Tag: Oxford City

Oxford City v Dartford

Dartford continue their push for a National South title challenge on the weekend when they visit playoff hopefuls Oxford City.

The Darts maintained pressure on the top two in their last outing with victory over Hampton and Richmond Borough to go three unbeaten. This weekend’s host have slipped off the pace after suffering a second defeat in a row.

Last time the two sides met in November, Dartford were going through a period of dropping points after opening the season with seven wins and a draw. The 0-0 draw at Princes Park was the last of a five-game winless streak in which goals dried up. It was the fourth game in that sequence without a Dartford goal and the inconsistent results continued up to the end of January. However, the Darts have got back on track, but whether there is enough time to catch the league leaders remains to be seen.

Highlights of this season’s reverse fixture between Dartford and Oxford City – Dartford FC TV

Beating Hampton and Richmond Borough last Saturday helped Dartford close the gap on second place Dorking Wanderers. The weekend almost turned out perfectly as league leaders Maidstone United were being held, however a winner deep into injury time means the Darts remain nine points adrift with a game in hand. The two Kent rivals are due to face each other on Easter Monday.

Steve King gave new signing Samir Carruthers his debut, Kristian Campbell his first start and Olumide Durojaiye his maiden appearance as a substitute. The Dartford boss explained that a change of tactics and a limit on loan players allowed to start was the reason Campbell was selected ahead of Jayden Sweeney, who has impressed King during his loan spell. Danny Leonard, Keiran Murtagh and Jake Robinson also returned to the side helping the Darts claim victory, Marcus Dinanga scoring the winner pouncing on a loose ball to score his fifth goal in only seven appearances. 

Speaking after the win, King was pleased with the performance and praised the defence, he commented: “We were good, defensively we were fantastic. We dominated the majority of the game, they had a right go as well, we had to be on it all the time. We were more than worth our win”. The form of Kory Roberts has also impressed the manager especially as the defender has moved to full back, King added: “He’s been a great acquisition since he has come in and I think he has grown and got better and better and better”.

Watch highlights of Dartford’s win over Hampton and Richmond Borough – Dartford FC TV

All four remaining away games will be played on a 3G surface starting with the visit to Oxford City. King believes the pitches may suit Dartford’s playing style, but he is expecting a tricky afternoon in Oxfordshire, he said: “All we can do is look out for ourselves. We’ve got to keep trying to win games of football, this will be a tough game. Oxford are a good side, they have been up there in the top seven the whole season, so when you’ve been in the top seven the whole season, you’re a good side. We’ve got to go there with the same attitude we did against Hampton and Richmond Borough”.

Dartford’s last visit to Marsh Lane was in October 2019, the final league match before King took charge at Princes Park. Ben Greenhalgh’s run down the right wing was finished when he cut inside to curl the ball into the Hoops net for the decisive strike. The return match that season ended more comfortably for the Darts as they won 3-0 with goals from Darren McQueen, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong and Luke Wanadio. The two sides didn’t meet in the following campaign which was cut short due to the pandemic.

Steve King speaks to Dartford FC TV after Saturday’s 1-0 win at the Beveree

Up until January and under former Oxford City boss David Oldfield, who left to manage National League side Weymouth, had only lost twice in the National South and those defeats came against the current top two, Maidstone United and Dorking Wanderers. Ross Jenkins stepped up after Oldfield’s departure and early last month he was announced as the new first team head coach. This week Jenkins led Oxford City to the Oxfordshire Senior Cup Final beating North Leigh 4-1 in the semi-final. Joe Iaciofano scored the first two goals for the Hoops either side of North Leigh’s equaliser and Jacob Bancroft added two more. Oxford City will play their city rivals Oxford United in the final and hope to win the county cup for a 38th time.

In the National South the Hoops are going through a sticky patch as they aim to maintain a playoff place. Back-to-back 3-1 defeats to Billericay Town and Ebbsfleet United leave them in sixth, but still with a healthy advantage over eighth place St Albans City, who are nine points further back. Oxford City have only been beaten twice by teams below them in the standings, both against Billericay Town. However, their form versus those in the top five has yielded just one win, two draws and six defeats. On their own patch they have won their last three including a handsome 5-0 win over Tonbridge Angels.

