Dartford can make it eight consecutive victories against Bath City when they return to National South action this weekend with a trip to Twerton Park.
The Darts started a new era last time they visited Twerton Park with joint managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle taking charge for the first time. The 2018/2019 season opener ended in triumph for the duo thanks to some late penalty drama. Dartford came from behind after Adam Mann scored ten minutes into his Bath City debut then Elliot Bradbrook equalised just before half-time. With four minutes remaining Bradbrook blasted his penalty over and within a minute the Darts were awarded a second spot-kick, which Delano Sam-Yorke netted to give the Darts their seventh straight win over the Romans.
Over the last week a depleted squad has performed admirably showing manager Steve King the character and attitude that should help the Darts up the National South table. Dartford have just come off the back of three consecutive matches against local rivals Maidstone United, drawing two and losing narrowly on Tuesday night.
In their last National South fixture, Dartford came from two down against the Stones with a couple of late goals by Tom Bonner and Darren McQueen to earn a draw. The two sides met again in the F.A Trophy and this time Maidstone United led twice only for Elliott Romain to equalise on both occasions. In total nine squad members were out through either illness, injury or to avoid being cup tied, which changed the look of the starting eleven including players playing out of position.
If the Darts felt they should have won the initial F.A Trophy clash, the same could have been said about the replay. Despite another committed performance the Darts were finally beaten when Iffy Allen finished off a counter attack. Once again King had limited personnel available but made one change for the replay bringing in Laurent Mendy for Ryan Hayes. The substitutes bench told its own story filled up mainly with academy players, one of which was Charlie Edmundson who made his debut for the club. Although beaten in the end, the Darts have moved in the right direction and will be tested this weekend when they visit Twerton Park.
Bath City are also returning to league action after their F.A Trophy replay win to Southern Premier League South side Gosport Borough. The first meeting ended with no goals to show for either team and so the two sides had to do it all over again on Wednesday night. The Romans were taken to extra time after throwing away a two goal lead, Tom Smith and Andy Watkins scoring the goals. Gosport Borough clawed their was back with to goals of their own, but it was Bath City who progressed when Ryan Brunt netted the winner.
The Romans may have lost their last National South game, but they remain on course to repeat what they achieved last term. Under Jerry Gill, Bath City reached the playoffs last season and they currently occupy fifth place. Their defeat at Havant and Waterlooville ended a five-match unbeaten league run, however at Twerton Park they remain five unbeaten in the National South stretching back to Bank Holiday August, their only home defeat so far in all competitions.
Jerry Gill’s side are eight points off leaders Wealdstone and if it hadn’t been for a run of one victory in nine from the end of August to mid-October, they would be title contenders. The 2019/2020 season started with three wins and two draws and recently the Somerset club put a run of four straight victories together in the league before the 2-1 reverse to Havant and Waterlooville.
Goal threats come from Tom Smith, Ryan Brunt and Adam Mann who have netted 24 goals between them in all competitions, Mann has managed seven in his last nine appearances. Defensively, the Romans have kept things tight and only two sides in the National South have conceded fewer goals this term.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 33 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19
Current League Form
|Maidstone United||H||2-2||Havant & Waterloovile||A||1-2|
|Hampton and Richmond||A||2-1||Concord Rangers||H||3-1|
|Eastbourne Borough||A||2-0||Dulwich Hamlet||A||3-1|
|Chippenham Town||H||1-1||Dorking Wanderers||H||1-0|
|Oxford City||A||1-0||St Albans City||A||1-0|
|Slough Town||H||2-3||Maidstone United||H||1-1|
Last Six Meetings
Dartford have won the last seven games against Bath City with an aggregate score of 16-3. For the past three seasons the Darts have completed the double over the Romans.
The Darts are unbeaten in five games at Twerton Park winning the last three and drawing the other two. Bath City’s last home win over Dartford was a 4-2 victory on 2 December 1988.
Dartford are unbeaten in eight matches against Bath City last tasting defeat on 7 April 1990 at Watling Street.
On This Day
The Darts play their first away game on 30 November since 1983 when they drew 0-0 against Kings Lynn in the Southern Premier League. Dartford’s only win on this day since then was a 4-0 victory over Corby Town back in 2002 in the Southern League Division One East. The last Dartford fixture on 30 November ended in a 1-1 F.A Trophy draw against Forest Green Rovers six years ago, Danny Harris gave the Darts the lead which was cancelled out by Jan Klukowski.