the break. The second-half continued in much the same way when the Sports hit the post for a third time. Although Luke Coulson had one cleared off the line, Bamba struck his second to make it worse for Pennock’s side. Oliver Box did crash a late effort of the crossbar, but the Darts fell to their twelfth defeat in sixteen and drew a blank for the thirteenth time this season.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Dartford’s Joash Nembhard, Tyrell Miller-Rodney and Paul Rooney all featured against their former club Havant and Waterlooville earlier in the season, whilst Alex Wall wasn’t involved. The Darts got one over a former manager in Steve King, on his return to Princes Park and Nembhard made sure. The defender scored a brace in a 2-0 victory opening the scoring by following up Baris Altintop’s free-kick just eight minutes in. Another set-piece led to the second goal when Luke Coulson’s delivery finally found Nembhard who volleyed home.

Last season’s visit to Westleigh Park also featured a former Hawk notching a brace and this time it was Wall. The midfield duo of Luke Allen and Samir Carruthers combined for the first goal setting up Wall for his first of the evening. Allen netted the winner at Havant and Waterlooville in February 2022 and he was involved again for the second. The Hawks halved the deficit when Jake McCarthy scored, but Wall put the game beyond doubt two minutes later.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Havant and Waterlooville bounced back from two heavy defeats with an Easter Monday victory over playoff chasing Aveley. The previous two outings ended in a 4-1 loss at Weymouth and a 5-1 reverse to Worthing. Needing to secure maximum points to keep their hopes of survival alive, the Hawks led five minutes after the break courtesy of Joe McNerney. However, the Essex side took were level seven minutes later when Razzaq Coleman De-Graft equalised. A draw was turned into a much needed win after Ryan Seager grabbed the winner with just three minutes on the clock. The triumph on the road featured former Darts, Jack Jebb who made 67 appearances and Kai Innocent who featured eight times for Dartford.

Interim manager, Cliff De Gordon has guided his side to within five points of safety after improved results last month. As well as the win at Aveley to kick start April, the Hawks beat Hemel Hempstead Town 2-0 in Hertfordshire and defeated Slough Town 2-1 at home. Draws against Tonbridge Angels and Dover Athletic have kept the points ticking over in their bid to remain in the National South. Another win on Saturday will put the Hampshire side a point behind the Darts with three games to go.

Current League Standings

Team Played Pts GD
Hemel Hempstead 43 48 -15
Welling United 42 48 -16
Truro City 37 46 -6
Torquay United 41 45 -8
Eastbourne Borough 41 41 -26
DARTFORD 42 40 -18
Taunton Town 39 40 -22
Havant & Waterlooville 42 36 -33
Dover Athletic 42 26 -33

Current League Form

Dartford (LLDDLL) Havant & Waterlooville (DWDLLW)
Eastbourne Borough H 0-2 Aveley A 2-1
Chelmsford City A 1-4 Worthing H 1-5
Truro City A 0-0 Weymouth A 1-4
Hemel Hempstead H 1-1 Dover Athletic A 0-0
Maidstone United H 0-2 Slough Town H 2-1
Braintree Town A 0-2 Tonbridge Angels H 2-2

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 9 / Havant and Waterlooville wins: 5 / Draws: 5

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 2 – 0 Havant and Waterlooville (21/10/2023 – National South)
Havant and Waterlooville 1 – 3 Dartford (14/12/2022 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 2 Havant and Waterlooville (16/08/2022 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Havant and Waterlooville (19/03/2022 – National South)
Havant and Waterlooville 0 – 1 Dartford (09/02/2022 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Havant and Waterlooville (31/10/2020 – National South)

Statistics

  • Dartford have won their last two away games in the league at Westleigh Park and last three including the playoff win in July 2020
  • The Darts have won just one in their last 18 league games (D5, L12)
  • Dartford have picked up just one point in their last five away games in the National South.

On This Day

Dartford reached Wembley with a 0-0 F.A Trophy semi-final second leg draw against Macclesfield Town on this day. After taking a 2-1 lead from the first leg, Ernie Morgan’s side held on at Watling Street for 90 nail biting minutes to set up a final with Morecambe. The Darts also officially secured another National League season on this day in 2013 with a 2-0 away win against AFC Telford United. The Darts travelled to the New Bucks Head Stadium and goals from Jason Prior and Charlie Sheringham earned Tony Burman’s maximum points. Dartford went on to finish eighth and become the best part-time team in the country. That was the last time the Darts tasted victory on this day. Since then, Dartford have been defeated 1-0 at home to Barnet in 2015 and 3-1 away versus Weston-super-Mare in 2019, Ryan Hayes with a consolation goal. In 1931, Dartford took a step towards lifting their first ever Kent Senior Cup with a 2-2 draw against Folkestone. The replay took place two days later which the Darts won 5-2.

Dartford v Eastbourne Borough

Dartford’s battle for survival continues this Easter Monday when they have home advantage in a relegation six pointer against Eastbourne Borough.

Dartford have just five games remaining to save their season and remain in the National South. The Darts have spent nine consecutive years in the second tier of the non-league and will not fancy returning to the Isthmian Premier League, for the first time since 2010. Eastbourne Borough’s 13-year stay is also under threat and were last playing step three football in 2003/2004.

Prior the beginning of the campaign few would have expected to see Dartford and Eastbourne Borough in their current predicament. The Darts were runners up last season and the Sports had just turned full-time and touted to challenge at the other end of the table. By January, managers Alan Dowson exited Princes Park and Mark Beard departed Priory Lane. Now it’s down to Adrian Pennock to steer the Darts and Adam Murray to guide the Sports to safety.