Oxford City manager, Jenkins has called on supporters to help his side ahead of the home match on the weekend, he told www.oxfordcityfc.co.uk: “They’ve supported us up and down the country this season and to get a good crowd here on Saturday and everyone getting behind the boys would be massive for us”, he continued: “I think Dartford will bring a few fans too, they’re doing well and they’ve got a few good results. Every game is going to be a tough one, including Saturday. Hopefully we can please everyone but we’re going into the game to put on a good performance and win a game of football, like they are as well, so it should be competitive”.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 8 / Oxford City wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Dartford
(LWLWDW)
    Oxford City
(LWWDLL)
   
Hampton & Richmond A 1-0 Billericay Town A 1-3
Havant & Waterlooville H 1-1 Ebbsfleet United A 1-3
Chelmsford City H 2-1 St Albans City A 1-1
Chippenham Town A 2-4 Tonbridge Angels H 5-0
Dorking Wanderers H 3-2 Chelmsford City A 2-1
Hungerford Town A 1-2 Maidstone United A 1-2

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 0 – 2 Oxford City (13/11/2021 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 0 Oxford City (11/01/2020 – National South)
Oxford City 0 – 1 Dartford (12/10/2019 – National South)
Oxford City 2 – 1 Dartford (27/04/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 Oxford City (13/11/2018 – National South)
Oxford City 4 – 1 Dartford (06/10/2018 – F.A Cup)

Stats

  • Dartford have kept three consecutive clean sheets against Oxford City.
  • The Darts have only lost once in the league versus the Hoops back in April 2019 (W6, D3).
  • Only once have Dartford failed to score in this fixture and that was in the meeting earlier this season.
  • The Darts have also scored in their last eleven league matches.

On This Day

Dartford drew at Yeovil Town 1-1 in the Southern League Cup Final on this day back in 1977. The first leg finished even, but Vic Akers went on to become the first Dartford captain to lift the Southern League Cup when the Darts won the second leg 2-0 a week later. Dartford have won their last five games on 2 April, the most recent triumph came six years ago against Maidenhead United. Two goals in three minutes by Danny Harris and Elliot Bradbrook secured a 2-0 win. In 2011, Lee Burns scored a bizarre long range header at St Albans City in a 2-1 victory, the winner coming from a young Jack Pallen. In the Southern League Division One East, the Darts beat Barton Rovers 4-0 in 2005 and Rothwell Town 1-0 in 2003. In the Kent League in 1994, Dartford defeated Cray Wanderers 2-1.

Dartford v Oxford City

Clinging on to top spot after a dip in form, the Darts have another tough fixture this weekend when they host fourth place Oxford City.

Dartford led the National South table by five points a month ago and were unbeaten, but four winless games later they have seen their advantage cut to just two points having played two games more than their closest challengers. Oxford City visit Princes Park having never won there, however the Hoops are unbeaten in their last six league outings and victory will move them to within a point of the Darts.

Steve King’s side could have had a greater cushion at the summit were they able to hold on to victory on the weekend against Chippenham Town. Dartford came from behind to lead at the break, then twice gave up their advantage in a 3-3 draw. In the build-up the Darts followed up a goalless draw with Chelmsford City with a pair of 1-0 defeats at Dorking Wanderers and Concord Rangers. So, it was a relief to end the goal drought just before half-time when Ade Azeez equalised netting his first in five games to level the match, the striker’s thirteenth of the campaign in fifteen appearances. Chippenham Town’s Dan Griffiths had earlier put the Bluebirds ahead.  Then two minutes after Azeez’s header, later Noor Husin put Dartford in front before the interval. In the second-half, Ricky Aguiar equalised again for the visitors, Azeez looked like he’d won the match for the Darts with thirteen to go, but in the final minute Luke Russe rescued a point for the Wiltshire club.

