Dartford begin the year with a cross country trip to Weston-super-Mare this weekend in the National South.
The Darts picked up just one win in December to finish an inconsistent twelve months in thirteenth place. Over the festive period Alan Dowson’s side managed to add four points to their tally against local rivals Welling United. This weekend’s opponents had back to back matches against Weymouth and gained just one point.
Dartford’s festive double header with Welling United saw them win on the road and draw back at Princes Park. On Boxing Day, the Darts claimed a maximum at Park View Road. Richard Chin scored the only goal of the game just before the hour mark.
In the reverse fixture, Dowson made no changes to the starting eleven for the first time in almost two months. However, injuries to Luke Allen and Chin meant the pair were unable to finish the game. As a result, Chin’s loan spell has come to an end for now with an option of returning once fit to play again. After coming back to the club, Jack Smith was named on the bench and made his first appearance since returning. Once again, the Darts went ahead when Luke Coulson volleyed Paul Rooney’s cross. With minutes left of the Kent derby, Welling United salvaged a point in the 97th minute when Ike Orji’s cross went in off Moussa Diarra.
Weston-super-Mare started this year as they ended the last with plenty of goals. During December the six games involving the Seagulls produced 28 goals. In the F.A Trophy they knocked out Dowson’s old club Woking winning 3-2. They also lost by the same scoreline in the league at home to Truro City the week after, then on Boxing Day versus Weymouth. Scott Bartlett’s side began last month by hitting four in consecutive games beating Welling United 4-2 and Worthing 4-0. The Saturday before Christmas was a relatively low scoring affair. The Seagulls were defeated 2-1 at Hampton and Richmond Borough.
On New Year’s Day the reverse fixture against Weymouth ended 3-3. Another entertaining game left Weston-super-Mare disappointed down in Dorset. The Somerset club twice had a two-goal lead but failed to hang on. Bartlett made two changes to the side that lost against the Terras six days earlier, Jordan Bastin and Alex Fletcher making a start. Dayle Grubb set up Sam Avery for Weston’s first, then a minute later Fletcher scored. In first half-stoppage time Brandon Goodship’s penalty halved the deficit for the hosts. Reuben Reid restored a two-goal cushion ten minutes after the interval with his eighth league goal of the season. However, Goodship and Ezio Touray completed the comeback to leave the match all square. The Seagulls are now two points behind the Darts with a game in hand.
In October, Dartford beat the Seagulls at Princes Park. The first meeting between the two sides in four and half years produced six goals. In a game full of action, Coulson was involved in three goals, Mitchell Beeney saved a penalty and Alex Wall netted and received a red card.
Halfway through the first half Reuben Reid put the visitors ahead. Six minutes later Weston-super-Mare were awarded a spot kick, which was kept out by Beeney. Coulson set up Rooney before half-time as the sides went in level at the break. In the second-half it was Dartford’s turn to win a penalty, but this time Coulson scored. Wall added a third and the striker made it four after finishing Coulson’s cross. Luke Pearce scored a late consolation for the Seagulls in an entertaining match.
Dartford’s last two trips to Weston-super-Mare have ended in defeat. On both occasions the Darts conceded three times. In April 2019, Ryan Hayes scored a consolation. The Seagulls were three up before half-time. In September 2017, Weston-super-Mare scored three without reply.
|St Albans City
|Hampton & Richmond
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 10 / Weston-super-Mare wins: 4 / Draws: 4
Dartford 4 – 2 Weston-super-Mare (31/10/2023 – National South)
Weston-super-Mare 3 – 1 Dartford (06/04/2019 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Weston-super-Mare (29/09/2018 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 1 Weston-super-Mare (07/04/2018 – National South)
Weston-super-Mare 3 – 0 Dartford (23/09/2017 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 Weston-super-Mare (17/01/2017 – National South)
- The home side has won each of the last six league games in this fixture. The Darts recorded the last league away win in August 2016
- The Darts have lost in their last two league visits to the Woodspring Stadium
- Dartford have won four of their last six opening games of the year (D1, L1)
On This Day
Dartford have not lost on 6 January for 62 years. Unbeaten in seven on this day, the Darts have drawn their last two. Ben Greenhalgh scored in a 1-1 draw with Concord Rangers in 2018, tbhe last time Dartford played on this day. The previous outing was a goalless affair with Greenwich Borough 28 years ago in the Kent League. Prior the pair of draws the Darts had won five in a row beating Moor Green 4-1 in 1990, Fisher Athletic and Nuneaton Borough 1-0 in 1987 and 1975 respectively and Dover 2-1 two years earlier. The winning streak started against Folkestone with another 1-0 win in 1968. The Darts have only lost twice on this day winning nine and drawing three.