Dartford are back in National South action this weekend when they host bottom of the table Weston-super-Mare.
The Darts, unbeaten in their last three matches have left it late in each of those games picking up last minute draws against Eastbourne Borough and Billericay Town, then surviving a cup upset at AFC Uckfield Town.
Weston-super-Mare have failed to record a win in the league this season and have picked up just two points losing eight of their opening ten fixtures.
Dartford needed three goals in the last nine minutes last weekend against AFC Uckfield Town, who play three divisions below the Darts in the Southern Combination Premier League. The hosts entered the F.A Cup second qualifier on a 12-match unbeaten run and were close to extending their run.
The Uckers led at half time and had a chance cleared of the line in the first half, whilst Charlie Sheringham had a goal disallowed for the Darts. The Sussex club went ahead when top scorer Callum Smith gave the hosts an unexpected lead.
A change of formation and the introduction of Jamie Philpot at the interval improved Dartford’s performance. Tom Murphy was another inspired substitution and his 20-yard curler nine minutes from time levelled the tie. Fitness began to show in the latter stages and Charlie Sheringham added a second on his return from suspension, before Elliot Bradbrook netted the third. At the back, Kenneth Yao made his debut on loan from Charlton Athletic.
Dartford joint-boss Adam Flanagan praised his opponents when speaking to www.kentonline.co.uk, he commented: “It was a typical FA Cup game against a lower-level team, who performed excellently”. During the half-time break a few honest words and a tactical switch proved worth it, he added: “We said to the players at half-time that potentially this is a result people will talk about if we don’t turn it around”, he added: “We asked for character and a big second half performance – and I think we got that”.
League form for the Darts has been sporadic, opening the campaign with two straight wins and a draw before performances dipped with three consecutive losses. A Bank Holiday win at home to East Thurrock United gave the club respite until defeat at St Albans City. However a few loan signings and two spirited late draws has given the Darts a bit more optimism.
Weston-super-Mare, were also in F.A Cup action on the weekend and drew with Salisbury City of the Southern Premier League South. Outfield player Jamie Lucas stood out after he spent more than half the tie in goal and scored a penalty. Matt Bower opened the scoring before goalkeeper Luke Purnell was sent off. Lucas went in between the sticks and on the stroke of half-time when the Seagulls won a penalty, Lucas converted to make it 2-0. Salisbury City halved the deficit with fifteen minutes to go and in injury snatched victory away from Weston-super-Mare with an equaliser.
The replay on Tuesday night went to extra time and the Seagulls finally grabbed their first win of the season. An own goal put Weston-super-Mare in front in the first half but the tie was level when Salisbury City equalised in the second half. At 1-1 the match went into extra time and it was Salisbury City who took the lead. The Seagulls threw everyone forward in a bid to stay in the cup and it worked. Coming on as a substitute Tom Llewellyn made it 2-2 and full back George Nurse netted the winner. Earlier in the day Nurse had extended his loan spell from Bristol City along with central defender Matt Bower from Cheltenham Town. Also featuring in the cup tie was former Dart, Ben Swallow.
Despite no wins in the league manager Marc McGregor feels his side are not too far away from competing. Apart from poor performances against Wealdstone and Bath City, McGregor believes his side have had chances to win matches having often led games only to see the Seagulls drop points.
It’s been just under six months since Dartford last hosted Weston-Super-Mare in a match that ended 3-1 to the Darts. Alex Brown, Elliot Bradbrook and Alfie Pavey put Dartford three up whilst Llewellyn added a consolation. The meeting between the two sides earlier last season finished in a 3-0 victory for the Seagulls.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 8 / Weston-Super-Mare wins: 3 / Draws: 4
Current League Form
|Dartford (DDLWLL)||Weston-super-Mare (LLLLDL)|
|Billericay Town||A||1-1||Hemel Hempstead Town||H||1-2|
|Eastbourne Borough||H||2-2||Hampton and Richmond||A||1-3|
|St Albans City||A||0-2||Eastbourne Borough||H||0-1|
|East Thurrock United||H||2-0||Bath City||A||0-2|
|Hungerford Town||A||0-1||Oxford City||H||1-1|
Dartford have never lost at home to Weston-super-Mare winning four and drawing three, the Darts have won their last three home matches against the Seagulls.
Weston-super-Mare have only won two of the last 14 meetings with Dartford losing eight and drawing four. the Seagulls only other win was in the first meeting between the two sides in 1996.
The Seagulls have conceded six goals in the final 15 minutes of matches, more than any other club in the Natioanl South. During the last half hour the amount Weston-super_mare have let in rises to ten, only Truro City have conceded more in the final thirty minutes.
Dartford on the other hand have been slow starters conceding eight times in the opening fifteen minutes of either half, more than any other team in the division. The Darts have let in three goals in the opening 15 minutes and five in the first 15 minutes half-time.
On This Day
Dartford have drawn 2-2 in their last two matches on 29 September both in the F.A Cup second qualifying round. The most recent draw came in 2007 when the Darts were held by Camberley Town at Princes Park, Brendon Cass and John Guest the scorers, Dartford won the replay 4-1, six years earlier, the Darts drew with Croydon Athletic. The last home match in the league was way back in 1984 with the Darts beating Altrincham 1-0 in the National League. However the last league match on this day ended with Dartford losing 2-0 away to Gloucester City in 1990.
DATE: Saturday 29th September 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: Twins Chinese Noodle Bar & Restaurant
Tomorrow we welcome Michael Tang & family of Twins Chinese Noodle Bar & Restaurant as our match sponsor. This will be there second season as the home shirt sponsor and we would like to thank them for the huge continued support they show for the club and we hope as two local businesses we have both benefited from supporting each other through this sponsorship. We hope that this partnership can continue into the future and go from strength to strength. For more information on Twins local restaurants please visit www.twinnoodles.co.uk