Tag: St Albans City

St Albans City v Dartford

Dartford will be determined to put last season’s playoff defeat and current form behind them when they travel to St Albans City this weekend.

The Darts suffered heartbreak in May when they lost on penalties to a Saints side who fell short in the final. Dartford slipped down the National South standings in mid-week losing their second match in three days. St Albans City have taken four points in that time without conceding, ending their own barren spell of three defeats on the spin.

Dartford have been unable to replicate their form at the end of last year and so far in 2023 their inconsistencies have led to a slow start. On the weekend the long trip west finished in a 1-0 defeat against Taunton Town when Dave Sims-Burgess was allowed a free header at goal. Aiming to bounce back from the disappointment, Alan Dowson’s side had the chance on Tuesday night against bottom of the table Slough Town and failed to take it.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV – Footage credit: NLTV

Only one change was made to the starting lineup with Dowson opting to play two strikers, Lewis Manor selected ahead of Moussa Diarra. After serving a three-match suspension, Brandon Barzey is now away on international duty with Montserrat, whilst Tommy Block, Luke Allen, Alex Wall and Sam Odaudu are recovering from injury. Charlie Sheringham returned to the squad and made a substitute appearance against Slough Town, but Maxwell Statham suffered an injury and was replaced mid-way through the first half. A lacklustre performance left the Darts pointless and after Baris Altintop’s first Dartford goal cancelled out George Alexander’s twelfth minute strike, the Rebels scored the winner courtesy of Tyrese Dyce.

Alternating wins and losses in their opening three games, St Albans City went on to lose three on the trot ahead of the weekend. David Noble’s side stopped the unwanted run with a 0-0 draw at Welling United on Saturday. Three days later the Saints took on Dover Athletic and secured a 2-0 victory. Zane Banton and George Hoddle were unavailable due to injury, Nathan Carlyle was brought in to replace Dylan Fage. Forward, Mitchell Weiss assisted and scored to inspire his side. The 30-year-old set up Andronicos Georgiou in the first half and doubled Saints’ lead in the second. Former Dartford midfielder Bobby Dunn featured coming on as a late substitute.

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

In the three meetings last season the honours were even with Dartford drawing in their last visit to Clarence Park. Loanee, Jack Smith scored his first goal for the Darts to open the scoring. However, Saints equalised through Shaun Jeffers. In the return fixture, despite Dartford winning 2-1, it will be the goal scored by Jeffers that sticks long in the memory. First, Richard Chin provided the pass for Samir Carruthers to finish and put the Darts in front. However, Saints were back level when Jeffers acrobatically struck the ball beyond Ben Dudzinski. The hosts found a winner thanks to a pair of substitutes. Luke Coulson’s free-kick was saved only for Fonkeu to pounce and net the winner.

The crucial playoff semi-final clash came a fortnight later and this time St Albans City prevailed in a shoot-out. Harvey Bradbury gave Dartford the advantage when his clever lob beat the onrushing goalkeeper, Dylan Berry. The Darts were five minutes away from going in at the break with a one goal lead, but a low corner was converted by Aidan Francis-Clarke to draw level. No further goals were scored in the second-half or during extra time and so it came down to the pressure of penalties. When Berry saved Carruthers’ effort from 12 yards it was an advantage the Saints wouldn’t relinquish. St Albans City went on to score all five kicks to win 5-3 and progress to the final.

Current Form

Dartford (DDWWLL) St Albans City (WLLLDW)
Slough Town H 1-2 Dover Athletic H 2-0
Taunton Town A 0-1 Welling United A 0-0
Dover Athletic H 2-0 Bath City H 0-2
Aveley A 1-0 Taunton Town A 2-3
Farnborough H 1-1 Torquay United H 0-1
Hampton & Richmond Borough H 1-1 Havant & Waterlooville A 2-1

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 12 / St Albans City wins: 6 / Draws: 7

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 1 – 1 St Albans City (07/05/2023 – National South Playoffs)*
Dartford 2 – 1 St Albans City (22/04/2023 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 1 Dartford (22/10/2022 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 1 St Albans City (23/04/2022 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 3 Dartford (14/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 St Albans City (17/11/2020 – National South)
* – St Albans City won 5-3 on penalties

Statistics

  • Dartford are unbeaten in their last four league games against St Albans City (W3, D1) and have lost just once in the last eight league matches (W5, D2)
  • The Darts are unbeaten in three league games at Clarence Park (W2, D1) after losing the previous four without scoring
  • Both teams have scored in the previous five competitive meetings
  • Dartford have gone 15 games without a clean sheet against St Albans City stretching back to February 2016

On This Day

Ryan Hayes set up two goals and scored the other in a 3-0 home win over Chippenham Town six years ago. The winger’s accurate cross was headed in by Alfie Pavey in the first-half. After the interval, Hayes picked out Andy Pugh at the far post to double the lead. To wrap things up, Hayes got his goal sweeping the ball home into the bottom corner.

In 2014, the Darts came back from two goals down to clinch a last-minute draw with Eastleigh at Princes Park in the National League. The Spitfires scored twice inside 22 minutes through Jamie Collins and James Constable. However, the hosts fought back after the break with goals from Elliot Bradbrook and a ninetieth minute equaliser by Harry Crawford.

