Dartford are back at the top of the National South and are hoping to maintain their position against Eastbourne Borough this weekend.
The Darts travelled to Evesham on Tuesday night to take on Gloucester City. A hard fought victory was earned thanks to Alfie Pavey’s 21st league goal of the campaign. Dartford’s win against Gloucester City moved them level on points with Havant and Waterlooville, Pavey’s goal edged the Darts ahead on goal difference, the two sides are now seperated by a single goal.
Dartford now face the challenge of two more away games before the penultimate fixture at home then the final day of the season at Bognor Regis Town. Next up though is Eastbourne Borough and the Darts have hit form at the right moment. Tuesday’s triumph extended Dartford’s winning streak to five meaning they have now won seven of their last eight games. Defensively, Tony Burman’s side have also improved having conceded just once in their last four outings.
When Dartford last played Eastbourne Borough in September they ended up moving to the top of the National South back then. The Princes Park crowd witnessed six goals as the free scoring Darts claimed victory. Tony Burman’s side dominated the first half and opened the scoring when Alex Brown scored from just inside the penalty area. In the second half, Alfie Pavey headed in Ryan Hayes’s corner then Elliot Bradbrook nodded in a third. The Sports pulled a goal back through Jamie Taylor before the Darts scored a controversial fourth. The visitors took a quick free kick which was blocked by the grounded Hayes from close range, presumably to get the winger booked. However, the match official played on as Tom Murphy went through on goal to score. Lee Noble’s own goal took the gloss off the 4-2 leaving Burman disappointed at his side conceding two sloppy goals.
Last season, Dartford completed the double over Eastbourne Borough by a one goal margin. Twelve goals were scored over the two fixtures. The Darts won 3-2 in their last visit to Priory Lane on a foggy Tuesday night. In a game that could well have been abandoned, Kaka Dembele scored the winner after goals from Luke Wanadio and Andy Pugh. The return fixture at Princes Park ended 4-3 with Pugh and Wanadio finding the net again. Hayes and Bradbrook added two more to make it 4-1, but the Sports rallied to reduce the arrears late on. In the season before current Dartford defender Nathan Collier was wearing the Eastbourne Borough shirt having left the Darts that summer to move to the Sussex club.
Since the start of March, the Sports run of form has been inconsistent alternating wins and losses for the last seven games. However, it was their victory in the Sussex derby against Bognor Regis Town on Easter Monday which virtually assured them another campaign in the National South.
Last weekend, Eastbourne Borough were beaten by Oxford City when two early second half goals left the Sussex club too much to overturn. Matt Pickering turned the ball into his own net and Matt Paterson scored a penalty, conceded by former Crawley Town and Wycombe Wanderers midfielder Sergio Torres. The Sports set up a nervy finish for the hosts when Yemi Obudabe scored four minutes from time.
At Priory Lane, the Sports have won just twice in the National South in 14 attempts and only five times all season. Defensively, up until last weekend’s fixtures only Whitehawk had conceded more in total. The leaky defence has been a weakness for the Sussex club, who have managed to score 57 times at the right end, a similar figure to three of the top four and the majority of mid-table sides.
Head to Head
Eastbourne Borough wins: 4 / Dartford wins: 9 / Draws: 2
Current League Form
|Eastbourne Borough (LWLWLW)||Dartford (WWWWWL)|
|Oxford City||A||1-2||Gloucester City||A||1-0|
|Bognor Regis Town||H||3-0||Weston-super-Mare||H||3-1|
|Chippenham Town||A||0-4||Hampton & Richmond||H||1-0|
|Truro City||H||1-3||Hemel Hempstead Town||H||3-2|
|Bath City||A||1-0||Poole Town||H||0-1|
Andy Pugh has scored in his last three appearances against Eastbourne Borough.
Dartford have gone nine games unbeaten against the Sports stretching back to 2011. The Darts have won seven and drawn two in that time.
If the Darts win against Eastbourne Borough it will be the third time the Darts have completed a league double against the Sussex club, in the last four campaigns they have been in the same division.
Before that, the Sports won the first four meetings in the Southern Division One East to complete the double over the Darts in successive seasons.
On This Day
Dartford secured a place in the Southern League Cup final thirty years ago in comprehensive fashion. Leading the first leg over Wealdstone 4-0, the Darts won the return fixture 4-1 to record an impressive 8-1 aggregate victory. Dartford went on to turn around a 3-1 first leg loss to Bromsgrove Rovers by winning the second leg 3-0 to lift the cup. The last three games on 14 April have all been away from home, the most recent just a year ago when the Darts lost 2-0 to Hungerford Town. Before that defeat Dartford had gone eight matches unbeaten on this day which included a 4-3 win over Wealdstone in 1979, a 2-1 victory against Ashford United in 1990. In 2007, Carl Bruce and Brendon Cass scored in a 2-1 triumph over Hastings United and in 2012 a Tony Garrod goal helped the Darts beat Sutton United.
DATE: Saturday 14th April 2018
VENUE: Lagney Sports Club, Priory Lane, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 7QH
KICK OFF: 3:00pm
- Adults £13
- Concessions* £9 ( Over 65)
- Students £5
- Juniors (U18s) £1
TURNSTILES: Open from 1:00pm
Aproaching from the east (via Hastings)
Take the A259 from Hastings, and approaching the roundabout at Pevensey, take the 2nd exit. Carry straight on at the traffic lights. Pass through Pevensey, past the castle on your left, and turn left at the Fish & Chip Shop in Westham onto the B2191 Eastbourne Road. Travel along the B2191 (you will see the floodlights on your left) and at the roundabout, turn left into Priory Road. Priory Lane is about 200 yards down the road on the left.
Approaching from the north and west (via Polegate)
If approaching via to A27 from Brighton, turn left at the Polegate traffic lights, and then take the exit at the large roundabout shortly afterwards to continue eastwards on the A27 (signposted Eastbourne, Hastings & Bexhill). Skip next paragraph.
If approaching via the A22, take the first exit at the large roundabout shortly before Polegate, signposted A27 Eastbourne, Hastings & Bexhill.
At the next roundabout, take the second exit towards Stone Cross and Westham (A22); at another roundabout shortly afterwards, take the first exit signposted Stone Cross and Westham. Continue towards Stone Cross village, past Dittons Nursery on your left. Shortly afterwards you will come to a crossroads, with a church on your left, the Red Lion pub on the right, and Stone Cross windmill immediately ahead. Turn right, down the B2104 Friday Street. At the end of Friday Street, turn left at the double mini-roundabout into Hide Hollow (B2191), passing Eastbourne Crematorium on your right. Turn right at the roundabout into Priory Road, and Priory Lane is about 200 yards down the road on the left.
Nearest railway stations
Pevensey and Westham (approx 15-20 mins walk)
Eastbourne (taxi service outside station, or bus – see below)
For those on the supporters coach, the coach will be leaving at 11:30am – Spaces still available; contact Mick Austin 07969 181 796
TWITTER UPDATES : Full match commentary will be on @dartfordfc