Dartford are left to concentrate on the National South for now with their main focus on an away trip to take on Chippenham Town this weekend.
The Darts crashed out of the F.A Cup last weekend when they went down 4-1 at Oxford City. A return to league action on Saturday gives Dartford the chance to extend an unbeaten run in the National South to four games. The third qualifying round of the F.A Cup is where it ended for Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle’s side with a performance that led to the captain apologising to the travelling faithful.
New loan signing from Maidstone United, Andre Coker made his debut replacing fellow loanee Kenneth Yao, who was ruled out with concussion. With Coker playing out on the wing that meant Chez Isaac slotted in at full back. Charlie Sheringham returned after missing the victory against Weston-Super-Mare replacing Jamie Philpot. Despite alterations to the starting eleven, the Darts found themselves four down allowing lone striker Kabby Tshimanga to score a hat-trick, the fourth was netted by loan signing Bobson Bawling, who joined from Torquay United a few days before kick off. Elliot Bradbrook grabbed a consolation for the Darts when he scored for the third time in five games to take his tally to five this season.
Coyle has called for his players to show a positive reaction, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk this week and said: “The players were hurting at the end of the game so we’ve got to pick them up. We’d been on a great run, we were four unbeaten and we had an opportunity to carry that on and build some momentum. We’ve taken a backward step but there’s an opportunity to reset and go again”, he added: “After the second-half performance on Saturday, there has to be a reaction”.
Defeat remain three games unbeaten in the league though, however they have drawn two of those. Two late draws against Eastbourne Borough and league leaders Billericay Town were followed up by victory over Weston-super-Mare, who are bottom of the table. Lee Noble opened the scoring before Gethyn Hill equalised for the Seagulls, but Jamie Philpot found the net in the second half to clinch a much needed win.
Chippenham Town finished their debut season in the National South last term in a respectable thirteenth. This time the Bluebirds are sitting in tenth amongst three other teams on eighteen points. Dartford will know a win at Hardenhuish Park will put them level with their opponents on points. However, the Wiltshire club are a tough prospect on their own patch losing just four at home last season, whilst this term they have won four out of five and lost the other.
Coyle commented: “Chippenham have only lost once at home all season so it’s going to be tough but we’re expecting a huge reaction for everyone at the football club”, he continued: “Me and Adam have been there with Welling and Concord and it’s a tough place to go but I’m looking forward to it”.
Mark Collier has got his side settled into the National South and despite defeat at newly promoted Dulwich Hamlet last weekend, they had just completed three consecutive wins, including an impressive 1-0 victory over Torquay United at Plainmoor. The Bluebirds also inflicted the first defeat on Billericay Town this season winning 2-0 towards the end of August.
The Bluebirds had to wait ten days before starting their October fixture list when they were in F.A Cup action. Their belated third qualifying round tie against Hendon ended 4-1 on Wednesday night. Chippenham Town as good as wrapped up the game before half-time racing into a three-goal lead. Nat Jarvis opened the scoring mid-way through the first half before a Nick McCootie brace. Within ten minutes of the restart George Rigg made it four, but the deficit was reduced when Ricardo German scored a consolation for Hendon.
Collier has added two more players to his squad this week, welcoming back the experienced Andy Sandell from his loan spell at Melksham Town. The Chippenham Town boss has also taken on loan Jordan Edwards from Swindon Town, the 19 year old has been drafted into the squad due to some long term injuries and suspensions. Summer signing Nat Jarvis leads the way in front of goal for the Bluebirds with four in the league so far, the striker signed from Bath City along with Jack Compton and George Rigg.
Last season, the Darts frustratingly came back from Hardenhuish Park with a point. Dartford who were sitting top of the National League were looking to extend their lead, but twice they went ahead only for Chippenham Town to fight back. Alfie Pavey made sure the Darts were in front at the interval only for Dean Evans to equalise early in the second half. Pavey completed a brace to make it 2-1, but once again the Bluebirds levelled, this time through McCootie. Earlier in the season, the Darts ran out 3-0 winners at Princes Park with goals from Pavey, Andy Pugh and Ryan Hayes.
Kenneth Yao should be available for selection again, Callum Driver is back in training and Andy Pugh is still recovering from a broken leg.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 1 / Chippenham Town wins: 0 / Draws: 1
Current League Form
|Chippenham Town (LWWWLW)||Dartford (WDDLWL)|
|Gloucester City||H||1-0||Billericay Town||A||1-1|
|Torquay United||A||1-0||Eastbourne Borough||H||2-2|
|Concord Rangers||H||4-1||St Albans City||A||0-2|
|Hampton & Richmond||A||1-2||East Thurrock United||H||2-0|
|Billericay Town||H||2-0||Hungerford Town||A||0-1|
Dartford are aiming to extend their unbeaten league run to four game, which will be their longest unbeaten streak in the National South this season.
Deren Ibrahim, Mark Onyemah, Tom Bonner and Ben Greenhalgh are the only Dartford players to have started every game this season.
On This Day
In Dartford’s last two matches on 13 October they have managed to keep two clean sheets. The last fixture on this day was a bore draw with Barrow in the National League, six years ago. The long trip North West ended 0-0 with only Tom Bonner and Lee Noble from the current squad involved in that match, current England international Marcus Bettinelli also lined up for the Darts. In 2009, Allan Tait and Danny Harris helped see off Tonbridge Angels in the Isthmian Premier League title winning campaign. Before those victories, the Darts lost three in a row without scoring including getting knocked out to Bromley in the 2007 F.A Cup third qualifying round tie, and six years earlier at the same stage of the competition against Gravesend and Northfleet. Dartford’s last away win on 13 October came in 1984 when they beat Scarborough 3-1 in the top flight of non-league football.
DATE: Saturday 13th October 2018
VENUE: Hardenhuish Park, Bristol Road, Chippenham SN14 6LR
KICK OFF: 15:00pm
TURNSTILES: Open from 12:30pm
- Adults £12
- Concessions £7
- Students and Members of the Armed Forces £7 with Student card/ID Card etc
- Junior (U16-18): £3 (Free if accompanied by a Parent)
- Any of the above prices stand tickets are £1 extra paid at the stand entrance
FACILITIES: Bar and food open from 12:30pm
MATCH UPDATES: Full Coverage will on twitter @dartfordfc
Directions: M69 then A46 to Junction 15 of M40. Do NOT take motorway.
Go over the junction and take the Fosse Way (A429) to Cirencester. (43 miles).
Go around Cirencester on the A419 and take the Tetbury Road (A429) which joins the A429 Fosse Way (left turn) 1 mile out of Cirencester.
Continue on A429 to junction with M4 (at Junction 17 of M4).
(15 miles). Do NOT take motorway.
Go over the roundabout and take A350 for 2.7 miles then pass through 3 roundabouts for 1 mile, remaining on A350.
Take 1st exit at roundabout onto A420 for 0.7 miles then car park is on left.
Ground is situated on complex behind car park.