Visit Dartford FC TV to watch more Dartford highlights

After the loss at Concord Rangers, King made four changes to the starting eleven with winger Luke Wanadio playing at full back, instead of Jordan Wynter who picked up an injury in training. The Dartford boss praised Wanadio for his ‘sterling’ job considering he was playing out of position. The winger himself picked up a slight injury in the draw against Chippenham Town resulting in him being replaced late on in the game. Connor Essam returned at centre half in place of Josh Hill, George Porter and Jack Jebb came in for Luke Allen and Danny Leonard. The Darts are still waiting for the return of striker Jake Robinson who has been out with injury.

King may have been disappointed at dropping two points after back to back losses, but he praised his side’s character, he told Dartford FC TV: “Where we felt a little bit of confidence had gone from a number of players, to show character after 1-0 down to go back 2-1 up I felt was brilliant”.

For more of Steve King’s post match interview visit Dartford FC TV

Dartford have won the last two meetings without conceding, but didn’t play Oxford City last season. In January 2020, the Darts strolled to a 3-0 win with Luke Wanadio closing the scoring just before the hour mark. Darren McQueen and Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong both scored in first-half stoppage time. The victory completed a double over the Hoops as three months earlier Dartford won at Marsh Lane, Ben Greenhalgh scoring the decisive goal.

At home the Darts have beaten Oxford City five times out of seven, drawing the other two. One of those victories came three years to the day when the Darts won 3-2 in the National South. Craig King was in the opposition goal then and was helpless to stop Andre Coker, Jordan Wynter then Charlie Sheringham all scoring inside the opening half an hour. Joe Oastler scored for the Hoops at two down and in the second half, Zac McEachran netted to set up a nervy finish.

Highlights of Dartford’s last meeting against Oxford City courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Manager, David Oldfield has so far led Oxford City into a strong league position and have the second best form over the last eight fixtures. Helping the side to rack up the points, striker Joe Iaciofano has scored six goals in the last six league games. The 23-year-old scored against Dartford in August 2019, when he joint top scored in the division with Darren McQueen that season whilst playing for St Albans City. The Hoops have won their last three National South fixtures on the road keeping clean sheets in their last two.

Second in the goalscoring charts this term, level with Dartford, only Eastbourne Borough have netted more. In this fixture, statistics point towards plenty of goal action with an average of just under four goals a game in the fourteen meetings between the two clubs.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 8 / Oxford City wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Dartford
(DLLDWW)
    Oxford City
(WDWWDW)
   
Chippenham Town H 3-3 Tonbridge Angels A 2-0
Concord Rangers A 0-1 Chelmsford City H 1-1
Dorking Wanderers A 0-1 Hemel Hempstead Town A 4-0
Chelmsford City A 0-0 Welling United H 3-0
Hungerford Town H 1-0 Hampton & Richmond Borough H 1-1
Welling United A 6-0 Havant & Waterlooville A 2-1

Previous Meetings

Dartford 3 – 0 Oxford City (11/01/2020 – National South)
Oxford City 0 – 1 Dartford (12/10/2019 – National South)
Oxford City 2 – 1 Dartford (27/04/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 Oxford City (13/11/2018 – National South)
Oxford City 4 – 1 Dartford (06/10/2018 – F.A Cup)
Oxford City 0 – 2 Dartford (24/03/2018 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford have won the last four league games at home against Oxford City including a 7-1 victory in 2017
  • The Darts are unbeaten in all seven home games versus the Hoops winning five and drawing two
  • There have been three or more goals in 6 of the 7 games in which Dartford have been at home against Oxford City

On This Day

Premier League striker Danny Ings was part of the Dorchester Town side that brushed Dartford aside in 2010. On loan from AFC Bournemouth, Ings scored one of the goals that handed the Magpies a 4-0 victory at Princes Park. A Tom Bradbrook double and John Guest goal against Aveley put Dartford into the next round of the Isthmian League Cup in 2007. A nine goal thriller was played out in 1993 when the Darts beat Ramsgate 5-4 in the Kent League. Dartford managed to let a 3-1 lead slip to go 4-3 down, then two late goals swung the game Dartford’s way. That wasn’t even the highest aggregate score on this day, back in 1897 the Darts beat former F.A Cup winners and three times runners up, Royal Engineers 8-3 in the Southern League Second Division. In that same competition, twice Dartford progressed to the first round on this day with triumphs over Leyton in 1937 (3-0) and Wimbledon in 1948 (2-1).