It wasn’t such a good Friday for either side as both the Darts and the Sports fell to heavy defeats. Pennock made six changes to the team that drew 0-0 versus Truro City. Jordan Greenidge returned from suspension replacing Oliver Bray up front. Brandon Barzey was back from international duty and lined up on the wing instead of Fumnaya Shomotun. Oliver Box recovered from an ankle injury, Maxwell Statham and Joash Nembhard also started as well as Taylor Maloney. Luke Allen and Jack Smith were named on the substitutes bench, but Tommy Block and Harrison Sodje were rested.

The Darts found themselves a goal down against Chelmsford City with half an hour played when Clarets top scorer, Charlie Ruff netted from a couple of yards out. Approaching the interval the hosts doubled their advantage through former Dartford loanee George Alexander. Pennock made a half-time change bringing on Smith for Luke Coulson and within two minutes of the restart Barzey pulled a goal back. However, the Essex club pulled clear in the final ten minutes. First Alexander scored his fourth goal against the Darts for a third different club, then Ruff added his second of the afternoon.

Eastbourne Borough also faced a playoff chasing side on Good Friday. Welcoming Maidstone United to Priory Lane, the Sports conceded a penalty after just five minutes. Sam Corne dispatched the spot kick to put the visitors ahead. It got worse for the Sussex club after Sam Beard was sent off for two cautions just minutes apart. Disadvantaged, the hosts were undeterred and Pierce Bird equalised ten minutes before half-time. The goalscorer’s afternoon was cut short early in the second-half when he was dismissed, leaving the Sports down to nine. Maidstone United pressed home their advantage by regaining the lead courtesy of Matt Rush. In the final five minutes Lemar Reynolds added three more to complete a quick fire hat-trick.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Dartford will be desperate to repeat the win they achieved in this fixture last season. Under the Princes Park floodlights the Darts came from behind to claim maximum points. Eastbourne Borough took the lead through Leone Gravata, but the hosts were soon level when Charlie Sheringham linked up with Samir Carruthers, who scored with half an hour played. Carruthers was involved again in the winner by providing the pass to Kristian Campbell who set up Luke Allen in a 2-1 victory.

That was the second successive home win over the Sussex side as the Darts also won 3-1 in August 2021 at Princes Park. Jake Robinson opened his account with a brace, the first after seven minutes was a predatory finish, his second was from the penalty spot. The Sports hit back immediately after the break when Greg Luer made the most of a lack of concentration to cut Dartford’s lead in half. Ade Azeez was brought on and his well-placed header restored the two goal cushion.

In between those home wins the Darts also trounced the Sports 7-2 in Sussex on the final day of the 2021/2022 campaign. Dan Roberts opened the scored in the fourth minute, whilst Marcus Dinanga and Kalvin Kalala both netted a brace. Kory Roberts and Jordan Greenidge also found the back of the Eastbourne Borough net on a fantastic afternoon for the Darts. However, the Sports have taken four points from the last six available in this fixture all at Priory Lane.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

The reverse fixture this season ended with honours even. An early second-half strike from Fletcher Holman gave Eastbourne Borough an advantage which was cancelled out by Brandon Barzey’s equaliser. Moussa Diarra was lining up at the back for the Darts that day, the defender is now at Eastbourne Borough. The 34-year-old made 23 appearances in a Dartford shirt scoring one goal. Another former player was on the bench for the Sports back in October, Ben Dudzinski played 13 games in goal for the Darts last season.

Current League Standings

Team Played Pts GD
Welling United 41 47 -16
Truro City 36 45 -6
Hemel Hempstead 41 45 -15
Torquay United 40 44 -8
DARTFORD 41 40 -16
Taunton Town 37 40 -19
Eastbourne Borough 40 38 -28
Havant & Waterlooville 41 33 -34
Dover Athletic 41 23 -34

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLDDL) Eastbourne Borough (LLWDWD)
Chelmsford City A 1-4 Maidstone United H 1-5
Truro City A 0-0 Slough Town A 1-1
Hemel Hempstead H 1-1 Taunton Town H 2-0
Maidstone United H 0-2 Dover Athletic H 1-1
Braintree Town A 0-2 Hemel Hempstead H 1-0
Torquay United A 1-4 Hampton & Richmond A 0-1

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 15 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 9 / Draws: 5

Last Six Meetings

Eastbourne Borough1 – 1 Dartford (24/10/2023 – National South)
Eastbourne Borough 2 – 1 Dartford (07/04/2023 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Eastbourne Borough (27/09/2022 – National South)
Eastbourne Borough 2 – 7 Dartford (07/05/2022 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 1 Eastbourne Borough (30/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Eastbourne Borough (09/02/2021 – National South)

Statistics

  • At home, Dartford have lost just once in the league in their last nine games against the Sports (W7, D1)
  • At Princes Park, the Darts have won eight out of 11 against Eastbourne Borough in all competitions (D1, L2)
  • The Darts have gone eight games at home without a clean sheet against the Sussex club

On This Day

Alex Wall scored a hat-trick a year ago as the Darts strolled to a 4-0 home victory against Dulwich Hamlet. Harvey Bradbury added another with five minutes to go to make it three wins in their last five on this day. Six years earlier Dartford drew 2-2 with Hemel Hempstead Town in Hertfordshire, Danny Harris and Luke Wanadio scoring for the visitors. In 2013 the Darts put in a brilliant performance at Princes Park beating Woking 4-1 in the National League. Goals from Nathan Collier, a brace from Lee Noble and one for Charlie Sheringham secured victory. Pre homecoming Dartford also recorded a 2-0 victory at Ilford in the Southern League Division One East in 2006. The only team to get the better of Dartford in the last five outings on this day are now in the Premier League. Luton Town won 2-1 at Princes Park with two late goals. Mikkel Suarez put the hosts in front, but Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu and Andre Gray netted for the Hatters.