Dartford’s last away game on this day was 23 years ago when they lost 1-0 to Spalding United in the Southern League Division One East. The last victory on their travels on 9 September came in 1998 when the Darts beat Reading Town 3-0 in a F.A Cup preliminary round replay.

Season Preview 2023/2024

St Albans City

Playoff finalists, St Albans City had an excellent season and with a striker of Shaun Jeffers goalscoring prowess they finished sixth, only three points off third place Oxford City, who they lost to in the final. The Saints were taken to extra time twice on the road in the playoffs, first beating Chelmsford City 1-0 then Dartford 5-3 on penalties. Maybe another away match for the final was one game too many as they were beaten 4-0. In November, the Hertfordshire club recorded the joint biggest away win in the National South last term winning 6-0 at Hampton and Richmond Borough. That kick started a spell of seven victories and a draw from nine outings and from March the Saints finished strongly taking their momentum into the playoffs.

2022/2023 Season
National South: 6th
F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 2nd Round
County Cup: 2nd Round
Top League Scorer: Shaun Jeffers (27 goals)

Manager – David Noble

A successful interim spell as manager in the early stages of last season, Noble was given the permanent job. His creative style as a player translated on to the pitch as he guided St Albans City to the playoff final. Noble joined the Saints back in 2016, became club captain and then a coach whilst making almost 150 appearances for the club. His playing career started out at Arsenal, a loan move to Watford and onto West Ham United. Afterwards Noble went on to make over 300 Football League appearances which included time at Boston United, Bristol City and Exeter City. 

Summer Transfers

Bobby Dunn was only at Dartford for a short time and had limited opportunity to impress, now the midfielder gets the chance at St Albans City. Making the step up to the National South, Andronicas Gergiou arrives from Kings Langley and Sam Brown from Banbury United. As well as Nathan Carlyle joining from Weymouth, Jack James has also switched to the Saints from Gloucester City. Dan Bowry moves from Worthing and Charlie McDonald from Queens Park Rangers. Getting another chance in this division is Raul da Silva who was relegated with Cheshunt last season. Ben Wyatt completed a move from Torquay United.

Transfers In Transfers Out
Bobby Dunn (Dartford) Munashe Sundire (Slough Town)
Raul da Silva (Cheshunt) Scott Leslie (Eastbourne Borough)
Andronicas Gergiou (Kings Langley) Devante Stanley (Havant and Waterlooville)
Jack James (Gloucester City) Tafari Moore (Oxford City)
Sam Brown (Banbury United) Joy Mukena (Crawley Town)
Nathan Carlyle (Weymouth) Callum Adebiyi (Chesham United)
Dan Bowry (Worthing) Joe Neal (AFC Sudbury)
Charlie McDonald (Queens Park Rangers) George Morrall (Cheshunt)
Ben Wyatt (Torquay United) Huw Dawson (Kettering Town)
  Liam Sole
  Chris Paul

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 12 / St Albans City wins: 6 / Draws: 7

Previous Matches

Dartford 1 – 1 St Albans City (07/05/2023 – National South Playoffs)*
Dartford 2 – 1 St Albans City (22/04/2023 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 1 Dartford (22/10/2022 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 1 St Albans City (23/04/2022 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 3 Dartford (14/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 St Albans City (17/11/2020 – National South)
* – St Albans City won 5-3 on penalties

Next Meetings

St Albans City v Dartford – Saturday 9th September 2023
Dartford v St Albans City – Saturday 23rd December 2023

Statistics

  • Dartford are unbeaten in their last four league games against St Albans City (W3, D1) and have lost just once in the last eight league matches (W5, D2)
  • The Darts have won the last two in the National South at home against the Saints and have lost just one in the last six at Princes Park in the league (W4, D1)
  • Dartford are unbeaten in three league games at Clarence Park (W2, D1) after losing the previous four without scoring

Match Highlights – 2022/2023

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Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Dartford v St Albans City

Dartford are two wins away from a return to the National League as they begin their playoff campaign against St Albans City at Princes Park on Sunday.

The two sides met just a fortnight ago and it was Dartford who claimed maximum points to secure second place and home advantage in the playoffs. This time the stakes are higher with a place in the final up for grabs and a shot at promotion.

Last time at Princes Park, the Darts got off to a quick start against the Saints going in front after just three minutes. Richard Chin had an excellent afternoon and the loanee set up Samir Carruthers for his tenth goal of the season. It took until the 72nd minute for St Albans City to equalise with Shaun Jeffers acrobatically striking the ball beyond Ben Dudzinski for yet another goal against the Darts, his third in as many appearances. Luke Coulson and Fonkeu may have started from the substitute’s bench, but the pair made an impact five minutes after St Albans City equalised. Coulson’s free-kick was saved by Dylan Berry and Fonkeu pounced to net the winner, his tenth league goal of the campaign.

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Match Highlights – Dartford v St Albans City (22/04/2023) – Dartford FC TV

The reverse fixture back in October ended with honours even. Jack Smith scored his first goal in a Dartford shirt and although it was an easy tap in, the Darts worked the ball forwards swiftly after gaining possession on the halfway line. St Albans City equalised after catching Dartford out with a quick throw in and when the ball fell to Jeffers, he took an air shot before drilling his second attempt beyond Joe Young.

