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MATCH PREVIEW – Dartford v Yeovil Town

Dartford v Yeovil match preview

Dartford return to National South action this weekend welcoming league leaders Yeovil Town to Princes Park.

Almost 34 years since the last meeting in the F.A Trophy, the pair have drawn four of the last five league matches against each other. Both fixtures in the 1984/1985 Conference season finished level with Dartford drawing 1-1 at home and 2-2 away. However, the last time the Darts took on the Glovers was five years later in the F.A Trophy. Yeovil Town went on to win the first round tie 2-1 at Watling Street.

The Darts will be on home soil for a fifth consecutive game this weekend and hope they can cause an upset. Alan Dowson’s side have racked up eight goals in their last two outings. Surprising Torquay United in their last league fixture, they also beat Bromley in the cup. Yeovil Town have set a club record already this season and top the table. The Glovers won 14 consecutive games in all competitions to reach the summit.

Despite an away win at Worthing almost four weeks ago, the Darts lost three on the trot at home. Chelmsford City, Maidstone United and then Braintree Town all came to DA1 and went home with a victory. However, Dartford bounced back in style and perhaps unexpectedly pulled out an excellent 3-0 win against Torquay United.

YouTube player
Match highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

The additions of Richard Chin and George Alexander made an immediate impact. Both scored against the Gulls and Moussa Diarra also opened his account. Dowson made a move to improve results and for that game changed five of the starting line-up. Victory has kept a run of six league games going in which the Darts have alternated between a win and a defeat. It’s that inconsistency the Dartford boss wants to stamp out to make a push for the playoffs.

Respite from league competition followed just three days later with a Kent Senior Cup tie. Drawn against National League side Bromley, Dowson decided to rest players making eleven changes. Mitchell Beeney played his last game for the club after being released. Academy graduates Jayden Boulton and George Whitefield were selected. The Ravens choose to test out their squad by going with a young team.

It was all level at the break, but the Darts turned it on in the second-half to run out 5-1 winners. Charlie Sheringham scored from the spot in only his second start this season. A poor defensive error gifted Bromley an equaliser which Kido Taylor-Hart dispatched. Sheringham assisted Luke Allen to put the hosts ahead soon after the break. A third goal involvement from Sheringham arrived when he finished Alex Wall’s cross. Brandon Barzey wrapped things up with a brace, first taking advantage of a goalkeeping error. Then the winger was on the end of a quick move to net Dartford’s fifth.

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Match highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Paul Rooney will be available despite a red card against Braintree Town. Dartford appealed against the decision and his suspension has been overturned. Striker Harvey Bradbury picked up a fifth caution in the win over Torquay United. Tommy Block is on the road to recovery after a long term injury.

Former Championship side, Yeovil Town went down last season even though they had a top ten defence. However, scoring goals was an issue and too many draws saw them relegated. In August, the Glovers suffered a surprise opening day loss at Hemel Hempstead Town. To finish off their first month in the National South they were unexpectedly beaten 4-3 at Havant and Waterlooville.

Ending August in seventh, Mark Cooper’s side were about to embark on an incredible winning streak. Draws at home to Chelmsford City and Chippenham Town sandwiched 14 straight victories, ten of those in the league. The Glovers reached the F.A Cup second round in that time taking on Wrexham in front of the television cameras on the weekend. Yeovil Town were unable to extend their record of 21 F.A Cup upsets as a non-league side losing 3-0 to the Welsh club.

Yet it was their last away trip to Kent that ended their unbeaten run before defeat to Wrexham. Travelling across the country to face a struggling Welling United, the Glovers lost 4-1 on the road. On Wednesday night they made a shorter journey to Bath City.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 23 / Yeovil Town wins: 30 / Draws: 32

Previous Meetings

Dartford 1 – 2 Yeovil Town (13/01/1990 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 1 – 1 Yeovil Town (23/02/1985 – National League)
Yeovil Town 2 – 2 Dartford (22/12/1984 – National League)
Yeovil Town 0 – 1 Dartford (12/09/1984 – Bob Lord Trophy)
Dartford 1 – 3 Yeovil Town (04/09/1984 – Bob Lord Trophy)
Yeovil Town 1 – 1 Dartford (24/02/1984 – National League)

Statistics

  • The Darts have lost just one in the last seven home league games against the Glovers (W2, D4).
  • The last home win against Yeovil Town was in December 1981 when Dartford won 5-0 in the National League.
  • Dartford have scored in their last 11 league games against the Glovers

On This Day

Dartford have only ever won once on 9 December and that came in 1995. Donning black and white halves, the Darts beat Ramsgate 3-0 at Park View (groundshare with Erith and Belvedere). At the end of the campaign Dartford won promotion after losing one league game. Finishing runners up on goal difference, the Darts returned to the Southern League.

The other 19 fixtures on this day have ended in eight draws and 11 defeats. Although Dartford are unbeaten at home in three on 9 December. Either side of the Ramsgate win, the Darts drew 1-1 with Dunstable Town in 1967 and with Dover Athletic in 2006, Brendon Cass scoring at Princes Park.

Six years ago, Dartford were beaten 1-0 at Hungerford Town. In 2008, Bromley knocked the Darts out of the Kent Senior Cup. Rob Haworth and Cass netting in a 4-2 defeat. Maybe this year the black and white halves will provide Dartford with good luck!