Truro City v Dartford

A neutral venue will host Dartford’s long trip west to face Truro City in a relegation six pointer on Tuesday night.

For the Darts, the journey to Gloucester City’s Meadow Park shortens their travelling time compared to the fixture that was postponed back in January, when the match was due to be played in Plymouth. Truro City, who face 12 games in 24 days will be making the 195 mile jaunt just to play at ‘home’.

Victory in Gloucestershire will ensure the Darts climb out of the relegation zone and finish the evening above the White Tigers. Dartford have won just one in their last eight National South games. Truro City have secured two victories in their last 11 outings, both those triumphs came in the last four matches. Although last time out they were beaten by Tonbridge Angels despite going in front.

New Dartford boss, Adrian Pennock picked up his first point at the helm on the weekend to halt a run of four straight league defeats for the club. Having fallen behind some could see the draw as a precious point gained. However with relegation rivals slipping up around the Darts, it was also an opportunity missed against a struggling Hemel Hempstead Town side.

Pennock was pleased with the character shown by his players at the end of a difficult week for the club on and off the field. The passing of co-chairman Dave Skinner was respected prior kick off with a minute applause.

On the field the Darts were without Brandon Barzey who is on international duty for Montserrat. Jordan Greenidge is suspended, for the red card picked up in the 2-0 loss versus Braintree Town and will be unavailable on Tuesday night. Goalkeeper, Billy Terrell was also sent off against Maidstone United, so his ban forced Pennock into signing Rhys Byrne on loan from Leyton Orient. Oliver Box was in contention to feature against Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday, but an ankle injury prevented the youngster making his 15th appearance for the team. Sam Odaudu is recovering from a long term injury.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Byrne became the sixth keeper used by Dartford this term in all competitions. The loanee was given his debut alongside Harrison Sodje, also from Leyton Orient and Oliver Bray, from Aldershot Town. Bray also had a spell with Truro City earlier this season, scoring once in seven appearances for the White Tigers. The trio were part of four changes to the last starting eleven in the league. Alex Wall was the other alteration to the side replacing the suspended Greenidge.

Dartford had enough chances to beat Hemel Hempstead Town, who were led by former manager Alan Dowson. The opening ten minutes saw Fumnaya Shomotun weave through the Tudors defence only for former Dartford goalkeeper Craig King to save. The visitors went in front with their first major effort, Michael Folivi was played through on goal and the striker calmly finished. Early in the second half the Darts were wasteful in front of goal until man of the match Paul Rooney equalised to earn the hosts a point. Although Dartford gained a small amount of ground on Taunton Town, Truro City and Welling United they remain in the bottom four.

Meadow Park will be the third different venue Dartford have visited to play Truro City. In those five previous matches, the Darts have won just one and that was 5-0 in October 2016 at Treyew Road. Keaton Wood, Andy Pugh and Duane Ofori-Acheampong all scored in the first half. Ofori-Acheampong netted again in the second forty-five as did Alex Brown.

The last visit was six years ago to the day played at Torquay United’s ground, Plainmoor. After three unanswered goals Dartford scored a last-minute consolation. Tyler Harvey opened the scoring before hitting the woodwork. The striker then scored on the stroke of half-time and moments later Nick Grimes added a third. Kudus Oyenuga headed in a 90th minute goal for the visitors as it ended 3-1.

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Truro City manager Paul Wotton is ‘taking each game as it comes’ in assessing which of his players are available and fit. The busy fixture schedule caused by waterlogged pitches at Plymouth Parkway’s Bolitho Park and Taunton Town’s Wordsworth Drive have left the White Tigers needing to play three games a week and they still need to rearrange the abandoned fixture versus Eastbourne Borough.

On Saturday, the Cornwall side looked good for maximum points in Kent after Josh Hinds scored his first goal for the club just past the hour mark. However, Tonbridge Angels left it very late to steal all three points when Jordan Higgs levelled six minutes from time and Jamie Fielding netted the winner in the 93rd minute.

A week earlier Truro City recorded their first away win since January. Andrew Neal and Adam Porter were on target in a 2-1 win at St Albans City. Their next fixture, last Tuesday against Eastbourne Borough, was abandoned after a serious injury to Sports defender Alex Finney.

Potentially the reverse fixture could be decisive in who stays in the National South. Dartford play Truro City again on the final day of the season at Princes Park.

Current League Form

Dartford (DLLLLD) Truro City (LLWLWL)
Hemel Hempstead H 1-1 Tonbridge Angels A 1-2
Maidstone United H 0-2 St Albans City A 2-1
Braintree Town A 0-2 Chelmsford City A 1-4
Torquay United A 1-4 Taunton Town H 2-0
Aveley H 1-2 Welling United A 2-3
Taunton Town H 1-1 Bath City A 1-2

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Truro City wins: 5 / Draws: 2

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 1 – 1 Truro City (30/03/2019 – National South)
Truro City 3 – 1 Dartford (27/10/2018 – National South)
Dartford 4 – 1 Truro City (24/02/2018 – National South)
Truro City 3 – 1 Dartford (11/11/2017 – National South)
Dartford 5 – 3 Truro City (18/03/2017 – National South)
Truro City 0 – 5 Dartford (08/10/2016 – National South)

Statistics

  • The last seven meetings between the two sides have averaged 4.32 goals per game. Dartford have scored 17 to Truro City’s 14 (W3, D1, L3)
  • Dartford’s only win away at Truro City was 5-0 in October 2016, since then they have lost two in a row
  • The Darts are on their longest streak without a win in the league this season. It’s the second time this campaign in which Dartford have failed to record a victory in seven National South games.

