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

MATCH PREVIEW: Dover Athletic v Dartford

dover Match Preview

Dartford have a crucial Kent derby this weekend when they take on Dover Athletic in the National South.

The Darts travel to the Crabble desperate for a win having lost their last five league games. Dartford have yet to record a point during Tony Burman interim spell in charge. Four single goal defeats have left his side in a relegation battle. The Darts are six points clear of the drop but have played more games than the three teams around them in the standings.

Dover Athletic’s woes have continued having just about survived the drop last term. The Whites, who finished last in the National League just under two years ago are bottom again in the National South. Jake Leberl’s side will need to find victories if they are to pull off a great escape.

Tuesday night’s loss at home to Chippenham Town was a missed opportunity for the Darts to put some distance between themselves and the bottom four. Instead, they extended their losing streak to their worst for nine years. It was in that run back in 2015 that Dover Athletic recorded a 6-1 victory over the Darts at the Crabble.

Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Burman made one change to the side that were beaten 1-0 by Bath City last weekend ahead of the game against Chippenham Town. Midfielder, Jack Smith replaced Tyrell Miller-Rodney, who wasn’t in the matchday squad. In the first-half the Darts were unlucky not to add to their one goal in their last four league games. Several close-range efforts were kept out by the visitors as Dartford looked for an important opener. Instead, it was the Bluebirds who found the winner taking advantage of a defensive mistake in the second-half.

The Dartford boss spoke to Dartford FC TV after the game and said: “We’re obviously disappointed with the result again. We’ve had chances in the first half to maybe at least score one goal. We’ve been really punished severely again for a mistake which has cost us. It seems like when that is happening it’s changing the game for us completely and all confidence and belief drains from us. We didn’t do enough to win the game, but I still think we had enough to get something from it”.

Tommy Block was forced off after half an hour in mid-week with a possible hamstring injury and later in the match Sam Odaudu left the pitch injured. The Darts are also waiting for Luke Allen to return, who has not featured since the end of December. However, Burman has signed Tom Clifford on a month’s loan from King’s Lynn Town. The full back spent his youth in Sidcup before Tottenham Hotspur spotted the left sided player where he played in their academy. Clifford signed his first professional contract with Southend United where he made 67 appearances in the Football League and National League. Loan spells at Bishop’s Stortford and Concord Rangers followed before he joined King’s Lynn Town in August. Manny Adebowale and Paul Rooney could also face their former club.

Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

On Bank Holiday August Dartford won the reverse fixture against Dover Athletic at Princes Park. James Golding and Lewis Manor scored in a game that the hosts controlled. Golding stabbed home from close range and Manor headed past Billy Terrell, now Dartford’s goalkeeper. Luke Coulson could have made it three, but missed a penalty.

Last season the Darts completed a double over Dover Athletic which included a 3-1 win at the Crabble. All the goals came in the first-half with Samir Carruthers getting the first, Coulson added a second and Maxwell Statham a third. Just before half-time the Whites pulled a goal back through Luke Baptiste. At Princes Park, Harvey Bardbury had the hosts ahead before Jordan Higgs equalised. With seven minutes remaining Allen popped up for the Darts to score the winner.

Highlights courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Dover Athletic have conceded nine goals in their last two outings and six of those were against Worthing last weekend. In a ten goal thriller the Whites put up a fight versus the playoff contenders and league’s top scorers. In the Dover Athletic goal was former Dartford keeper Daniel Jinadu. The Rebels moved into a three goal lead prior the Whites scoring twice before the interval, George Wilkinson and Baptiste scoring the goals. Worthing’s Ollie Pearce completed a hat-trick and added his fourth to put the hosts 6-2 ahead. Yet again Dover Athletic threatened to comeback as Wilkinson netted again and in injury time Archie Hatcher made it 6-4.

A week earlier Dover Athletic lost 3-0 at Braintree Town, however they did win in their last league game at the Crabble. The Whites beat Slough Town thanks to a George Nikaj goal. The Whites who started the campaign with Mitch Brundle in charge have only recorded three victories in the National South. However, they have drawn the most in the division and have only lost six out of 16 at home.

Current League Form

Dartford (DLLLLL) Dover Athletic (DLLWLL)
Chippenham Town H 0-1 Worthing A 4-6
Bath City A 0-1 Braintree Town A 0-3
Farnborough A 1-2 Slough Town H 1-0
Weymouth H 0-1 Tonbridge Angels H 1-2
Maidstone United A 1-2 Torquay United A 0-1
Weston-super-Mare A 2-2 Taunton Town A 1-1

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 17 / Dover Athletic wins: 11 / Draws: 12

Last Six Meetings

Dartford 2 – 0 Dover Athletic (28/08/2023 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Dover Athletic (10/04/2023 – National South)
Dover Athletic 1 – 3 Dartford (13/09/2022 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Dover Athletic (08/03/2022 – Kent Senior Cup)
Dover Athletic 1 – 2 Dartford (13/12/2016 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 1 – 1 Dover Athletic (10/12/2016 – F.A Trophy)

Statistics

  • Dartford have won seven of the last nine league games against Dover Athletic (D1, L1).
  • The Dart have won the last five matches in all competitions against the Whites, a record run against their opponents.
  • The Darts have won just three times in the league at the Crabble in 10 attempts (D4, L3)

On This Day

Dartford have won their last two away games on this day with the last victory coming six years ago. The Darts beat Wealdstone 2-1 in the National South but had to leave it late. The Stones were reduced to ten men when Iffy Allen, now part of Dover Athletic’s squad was sent off. Despite the man advantage, the Darts fell behind. Then two goals in three minutes from Danny Mills and Alfie Pavey kept Dartford top of the league. In 1996, the Darts made a short trip to Corinthian where they won their Kent League fixture 3-0. Dartford have met Dover Athletic on this day before back in 1990. The Southern Premier League fixture finished 1-1. Twelve years before Dover folded, the Darts won 3-1 in a Kent Floodlight Cup fixture.