Dartford will aim to make it three consecutive home wins this weekend when they host a reformed Gloucester City battling against the drop.
The Darts have scored five without reply in their last two outings at Princes Park beating playoff contenders Bath City 3-0 and title challengers Woking 2-0. Unbeaten in their last seven home matches, Dartford have dropped just four points in that run and another victory will follow on from Tuesday night’s dramatic away triumph at Hemel Hempstead Town.
Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle made one change on Tuesday night to the team that were beaten at Dulwich Hamlet. Ryan Hayes who missed the weekend’s fixture returned, whilst Charlie Sheringham who has been out with an ankle injury was named on the bench against one of his former sides. The Darts edged a frustrating first half, but arguably the best chance fell to Hemel Hempstead Town’s central defender Darren Ward. The deadlock was finally broken with ten minutes remaining when the former Tudors striker Phil Roberts scored his sixth of the season. The hosts were awarded a penalty with three minutes to go and their top scorer Jordan Parkes made it count. With the game heading for a draw, Roberts popped up again a minute later to snatch three vital away points, a seventh goal in just thirteen appearances.
Tuesday’s result moved Dartford into sixth above Bath City and now they are just a couple of points behind third place Chelmsford City, whose match with Torquay United was postponed. Pressure from teams trying to break into the top seven came from Wealdstone, who trounced Weston-Super-Mare and Concord Rangers who also left it late to beat Gloucester City.
Gloucester City went in one up at half time on against Concord Rangers thanks to Luke Russe’s stunning strike. On loan from Bristol Rovers until the end of the season, the midfielder let fly from distance to give the Tigers the lead. Manager, Mike Cook has been facing a goalkeeping crisis this week. In the 0-0 draw with Wealdstone, Cook was forced to bring in 38 year-old Tom King to make his National South debut, he was was brought in because loanees Jojo Wollacott and Freddie Lapworth were recalled by their parent club’s. For the game against Concord Rangers on Tuesday, Will Henry on loan from Swindon Town for the rest of the season made his debut. Henry was credited with an own goal leading to Concord Rangers’ equaliser and in the last minute Lee Minshull completed the comeback for the Essex club.
Dartford came back from a goal down in the earlier league meeting with Gloucester City back in November. The Tigers took the lead three minutes before the break when Joe Hanks’ free kick was crossed on to the head of Sam Avery who headed the ball past Bailey Vose. The lead didn’t last long because on the stroke of half-time Charlie Sheringham struck a low shot to level the game. After the interval, the game was settled three minutes into the second half. Sheringham turned provider when he squared the ball across goal for Ben Greenhalgh to tap in.
The Darts completed the double over Gloucester City last term with the last meeting at Princes Park finishing in a comfortable 4-1 victory. Warren Mfula opened the scoring after the striker wriggled free of his marker and stuck his shot into the far corner. The lead was doubled when Lyle Della-Verde tapped into an empty net, the winger netted again in the second half with an assured curling finish. Alfie Pavey made it four before Jamie Edge scored a consolation. Pavey was on hand again last April when he scored the winner in a tighter 1-0 away triumph.
After Marc Richards left the managerial role to take charge of Hereford, Gloucester City appointed Chris Todd as their manager in early October. The former Eastleigh boss lost his first six league games. Under pressure, the Tigers picked up just four points under Todd in twelve outings failing to pick up a win. After three months Todd left by mutual consent leaving the Tigers second from bottom and was replaced with Mike Cook.
Cook has managed to get Gloucester City out of the relegation zone and after two defeats at the start of his reign, the were unbeaten in seven before Tuesday night’s loss against Concord Rangers. The Tigers have tightened up their defence since the New Year with Cook making his side difficult to breakdown. The Tigers have kept six clean sheets in their last eight National South outings, but are four points and a place above the relegation zone.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 28 / Gloucester City wins: 12 / Draws: 10
Current League Form
|Dartford (WLWDWW)||Gloucester City (?WWLLD)|
|Hemel Hempstead Town||A||2-1||Concord Rangers||H||1-2|
|Slough Town||A||2-2||Hampton & Richmond||A||1-0|
|Bath City||H||3-0||Slough Town||A||2-1|
Dartford are unbeaten in six against Gloucester city (W5, D1), their last defeat against the Tigers was in the Southern Premier League 29 years ago.
The Darts have won their last four home meetings versus Gloucester City including a 6-2 win in the Southern Premier League back in 1990. Dartford’s last home defeat against the Tigers was in 1984.
Dartford are unbeaten at home against teams currently lower than eighth in the table (W6, D4).
Gloucester City have scored the fewest goals in the league, just 22 and have lost all eight games against sides in the top ten.
The Tigers have also recorded eight 0-0 draws this term helping them to the most clean sheets in the division (13). It also means they have failed to score more than any other club (16 times).
On This Day
Princes Park was rocking when Elliot Bradbrook scored a last minute winner against Wrexham six years ago. The Darts fell behind to a Danny Wright goal but equalised through Jack Evans. In stoppage time, Bradbrook headed in from a corner for a famous scalp. Both Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle missed out on a Kent derby win in 2010, the defensive duo were unavailable as the Darts beat local rivals Maidstone United 1-0, Lee Burns netting the winner. The two games prior that victory also ended 1-0 to Dartford, in 1996 Dean Bowey’s goal versus Furness in the Kent Trophy semi-final sent the Darts through to the final which they won, and in 1991 Bashley were beaten in the Southern Premier League. Dartford have won their last five games on 9 March and the run started in 1987 when Nuneaton Borough were beaten 3-1 in the F.A Trophy quarter-final. The Darts have not tasted defeat on this day since 1964, a run of nine matches.
DATE: Saturday 9th March 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: Green Inc
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