On This Day

Dartford took a massive step towards winning the Kent Senior Cup on this day in 1973. The first leg of the final against Folkestone Town finished 6-2 to the Darts. Nine days later a 4-2 second leg win handed the county cup to Dartford in style. The Darts last outing on this day was a couple of years ago when Marcus Dinanga scored the only goal of the game at Hampton and Richmond Borough. Dartford hosted Lewes in 2011 and a goal from Danny Harris and a brace for Charlie Sheringham secured a 3-0 victory.

Dartford v Hemel Hempstead Town

Dartford’s relegation battle continues on Non League Day when they host a Hemel Hempstead Town side managed by former boss Alan Dowson.

Adrian Pennock is searching for his first points as Darts manager in his fourth league game in charge. After exiting Princes Park, Dowson returns to the ground where he spent just over a year and a half in charge. The 53-year-old is also yet to get off the mark in his three games as Tudors boss.

A six pointer at the bottom end of the table could see Dartford move within three points of their opponents and drag them into the mix. At least one manager will break their duck and with both sides in poor form any points picked up will be crucial in their bid to remain in the National South.

When the two sides met in October they ended the day in 12th and 13th respectively, closer to the playoffs in terms of points. Now the Darts have won just once in 14 league games with the last home victory coming in November under Dowson, who departed in January. Hemel Hempstead Town have lost their last six and have one point to show in their last nine outings, resulting in Bradley Quinton leaving and being replaced by Dartford’s ex manager at the start of this month.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Dartford approach Saturday’s game after a double header against Kent rivals Maidstone United. In the National South last weekend the Darts put in plenty of effort and after a promising first half they still went in at half-time a goal down once Liam Sole put the Stones in front. Goalkeeper, Billy Terrell was sent off ten minutes into the second-half and Maidstone United’s Matt Rush added a late second.

Brandon Barzey put in a good performance on the Dartford wing, but he will miss this weekend’s game after being called up to the Montserrat international squad for a World Cup qualifier. The winger spent some of this campaign on loan at Hemel Hempstead Town. His not the only current Dart who has turned out for the Hertfordshire club. Luke Allen, Joash Nembhard, Alex Wall and Charlie Sheringham also had spells at Vauxhall Road.

This week Pennock made a triple signing by bringing in players on loan. After Terrell’s red card and Tom Clifford returning to his parent club, the Dartford boss has brought in goalkeeper Rhys Byrne and defender Harrison Sodje from Leyton Orient. Ibby Akanbi and Elliott Romain have also finished their spells with the Darts leading to Oliver Bray arriving at Princes Park until the end of the season. The 20-year-old striker from Aldershot Town was at Willand Rovers in the Southern League Division One South before joining the Shots and spent time on loan at Truro City this season.

Pennock named eight homegrown players in the squad to face Maidstone United in Tuesday night’s Kent Senior Cup semi-final. Tom Wray started in goal, George Whitefield and Oliver Box were also selected, whilst the bench consisted of five youngsters from the academy. Ibby Akanbi returned after illness and Jordan Greenidge was rested despite his upcoming suspension.

Box has impressed since breaking into the senior side, scoring five goals in five starts and six substitute appearances. Featuring for the first time under Pennock, the academy graduate set up Alex Wall for only his fifth goal of the season to give the Darts a one goal advantage at the break. Senior debuts were also handed to Finley Sillince and Jeremiah Pinder in the second-half who came on as substitutes. Maidstone United levelled with 12 minutes remaining when they were awarded a penalty which Sam Corne dispatched. A 1-1 draw after normal time meant the tie was decided from the spot, the Stones won 4-3 on penalties.

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Five months ago, a frustrating afternoon saw Dowson sent off from the away dugout at Vauxhall Road. Dartford let a one goal lead slip to come home with nothing to show in a 2-1 defeat against Hemel Hempstead Town. Winger, Luke Coulson scored his first goal since the opening day from the penalty spot. Yet his first-half strike was cancelled out moments later when Reece Grant finished a one-on-one chance. The Tudors were awarded a penalty of their own in the second-half, which Joe Iaciofano scored.

Last season the away side won both games with Dartford taking the honours in Hertfordshire. Former Tudor, Samir Carruthers delicately curled the opener into the top corner from just inside the box. The 29-year-old added another scoring directly from a free-kick. The reverse fixture finished 3-1 to Hemel Hempstead Town at Princes Park. Jack Westbrook gave the away team the lead before Connor Essam’s equaliser. Approaching the interval, Kyle Ajayi scored a stunner and late in the match Jeremie Mukendi grabbed a third.

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Former Dart, Pierre Fonkeu scored in Hemel Hempstead Town’s last outing. The forward made 50 appearances, 20 as a substitute scoring 11 goals for Dartford last term. The 26-year-old equalised five minutes before the break, but Hampton and Richmond Borough scored again to claim a 2-1 win. Josh Hill was also in the starting eleven for the Tudors, the defender played 66 times for the Darts scoring seven. Craig King also had a spell at Princes Park featuring in 18 games. The shot stopper hasn’t played for the Tudors since late February. Dowson has made a few signings since arriving bringing in goalkeeper Jonathan McAuley and Junior Gyamfi on loan from Watford and Jamie Sendles-White from Yeovil Town.

Prior defeat at home to Hampton and Richmond Borough, the Tudors went three without scoring, away at Bath City and Eastbourne Borough as well as at home versus Havant and Waterlooville. With two of their last four defeats coming against teams in the drop zone, Hemel Hempstead Town are edging closer to the bottom four.

