Just over eleven and half years ago current joint manager Jamie Coyle was lining up against Dartford for Dulwich Hamlet, now the Darts boss will lead his side out against the South Londoners this weekend.
In the last meeting between the two clubs Coyle had an impact when his assist helped Hamlet go home with a point. The Isthmian Division One South fixture in March 2007 yielded just a goal apiece, although the attacking prowess of the two teams that season led to an entertaining clash.
Links between the two teams do not stop there because in that game current Dulwich Hamlet striker, Jay May scored for the Darts after just seven minutes. Hamlet equalised late on when Coyle set up Phil Williams to lash home, Williams later went on to have a spell with Dartford. May went on to make 117 appearances for the Darts scoring 51 times and was part of the Isthmian Division One North and Isthmian Premier League winning sides.
By the end of that campaign Dartford finished in seventh, a point above Dulwich Hamlet. The two sides also ended up as the top scorers in the division. The earlier meeting in the 2006/2007 season finished with Hamlet winning 3-2.
Having been knocked out of the F.A Cup a fortnight ago, the Darts managed to fill the fixture void by bringing the game against Dulwich Hamlet forward. Dartford managed to bounce back from the poor display at Oxford City with an away victory by an unlikely source.
If scoring from inside your own half once is rare then the chances of it happening again are slim. When Dartford goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim stepped up to take a free-kick, well inside his own half, he probably didn’t expect to record his second career goal. His long-range effort in the second-half turned out to be the winner, after Jamie Philpot’s goal was cancelled out by the hosts equaliser just before half-time.
Joint manager Adam Flanangan was serving a touchline ban, but he was pleased with Dartford’s performance, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “It was a very solid, hard-working performance away from home, which is what we needed. It was always going to be difficult coming to Chippenham. They’re doing very well at home this season”, he continued: “Off the back of the defeat against Oxford, we needed a performance from the players and I think we got that”.
Victory extended Dartford’s unbeaten National South run to four having drawn with Eastbourne Borough, Billericay Town before beating Weston-super-Mare then Chippenham Town. In a tightly congested table, the Darts are now only two points from a playoff spot down in thirteenth. A first ever win over Dulwich Hamlet could propel Dartford further up the standings.
Charlton Athletic loanee, Kenneth Yao returned to the starting line-up last weekend after he missed the cup defeat with concussion. However, ever present full back Mark Onyemah was ruled out with injury missing his first game of the season. Callum Driver is now in training and Andy Pugh is recovering from a broken leg. Ronnie Vint and Tom Murphy came back into the first eleven, whilst Philpot replaced the recalled loanee Amadou Ba, who has returned to his parent club Southend United.
Ibrahim hasn’t been the only goalkeeper making headlines over the last fortnight. In a friendly with Crystal Palace, Preston Edwards had the distraction of keeping goal whilst an announcement went out informing him that his car was being towed away. There were no such distractions last weekend though when Hamlet won their third league game in a row, their fifth win in six games in all competitions.
Hamlet’s latest triumph was away at Hungerford Town in what was described as a scrappy win. The hosts led at half-time through Danilo Orso-Dadamo’s excellent 25-yard strike. Dulwich Hamlet were forced to come from behind with goals from former Dart, Nathan Green and Kingsley Eshun. Green appeared for Dartford 15 times during the 2014/2015 campaign scoring two goals.
Gavin Rose’s side have hit form in the National South after a difficult introduction to the league. Hamlet who were promoted via the Isthmian Premier League playoffs last term won one of their first six games. Since their slow start they have recorded four wins and a draw in their last six league outings including a 2-1 away victory over Woking a month ago.
The only blip from the South Londoners over the last six weeks was the 4-3 F.A Cup defeat to Eastbourne Borough. An appalling first half left Hamlet four down with ten men, but they battled through the second half, almost completing an unlikely comeback with three goals in the final fifteen minutes.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 0 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 2 / Draws: 2
Current League Form
|Dartford (WWDDLW)||Dulwich Hamlet (WWWDLW)|
|Chippenham Town||A||2-1||Hungerford Town||A||2-1|
|St Albans City||A||0-2||Hampton & Richmond||H||0-2|
|East Thurrock United||H||2-0||Slough Town||A||2-1|
Dulwich Hamlet have scored five times in the final 15 minutes of league games this season, only St Albans City, Torquay United and Woking have scored more (7). Hamlet have yet to concede a goal during that same period.
Only Hungerford Town (7) have conceded more goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second half than Dulwich Hamlet (6) and Dartford (5).
On This Day
It has been 37 years since the last home game on 16 October, Dartford beat Barnet 2-1 in what is now called the National League. In the last four matches involving Dartford on 16 October only four goals have been scored. The previous two games were cup ties with the most recent a 1-1 draw against Forest Green Rovers in the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round six years ago. In 2007, the Darts drew 0-0 in the F.A Trophy first qualifying round away to AFC Hornchurch. Burnham were beaten 1-0 in the Southern League Division One East in 2001 and in 1998 the Darts were knocked out of the Kent Senior Cup in a 1-0 defeat to Folkestone Invicta.
DATE: Saturday 20th October 2018
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: Winners Chapel
MATCH BALL SPONSOR: Fairfield Leisure Centre