Upcoming MatchHendon vs Dartford/April 23, 2024/Silver Jubilee Park

MATCH PREVIEW – Chelmsford City v Dartford

chelm Match preview

Dartford bid to stay above the relegation zone this Easter facing a difficult trip to Chelmsford City on Good Friday.

The Darts climbed out of the bottom four on Tuesday night by the slimmest of margins and now they are seeking a first league win at the Melbourne Community Stadium in just over eight years. Adrian Pennock is still hoping to claim his maiden victory as Dartford boss at the sixth attempt. Chelmsford City are in second place and can still catch league leaders Yeovil Town. The Clarets are seven points adrift from the front runners with just five games to play.

Since Pennock arrived, he has managed to stop a losing streak of four matches with consecutive draws. Both of those points have helped the Darts move above the dotted line on goal difference and have been against teams also fighting for survival. On Saturday, Paul Rooney rescued a point for Dartford in a 1-1 draw with Hemel Hempstead Town.

Three days later the Darts travelled to Gloucester to take on Truro City, two points above them in the table. Jack Smith and Luke Allen were introduced to the side with Alex Wall and Taylor Maloney dropping to the bench. Oliver Box was still missing from the squad with an ankle injury, Sam Odaudu has been a long-term absence and Jordan Greenidge served the last of his two-game suspension. Both defences held firm in the 0-0 draw, which saw Dartford claim their first clean sheet since Boxing Day.

Dartford have suffered in this fixture recently from late goals, comebacks and former players making an impact. The last visit to the Melbourne Community Stadium wasn’t the prettiest encounter, but the hosts didn’t mind when Louis Dunne scored a minute from time with an inswinging cross which skimmed the head of Tom Bonner and into the far corner. Victory for the hosts extended their unbeaten home run against the Darts to six stretching back to 2016, when a Tony Burman side progressed in a F.A Cup tie.

Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Just over a year ago the Clarets did another number on the Darts at Princes Park. Neat interplay between Samir Carruthers and Jack Smith set up Luke Coulson to give the hosts a half-time lead. In the second-half Coulson hit the post and Dartford looked good with seven minutes to go, until former player Ody Alfa scored with an unstoppable strike. There was time for another ex-Dart to find the back of the net in injury time, Giovanni McGregor curled home the winner.

That summer Carruthers switched allegiances and earlier this season it was the midfielder’s turn to score against the Darts. Once again, the Darts went in front on home soil when this time Maxwell Statham opened the scoring. With the break approaching Joash Nembhard conceded a penalty and up stepped Carruthers to make it all square. Ten minutes into the second-half Charlie Ruff put the visitors ahead to give Chelmsford City a third consecutive win over the Darts.

Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Robbie Simpson’s side have made huge strides this season and are aiming for promotion to the National League for the first time. The Clarets have played a game more than league leaders Yeovil Town and need to make up a seven-point deficit over the next five matches. The odds are against the Essex club to snatch the title, but they are comfortably in second for now, eight points clear of county rivals Braintree Town.

On the weekend Chelmsford City showed plenty of character and did a favour for the Darts. Clarets top scorer Charlie Ruff scored to injury time goals to see his side come from 2-1 down at Taunton Town to win 3-2. Former Dart, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb captained the team, the defender played 18 times for Dartford in the 2020/2021 campaign. George Alexander came off the bench, the striker was on loan at Princes Park this term scoring twice in ten matches. Victory was their second in consecutive weekends against a Somerset side as the Clarets also beat Bath City 3-1 at home, a game that featured Ody Alfa. Since the Christmas period Chelmsford City have gone from seventh to second and have tasted defeat just three times.

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLLDD) Chelmsford City (WWWLWW)
Truro City A 0-0 Taunton Town A 3-2
Hemel Hempstead H 1-1 Bath City H 3-1
Maidstone United H 0-2 Maidstone United A 0-2
Braintree Town A 0-2 Truro City A 4-1
Torquay United A 1-4 Worthing H 1-0
Aveley H 1-2 Aveley A 2-0

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 41 / Chelmsford City wins: 58 / Draws: 23

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 1 – 2 Chelmsford City (07/11/2023 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 2 Chelmsford City (25/03/2023 – National South)
Chelmsford City 1 – 0 Dartford (03/12/2022 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Chelmsford City (15/03/2022 – National South)
Chelmsford City 0 – 0 Dartford (25/10/2021 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Chelmsford City (06/10/2020 – National South)

Statistics

  • Chelmsford City were one of three teams to complete a double over the Darts last season.
  • The Darts are winless in six league trips to Chelmsford City last winning there in December 2015 (D2, L4). That victory is the only away win in the league against the Clarets in 12 attempts (D3, L8)
  • In all competitions Dartford have won just twice in their last 14 visits to the Melbourne Community Stadium (D4, L8)

On This Day

Dartford’s last outing on this day is their only win in the last six. Struggling at the wrong end of the National League table, the Darts claimed a 2-1 win over Macclesfield Town to provide hope of staying up. The Silkmen led through Paul Turnbull’s volley. However, the hosts fought back when Danny Harris scored before half-time and Max Cornhill claimed the winner with nine minutes remaining. A future Dartford legend showed his capabilities 16 years ago when Brentwood Town visited Princes Park. Lee Noble was in the side that beat the Darts 1-0 on this day in 2008. The midfielder went on to sign for Dartford in May 2008 and spent 12 years as a Dart making over 450 appearances.