Current League Form

Dartford (LDLLLL) Hemel Hempstead Town (LLLLLL)
Maidstone United H 0-2 Hampton & Richmond H 1-2
Braintree Town A 1-2 Bath City A 0-2
Torquay United A 1-4 Eastbourne Borough A 0-1
Aveley H 1-2 Havant & Waterlooville H 0-2
Taunton Town H 1-1 Chelmsford City H 1-4
Slough Town A 2-3 Weston-super-Mare H 1-2

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 8 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 3 / Draws: 5

Last Six Meetings

Hemel Hempstead Town 2 – 1 Dartford (28/10/2023 – National South
Dartford 1 – 3 Hemel Hempstead Town (14/01/2023 – National South)
Hemel Hempstead Town 0 – 2 Dartford (29/08/2022 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Hemel Hempstead Town (09/04/2022 – National South)
Hemel Hempstead Town 2 – 3 Dartford (20/11/2021 – National South)
Hemel Hempstead Town 1 – 3 Dartford (10/11/2020 – National South)

Statistics

  • Dartford are winless in their last four at home against Hemel Hempstead Town (D3, L1)
  • The Darts went 12 games unbeaten against the Tudors (W7, D5) before losing the last two meetings
  • Dartford are without a home win in six (D8, L8), their worst run since 2014/2015 (D3, L3)

On This Day

Dartford have lost just one of their last 14 games on 23 March and that was 14 years ago at home to Margate in the Isthmian Premier League. The most recent outing on this day saw Tyrell Miller-Rodney lining up against the Darts for Hampton and Richmond Borough. Dartford equalised twice in a 2-2 draw, Sheringham scored a penalty and Darren McQueen rescued a point in the last minute. In 2013 a Ryan Hayes masterclass helped the Darts to a rare win over Gateshead in the National League. The winger scored a brace and Sheringham added a third in a 3-0 victory. Dartford have won 11 of their last 14 matches on 23 March.

Dartford v Maidstone United

Dartford slipped into the relegation zone this week and will be desperate to pick up points against Kent rivals Maidstone United.

The Darts are searching for a first home win in the league since November and will be up against a Stones side looking to move into a playoff place. Ady Pennock has lost both games since taking charge at Princes Park and has a big challenge on his hands to guide Dartford to safety. Maidstone United have enjoyed a tremendous F.A Cup run to the fifth round this season and are now concentrating on finishing in the top seven. Three days later the Darts will be hosting the Stones again in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final.

Pennock made his second signing just ahead of Tuesday night’s fixture at Braintree Town. Ronny Nelson was part of Torquay United’s squad last weekend and was an unused substitute against the Darts. Now the central defender will be wearing a Dartford shirt after signing for a month from League Two side Colchester United. The 20-year-old joined the Essex club from Leicester City’s academy.

Dartford’s boss made one change to the side that tasted defeat in Devon. Nelson was put straight into the lineup to replace Joash Nembhard, who was on the bench. Midfielder, Jack Smith made his 50th appearance for the club. Jordan Wynter served the last of his two-match suspension and could face his former side this weekend. Sam Odaudu is still recovering from injury and Elliott Romain’s loan spell has come to an end.

Dartford slipped into the bottom four with a 2-0 defeat in Essex, an eighth loss in their last ten league games. Early bouts of pressure from Braintree Town and a series of corners were too much to handle for the Darts, the hosts finally took advantage through Shaq Coulthirst twenty minutes in. In the second-half Dartford stayed in the game, but a late red card to Jordan Greenidge dashed hopes for an equaliser. That hope was extinguished in stoppage time when Tom Blackwell clinched a second for Braintree Town.

Since Dartford’s last home victory in the National South, at Princes Park they have drawn three and lost four and are currently on a three-game losing streak in the league on their own patch. Four points from the last 33 available home and away has seen the Darts slide into a relegation battle. The situation was worsened on Tuesday night with Taunton Town winning against Torquay United to put Pennock’s side beneath the relegation line.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Next up is the tricky prospect of Maidstone United who Dartford lost to in January at the Gallagher Stadium. Goalkeeper, Billy Terrell made his debut between the sticks in Alan Dowson’s final game as boss, but the loanee from AFC Bournemouth was unable to stop the Darts falling to defeat despite taking the lead. Luke Coulson gave Dartford the lead from the penalty spot. However, the Kent derby turned in the space of five second-half minutes. Harry Kyprianou and Matt Rush scored for the Stones to hand the hosts the three points. Terrell is still waiting for his first clean sheet after making ten appearances so far.

Saturday’s clash will be the third time the Darts have taken on their Kent rivals this season. The pair were drawn together in the F.A Trophy second round back in November Dartford fell to a last gasp goal to Kent rivals Maidstone United in the second round. Another goalkeeper made his debut in this game when Ryan Sandford lined up against his former club. Moussa Diarra came the closest for Dartford in the first half by hitting the woodwork. The hosts had opportunities in the second-half often missing the target. Both goalkeepers were not really troubled until a stoppage time winner from Maidstone United striker Levi Amantchi, who has since made a move to Bromley.

The Stones have got the better of Dartford in recent times winning the previous four meetings. Another triumph will secure a league double over the Darts, which they also achieved last time the two sides were in the same division in 2021/2022. Maidstone United went up as champions in that campaign but made a swift return to the National South after relegation last term. In that title winning season, the Stones came to Princes Park and won 1-0. The main protagonist that day was former Dart, Jack Barham who netted the only goal of the game to end Dartford’s unbeaten home run of 17 games. The striker also claimed the match ball in the reverse fixture with a hat-trick in a 4-0 Maidstone United victory.

