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

MATCH PREVIEW – Dartford v Worthing

Dartford aim to end their seven-game winless run at home in the league against third place Worthing this weekend.

The Darts are perilously close to the relegation zone after a late capitulation on Tuesday night against Aveley. Dartford now have a four-point cushion, but those on their tails have games in hand which could see them drop into the bottom four. Worthing are starting life without manager Adam Hinshelwood, who left the Sussex club in the week to take over the reigns at National League side York City.

Crucial points were dropped again from a winning position in mid-week when the Darts were beaten 2-1 at Princes Park. Facing an Aveley side targeting a playoff place, Tony Burman made three changes to the starting lineup. Tyrell Miller-Rodney and Olly Box returned to the side at the expense of Maxwell Statham, who picked up a knock last weekend and Elliott Romain, whilst Manny Adebowale replaced the suspended Joash Nembhard at the back. Barndon Barzey was named on the bench after recovering from a hamstring injury he picked up a month ago. Tommy Block, Sam Odaudu and Luke Allen are still on the injury list.

Interview courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Dartford put in a good performance for most of the game and had Ibby Akanbi’s goal ruled out for offside in the first half. Aveley goalkeeper Jonathan North was tested on a few occasions, but the Darts were unable to take their chances.

After the break the hosts picked up from where they left off, but it was the visitors who came closest when Paul Rooney cleared off the line, then Arjanit Krasniqi clipped the cross bar from a free-kick. After surviving that scare Dartford went down the other end and Fumnaya Shomotun scored his second in as many games. Rooney was forced off injured leaving defensive options dwindling and after the excellent Luke Coulson was denied by North the game turned rapidly. With ten minutes to go and against the run of play Nana Kyei equalised. A couple of minutes later Terrell conceded a penalty and Siju Odelusi completed the turnaround.

The Darts last won on their own patch in the National South against Torquay United in November and their winless streak of seven is their worst barren spell at home in the league since the 2014/2015 campaign. Therefore, Burman will be hoping his side can recreate the victory in the reverse fixture against Worthing to finally secure three points on home soil. Three months ago, the two teams played out an entertaining seven goal thriller, which the Darts edged 4-3.

Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

In a topsy-turvy game the Darts came from behind, let a lead slip, but ended up winning. Worthing went in front when Danny Cashman scored. Then in the space of 15 minutes at the end of the first-half Dartford were 3-1 to the good. Alex Wall capitalised on some poor defending, captain Luke Coulson netted from the edge of the box and Jordan Wynter then grabbed a rare goal. The Rebels fought back with a superb strike from Ricky Aguiar before Ollie Pearce levelled the score. There was one more twist with six minutes to go, Tyrell Miller-Rodney put away the winner.

Worthing completed the double over the Darts last season winning 2-1 at Princes Park. In a story akin to this season Dartford let a one goal lead slip after going in front through Connor Essam. The Rebels equalised in the second-half when Callum Kealy scored and in the last minute Joel Cobran netted the decisive goal. Five months later Worthing won 3-0 in a game that saw Alex Wall sent off and Maxwell Statham score an own goal. The prolific Ollie Pearce and former Dart, Davide Rodari scored the other two goals.

Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Former Worthing boss, Hinshelwood said an emotional farewell in the week. The Rebels have progressed up the pyramid during his tenure. In his second spell as manager, Hinshelwood steered the Sussex club to Isthmian Premier safety, guided them through the Covid years and led them to the Isthmian Premier title and Sussex Senior Cup. Last season was Worthing’s first year in the National South and they finished fourth losing in the playoff semi-final.

New interim manager Aarran Racine will be in charge on the weekend, and he will inherit a strong squad chasing down second place. The Rebels are this season’s top scorers with 77 and nearly half of the goals have been claimed by Pearce. Last term the striker netted 24 as Worthing boasted the second-best attack. The Sussex club’s attacking philosophy has paid dividends, yet they have also conceded a lot of goals over the past two seasons.

Yet Worthing approach this weekend’s game on the back of two straight defeats. On Saturday they lost to in form Braintree Town 1-0 and four days earlier were humbled 4-1 by a rejuvenated Welling United. Leading up to those losses, the Rebels had won four on the bounce scoring 17 in the process and conceding seven. Their match against strugglers Dover Athletic best sums up the entertainment Worthing bring; they beat the Kent side 6-4 three weeks ago.

Current League Form

Dartford (LLWLDL) Worthing (WWWWLL)
Aveley H 1-2 Braintree Town H 0-1
Taunton Town H 1-1 Welling United A 1-4
Slough Town A 2-3 Weymouth A 4-1
Dover Athletic A 2-1 Dover Athletic H 6-4
Chippenham Town H 0-1 Aveley A 3-0
Bath City A 0-1 Torquay United H 4-2

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Worthing wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Last Six Meetings

Worthing 3 – 4 Dartford (14/11/2023 – National South)
Worthing 3 – 0 Dartford (28/01/2023 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 2 Worthing (27/08/2022 – National South)
Worthing 1 – 2 Dartford (26/09/2009 – F.A Cup)
Worthing 2 – 1 Dartford (20/11/1982 – F.A Cup)
Dartford 3 – 0 Worthing (12/11/1927 – F.A Cup)

Statistics

  • Dartford are on their longest winless run at home in the league since 2014/2015 when they went 11 games without a home win between November 2014 and April 2015 in the National League.
  • The last victory for the Darts at home against Worthing was 97 years ago in a F.A Cup tie (W2, L1)
  • Fumnaya Shomotun has scored both of Dartford’s home goals in the league in 2024 after four games
  • Goalkeeper, Billy Terrell has yet to keep a clean sheet in his nine appearances since joining the club on loan

On This Day

Dartford host their first game at home on this day for 22 years and could extend an unbeaten home run on 2 March to seven. Banbury United were the last team to visit the Darts in a game that ended 1-1. Dartford beat Burton Albion 2-0 in 1991, Bexley United 1-0 in 1976 and rivals Gravesend and Northfleet 4-1 back in 1965. Dartford also defeated Aylesford Paper Mills in 1940 and five years earlier Guildford City. The only home defeat on this day was 129 years ago against Chatham Reserves in the Kent League. Five years ago, Dulwich Hamlet got the better of Dartford in a 2-0 win at Champion Hill and in 2013 the Darts drew 2-2 up at Southport, Harry Crawford and Tom Bonner scoring for Dartford.