Dartford started this week below this weekend’s opponents and were looking to get back into the playoffs when they host Adam Flanagan’s former side Concord Rangers.
The Darts dropped out of the top seven on goal difference last weekend, but due to Concord being deducted three points for fielding an eligible player, they have now moved back into seventh position, one point ahead of Concord . It will be the third match in a row where the Darts have faced a team in the playoff spots during a period manager Jamie Coyle described as crucial.
Victory over St Albans City a fortnight ago was balanced out with a late defeat away to Chelmsford City. During those two games Phil Roberts netted his maiden goal and has now scored three in his last two appearances. The striker scored a brace in the 3-2 home win over St Albans City and he opened the scoring against Chelmsford City last Saturday inside five minutes. The Darts were on course for a rare double over their Essex rivals having beaten them in August, however the Clarets scored two goals in the final five minutes to end Dartford’s three game unbeaten run.
Lee Noble will be available against Concord Rangers after serving a three-match suspension. Meanwhile, Callum Driver has spent the last three league fixtures on the bench after returning from injury. Elliot Bradbrook was not selected against the Clarets in the matchday squad, which paved the way for Joe Healy to make his debut in midfield, having joined from Welling United. Mark Onyemah has been out with injury since he hobbled of on New Year’s Day and Andy Pugh is still making a recovery from his broken leg he suffered in pre-season.
Having started the previous two league games, Ryan Hayes could face the side he joined in the summer. The creative winger came back to Dartford after he started to be left out of the Concord Rangers side. Hayes played an hour against the Darts back in August, that day the 32-year-old came out on the winning side when Alex Wall and D’Sean Theobalds scored for the Essex club. On the other wing Ben Greenhalgh is likely to come up against his former team, the midfielder had to go in goal on Tuesday night after Bailey Vose was red carded in the Kent Senior Cup penalties defeat against Maidstone United.
Wall will miss out on a return to Princes Park for the first time since leaving in the summer. The striker opened the scoring and was sent off last weekend meaning his two game ban will start this weekend. Wall impressed for the Darts in pre-season and had initially signed for the club, but due to Andy Pugh’s injury a rethink by Jamie Coyle and Adam Flanagan saw Wall move on and picked up by Concord Rangers. The 28-year-old has scored 14 National South goals this term, only two away from the three top scorers in the league.
Two other familiar faces likely to return to Princes Park are Connor Essam and Tyrone Sterling. The defenders both played for the Darts with Essam having two spells with the club, the first whilst on loan from Gillingham and the second when he was on loan from Crawley Town. Sterling made 36 appearances during the 2013/2014 season when the Darts finished in the bottom four of the National League but were reprieved.
Concord Rangers are still waiting for their first league win of 2019 and have drawn their last two fixtures 2-2. The Beachboys shared the points with Wealdstone thanks to a Wall brace and his equaliser six minutes from time. Against Billericay Town they left it late once more, after Wall’s third goal in two games Billericay Town levelled the match before both teams were reduced to ten men. The Blues took the lead on the hour and led until the final minute when Jack Midson earned a point for Concord Rangers. This month Sammy Moore’s side have drawn three and lost one, but that defeat is the only one in their last ten outings, they have drawn five of their last eight matches.
At Princes Park, Dartford have lost just once against Concord Rangers winning the other four and drawing twice. The previous two home games against the Beachboys have finished with the Darts coming out on top. Lasts season goals from Elliot Bradbrook and Lyle Della-Verde secured three points and in the campaign before that Duane Ofori-Acheampong and Danny Harris netted in a 2-1 triumph.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 4 / Concord Rangers wins: 2 / Draws: 2
Current League Form
|Dartford (LWDWDL)||Concord Rangers (DDLDWW)|
|Chelmsford City||A||1-2||Billericay Town||H||2-2|
|St Albans City||H||3-2||Wealdstone||H||2-2|
|Welling United||H||1-0||East Thurrock United||H||1-1|
|East Thurrock United||A||2-2||Welling United||A||1-0|
|Welling United||A||0-2||East Thurrock United||A||2-0|
Dartford have lost just one in the last ten home league games (W7 D2 L1).
Concord Rangers have scored the most goals in the 15 minutes before half-time (10), the Darts have conceded more than any other National South team in that period (13).
The two late goals conceded at Chelmsford City takes Dartford’s tally in the final 15 minutes to eight this season, six teams have conceded more in this period.
On This Day
Current Dartford boss and former Concord Rangers manager, Adam Flanagan headed home the winner from a Ryan Hayes corner against Arlesey Town eleven years ago. A 1-0 Isthmian Division One North victory kept the Darts four points clear at the top of the table. The last two fixtures on 26 January have ended in defeat, against Welling United in the Kent Senior Cup nine years ago and Wealdstone in the National South three years ago. In 1991, Colin Sowerby scored a hat-trick at Watling Street to help the Darts thrash Crawley Town 6-1 in the Southern Premier League, Simon Quail made his debut in that game. Sowerby ended up playing 217 games for the club scoring 48 times.
DATE: Saturday 26th January 2019
VENUE: Princes Park, Grassbanks, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1RT
KICK OFF: 15:00 pm
TURNSTILES: Open from 12:30pm
Youth (13-17) : £5
Children ( u12) £2
SEATING: Seating is available on a first come first served basis in certain areas of the stadium.
FACILITIES: Bar and food open from 12:30pm
PARKING: Parking is free of charge in the clubs car park but is a first come first served basis.
MATCH UPDATES: Full Coverage will on twitter @dartfordfc
MATCH SPONSOR: L and P Solutions
We thank our away shirt sponsors for being the match sponsors for this game. They cover all aspects of Property maintenence , For more information please visit http://www.landpsolutions.co.uk/