Dartford will be hoping consecutive wins will get them back into the playoff places this weekend when they travel to Wealdstone.
The Darts already enjoyed getting revenge on their local rivals this week and will want to do the same to the Stones, who comfortably won the reverse fixture back in August. Bradley Bubb netted a brace and Jeffrey Monakana scored the other in a 3-0 victory at Princes Park.
On New Year’s Day, Dartford extended their unbeaten home run to three with a win over Welling United. Ronnie Vint claimed the winner four minutes from time, his goal just as scrappy as the game itself. Victory put to bed a defeat against the Wings on Boxing Day, the defender spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the game and said: “It’s great to win a local derby and it’s nice for the fans – they deserve it”, he added: “We were poor on Boxing Day. We know the standard that we need to reach and we knew that we weren’t good enough all over the pitch”.
Joint Manager, Adam Flanagan was pleased with his side’s performance, he commented: “I felt we competed a lot better than we did previously and on the day we deserved a goal. We put a lot of good balls into the box, their keeper made a good save in the first half, and I felt we were asking more questions than they were”.
Flanagan also admitted he and joint boss Jamie Coyle learnt from their mistakes on Boxing Day and choose to alter the team formation, he explained: “Analysing ourselves, we missed a trick on Boxing Day. We analysed their home record and we went too defensive on the day, me and Jamie have held our hands up over that”, he continued: “On New Year’s Day, we wanted to give a better account of ourselves, especially going forward, and I think we did that. It was a good performance by everyone, there wasn’t any stand-out player. It was a real collective that worked hard from each other”.
The Darts last league defeat at Princes Park came against league leaders Torquay United, the only other team to take maximum points away with them this term is Wealdstone.
Victory followed on from a determined display at East Thurrock United where the Darts had to rescue a point with ten men. Lee Noble’s sending off means he will miss this weekend’s game against Wealdstone, whilst Mark Onyemah hobbled off on New Year’s Day against Welling United and Andy Pugh is on the road to recovery from his pre-season injury.
Wealdstone also won on New Year’s Day against newly promoted Slough Town. Their triumph was much needed and halted a run of five without a win in all competitions. Connor Stevens popped up with the winner to end a four and half game goal drought for the club. The Stones are now in thirteenth place on 33 points, five behind Dartford in eighth.
The Middlesex club will be without Bradley Bubb, scorer of two goals at Princes Park in August. The striker has been suffering with a knee injury and faces a number of weeks sidelined, Bubb is the Stones top scorer in the league this term on six alongside David Pratt.
Dartford could see the return of Simon Mensah, who only managed two starts and a substitute appearance with the Darts this season. The midfielder started in Wealdstone’s win over Slough Town, in a game that saw a return to the starting lineup for Pratt, Monakana and Bradley Hudson-Odoi.
The Darts have won on their last two trips to Grosvenor Vale, last season leaving late to win 2-1 against ten men. After the Stones had Iffy Allen dismissed they took the lead through Dan Fitchett. However, two goals in three minutes from Danny Mills and Alfie Pavey in the final ten minutes clinched victory. The year before, Dartford ended a run of seven without a win at Wealdstone, goals from Luke Wanadio, Ryan Hayes, Elliot Bradbrook and Andy Pugh clinched a 4-0 win.
Head to Head
Wealdstone wins: 14 / Dartford wins: 13 / Draws: 13
Current League Form
|Wealdstone (WLLDLW)||Dartford (WDLWDL)|
|Slough Town||A||1-0||Welling United||H||1-0|
|Oxford City||H||0-2||East Thurrock United||A||2-2|
|Slough Town||H||0-3||Welling United||A||0-2|
|St Albans City||A||0-0||Hungerford Town||H||2-1|
|Eastbourne Borough||H||0-3||Slough Town||H||1-1|
|Concord Rangers||A||3-2||Torquay United||H||0-2|
Dartford’s clean sheet on New Year’s Day was their first since mid-November and first at home since Bank Holiday August.
The Darts have conceded 11 goals in the fifteen minutes leading up to half-time, more than anyone else in the league. In that same period Wealdstone have scored just two, the fewest in the National South this season.
Ryan Hayes is looking to score in three consecutive games played for Dartford on 5 January.
On This Day
Jamie Coyle was among the goalscorers eleven years ago in a 4-0 win against Witham Town in the Isthmian Division North. The Darts last away victory on this day included further goals from Eddie McClements, Ryan Hayes and Brandon Cass. There has been only two other matches on 5 January since reforming, in 2002 the Darts lost 2-0 to Histon in the Southern League Division One East and more recently they were defeated six years ago against Alfreton Town. The National League fixture ended 3-2 to the Reds, Hayes was on the scoresheet again as well as Nathan Collier.
DATE: Saturday 5th January 2019
VENUE: Grosvenor Vale, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6JQ
KICK OFF: 15:00pm
TURNSTILES: Open from 13:00pm
Concessions: £9 *Concession – Over 65 + Students (ID Required)
under 18: £6.00 ** Under 14s are admitted FREE to NL(S) games when accompanied by an adult.
FACILITIES: Bar and food open from 12:30pm
MATCH UPDATES: Full coverage will be on twitter @dartfordfc
COACH: – departure time 11:30pm, £15 members, £17 non-members– To make your booking, please speak to Mick Austin either by calling/texting on 07969 181796.