Dartford aim to close the gap on fifth place when they visit winless Whitehawk on Tuesday night.
The Darts showed their fighting spirit at the weekend by coming from two goals down to earn a draw against Hampton and Richmond Borough. The story was the same for the Hawks who hosted Poole Town and recorded the same score despite finding themselves two down as well.
Tony Burman watched on as Hampton and Richmond Borough’s Max Kretzschmar netted a pair of free kicks in the second and 28th minutes. The Darts for the second time this term found themselves two down and like their away trip to Braintree Town they came up with the goods. Andy Pugh pulled a goal back, his first goal of the season and once again Elliot Bradbrook netted, to remain the club’s top scorer in this campaign with five goals.
Dartford need to find ways of turning draws into victories having picked up the most draws in the division. On their travels the Darts have picked up a point in three of the four fixtures and twice they have had to come from two goals down.
Currently six points behind the leaders and in sixth place, Dartford have plenty of time to make up the ground, however a more clinical attack could be the difference between an automatic promotion spot and a place in the playoffs.
Deren Ibrahim will return after representing Gibraltar in World Cup qualifying against Belgium and Bosnia. Duane Ofori-Acheampong is still out injured and Warren Mfula was missing from the matchday squad on the weekend. For the first time the squad is almost fully available for selection giving Tony Burman plenty of options.
The Darts will hope to reverse the result just over a year ago when Whitehawk ran out 1-0 winners. A fourth minute penalty by Ahmed Abdulla settled the match, Keaton Wood was sent off just before half time.
Whitehawk have drawn their last two matches at the Enclosed Ground, their only two points of the campaign. Sitting bottom of the National South, the Sussex club have had a turbulent few years. The 2014/15 playoff runners up have faltered of late and are desperate for some kind of stability. Last term, the Hawks went through a staggering five managers and almost fifty players finishing seventeenth. In the summer they lost regular top scorer Danny Mills to Dartford’s rivals Ebbsfleet United in the National League, the experienced Sergio Torres to Eastbourne Borough whilst Michael West and Elliot Omozusi to Chelmsford City.
After the 4-0 away defeat to Havant and Waterlooville, the Hawks parted company with manager Jimmy Dack who resigned. On the weekend for their 2-2 draw with Poole Town, Dan Harding stepped up as caretaker manager. The former defender gained lots of experience in the Football League during his playing career with the likes of Brighton and Hove Albion, Leeds United, Southampton, Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 3 /Whitehawk wins: 3 / Draws: 0
Current League Form
|Whitehawk (DLDLLL)||Dartford (DLWWWD)|
|Poole Town||H||2-2||Hampton & Richmond||A||2-2|
|Havant & Waterlooville||A||0-4||East Thurrock United||H||0-1|
|Braintree Town||H||1-1||Hemel Hempstead Town||A||3-0|
|Concord Rangers||A||0-1||Oxford City||H||7-1|
|Bognor Regis Town||A||2-6||Concord Rangers||H||2-0|
|Oxford City||H||0-3||Havant & Waterlooville||A||0-0|
Dartford have not lost from a winning position so far this season and have picked up two points after falling behind. The Darts have only failed once to turn a game around when they lost to East Thurrock United.
The Darts have the third best defence in the National South conceding five goals in the first half and just one in the second half. Out of the 16 goals scored Dartford have netted ten in the second half making them formidable after the break, scoring ten and conceding just once.
On This Day
Dartford last conceded a goal on 5 September in 1987 winning four out of their last five games on this day. The last fixture may have been a 0-0 with Bath City in 2015, but the three previous resulted in 14 goals without reply for the Darts. In 2009, Hendon were blown away 5-0 in the Isthmian Premier League with goals from Lee Burns, Robbie Haworth, a brace from Jay May and Lee Noble. Five years earlier, Horsham YMCA suffered the same fate in the F.A Cup when the Darts won a preliminary round tie 5-0. In the F.A Vase first qualifying round some 22 years ago, Dartford won 4-0 away to Steyning Town.
DATE: Tuesday 5th September 2017
VENUE: Whitehawk FC, The Enclosed Ground, East Brighton, Brighton, Sussex, BN2 5TS
KICK OFF: 7:45pm
Adults: £12, Concessions £7, 12 – 16 £3, Under 12’s FREE
SEATING: Seating is available on a first come first served basis in certain areas of the stadium.
PARKING: Parking is available at the ground.
MATCH UPDATES: Available on Twitter @dartfordfc and on website www.dartfordfc.com
COACH TRAVEL: The coach departs at 4pm from Princes Park. If you would like to book a seat please contact Mick Austin on 07969 181796