Dartford welcome one of Alan Dowson’s former clubs this weekend when they host Hampton and Richmond Borough in the National South.
The Darts boss oversaw the Beavers for four years and won the Isthmian Premier League title with the Middlesex club. Now Dowson is hoping to keep up his record of winning promotion with every club he has managed, this time with Dartford. The 52-year-old faced Dartford four times in his spell with Hampton and Richmond Borough winning one, drawing one and losing two. The last time he was up against the Darts as the Beavers manager was the Good Friday mud bath game in 2018, which saw Alfie Pavey score a last-minute winner.
After a middle of the road start with four wins and four defeats in the National South, the Darts will be determined to pick up the pace especially after their shock F.A Cup exit to Beckenham Town on the weekend. Only one change was made to the side that beat Dover Athletic on Tuesday with Charlie Sheringham making his 100th start for the club meaning Davide Rodari took his place on the bench. Alongside the rest of the substitutes, new signing Daniel Jinadu provided back up for goalkeeper Joe Young. At the start of the season Daniel Wilks was the first choice goalkeeper, but he is recovering from an ankle injury. Whilst Sam Odaudu has been out after having surgery on his mouth.
Beckenham Town led twice with Harvey Brand finishing after taking advantage of a corner conceded by the Darts. Then after Charlie Sheringham scored his first goal since returning to Dartford, Rob Carter won it late on for the visitors. Dowson’s tactical changes proved costly in unlucky circumstances, the Darts boss introduced Kristian Campbell at half time for Jordan Wynter and ten minutes into the second-half Rodari replaced Adam Lovatt to provide a greater attacking threat. Once Sheringham equalised, Dowson withdrew striker Pierre Fonkeu and gave midfielder Kwaku Frimpong his home debut. By the end of the tie Dartford were forced to take off the injured Luke Coulson with no substitutes left to use, conceded a goal and had Frimpong harshly sent off.
Despite the F.A Cup loss the Darts did manage a win in their last league outing. A fine first-half display in the Kent derby a fortnight ago had Dartford 3-1 up before the interval at rivals Dover Athletic. Midfielder, Samir Carruthers scored the first of three goals in an 18-minute spell to put the Darts in command. Coulson assisted Carruthers for the first goal and found the back of the net to double Dartford’s lead and to add further misery to the hosts Maxwell Statham made it three. A lapse of concentration just before half-time let Dover Athletic back in the game, but a controlled second half saw the score unchanged.
Dartford are four points ahead of Hampton and Richmond Borough and last hosted the Middlesex club in January when Connor Essam and Jake Robinson combined for both goals. Essam set up Robinson twice and, on each occasion, put the Darts ahead. However, the Beavers hit back firstly through Sam Deadfield then Jack McKnight’s penalty. The reverse meeting six months ago featured a debut for Carruthers, the 29-year-old has scored three in his last two league appearances. Campbell also made his first start in a Dartford shirt that day, but it was Marcus Dinanga who settled the match with the only goal of the game.
On the weekend, Hampton and Richmond Borough negotiated their way into the F.A Cup third qualifying round after beating Bognor Regis Town 2-0. An early strike from Ade Shokunbi settled any nerves of a cup upset and with four minutes remaining an own goal made sure the Beavers went through to the next round. Gary McCann’s side have now recorded consecutive victories after they won in their last league match at home to Chippenham Town, Tommy Block’s spot kick enough to end a run of three straight losses. Former Dartford goalkeeper, Mark Smith has now kept two clean sheets in a row last conceding in the 2-1 reverse at Slough Town, a game which saw the Beavers let a one goal lead slip in the final ten minutes.
Smith is one of two former Darts competing for the number one jersey. Signed by Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle for the 2019/2020 campaign, the 26-year-old made 29 appearances for Dartford after signing from Eastbourne Borough. Whilst Alan Julian won Dartford’s 2013/2014 Supporters Player of the Year making 45 appearances in that season. Since his spell at Princes Park, Julian has played for Sutton United, Bromley, Billericay Town and is now with Hampton and Richmond Borough.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 8 / Hampton and Richmond Borough wins: 5 / Draws: 4
Current League Form
|Hampton & Richmond Borough
|Dover Athletic||A||3-1||Chippenham Town||H||1-0|
|Chippenham Town||A||1-2||Slough Town||A||1-2|
|Hemel Hempstead Town||A||2-0||Oxford City||A||0-2|
|Worthing||H||1-2||Havant and Waterlooville||H||2-3|
|Taunton Town||A||1-2||Tonbridge Angels||A||4-1|
|Havant and Waterlooville||H||1-2||Bath City||H||1-1|
Last Six Meetings
Hampton & Richmond Borough 0 – 1 Dartford (26/03/2022 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 2 Hampton & Richmond Borough (22/01/2022 – National South)
Hampton & Richmond Borough 0 – 0 Dartford (10/10/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 2 Hampton & Richmond Borough (08/02/2020 – National South)
Hampton & Richmond Borough 1 – 2 Dartford (05/11/2019 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 2 Hampton & Richmond Borough (23/03/2019 – National South)
- Dartford have lost just one of the last ten against Hampton and Richmond Borough (W5, D4)
- The Darts have failed to win their last three home games against the Beavers (D2, L1)
- Dartford have lost their last three home games for the first time since September/October 2019. The Darts have not lost four in a row at home since February/March 2006 in the Southern League Division One East.
On This Day
Duane Ofori-Acheampong and Danny Harris scored on this day in 2016 to help the Darts beat Concord Rangers 2-1 at Princes Park. Victory sealed a third consecutive home triumph on 24 September after a 3-1 win over Tonbridge Angels in 2011 in which Harris scored again, Elliot Bradbrook and Charlie Sheringham netted either side of the winger’s strike. In 1983, the Darts beat Witney Town 4-1 in the Southern Premier League. Between 1983 and 2011, Dartford played six times on this day on the road including the 5-1 hammering of Darenth Heathside in 1994.