MATCH PREVIEW | Dartford v Concord Rangers

Dartford are back in action under the Princes Park floodlights on Tuesday night when they host Concord Rangers in the National South.

Earlier in the season Dartford were beaten by the Beachboys, Lamar Reynolds scoring the decisive goal for the Essex side. It was the second straight 1-0 defeat against Concord Rangers after losing the last meeting between the two sides at Princes Park in December 2019. Joel Nouble netted from the spot and earlier in the match Dartford’s Elliott Romain missed a penalty. In their first seven matches against Concord Rangers, the Darts only once tasted defeat. In recent years the tables have turned, Dartford have won just one of the last five.

The Darts are five league games without victory matching the run towards the end of October through to mid November. With three points from the last 15 available, Dartford have slipped to fifth in the division and will be determined to pick up maximum points on Tuesday night. Concord Rangers made a steady start to their campaign, but the Essex club have won once in their last eight league outings picking up just one point in the last four matches.

Highlights of Dartford’s previous meeting against Concord Rangers this season – Dartford FC TV

Positively, Steve King’s side remain unbeaten at home with four victories and five draws, but they will be looking to turn single points into three, something they have failed to do in their last two league fixtures at home. The Darts came from behind against Dulwich Hamlet to rescue a draw just over a fortnight ago and on the weekend they went in front twice in the 2-2 draw with Hampton and Richmond Borough. Those stalemates sandwiched the F.A Trophy victory over National League side Weymouth to extend Dartford’s unbeaten run to three in all competitions.

Jake Robinson is the man in form at the moment with five goals in his last five league outings. His brace on Saturday took the striker to an impressive 14 goals in 15 appearances for the Darts this season, eight goals in nine in the National South. Despite his impressive tally, King commented in the local press last week his desire to bring in another forward. Ade Azeez is looking to break a run of eight games without a goal and Dan Roberts has managed only two league goals so far this season.

The departure of creative midfielder Noor Husin to Southend United prior the weekend allowed Luke Allen to return to action after a two month absence through injury. Danny Leonard also rejoined the starting eleven, the winger had missed four games last appearing in the F.A Trophy win over Cray Wanderers in which he scored. Dartford got off to a great start scoring after five minutes, Connor Essam headed the ball for Robinson to score. The Beavers equalised through Sam Deadfield, but Dartford were back in front with a carbon copy of the first goal, Essam to Robinson made it 2-1. Hampton and Richmond Borough were level again ten minutes into the second half, Jack McKnight converted a penalty, his second from the spot against the Darts after his winner for previous club Slough Town in October 2020.

Concord Rangers have lost their last two on the road and whilst they scored in both games they shipped in six. On the weekend they were beaten by Dulwich Hamlet with two late goals making the final score 4-1. Up until the final minute, the Beachboys were only a goal down after Danny Green scored from the spot, the winger’s seventh league goal of the campaign. Two former Darts, Giovanni McGregor and Danny Mills had earlier put Dulwich Hamlet in command and to secure victory for the Londoners, Ibra Sekajja grabbed an injury time brace at the end.

The Beachboys are now down in fifteenth place as one of four Essex clubs in the bottom six. Aside from the defeat at home to Chelmsford City, they did manage to earn five points over the festive period with a win and draw over Billericay Town and at the beginning of December they picked up a point at home to Braintree Town. However, the Beachboys have lost their last four in the league against sides outside of Essex going back two months. Since consecutive victories versus the Darts and Eastbourne Borough in November, they have been beaten by Bath City, Ebbsfleet United, Hampton and Richmond Borough and Dulwich Hamlet.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Concord Rangers wins: 4 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Dartford
(WLDLDD)
Concord Rangers
(LWLDLL)
Hampton & Richmond H 2-2 Dulwich Hamlet A 1-4
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-1 Hampton & Richmond A 1-2
Ebbsfleet United A 0-1 Billericay Town H 0-0
Braintree Town A 2-2 Chelmsford City H 1-3
Maidstone United A 0-4 Billericay Town A 3-1
Billericay Town H 1-0 Ebbsfleet United A 1-2

Previous Meetings (last six)

Concord Rangers 1 – 0 Dartford (02/11/2021 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Concord Rangers (21/12/2019 – National South)
Concord Rangers 0 – 2 Dartford (14/09/2019 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Concord Rangers (26/01/2019 – National South)
Concord Rangers 2 – 0 Dartford (14/08/2018 – National South)
Concord Rangers 1 – 1 Dartford (06/01/2018 – National South)

Stats

  • Dartford are unbeaten in nine home league games (W5, D4), their best run since ten unbeaten from December 2018 to March 2019 (W6, D4)
  • In the last five matches that resulted in a win in this fixture, the victorious team has kept a clean sheet
  • Since being appointed Dartford boss, Steve King has never gone six league games without victory or drawn three consecutive games in the National South
  • Luke Wanadio needs one more appearance to bring up his century for the club

On This Day

Unbeaten in their last three games on 25 January, all at home, Dartford beat Dulwich Hamlet 1-0 two years ago with a goal from Darren McQueen. In recent times the stand out game was a classic 3-3 draw with Cambridge United in 2014. The Darts found themselves two down after 16 minutes when Ryan Bird scored a brace on his debut. However, the hosts turned the match around and went in front after Elliot Brabrook netted a penalty then Max Cornhill equalised in first half stoppage time. The Darts took the lead through Danny Harris and were left hanging on towards the end. Ashley Chambers had his penalty saved by Dartford goalkeeper Alan Julian before Luke Berry levelled. Three years earlier the Darts won 2-0 in the Kent Senior Cup first round, on the way to winning the competition. Harris and Charlie Sheringham scored the goals to take the hosts through against Tonbridge Angels.