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George Elokobi’s side hit the headlines this season in the F.A Cup. The Stones went on an historic run to the fifth round to record their best performance in the competition and the best by a tier six team since Blyth Spartans in 1978. In total Maidstone United played eight ties beating Steyning Town, Winchester City and Torquay United to qualify for the first round proper. They went on to knock out Chesham United before defeating three Football League sides Barrow, Stevenage, Ipswich Town. Eventually their run came to an end with a 5-0 loss at Championship club Coventry City.

Since the last meeting between Dartford and Maidstone United, the Stones have been inconsistent in the National South, perhaps down to the distraction of their cup run. After winning at Princes Park two months ago they occupied third spot, but four wins and defeats plus three draws have seen Elokobi’s side fall out of a top seven place.

Maidstone United aim to get back on track and on Tuesday night they picked up an eleventh home win of the season by beating second place Chelmsford City. Two goals in the final ten minutes from Sam Corne and Matt Rush made the difference. Corne scored from the spot, whilst Rush added his 14th National South goal of the campaign, for Aveley and the Stones. Victory has put the Maidstone United level on points with Bath City, who are in seventh place and was just the tonic after suffering only their third home league defeat of the season on the weekend against St Albans City.

Current Standings

Team Played Points GD
Torquay United 37 41 -3
Taunton Town 33 40 -11
Welling United 37 40 -16
Truro City 32 38 -7
DARTFORD 37 38 -11
Eastbourne Borough 37 34 -26
Havant and Waterlooville 38 32 -27
Dover Athletic 37 22 -31

Current League Form

Dartford (WLDLLL) Maidstone United  (DLWDLW)
Braintree Town A 1-2 Chelmsford City H 2-0
Torquay United A 1-4 St Albans City H 1-2
Aveley H 1-2 Bath City H 2-2
Taunton Town H 1-1 Dover Athletic A 1-0
Slough Town A 2-3 Aveley A 0-2
Dover Athletic A 2-1 Hemel Hempstead H 1-1

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 46 / Maidstone United wins: 49 / Draws: 19

Last Six Meetings

Maidstone United 2 – 1 Dartford (09/01/2024 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Maidstone United (18/11/2023 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 0 – 1 Maidstone United (18/04/2022 – National South)
Maidstone United 4 – 0 Dartford (11/12/2021 – National South)
Maidstone United 0 – 3 Dartford (02/10/2021 – F.A Cup)
Maidstone United 0 – 2 Dartford (14/11/2020 – National South)

Statistics

  • Dartford are on their longest winless home run in all competitions against Maidstone United, three draws followed by three defeats. One of those draws ended in a penalty shoot-out loss.
  • In the league, Dartford’s current streak of three without a home victory against the Stones (D2, L1) is their longest since 1922 to 1923 (D2, L1)
  • The Darts set an unbeaten record by either side of eight league games in this fixture between 2008 and 2020 (W6, D2). Since then, Dartford have lost three in a row, a fourth would equal a losing league streak set 122 years ago.

On This Day

Dartford have been beaten on this day on the last three occasions with the most recent against Torquay United in 2019, Jamie Reid scored both goals. In the National League six years earlier, the Darts lost 1-0 at Hyde. The last home match on this day was back in 2010 when Boreham Wood won 2-1, Lee Burns the Dartford goalscorer. Prior those three losses, the Darts had lost just one in ten on 16 March. In 1972 they reached the Kent Senior Cup final with a 2-0 victory against Sheppey United.

Braintree Town v Dartford

Dartford face a tough task in their relegation battle when they cross the Thames to take on Braintree Town on Tuesday night.

The Darts have won just one of their last twelve in the National South. The Iron are unbeaten in their last eleven and occupy a playoff place. Only once have Dartford came home with a victory from Cressing Road and that was twelve years ago.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Braintree Town are six unbeaten in this fixture on home soil, yet Dartford have managed to pick up three draws in their previous four visits. Last season’s trip to Cressing Road saw the Darts pick up a creditable point. Under Angelo Harrop the Iron have an impressive record on their own patch. Blair found the back of the Dartford net again before Jernade Meade netted the equaliser.

Dartford lost the reverse fixture against Braintree Town in November when Aaron Blair hit a double for the Iron. Blair’s brace came in the second-half after Rooney had been sent off for the Darts in the first-half. Baris Altintop was in Dartford’s side four months ago, since then he has returned to the Iron. The 23 year-old made 24 appearances during his half a season with the Darts scoring once.

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Ady Pennock named his first lineup as Dartford boss on the weekend with Jordan Greenidge making his first start since rejoining the club from Tonbridge Angels. Joash Nembhard completed his suspension so returned to the side and Tommy Block was back from injury. Former Braintree Town midfielder Luke Allen was in action again after making a substitute appearance. Olly Box missed out from the matchday squad as did Paul Rooney who picked up an injury in Dartford’s last outing. Jordan Wynter was suspended and will serve his second game of his two match ban on Tuesday night. Sam Odaudu was still sidelined.

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A positive start and first half from the Darts included an Fumnaya Shomotun effort that struck the post just three minutes in. However the visitors were unable to take their opportunities in the opening forty five and were arguably the better side. Defensive mistakes led to Dartford unraveling during a four minute collapse in the second half. For a consecutive game the Darts conceded quickfire goals and fell to another defeat. At home to Aveley they let in two late goals in three minutes to give up a one goal lead. This time with the scores level Dartford shipped in three goals in five minutes in a 4-1 loss at Torquay United.

Aaron Jarvis scored a penalty, Arkell Jude-Boyd added a second and a goal by Bradley Ash saw the hosts race ahead. Ibby Akanbi pulled one back for the Darts to record his first goal for the club. To rub salt into the wound, former Dart, Duane Ofori-Acheampong added another to Torquay United’s haul.

