Dartford will have the chance to increase their slender lead at the top of the National South on Tuesday when they visit East Thurrock United.
The Darts have just three games remaining and are just one goal ahead of second place Havant and Waterlooville. Going into the match against East Thurrock United, the Darts have put a great run together of eight wins from their last nine outings.
Victory will put Dartford three points clear to put pressure on their title rivals, who will be in Hampshire senior cup action.
On the weekend Dartford recorded back to back 1-0 victories and their fourth clean sheet in five games. Danny Mills’ low diving header at the far post was enough to clinch another vital three points against Eastbourne Borough. Manager, Tony Burman spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk, he said: “I’m obviously delighted that we’ve got three points,” Burman added: “Although it was 1-0, like Gloucester the other night, we had a couple of chances to kill the game off in the second half. It didn’t happen but we still managed the game”.
Burman commented after the game and praised the fans, especially after he asked supporters to back his side after defeat at home to Poole Town, he said: “Back then, I was really disappointed with certain aspects of what was going on around the club”, he continued: “We needed to pull together because when we do, we’re excellent. That’s what we’re about and today we had fantastic support. It started from the first whistle and that’s all we were asking”, he added: “In all fairness, the supporters have reacted and I think they’ve been excellent in the games since then and they can see what the players have done”.
When Dartford met East Thurrock United in August it was the Rocks who grabbed a 1-0 win as they started their National South campaign exceeding expectations. On loan goalkeeper, Jordan Beeney could only tip Reece Harris’ free kick onto the crossbar for Sam Higgins to score the rebound, it was Dartford’s first home defeat of the campaign.
The Essex club lost on Saturday at home to county rivals Chelmsford City, Scott Fenwick scored all four goals for the Clarets as the hosts fell 4-2, Lewis Smith who once signed for the Darts but never played a match for the Darts scored for East Thurrock United. Sam Higgins, the National South’s top scorer with 26 goals scored the Rocks first of the afternoon. Currently five goals behind, Dartford striker Alfie Pavey will want to make up some ground on Higgins for the Golden Boot award.
Defeat for John Coventry’s side ended a run of consecutive wins after they had beaten Truro City and Concord Rangers. Now in thirteenth place with five games remaining, the Rocks will be aiming to finish as high up the table as possible and still could have a huge say in the title race. East Thurrock United will be taking on Havant and Waterlooville in their penultimate game.
In their ranks East Thurrock United have former Dartford favourite Lee Burns. The striker turned right back made 272 appearances for the Darts scoring 33 times. Midfielder, Max Cornhill also represented the Darts 66 times scoring nine goals. James White is also part of the East Thurrock United squad but has found appearances limited this season.
The Essex club started the campaign on a ten match unbeaten run winning six and drawing four, including the 1-0 victory at Princes Park. The Rocks went on to record eight matches without a win and since then have tasted victory just seven times in the last nineteen.
Head to Head
East Thurrock United wins: 3 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 1
Current League Form
|East Thurrock United (LWWLDW)||Dartford (WWWWWW)|
|Chelmsford City||H||2-4||Eastbourne Borough||A||1-0|
|Truro City||A||2-1||Gloucester City||A||1-0|
|Chippenham Town||H||0-2||Hampton & Richmond||H||1-0|
|Poole Town||H||2-2||Oxford City||A||2-0|
|Bognor Regis Town||A||2-0||Hemel Hempstead||H||3-2|
|28.08.2017||Dartford||0||East Thurrock United||1|
|07.01.2016||Dartford||6||East Thurrock United||1|
|10.09.2016||East Thurrock United||1||Dartford||1|
|30.04.2005||Dartford||0||East Thurrock United||3|
|28.08.2004||East Thurrock United||2||Dartford||1|
Dartford’s run of eight wins from nine matches the sequence set last season between 13 September 2016 and 3 December 2016.
The Darts sixth victory in a row also matches the run between 7 January 2017 and 11 February 2017. The last time Dartford won seven on the spin was in 2009 when they won the Isthmian Premier League, in that sequence the Darts ended up recording eight straight victories.
Only Dartford have scored more goals than East Thurrock United this season, the Darts have netted 76 times whilst the Rocks have scored 66, joint with Hemel Hempstead Town.
The Rocks have failed to win a home game against any of the current top seven this season (D2, L4)
On This Day
A year ago Dartford beat Hampton and Richmond Borough 3-1 at Princes Park with goals from Elliot Bradbrook, Alex Brown and Ronnie Vint. The goalscorer for the Beavers that day was Nathan Collier, now back at the Darts. That was victory was the first win on this day since 1981, a run of six games which ended in three draws and three losses, including the 5-0 reverse at home to Histon in 2004. The Darts last away triumph on 17 April was back in 1980 when they beat Fareham Town 2-1 in the Southern League Southern Division.
DATE: Tuesday 17th April 2018
VENUE: Rookery Hill, Corringham, Essex, SS17 9LB
KICK OFF: 7:45pm
- Adults £12
- Concessions* £6 ( Over 65)
- Juniors (U16s) £3
- Family Ticket £25 – x2 adults + x2 children
TURNSTILES: Open from 1:00pm
Directions from M25 Junction 30.
Take a13 towards Southend.
Exit a13 at Stanford-le-hope exit (a1014), this is just after the BP garage.
Turn right at the roundabout (3rd exit) onto a1014.
Straight over first roundabout.
Through traffic lights.
Ground is 200 yards on your left.
Please note there is limited parking available at the ground so please arrive early if you need to park close to the ground.
Nearest stations are Stanford-le-hope or Basildon, both on the Fenchurch Street to Southend line. Stanford is about a mile away as the crow flies. Basildon 3/4 miles. A small cab fair or jump on the’100′ bus (see above).
For those on the supporters coach, the coach will be leaving at 16:45pm – Spaces still available; contact Mick Austin 07969 181 796
TWITTER UPDATES : Full match commentary will be on @dartfordfc