Dartford will want to make home advantage count this weekend when they take on Boreham Wood in the F.A Trophy first round.
Leading the National South on goal difference, the Darts aim to cause an upset against the National League side. If previous results against the Wood are anything to go by then it will be a difficult afternoon. Dartford have only beaten the Hertfordshire club three times in 16 attempts, the last victory came in 2010. Since then Boreham Wood won four in a row before a 2-2 draw in their last encounter almost five years years ago.
The Darts form at home is a major factor to why they are clinging on to pole position in the National South, however current performances have been patchy. A 1-0 away defeat to Hungerford Town last weekend left manager Tony Burman disappointed, he spoke to www.dartfordfc.com and said: “Once again it’s unfortunate that when we have started a match in a good position at the top of the table, we have managed to lose a game that in my opinion we should have won”.
Burman feels his side’s attitude was excellent and defensively they weren’t troubled until Tom Meecham’s winning penalty. He added: “Defensively we were sound and I can’t remember Deren having to make a save throughout the game. Going forward we have created a number of chances in the first half and many more in the second half, unfortunately these chances were not converted into goals”.
New signing Nathan Collier was unavailable after becoming a father, he is waiting for his first start since re-joining the Darts. Duane Ofori-Acheampong is getting closer to becoming more involved after a long tern injury and top scorer, Alfie Pavey has been out with a chest infection. Danny Harris returned to the bench after a few games out of the side.
Dartford reached the second round of the competition last term and can be inspired by the performance that got them there. In the first round they were drawn out to rivals Dover Athletic of the National League. After a replay the Darts went on to win 2-1, unfortunately the run ended in round two against Chelmsford City.
In the last meeting against Boreham Wood five years ago, Tom Bonner and Tom Champion were lining up on the same side. The Darts won promotion and after a year they both moved on to Cambridge United. With Bonner back in a Darts shirt the two will be up against each other, Champion made 150 starting appearance for the Darts scoring seven times.
When the Darts won the Isthmian Premier League in 2010, Boreham Wood won the playoffs. Since then Dartford have visited the National League and returned to the National South. The Wood may have taken longer to get to the top flight of non-league football but they have held their own in the division above.
Currently on a run of 11 games unbeaten, manager Luke Garrard believes his side can achieve good things, he told www.nationalleague.org.uk: “I think this group has got something, when it gets going I think we can achieve something this season, they have bought into the football club and what the management is asking of them”. Part of their success has been down to Bruno Andrade’s ten league goals this season, leaving the Wood seventh in the National League standings.
Garrard, who was appointed in 2015 was the youngest manager in the top five divisions of English football, he has led the club to nineteenth and eleventh place finishes. Last season they reached the F.A Trophy quarter final beating Sutton United in round three before losing to Lincoln City. The run was the club’s best in the competition since 2006 when they lost 3-0 on aggregate to Woking at the semi-final stage.
This term, Boreham Wood’s cup pedigree has been enhanced with a F.A Cup fourth qualifying round win over rivals St Albans City. Victory set up a first round tie with League One side Blackpool which the Wood won 2-1 after being a goal down, Blair Turgott and Dan Holman were the goalscorers to earn the club their first football league scalp in their 70 year history. The cup run did end against Coventry City in round two as the Hertfordshire side lost 3-0. Along with the league results Garrard secured November’s Manager of the Month in the National League.
The Darts have met Boreham Wood three times in cup competitions all in the F.A Cup at the fourth qualifying stage. In 1977, the Wood won 3-2 and five years later a 1-1 draw was followed up by a 2-1 victory for Dartford.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 3 / Boreham Wood wins: 8 / Draws: 5
Current Form (FAC – F.A Cup / FAT – F.A Trophy / HSC – Hertfordshire Senior Cup)
|Dartford (LWWDWL)||Boreham Wood (WWLWWD)|
|Hungerford Town||A||0-1||AFC Fylde||H||1-0|
|Poole Town||A||1-0||Stevanage (HSC)||H||4-3|
|Brentwood Town (FAT)||A||2-1||Coventry City (FAC)||A||0-3|
|Gloucester City||H||4-1||Maidstone United||A||4-0|
|Truro City||A||1-3||Macclesfield Town||A||0-0|
Dartford have only beaten Boreham Wood once away from home. The Darts solitary win came seven years ago in the Isthmian Premier League title winning campaign. Dartford have drawn two and lost the other five at Meadow Park.
Boreham Wood have won four of the last five meetings between the two clubs. The 2-2 draw in April 2012 ended a four game winning streak for the Hertfordshire side.
In all competitions, Dartford have won eight, drawn two and lost twice at Princes Park this term. In seven of those games the Darts have scored three or more goals.
The Darts last kept a clean sheet at home on 9 September in their 3-0 win over Chippenham Town, a run of seven home games without a clean sheet.
On This Day
Dartford last played on 16 December nine years ago earning a 2-2 draw at home to Metropolitan Police. The Isthmian Division One South fixture ended all square with the Darts goals coming from Richard Avery and Ryan Hayes. The Darts last win on this day was in 2000 when they beat Hastings Town 1-0 in the Southern League Division One East, three years later Dartford lost 2-0 to Ashford Town. Back in 1995 a resounding 5-0 victory was recorded by the Darts as they beat Tunbridge Wells in the Kent League.
DATE: Saturday 16th December 2017
VENUE: Princes Park, Grassbanks, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RT
KICK OFF: 3:00pm
TURNSTILES: Open from 12:30pm
Youth (13-17) : £5
Children ( u12) :£2
Under 5 : FREE
SEASON TICKETS ARE NOT VALID FOR THIS GAME
SEATING: Seating is available on a first come first served basis in certain areas of the stadium.
FACILITIES: Bar and food open from 12:30am
PARKING: Parking is free of charge in the clubs car park but is a first come first served basis.
MATCH UPDATES: Available on Twitter @dartfordfc and on website www.dartfordfc.com