Hosting the playoff semi-final could benefit Dartford who picked up 50 points at Princes Park this season, the second best in the division. However, the Kent side have lost their last three playoff matches at Princes Park. One of those defeats was against Chelmsford City in 2017, who the Saints defeated on Tuesday night. Manager, David Noble made one change to the side that beat Farnborough 2-0 last weekend bringing in Chay Cooper for Kyran Wiltshire. Once again the prolific Jeffers, who has scored 28 times in the National South this season was named on the bench. After ninety minutes neither side could break the deadlock forcing the tie to go into extra time. Finally it was Jeffers once again who prodded the ball into the Chelmsford City net to decide the tie in the 95th minute. The striker has now scored in each of his last three appearances after coming on as a substitute.

Both sides have experience of making it to playoff finals and Dartford will want to draw on the positive outcome back in 2012 when they beat local rivals Welling United, Lee Noble’s early strike sent Tony Burman’s side up to the National League. Whilst under Steve King, the Darts reached the final two years ago and lost on penalties. St Albans City have won the playoffs three times as far back as when the non-league pyramid was restructured in 2004. That year they were involved in two epic playoff encounters to earn entry into the new National South league, a 4-3 victory against Heybridge Swifts followed by a 5-4 triumph over Bedford Town. Two years later they won promotion to the National League with a win versus Histon and in 2014, the Saints made their way back to the National South by defeating Chesham United.

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Match Highlights – St Albans City v Dartford (22/10/2022) – Dartford FC TV

Since the turn of the year Dartford have been inconsistent and will need to win back to back matches for the first time since the festive period if they want to go up. On the final day of the season, Alan Dowson decided to rest nine players with only Richard Chin and Jernade Meade retaining their place in the starting eleven. That gave minutes to Charlie Sheringham who made his return from a long term injury just over two weeks ago. The striker, who had a successful spell with Chelmsford City, has scored seven times this season and is behind fellow forward Alex Wall, midfielder Samir Carruthers and Pierre Fonkeu all of which have hit double figures in all competitions. Dowse can also look towards Harvey Bradbury as an option, his short time at Dartford has yielded five goals in nine appearances. At the back Tom Bonner and Connor Essam have forged a strong partnership and it looks as though Ben Dudzinski is the preferred choice in goal. The trio were rested last weekend and with Dan Wilks in between the sticks, academy graduate George Whitefield and Emmanuel Adebowale making their National South debuts for the club, the Darts kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Hampton and Richmond Borough.

St Albans City finished their campaign strongly with a home win against Farnborough. That made sure David Noble’s side finished the season in sixth spot. Difficult to beat in the first couple of months of the season, St Albans City were too inconsistent and by the end of October they were in twelfth. However, the Hertfordshire side saw out the rest of 2022 with seven wins from nine, including a 6-0 away trouncing of Hampton and Richmond Borough and moved into fifth. A mediocre start to the New Year and a difficult February meant the Saints dipped below the dotted line, but they would rise again. The Saints have tasted defeat just twice in their last eleven outings winning seven of those.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 12 / St Albans City wins: 6 / Draws: 6

Current Form

Dartford
(WLWLWD)
    St Albans City
(LWWLWW)
   
Hampton & Richmond A 0-0 Chelmsford City* A 1-0^
St Albans City H 2-1 Farnborough H 2-0
Concord Rangers A 2-3 Dartford A 1-2
Tonbridge Angels A 1-0 Welling United H 3-0
Taunton Town H 0-1 Concord Rangers A 2-1
Dover Athletic H 2-1 Braintree Town A 0-2
* Playoff eliminator round / ^ After extra time

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 2 – 1 St Albans City (22/04/2023 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 1 Dartford (22/10/2022 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 1 St Albans City (23/04/2022 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 3 Dartford (14/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 St Albans City (17/11/2020 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 2 Dartford (07/03/2020 – National South)

Statistics

  • Dartford have not recorded consecutive win, draws or losses in their last 17 games
  • The Darts have the best defence at home conceding the fewest in the division (19)
  • Dartford scored in 87% of their games (40 out of 46), the second best in the National South
  • Dartford finished with the third best defence in the league (50)
  • St Albans City picked up the second most points away from home in the division (40)
  • Against fellow playoff contenders St Albans City have the worst record (W2, D2, L6)

On This Day

A year ago, Dartford cruised to a 7-2 final day win down on the Sussex coast. The Darts brushed aside Eastbourne Borough in a dazzling display, and it all started when Dan Roberts opened the scoring. The Sports levelled through Charley Kendall, but with half an hour played Marcus Dinanga put Dartford in front, then six minutes later Kory Roberts extended the advantage. In the second-half Dartford netted three goals in a five-minute spell, Dinanga scored his second and Kalvin Kalala grabbed a quickfire brace. A seventh was added by Jordan Greenidge before Chris Whelpdale managed a consolation goal for the hosts. Six years ago, Dartford lost 2-1 against Chelmsford City in the playoff semi-final second leg. Louie Theophanous and Chris Dickson put Chelmsford City in command and there was only enough time for Duane Ofori-Acheampong to claim a consolation for the Darts.

Dartford v St Albans City

Dartford have a tough final home game of the regular season when they host playoff hopefuls St Albans City this weekend.