With Welling United, Eastbourne Borough and Taunton Town all winning, the Darts are edging ever closer to the relegation zone and are just a point clear of the bottom four.

Team Played Points GD
Welling United 37 40 -16
Truro City 32 38 -7
DARTFORD 36 38 -9
Taunton Town 32 37 -14
Eastbourne Borough 36 33 -26
Havant and Waterlooville 37 29 -28
Dover Athletic 37 21 -31

Braintree Town started the year with a Essex derby defeat to Chelmsford City. The Iron had a sense of deja vu as they suffered the same fate on Boxing Day by losing to the Clarets 3-0 in both festive fixtures. Since then Angelo Harrop’s side have gone unbeaten, are in fifth spot and are on course to reach the playoffs. The Iron currently have a three point cushion over eighth place.

On the weekend they were held to a 1-1 draw against fellow playoff chasers Slough Town. Blair scored in his fourth consecutive match to put the hosts in front. Then Slough Town substitute Trae Cook-Appiah was introduced and levelled for the visitors.

It was the second game running in which Braintree Town picked up a point. A week earlier they drew 2-2 at a rejuvenated Welling United. The Iron came from behind twice in the first-half. The Wings took a tenth minute lead through Jack Burchell. Late in the opening forty-five equalised through Blair Then it was a tale of two penalty kicks, Anthony Grant netted for Welling United and Shaq Coulthirst for the Iron.

Despite not being able to pick up maximum points in each of their last two outings, Braintree Town won seven in a row leading up to the pair of draws. To close February they went to Bath City and claimed a 2-1 victory, the four games before that all ended in 1-0 wins against Worthing, Tonbridge Angels, Torquay United and Chippenham Town. The start of last month began with a convincing 3-0 triumph at home to Dover Athletic and January finished with a 2-1 win versus Truro City.

Current League Form

Dartford (LWLDLL) Braintree Town (WWWWDD)
Torquay United A 1-4 Slough Town H 1-1
Aveley H 1-2 Welling United A 2-2
Taunton Town H 1-1 Bath City A 2-1
Slough Town A 2-3 Worthing A 1-0
Dover Athletic A 2-1 Tonbridge Angels H 1-0
Chippenham Town H 0-1 Torquay United H 1-0

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Braintree Town wins: 9 / Draws: 6

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 0 – 2 Braintree Town (21/11/2023 – National South)
Braintree Town 1 – 1 Dartford (18/02/2023 – National South)
Dartford 4 – 1 Braintree Town (05/11/2022 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Braintree Town (02/05/2022 – National South)
Braintree Town 2 – 2 Dartford (28/12/2021 – National South)
Braintree Town 2 – 1 Dartford (09/01/2021 – National South)

Statistics

  • Dartford have recorded just two victories in the last 15 matches against Braintree Town (D5, L8)
  • The Darts have gone 13 games without a clean sheet against the Iron. Their last clean sheet was in a 0-0 draw in 2013.
  • Jack Smith could make his 50th Dartford appearance. The midfielder has made 41 starts, eight substitute appearances and scored four goals for the club
  • The Iron have won 23, drawn 13 and lost just 4 at home in the National South since Angelo Harrop has been in charge

On This Day

Dartford won five in a row on this day between 1983 and 1997, but since then they have not won in just as many attempts. During the Kent League days, the Darts beat Slade Green twice in the nineties (1994 and 1996) on 12 March before a 1-0 win against Buckingham Town in the Southern League Southern Division in 1997. The only point picked up by Dartford in the last five outings on this day came in a 2-2 draw versus Basingstoke Town 13 years ago. Future Dart, Delano Sam-Yorke scored either side of goals from Ryan Hayes and Danny Harris. The Darts were humbled at home in a 6-1 loss to Barking and East Ham United in 2005. The last two matches on this day have ended in 4-2 defeats against Whitehawk in 2016 and Chippenham Town two years ago.

Torquay United v Dartford

Adrian Pennock takes charge of his first Dartford game this weekend when his new side takes on Torquay United.

The new boss has been keeping an eye on recent performances prior his appointment and will put his knowledge and experience to the test on Saturday. Pennock is looking for a positive approach as the Darts get ready to fight to remain in the National South. A run of just one win in 11 games has left Dartford with ’11 cup finals’ to play according to the former Gillingham and Barrow manager.

Torquay United are on a run akin to the Darts with just one victory in 13 attempts. The Gulls solitary league win in that sequence was against bottom of the table Dover Athletic, the only side Dartford have beaten in the league since Boxing Day. The Gulls have since announced they are struggling financially, have seen Gary Johnson leave the club and replaced in the dugout by Aaron Downes.

Dartford claimed their first ever win over Torquay United in the meeting earlier this season. A 12 minute spell at the end of the first half put the Darts in control. Three players opened their goalscoring account for the club. Richard Chin’s return to the club went perfectly well and he put the hosts in front with a curling shot into the top corner. George Alexander scored on debut with a delightful turn and shot. Finally, Moussa Diarra volleyed his side further ahead in a 3-0 win.

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Match highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

The Darts had four previous failed attempts at victory over the Gulls. The first fixture between the two sides came in August 2014 at Princes Park. Elliot Bradbrook skimmed the top of the crossbar from a penalty in a 0-0 draw. Eight months later at Plainmoor, James McQuilkin broke the deadlock from 20 yards. With eight minutes to go, Jordan Chiedozie equalised from close range.

