Dartford enter the last third of the season chasing a playoff spot and this weekend they hope to start a new winning run at home to Dulwich Hamlet.
Although King’s side experienced defeat on the weekend they have won six out of eight since the 1-1 draw with Dulwich Hamlet to move into the last playoff place. Unbeaten in three home games, the Darts have rattled in ten without reply, last conceding at Princes Park in the 1-0 loss against Concord Rangers just over a month ago.
The Darts drew with their opponents at the beginning of December rescuing a point at Champion Hill. Hamlet went ahead through Christian Smith’s free-kick, but Elliott Romain won then scored the equaliser from the penalty spot. Steve King had to patch up the midfield that day with Tyrique Hyde making his debut for the Darts. A lot has happened since then with the squad taking shape and Dartford getting in their grove.
After the 3-0 win against Oxford City in the Darts last home game, King named an unchanged team when they travelled to Slough Town last weekend. However, it was a Dan Roberts that scored the only goal of the game to give the Rebels their first win of 2020. Late on Sanchez Ming, who was already cautioned earlier in the match showed his frustration at a linesman and was sent off with a straight red card, Ming will now be suspended for three matches.
On Tuesday night more changes were made to give game time to others, only defenders Ming and Josh Hill remained in the side with King utilising the squad he has built. Mark Smith was back in goal after a spell out injured, whilst Craig Braham-Barrett and Liam Nash made their first starts for the club. Lee Noble was back in the side after his long term injury and Sam Blackman played his first game since his successful loan spell. Ronnie Vint, Charlie Sheringham and Kyjoun Marsh-Brown all got minutes as did Marcel Barrington who made an appearance as a substitute. A new face was introduced to the squad, Michael Onovwigun was part of the Dulwich Hamlet squad that won promotion to the National South and recently played for Carshalton Athletic and Lewes in the Isthmian Premier League, the midfielder started for the Darts. Marsh-Brown came up with the winner when his first half strike was the only goal of the game before Maidstone United’s Lewis Knight was sent off on the stroke of half-time.
Whilst Dartford were progressing to the last eight of the Kent Senior Cup, Dulwich Hamlet were in National South action against title chasing Havant and Waterlooville. The South Londoners were unbeaten in 2020, but were unable to keep that run going when the Hawks ran out 3-1 winners. It looked as though things were going Dulwich Hamlet’s way when Havant and Waterlooville missed a first-half penalty and former Dart, Danny Mills scored six minutes into the second-half. However, the visitors came back scoring three in the final fifteen minutes. Sam Magri scored from the spot, Bradley Tarbuck put the Hawks ahead with eight minutes to play and Alfie Rutherford made sure of an away win in the last minute.
Defeat ended a run of four games unbeaten which included a 3-0 victory over Hampton and Richmond Borough and an impressive 6-0 win over Braintree Town. Hamelt’s nine goals without reply was follwed up by a pair of 1-1 draws against Weymouth then Chippenham Town before Tuesday night’s loss.
Last season at Princes Park, Dartford came from behind to win 2-1. The South Londoners took the lead when Afolabi Akinyemi’s powerful shot beat goalkeeper Derren Ibrahim on nineteen minutes. Just before half-time the Darts were level courtesy of Jamie Philpot and in the second half Charlie Sheringham scored a penalty to claim victory. The reverse fixture finished with Hamlet winning 2-0 at Champion Hill.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 1 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 3 / Draws: 3
Current League Form
|Slough Town||A||0-1||Havant & Waterlooville||H||1-3|
|Oxford City||H||3-0||Chippenham Town||H||1-1|
|Welling United||H||4-0||Braintree Town||H||6-0|
|Tonbridge Angels||H||3-0||Hampton & Richmond||A||3-0|
|Welling United||A||3-0||Maidstone United||A||1-4|
Last Six Meetings
Dartford are unbeaten at home against Dulwich Hamlet winning one and drawing the other two.
The Darts have won four of their last five home games in the National South, they had previously won one of their opening eight league matches at Princes Park this campaign.
Dartford had scored 13 goals at home in their opening eight league fixtures, they have managed 13 in their last five league games at Princes Park.
On This Day
Dartford came back from two goals down to almost record an upset against Cambridge United six years ago. The Darts fell behind with two early goals at Princes Park when Ryan Bird scored a brace on his debut. Elliot Bradbrook scored a penalty and Max Cornhill equalised before half time, then after the break Danny Harris had the Darts ahead. Alan Julian saved a penalty, however Dartford were denied victory ten minutes from time by Luke Berry in an entertaining National League encounter. Harris also found the net three years earlier helping Dartford beat Tonbridge Angels 2-0 in the Kent Senior Cup first round, Sheringham scored the other and Dartford went on to win the competition beating Bromley 4-1 in the final.