The Darts will be hoping for another two home matches, but that depends if they can secure second place and make it through to the playoff final next month. A runners up finish will mean a home tie in the semi-final against the side who finishes in either fifth or sixth, that side could be St Albans City. The Saints have a four-point cushion over eighth place with two games remaining.

Victory will bring up 50 points at Princes Park for Dartford this term, who have the second-best home record in the league. St Alban City have fared better on their travels accumulating the second most points on the road. Little separates the two teams and that was the case back in October when they played out a 1-1 draw at Clarence Park. Jack Smith scored his first goal in a Dartford shirt and although it was an easy tap in, the Darts worked the ball forwards swiftly after gaining possession on the halfway line. St Albans City equalised after catching Dartford out with a quick throw in and when the ball fell to Shaun Jeffers, he took an air shot before drilling his second attempt beyond Joe Young. The Darts will have to keep an eye on St Albans City’s top scorer, Jeffers has managed 25 league goals this term and top scored last season with 27.

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Match Highlights – St Albans City v Dartford (22/10/2022) – Dartford FC TV

The prospect of facing St Albans City since Dartford returned to the National South used to be daunting for the Darts, the Saints won five out of six with an aggregate score of 14-2. However, the tide has turned in recent years as Dartford have lost just once in the last seven meetings, winning four of those. The last time the Hertfordshire club came to visit Princes Park was a day shy of a year. Dartford surpassed a century of goals for the season in all competitions and Keiran Murtagh scored his first two for the club. The midfielder’s glancing header from Jack Jebb’s corner set the host on their way, but Jeffers levelled for the Saints. Murtagh put the Darts back ahead when his volley beat goalkeeper, Michael Johnson at the near post. Marcus Dinanga slotted in a third to complete a double over St Albans City after the reverse fixture on the opening day also ended 3-1.

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Match Highlights – Dartford v St Albans City (23/04/2022) – Dartford FC TV

Up until the festive season the Darts were well within a chance of challenging for the National South title. After victories against Havant and Waterlooville then completing a double against local rivals Ebbsfleet United, Dartford were top of the table on New Years Day. Rising to the summit was helped by a run of ten victories and a draw in eleven matches from September to early November. After the fantastic spell over Christmas and New Year, the Darts beat Cheshunt to make it four wins on the bounce, but form has not been that good since. Now the National South title has been sewn up, Dowson’s side are left scrapping for second with Oxford City and Chelmsford City.

On Thursday night the Darts missed an opportunity to go five points clear of the chasers losing 3-2 at Concord Rangers. Only one change was made to the starting eleven after the 1-0 away win at Tonbridge. Luke Allen made way for Pierre Fonkeu. Alex Wall and Charlie Sheringham were named on the bench. Wall had been out with a calf strain picked up against Eastbourne Borough on Good Friday. Although the striker made a ten minute appearance on Thursday he was taken off and may have returned from injury too soon. Sheringham’s injury kept the striker out for over two months and he was introduced later on in the game. Samir Carruthers didn’t feature in the matchday squad and has been recovering since the Easter period, although Dowson did state the midfielder is back training.

Dartford suffered a disappointing defeat in Essex against a Concord Rangers side hoping to pull of a great escape. In a topsy turvy game the hosts went ahead when Lewis Manor scored. Within six minutes the Darts were level and it was Harvey Bradbury yet again with his fifth goal in eight games since joining last month. Dartford edged in front when Sam Odaudu scored his first for the club on his 26th appearance. The Beachboys fought back in the second half, Ben Steward equalised then with two minutes left Manor scored a vital winner for Rob Small’s side.

A second place finish is still in Dartford’s hands but they will most likely need points against St Albans City this weekend. Dowson’s side are two points ahead of their closest challengers Oxford City and Chelmsford City and can still be caught by Worthing.

Dartford (79pts) Oxford City (77) Chelmsford (77) Worthing (72)
St Albans (H) Havant & W (H) Hemel (A) Taunton (A)
      Cheshunt (A)
Hampton & R (A) Bath (A) Taunton (H) Hemel (H)

St Albans City have hit form at the right time to get into the top seven and they hope to stay put. If the Saints can make the playoffs it will be the first time in this division since they won promotion to the National League in 2006. Difficult to beat in the first couple of months of the season, St Albans City were too inconsistent and by the end of October they were in twelfth. However, the Hertfordshire side saw out the rest of 2022 with seven wins from nine, including a 6-0 away trouncing of Hampton and Richmond Borough and into fifth. A mediocre start to the New Year and a difficult February meant the Saints dipped below the dotted line, but they would rise again. Currently David Noble’s side have tasted defeat just once in their last eight outings winning five of those and their last two matches. A 3-0 triumph over Welling United last weekend followed up a 2-1 win at bottom club Concord Rangers and now St Albans City are hoping to stay above that dotted line.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 11 / St Albans City wins: 6 / Draws: 6

Current League Form

Dartford
(WLWLWL)
    St Albans City
(WWDLWW)
   
Concord Rangers A 2-3 Welling United H 3-0
Tonbridge Angels A 1-0 Concord Rangers A 2-1
Taunton Town H 0-1 Braintree Town H 0-2
Dover Athletic H 2-1 Chippenham Town A 1-1
Eastbourne Borough A 1-2 Havant & Waterlooville H 2-0
Dulwich Hamlet H 3-0 Dover Athletic H 1-0