After both sides were relegated to the National South, in different seasons, their paths crossed again during the 2018/2019 campaign. Torquay United came out on top on both occasions winning 2-0 home and away. At Princes Park, the Gulls went top of the league thanks to two goals in the final quarter of the match. Ruairi Keating crashed a volley into the roof of the net and Jamie Reid sealed maximum points. By the time the reverse fixture came around, Torquay United were battling for the title. Gary Johnson’s side were reduced to ten men as early as the 13th minute when Jean-Yves Koue Niate was sent off. Despite having a man advantage Dartford couldn’t make it count. Instead, Reid scored another two goals against the Darts to complete a double.

The Darts are perilously close to the relegation zone after a late capitulation over a week ago against Aveley. Dartford now have a four-point cushion, but those on their tails have games in hand which could see Pennock’s side drop into the bottom four. The 52-year-old will use his experience and contacts to try and guide his latest club towards safety. He has already secured the return of Jordan Greenidge from Tonbridge Angels. The striker was on loan at Dartford during the 2020/2021 season where he managed six goals in eight appearances.

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Interview courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Once again, crucial points were dropped from a winning position in Dartford’s last outing. In Tony Burman’s last game as interim manager, he made three changes to the starting lineup. Tyrell Miller-Rodney and Olly Box returned to the side at the expense of Maxwell Statham, who picked up a knock and Elliott Romain, whilst Manny Adebowale replaced the suspended Joash Nembhard at the back. Brandon Barzey was named on the bench after recovering from a hamstring injury he picked up over a month ago. Tommy Block, Sam Odaudu and Luke Allen were still on the injury list.

Dartford put in a good performance for most of the game and were rewarded when Fumnaya Shomotun scored his second in as many games. Rooney was forced off injured leaving defensive options dwindling, which Aveley took advantage from. With ten minutes to go and against the run of play Nana Kyei equalised. A couple of minutes later Billy Terrell conceded a penalty and Siju Odelusi completed the turnaround.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Torquay United are facing financial problems off the pitch which has seen them serve notice of their intention to appoint administrators. At present that just means the Gulls are looking to find new owners. However, should the club enter administration then a ten-point deduction and transfer embargo will be imposed. Since the announcement Gary Johnson departed as manager and in his place is Aaron Downes. His first game was against Aveley in which he witnessed a two-goal lead vanish either side of half-time. Aaron Jarvis and Bradley Ash netted their tenth goals of the season to put Torquay United in command. However, Siju Odelusi pulled one back from the spot just before the break. Eduino Vaz equalised early in the second-half to secure a 2-2 draw.

Last weekend Torquay United secured a third consecutive draw in a 1-1 stalemate at Weymouth. Arkell Jude-Boyd scored his first goal for the Gulls to put Torquay United ahead. Once again, Downes’ side let the lead slip and conceded just before half-time when Ezio Touray made it 1-1.

The start of Torquay United’s current run of draws, which also includes a 1-1 stalemate with Farnborough, ended a sequence of five straight defeats against playoff chasing opponents. The Gulls were beaten by Worthing, St Albans City, Maidstone United, Slough Town and Braintree Town. In 2024, the only victory tasted by the Devonshire side was at home versus bottom of the table Dover Athletic. That triumph is their only one in 14 attempts in all competitions stretching back to mid-December.

Torquay United’s current run of form, like Dartford’s is concerning. Only the Devonshire club have a 14-point cushion over the relegation zone and are just ten points away from the playoffs. So, the off-field issues may have a huge impact on how their season pans out. A points deduction will drag them into a battle at the bottom and a fight for survival. Should Torquay United find investors then they are likely to have enough to remain in the National South.

Current League Form

Dartford (LLWLDL) Torquay United (LLLDDD)
Aveley H 1-2 Weymouth A 1-1
Taunton Town H 1-1 Aveley H 2-2
Slough Town A 2-3 Farnborough A 0-0
Dover Athletic A 2-1 Braintree Town A 0-1
Chippenham Town H 0-1 Slough Town H 3-4
Bath City A 0-1 Maidstone United A 2-3

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Torquay United wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 3 – 0 Torquay United (25/11/2023 – National South)
Torquay United 2 – 0 Dartford (16/03/2019 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 2 Torquay United (04/12/2018 – National South)
Torquay United 1 – 1 Dartford (04/04/2015 – National League)
Dartford 0 – 0 Torquay United (23/08/2014 – National League)

Statistics

  • Only Torquay United and Dover Athletic (3) have picked up fewer points in the last eight games than Dartford (4)
  • Goalkeeper, Billy Terrell has yet to keep a clean sheet in his nine appearances since joining the club on loan

On This Day

Dartford have won their last six fixtures on 9 March and are unbeaten in their last ten. The run includes two F.A Trophy quarter-final wins, a Kent Senior Trophy triumph and a Southern League Cup semi-final draw. One of those F.A Trophy victories was on route to reaching Wembley in 1974. Thanks to an own goal, the Darts beat Weymouth 2-1 on the road.

Three years later Dartford drew 1-1 with Kettering Town in the Southern League Cup semi-final first leg. The return fixture at Watling Street finished 4-2 to send the Darts into the final where they beat Yeovil Town 3-1 on aggregate.

In 1996 Dartford had an almighty title tussle with Furness eventually losing out on goal difference. The two sides met on this day in the Kent Senior Trophy semi-final and Dean Bowey scored the winner. Steve Robinson went on to lift the trophy after the Darts beat Chatham Town 3-0 in the final.

Lee Burns scored the winner against Maidstone United in the Isthmian Premier League Kent derby in 2010. The Darts claimed a huge scalp in the National League beating Wrexham 2-1 in 2013. Burman’s side came from behind after Danny Wright opened the scoring at Princes Park. Jack Evans equalised for the hosts and Elliot Bradbrook netted a stoppage time header. Dartford’s last game on this day was four years ago when Phil Roberts scored a stunning volley and Charlie Sheringham converted from the spot.

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