Knocked off top spot last Saturday, the Darts host playoff hopefuls Hemel Hempstead Town in the National South this weekend.
Dartford had led the league table since November and defeat to Poole Town eventually saw the Darts give up pole position.
The Darts can only focus on their own results and hope Havant and Waterlooville, the league leaders slip up over their remaining nine games. Manager, Tony Burman will be calling on his players to deliver after he questioned his players desire after the 1-0 loss at home to Poole Town, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the game and said: “There seems to be a lack of desire and that’s what’s disappointing for me”, he added: “If you don’t make it happen you’re going to be in trouble”.
It was only the third loss at Princes Park in the league last weekend and disappointingly came after an excellent performance two weeks earlier, against Truro City. Burman choose to keep the same side with Andy Pugh in a deeper role up front, however it was relegation strugglers Poole Town that took home the three points courtesy of Jamie Whisken’s winner.
Tony Burman was disappointed with the loss to Poole Town and told www.kentonline.co.uk: “I can’t put my finger on why we put in a performance like that. We’ve lost 1-0 at home and it was like a mid-table clash – and that’s wrong, he added: “The whole place should be buzzing and we have to turn that around”. At home Dartford have now been beaten in two of their last three outings and have lost grip on the title race, by losing three of their last five matches. The Darts have yielded just six points from a possible 15 in February and March.
Ahead of Saturday’s game against Hemel Hempstead, Town Burman commented: “It’s a massive, tough game,” he continued: “It’s no good sulking. We’ve got to get the supporters behind us and get the encouragement because we need it now. They’re down in the dumps and we’ve got to get going. It’s all to play for. I don’t want to come off and hope that other teams have lost. We can’t have games like we had on Saturday, especially at this time of year. We’ve only got ourselves to blame”.
Hemel Hempstead Town have targets of their own and are currently fifth in the division. Finishing in the top seven will clinch a playoff place, so the Tudors will be eyeing up points to increase their two point lead over eighth spot.
Earlier in the campaign, Dartford beat the Hertfordshire club 3-0 in a convincing away display. Elliot Bradbrook scored two penalties either side an Alfie Pavey strike to secure victory. Last term at Princes Park, the Darts won 2-0 with goals from Danny Harris and Luke Wanadio and just over a year earlier the corresponding match ended 2-2, Ryan Hayes curling home the equaliser in added time, as the Darts completed a comeback from two goals down.
Hemel Hempstead Town won in their last outing beating East Thurrock United 2-0 with goals from Jordan Parkes and Sanchez Watt. However, the game will be remembered by a comical situation involving the referee and ex Arsenal midfielder Watt. Former Ebbsfleet United striker Parkes opened the scoring and Watt added a second before the controversial incident. Watt was dismissed for dissent only for the red card to be overturned due to a misunderstanding by the match official.
It was a second clean sheet in a row for the Tudors after their 0-0 draw with new league leaders Havant and Waterlooville a fortnight earlier. Dean Brennan’s side were also involved in an entertaining 3-3 draw with Chelmsford City a month ago, which ended a run of two straight defeats against Oxford City and Poole Town.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 3 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2
Current League Form
|Dartford (LWWLLW)||Hemel Hempstead Town (WDDLLW)|
|Poole Town||H||0-1||East Thurrock United||H||2-0|
|Truro City||H||4-1||Havant & Waterlooville||H||0-0|
|Chelmsford City||H||1-2||Oxford City||A||1-4|
|St Albans City||A||0-4||Poole Town||H||0-1|
|26.08.2017||Hemel Hempstead Town||0||Dartford||3|
|01.04.2017||Hemel Hempstead Town||2||Dartford||2|
|12.11.2016||Dartford||2||Hemel Hempstead Town||0|
|17.10.2015||Dartford||2||Hemel Hempstead Town||2|
|08.08.2015||Hemel Hempstead Town||1||Dartford||0|
Danny Harris has scored in his last two appearances on the 17 March.
Dartford lost just one league game at home in 14, but are now on a run of two defeats from three home matches.
Hemel Hempstead Town have drawn all three away games against teams above them in the National South.
On This Day
Dartford have won their last four games on 17 March with the last victory coming three years ago in the National League away to Chester. As the Darts battled for survival a last minute winner from Danny Harris clinched the three points after Nathan Green equalised early in the second half. Six years ago, Dartford beat this season’s league leaders Havant and Waterlooville at Princes Park. The Hawks led and then missed a penalty to give the Darts a lifeline, which was taken thanks to goals from Lee Noble, Harris and Lee Wilkinson. In the Isthmian Division One South back in 2007, Dartford beat Godalming Town 3-1, Richard Avery, Anthony Hogg and Jay May all scoring. In 1990, the Darts beat Waterlooville 3-0 at Watling Street in the Southern Premier League.
DATE: Saturday 17th March 2018
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
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 SPONSOR: CGL Drylining
CGL Drylining was founded in 2012, by Ian Savage, Steve Cox, Paul Safa and Philip Cunningham. The business was initially started with the idea to bring the Drylining related construction operations in house for Chartway Group. They have rapidly expanded since this time, and as well as still maintaining all of Chartway Group’s developments, they work with many of the South East’s leading regional house builders. Projects range from small developments of 2 or 3 houses right up to large strategic developments of 600 plus units. Works undertaken include screeding, drylining, metsec, plastering, & external rendering.
MATCH UPDATES: Full Coverage will on twitter @dartfordfc