Last Six Meetings

St Albans City 1 – 1 Dartford (22/10/2022 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 1 St Albans City (23/04/2022 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 3 Dartford (14/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 St Albans City (17/11/2020 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 2 Dartford (07/03/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 St Albans City (06/08/2019 – National South)

Statistics

  • Dartford have won 50% of their home games against St Albans City in all competitions (W6, D4, L2)
  • The Darts have gone 13 games without a clean sheet against the Saints stretching back to a 2-0 win in February 2016
  • Dartford have alternated between wins and losses for their last eight games

On This Day

Two late goals from substitute Tom Murphy turned the final home game of the 2018/2019 season around for the Darts. After finding themselves a goal down at home to Billericay Town, Murphy was introduced and scored in the 88th and 90th minutes to win it for Dartford. Two years earlier, the Darts cruised to a 4-0 triumph over Bishop’s Stortford in the last home league fixture of the 2016/2017 campaign before the playoffs. Andy Pugh and Elliot Bradbrook gave the Darts a commanding 2-0 lead before the break. Duane Ofori-Acheampong and Alfie Pavey added another two in the second-half. Bromley beat the Darts 4-1 at Hayes Lane in 2011 on this day and Danny Harris netted a brace a year earlier in a 2-1 victory over Hendon with the Isthmian Premier League title already secured. Dartford claimed a fourth Kent Senior Cup in five seasons with a 3-2 win over Folkestone back in 1935.

St Albans City v Dartford

Dartford are eyeing up a seventh straight National South win when they travel to St Albans City this weekend.

Alan Dowson has guided the Darts up to third place after recording their best winning run in the league for four and half years. Last time on their travels, the Dartford boss recorded back-to-back away victories for the first time since joining the club and is hoping for three in a row on Saturday. After six years in charge of St Albans City, Ian Allinson stepped down from his role and head coach at the end of last month with the Saints in fifteenth. Interim Head Coach, David Noble has since moved the Hertfordshire club up into ninth after an unbeaten start.

Four points behind top spot, Dartford are top of the form guide over the last six fixtures and will head into their trip to Clarence Park with confidence. The Darts opened last season with an away day at St Albans City and it turned out to be a great start to the campaign. Scoring at the end of both halves wrapped up a satisfying afternoon. Ade Azeez headed home a Danny Leonard cross just before the interval. Former Dartford and now ex-St Albans City defender, Tom Bender levelled the game. Dan Roberts was introduced, and it proved pivotal when he scored twice in the closing stages to earn a 3-1 win. Victory in Hertfordshire made it two in a row at St Albans, a place the Darts previously struggled to get a result. The reverse fixture finished the same with Dartford running out 3-1 winners. Kieran Murtagh put on a fine display scoring twice and setting up Marcus Dinanga.

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Highlights – St Albans City v Dartford (14/08/2021) courtesy of St Albans City FC

The squad is almost at full strength now Sam Odaudu has returned and with Luke Coulson taking part in Tuesday night’s London Senior Cup tie. Dartford beat Isthmian South Central side Tooting and Mitcham United 1-0 with the winning goal coming from Alex Wall, his second of the season. George Whitefield signed a first team contract after catching Dowson’s eye in the academy and he was rewarded with a debut. Afo Soyemi-Ololade also made his first appearance coming on as a substitute. Dan Wilks is still recovering from an ankle injury which has allowed Joe Young a loan stint in goal.

Dartford have scored two in each of their last five league games and one player adding goals to his creativity is Samir Carruthers, the midfielder has netted six times in his last seven appearances scoring in each of his last three outings. Last weekend at Princes Park he gave the Darts the lead against Tonbridge Angels directly from a corner. Pierre Fonkeu doubled Dartford’s advantage before the away side missed a penalty resulting in a 2-0 Kent derby win. Carruthers also opened the scoring in the 2-1 triumphs at Dulwich Hamlet and at home versus Eastbourne Borough during his scoring spree.

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Highlights – Dartford v St Albans City (23/04/2022) – Dartford FC TV

Under David Noble’s stewardship, St Albans City are unbeaten in October with three wins and a draw, one of those victories came in the Hertfordshire Senior Cup. Noble will be pleased with a defence that has been breached just once since he took charge recording three clean sheets. Only Chelmsford City have conceded fewer in the league, but at the other end the Saints have scored less than a goal a game, in fact only five goals in six matches have been witnessed in the league at Clarence Park this term.

