Dartford begin their defence of the Kent Senior Cup with an away tie against former landlords Cray Wanderers.
Participating in their second cup match in four days, Tony Burman is likely to give a chance to some of players looking to build up match fitness and youngsters from the academy.
Goalkeeper, Tony Coxall may step up due to the international call up of Dartford’s number one. Deren Ibrahim will be facing Estonia and Belgium as he represents Gibraltar in a World Cup qualifier.
Left back, Tom Wynter suffered a knee injury in the 2-1 league win versus Concord Rangers and missed the 3-2 F.A Cup victory at Slough Town, the 26 year old could feature but may have to wait until the weekend. Fellow defender, Ronnie Vint has returned from his broken wrist and Burman is expecting to give the former academy player an extended run out against Cray Wanderers.
Two new academy stars Temi Eweka and Henry Fulton joined the first team on the weekend at Slough Town, although they were named on the bench they will be hopeful of a starting opportunity in the first team.
The Darts beat Welling United, Gillingham, Herne Bay, Greenwich Borough on the way to last season’s final, which they won 3-1 against League One side Charlton Athletic.
Dartford will be familiar to Cray Wanderers’ tale having shared their Oxford Road ground in the 1993/94 campaign. Now it’s the Wands who are homeless and sharing with National League side Bromley at Hayes Lane, their home since 1998.
The Isthmian Division One South side were playing in the north division last term and finished fourth losing their playoff semi-final to Harlow Town. This term, Cray Wanderers are in a healthy sixth place and on the weekend two former Darts helped them to victory. Karl Dent and Bradley Woods-Garness scored in a 3-0 win against Molesey, the Wands third straight triumph. Dent made three appearances for Dartford whilst Woods-Garness appeared six times scoring once during the 2008/09 campaign.
Tony Russell’s side went out in the second round last year to eventual runners up Charlton Athletic. The Wands have made just two Kent Senior Cup final appearances finishing runners up on both occasions. Last time the Darts faced Cray Wanderers in the competition was eleven years ago when they won 3-1. Unbeaten in the last four matches against the Wands, Dartford won the last fixture between the two sides in 2011. Tommy Whitnell put the Wands ahead in the F.A Cup third qualifier, but Burman’s team left it late to win 2-1 with goals from Ryan Hayes and Danny Harris.
Current Form (all competitions)
Cray Wanderers (WWWLWL)
Won 3-0 v Molesey (H)
Won 3-2 v Horsham (A)
Won 1-0 v Godalming (A)
Lost 0-1 v Hythe Town (H)
Won 3-2 v Three Bridges (H)
Lost 1-2 v Dorking Wanderers (A)
Won 3-2 v Slough Town (A) – F.A Cup
Won 2-1 v Concord Rangers (A)
Won 3-2 v Chelmsford City (A) – F.A Cup
Won 2-0 v Margate (A)
Drew 1-1 v East Thurrock United (A)
Won 2-1 v Welling United (H)
Last Six Meetings
Cray Wanderers 1 Dartford 2 (15/10/2011 – F.A Cup)
Cray Wanderers 1 Dartford 2 (02/01/2010 – Isthmian Premier)
Dartford 1 Cray Wanderers 1 (26/12/2009 – Isthmian Premier)
Dartford 0 Cray Wanderers 0 (03/02/2007 – Isthmian Division One South)
Cray Wanderers 4 Dartford 0 (18/11/2006 – Isthmian Division One South)
Cray Wanderers 1 Dartford 3 (13/12/2005 – Kent Senior Cup)
On This Day
Dartford last won on 5 October way back in 1991 when they defeated Waterlooville 2-1 in the Southern Premier League. The Darts will be hoping to record their first win on this day since reforming, in fact they haven’t even managed a draw. In 1996, Weymouth beat Dartford 5-3 in the Southern League Southern division and eight years later Salisbury City won 2-0 in the F.A Trophy preliminary round. Three years ago, the Darts travelled to the north-east losing 2-0 to Gateshead in a National League encounter.