Dartford aim to protect their unbeaten home start of the season this weekend when they host second place Hemel Hempstead Town in the National South.
The Darts picked up four points from six over the Bank Holiday weekend beating Braintree Town 2-1 in the last match at Princes Park. Despite falling behind the Darts equalised through Luke Allen three minutes before the break. In the second half, the Iron were reduced to ten men before substitute Norma Wabo scored a late winner. On Monday, a late goal denied Dartford maximum Bank Holiday points in the 2-2 draw at Hungerford Town.
Dartford will see the opportunity as two points dropped having overturned a one goal deficit. Luke Warner-Eley returned to the starting eleven whilst Ronnie Vint missed the fixture through illness. Jordan Wynter was suspended and will serve the final game of his three match ban against Hemel Hempstead Town, and Sam Blackman remains a long term absentee. Charlie Sheringham was missing from the matchday squad on Monday and fellow striker, Andy Pugh has gone out on loan to East Thurrock United, where he netted a brace on his debut and completed the full ninety minutes.
Joint-manager Adam Flanagan told www.dartfordfc.com: “Andy Pugh has worked so hard to recover from his broken leg and he now needs to get his final sharpness by playing games. East Thurrock United will provide the competitiveness and opportunity to do this. We hope that he does well and that his move will get him back firing in goals ready for a return to full fitness and Dartford very soon”.
Flanagan and Jamie Coyle watched their side pick up an away point on Monday to end a run of seven consecutive away defeats in the National South, stretching back to March, the Darts last away victory was against Hemel Hempstead Town. The Crusaders took the lead when Zidan Akers put the hosts ahead after seven minutes. Darren McQueen recorded his first Dartford goal of the campaign in style with an acrobatic overhead kick and by half-time Luke Wanadio had given the Darts a one goal advantage. With two minutes to go, last season’s match winner Conor Lynch ensured the game ended 2-2. It was the fourth point gained in three days for the Darts taking their tally up to six, but they are down in the relegation places third from bottom with the joint worst goal difference.
Hemel Hempstead Town gained maximum points over the Bank Holiday weekend first dispatching Oxford City then defeating Billericay Town. The Tudors moved into second place and had they not just recently lost to Wealdstone they could have been joint top with the Stones. Debutante, Daniel Phillips scored early on against Oxford City, but the lead was cancelled out in the second half when Kyran Wiltshire scored a free-kick. Ricardo German made an instant impact when he arrived off the bench scoring the winner and his form continued two days later.
The Tudors took on Billericay town and faced a former favourite and their record scorer Jordan Parkes, but it was German who made the headlines. Hemel Hempstead Town left it until the last ten minutes to secure victory scoring three times with the first from Liam Nash. Once again, German started on the bench and he added a brace to take his tally to four goals in his last sixty minutes of football, his other strike was on the opening day of the season.
Princes Park will welcome back three former players Connor Essam, Tyrone Sterling and Alex Wall who were all in Dartford’s 2013/2014 squad. Essam captains the Tudors and has scored once this term, the defender had two loan spells with the Darts making a total of 14 appearances, eight of which was in his first spell when Dartford won promotion to the National League. Sterling had a single season with the Darts and made 36 appearances whilst on loan from Dover Athletic, the defender was signed by Hemel Hempstead Town from Concord Rangers. Wall has been out injured of late and also joined the Tudors in the summer from Concord Rangers. Just over a year ago he had signed for the Darts but left before the campaign began, the striker scored six times in 11 appearance during his loan spell five years ago.
New Tudors manager, Sammy Moore guided Concord Rangers to the playoffs last term going above expectations for the club, however the Essex club was unable to compete in the end of season showdown. Moore brought with him a few other players from his former side including forwards Liam Nash and Sam Ashford, as well as goalkeeper Sam Beasant.
Just over a year ago, Dartford and Hemel Hempstead Town played out a goalless draw at Princes Park. The last meeting between the two sides five months ago ended with a 2-1 win for the Darts. Phil Roberts scored twice against his former club in the final ten minutes either side of Jordan Parkes’ penalty.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 5 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 3 / Draws: 1
Current League Form
|Dartford (DWLLDD)||Hemel Hempstead Town (WWLWWL)|
|Hungerford Town||A||2-2||Billericay Town||H||3-0|
|Braintree Town||H||2-1||Oxford City||A||2-1|
|Chelmsford City||A||0-4||Dulwich Hamlet||H||1-0|
|Havant and Waterlooville||H||1-1||Hampton & Richmond||A||2-1|
|St Albans City||H||1-1||Dorking Wanderers||A||1-3|
Last Six Meetings
|05.03.2019||Hemel Hempstead Town||1||Dartford||2|
|11.08.2018||Dartford||0||Hemel Hempstead Town||0|
|17.03.2018||Dartford||3||Hemel Hempstead Town||2|
|26.08.2017||Hemel Hempstead Town||0||Dartford||3|
|01.04.2017||Hemel Hempstead Town||2||Dartford||2|
|12.11.2016||Dartford||2||Hemel Hempstead Town||0|
Since defeat to Hemel Hempstead Town on the opening day of the 2015/2016 campaign, the Darts have gone seven unbeaten against the Tudors.
At Princes Park, Dartford are unbeaten against the Tudors winning and drawing two.
On This Day
Dartford lost to local rivals Ebbsfleet United four years ago in the National South, a crowd of 2551 witnessed Jordan Parkes score the only goal of the game. The striker went on to return to Hemel Hempstead Town before leaving the club this summer. Ebbsfleet United’s line up that day included current Dartford captain Tom Bonner and Adam Cunnington came off the bench as a late substitute. Another former Dart, Matthew Godden started for the Fleet, the striker is now at Coventry City. In 2013, Elliot Bradbrook scored a consolation goal as the Darts lost 2-1 to Lincoln City in the National League. Dartford’s last win on this day was against AFC Hornchurch in the Isthmian Premier League, goals from Lee Burns and Bradbrook secured a 2-0 victory in the season that saw the Darts end up as champions.