However, they were no lack of goals last weekend when St Albans City made the trip to Kent to take on Welling United. A comfortable afternoon saw the Hertfordshire side win 3-0 with last season’s top scorer Shaun Jeffers starting the ball rolling. Zane Banton took advantage of a goalkeeping error which allowed him to put into an empty net from 30 yards and the third came from Jeffers for his second of the day. Victory at Park View Road followed up the 1-0 home win over Concord Rangers in which Joe Neal scored the winner. In Noble’s first league game in charge, the Saints drew 1-1 with Chippenham Town and before that they beat London Colney 2-0 in the senior cup, the interim Head Coach’s first match at the helm.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 11 / St Albans City wins: 6 / Draws: 5

Current League Form

Dartford
(WWWWWW)
    St Albans City
(LWLDWW)
   
Tonbridge Angels H 2-0 Welling United A 2-0
Dulwich Hamlet A 2-1 Concord Rangers H 1-0
Hungerford Town H 2-0 Chippenham Town H 1-1
Eastbourne Borough H 2-1 Braintree Town A 0-1
Hampton & Richmond H 2-1 Farnborough A 2-1
Dover Athletic A 3-1 Worthing H 0-1

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 3 – 1 St Albans City (23/04/2022 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 3 Dartford (14/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 St Albans City (17/11/2020 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 2 Dartford (07/03/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 St Albans City (06/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 St Albans City (12/01/2019 – National South)

Statistics

  • Dartford have lost just one of the last six against St Albans City (W4, D1) having won just one of the previous six (D0, L5)
  • On the road, Dartford have won in their last two visits to St Albans City having lost the previous four with and aggregate score of 0-11.
  • Dartford have gone 19 games without a league draw for the first time since the 2016/2017 season.

On This Day

Brendon Cass stole the show in the F.A Trophy first qualifying round on this day in 2006. The striker helped himself to four goals as Dartford eased to victory against Horsham YMCA. Eddie McClements opened the scoring and Ryan Hayes scored with his trademark curler in a trophy tie that ended up 6-0 to the Darts. Most recently, Luke Wanadio scored the only goal of the game as Dartford went away to Bath City and won in 2016. Dartford’s last game at Princes Park on 22 October ended in defeat against Truro City. The visitors were two goals up after just seven minutes. Tom Bonner pulled a goal back after scoring a rebound, but the Darts couldn’t complete their comeback.

Season Preview 2022/2023

St Albans City

Based on one defeat in the fifteen in 2020/2021, St Albans City were talked about as a title challenger. The Saints had the chance to prove themselves in the opening two fixtures against other favourites Dartford then Dorking Wanderers, they lost both. The Hertfordshire club rallied together though putting seven wins and a draw on the board. Inconsistency followed as St Albans City dropped points at home against lower league sides and struggled on the road when up against those above them. Always within a chance to make the playoffs their season tailed off from March onwards falling short of the top seven.

2021/2022 Season
National South: 9th
F.A Cup: 2nd Round
F.A Trophy: 4th Round
County Cup: Quarter-Final
Top League Scorer: Shaun Jeffers (27 goals)

Manager – Ian Allinson

Arguably the most experienced manager in the division, Allinson made over 300 appearances for Colchester United as a player and spent four years in the eighties with Arsenal playing over a century of games for the Gunners. Allinson started managing in the lower echelons of non-league with spells at Baldock Town, Stotfold, Corby Town, Barton Rovers and Harlow Town. His last two jobs have spanned 14 years, first at Boreham Wood, who he led from the Isthmian Premier League to the National League via two playoff campaigns and now with St Albans City, where he has regularly posted top ten finishes for the Hertfordshire club.    

Summer Transfers

Transfers In Transfers Out
Chris Paul (Hemel Hempstead Town) Johnny Goddard (Slough Town)
Tafari Moore (Hendon) David Diedhiou (Hendon)
Chez Isaac (Chelmsford City) Bayley Brown (Hemel Hempstead Town)
Munashe Sundire (King’s Lynn Town) Alkeo Bani
  Tom Bender

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 11 / St Albans City wins: 6 / Draws: 5

Previous Matches (last six)

Dartford 3 – 1 St Albans City (23/04/2022 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 3 Dartford (14/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 St Albans City (17/11/2020 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 2 Dartford (07/03/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 St Albans City (06/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 St Albans City (12/01/2019 – National South)

Next Meetings

St Albans City v Dartford – 22/10/2022
Dartford v St Albans City – 22/04/2023

Statistics

  • Dartford have lost just one of the last six against St Albans City (W4, D1) having won just one of the previous six (D0, L5)
  • The Darts have lost only twice at home against the Saints in 12 meetings (W6, D4*) – * lost a F.A Trophy tie on penalties
  • On the road, Dartford have won in their last two visits to St Albans City having lost the previous four with and aggregate score of 0-11.

Match Highlights – 2021/2022

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Dartford v St Albans City

Dartford are in action this weekend when they host St Albans City in their penultimate home game of the National South regular season.

With a National South playoff place secured, the Darts will be aiming for home advantage, which is dependent on where they finish at the end of the season. Steve King’s side lost their first home game in the league on Easter Monday against rivals and league leaders Maidstone United and will be determined to bounce back. St Albans City still have a shot at making the playoffs despite a dip in form since the beginning of last month.

The reverse fixture against the Saints was played on the opening day of the season. At the time the prospect of taking on St Albans City to begin the campaign seemed difficult. Saints had a strong 2020/2021 and after 15 games were only behind league leaders Dorking Wanderers on points per game, before the season was cut short. However, the Darts passed with flying colours setting off on a fantastic run of seven victories and a draw in their first eight National South games.

Ade Azeez and Dan Roberts scored on debut at Clarence Park in a 3-1 win. The Darts scored at the end of either half to claim all three points and it was another debutante, Danny Leonard who provided the cross for Azeez’s first goal for the club. A former Dartford player, Tom Bender equalised for the hosts, but two late goals from substitute Dan Roberts secured the win. Keiran Murtagh, Jake Robinson and George Porter also made their first appearances.

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Highlights of the opening day meeting courtesy of SACFC TV

St Albans City won on their last visit to Princes Park when Shaun Jeffers scored a late wonder goal. The striker put in a fine performance capping it off with the match winner. Dartford’s form over the Saints has improved in the last three years with three victories and a draw in the last five meetings. Prior this current run the Darts had won once in six, failing to score in five of those.

Dartford had a mixed Easter with a comfortable victory against Billericay Town and a narrow defeat to Maidstone United. King made two changes to the team that beat Billericay Town 2-0 on Good Friday. Goals from Jack Jebb and Marcus Dinanga secured a playoff place. For the Easter Monday fixture full back, Jernade Meade made his first league start since the beginning of the year and Samir Carruthers was back in midfield. Kristian Campbell and Murtagh were named as substitutes.

However, it was former Dartford striker, Jack Barham who came back to haunt his old side again. After netting a hat-trick in the reverse league fixture, the striker scored the winner putting an end to the Darts unbeaten home run in the National South. The Stones looked the better side and also missed a penalty when Dan Wilks saved from Barham. The closest Dartford came was when Carruthers hit the post, but the Darts were unable to derail their rivals title push.

Defeat means that the Darts have dropped to fourth in the table relinquishing a bye into the playoff semi-final and home advantage. With four games remaining they are only a point of a top three finish just behind local rivals Ebbsfleet United. If King’s side can climb above the Fleet and stay ahead of Oxford City and Eastbourne Borough then they can avoid that extra playoff match.

St Albans City need to make up three points just to get into the playoffs and on current form they will be pleased to sneak in. Although their last three outings have ended in a draw, a defeat and a win they had just lost six in a row and taken just one point from 21 available. On Monday they drew 0-0 with Hampton and Richmond Borough and on Good Friday lost 3-0 to lowly Chelmsford City.

Former Dart, Tom Bender was a substitute in the goalless draw with Hampton and Richmond Borough. He was part of Dartford’s 2014/2015 campaign and made 20 appearances in the National League for the Dartfs. The defender moved on to Forest Green Rovers before joining St Albans City during the 2015/2016 season. As well as scoring against the Darts on the opening day this term, Bender also grabbed a goal at Princes Park in November 2016 when the Saints won 2-0. Almost a year later he also netted an own goal which handed Dartford a 2-1 victory in October 2017.

However, the Darts will have to watch out for striker, Shaun Jeffers who has scored 25 league goals and 32 in all competitions, way more than anyone else for the club this term. Jeffers signed for St Albans City in the summer of 2020 and has so far scored 44 times in 67 appearances for the Saints. He also scored for his former side against the Darts whilst at Chelmsford City back in August 2016.

After taking on the Darts this weekend it doesn’t get any easier for the Hertfordshire side. The Saints host title chasing Dorking Wanderers, travel to playoff certainties Oxford City before ending at home to Tonbridge Angels. It’s been against the top sides that St Albans City have struggled to gain points on the road by failing to beat any of the top six on their travels.   

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 10 / St Albans City wins: 6 / Draws: 5

Current League Form

Dartford
(DWDDWL)
    St Albans City
(LLLWLD)
   
Maidstone United H 0-1 Hampton & Richmond A 0-0
Billericay Town A 2-0 Chelmsford City H 0-3
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Hungerford Town A 2-0
Oxford City A 1-1 Maidstone United A 2-3
Hampton & Richmond A 1-0 Concord Rangers A 1-2
Havant & Waterlooville H 1-1 Ebbsfleet United H 0-1

Previous Meetings (last six)

St Albans City 1 – 3 Dartford (14/08/2021 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 St Albans City (17/11/2020 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 2 Dartford (07/03/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 St Albans City (06/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 St Albans City (12/01/2019 – National South)
St Albans City 2 – 0 Dartford (01/09/2018 – National South)

Stats

  • Tom Bonner has now made 400 starts as a Dartford player and 403 appearances in total. The defender is now 9th on the all time appearance list for the club.
  • Dartford have won three of the last five fixtures against St Albans City, drawing twice and losing once.
  • The Darts had scored in their previous 14 league games before the blank at home to Maidstone United.

On This Day

Dartford are playing on St George’s Day for only the second time in 17 years this weekend. The last fixture on this day was in 2016 when the Darts drew 2-2 at home against Oxford City. Elliot Bradbrook’s scored a brace as the Darts levelled twice, the last equaliser coming from a late penalty. Dartford’s last win on 23 April was in 2001 when they beat Langley Sports 2-1 in the Southern League Division One East. In the same division four years later, the last defeat on this day came against Fisher Athletic by the same score line.

St Albans City v Dartford

Dartford get their National South campaign underway this weekend with an away trip to St Albans City.

Both sides were in strong positions to mount a title challenge when last season was curtailed and expect to be pushing for promotion this time around.

St Albans City will be a perfect test on the opening day for the Darts. Although Dartford were two points better off last term, the Saints lost just once in the fifteen league matches they completed, four games fewer than the Darts.

Yet there is a parallel between this weekend’s opponents. When Steve King took charge of the Darts he turned them into promotion contenders after joining during a relegation battle. Saints manager, Ian Allinson has done the same over the last two years taking his club from a struggle at the bottom to a push for promotion.

Dartford’s last visit to Clarence Park in the 2019/2020 season coincided with St Albans City’s relegation battle and saw the Darts end a four game losing hoodoo. In those previous visits to Hertfordshire, the Darts ended with nothing to show in front of goal firing blanks and picking up no points. However in March 2020, King’s men stopped the rot and came home with all three points in a 2-1 victory. An early penalty scored by Joe Iaciofano meant Dartford had to come from behind and they obliged with goals from Liam Nash and a Darren McQueen spot kick.

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Last season there was only enough time to meet the once at Princes Park, a stunning goal from Shaun Jeffers was enough to earn the Saints a single goal victory.

Pre-Season
The Darts have warmed up for this season with some decent results against Football League sides. One goal defeats at the hands of Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic, victories over AFC Wimbledon and Sutton United and a draw with Southend United, who are looking to return to the Football League at the first attempt. New signing, Dan Roberts top scored in the friendlies with five goals since joining from Slough Town.

St Albans City began their pre-season with a resounding 8-1 victory over Arlesey Town, which included a Mitchell Weiss hat-trick. Romeo Akinola has netted six times in the friendlies including a braces against Kings Langley and Hanworth Villa. The Saints also beat a Watford XI, played two games in one day using different squads, losing to Bedford Town but beating AFC Dunstable and closed with a 1-1 draw versus Cheshunt.

Dartford St Albans City
Ipswich Town (home) – lost 0-1Arlesey Town (away) – won 8-1
Sittingbourne (home) – won 5-0Stevenage (home) – lost 0-1
Charlton Athletic (home) – lost 1-2Kings Langley (away) – won 2-1
Carshalton Athletic (away) – won 3-1Wealdstone (home) – drew 1-1
AFC Wimbledon (home) – won 1-0Hanworth Villa (away) – won 2-1
Sutton United (home) – won 3-1Watford XI (home) – won 2-1
Southend United (home) – drew 2-2Bedford Town (away) – lost 1-4
Sittingbourne (away) – won 2-0AFC Dunstable (away) – won 3-1
Lewes (away) – lost 1-2Hendon (home) – won 2-0
Cheshunt (away) – drew 1-1

Summer Signings
Over the summer, Dartford manager Steve King focused on improving his team’s attacking capabilities and with Jake Robinson joining from Billericay Town he is hoping for a good return in front of goal. Robinson will team up again with Luke Wanadio who returns for a third spell with the Darts and can supply creativity on the wing. George Porter netted in the friendlies against Carshalton Athletic and AFC Wimbledon and joins from Maidstone United. Ade Azeez will also be part of the squad after signing from Dover Athletic, but the former AFC Wimbledon and Partick Thistle striker picked up a hamstring injury over pre-season.

In midfield, Tyrique Hyde is another returnee arriving from Dulwich Hamlet, Danny Leonard comes in from Sheppey United and Kieran Murtagh has impressed and brings experience from Boreham Wood. The Darts haven’t made many changes in defence as last term that was an area in which the excelled, Bagasan Graham has joined to strengthen the back line though.

St Albans City manager Ian Allinson has has a quieter summer trusting most of the squad that performed so well last season. Former Dartford defender Tom Bender signed a new contract and will begin his seventh campaign with the Hertfordshire club. In the week leading up to kick off, the Saints have captured the services of Alkeo Bani, an Albanian under 19’s defender and John Goddard. Other new recruits include Callum Adebiyi from Southern Premier League side Kings Langley, Luke Brown from Hitchin Town. and Michael Oluwadara Dada from Chelmsford City.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 9 / St Albans City wins: 6 / Draws: 5

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 0 – 1 St Albans City (17/11/2020 – National South)
St Albans City 1 – 2 Dartford (07/03/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 St Albans City (06/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 St Albans City (12/01/2019 – National South)
St Albans City 2 – 0 Dartford (01/09/2018 – National South)
St Albans City 4 – 0 Dartford (03/02/2018 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford won last season’s opener 1-0 against Chelmsford City. Victory this weekend will be the first time the Darts recorded consecutive opening day wins since 2006 (1-0 v Arlesey Town in 2005 and 4-0 v Weston-super-Mare in 2006).
  • The Darts last kept a clean sheet against the Saints in a 2-0 win on 6 February 2006, eleven games ago. It remains the only time St Albans City failed to score versus Dartford.
  • St Albans City have won four of their last five home matches in this fixture

On This Day

Dartford celebrated coming back from the brink in 1993 with a historic opening day Kent League win over Deal Town. It took just ten minutes for the party to begin when Micky Collins scored the winning goal in what was a momentous occasion for the club.

In the five fixtures that followed on this day, the Darts have taken just one point, a 2-2 draw with Havant and Waterlooville. The draw with the Hawks in 2010 signified the return to the second tier of non-league football having risen up from the Kent League.

The other four games since beating Deal Town were all away defeats without scoring. In 1999 the Darts lost 4-0 against Fisher Athletic (Southern League South), were beaten 3-0 by Boreham Wood in 2004 (Southern League Division One East), in 2012 Dartford were beaten 1-0 by Woking (National League) and three years ago lost 2-0 at Concord Rangers (National South).