Upcoming MatchSevenoaks Town vs Dartford/July 13, 2024/Greatness Park

MATCH PREVIEW: Dartford v Welling United

The first Kent derby awaits Dartford this weekend when they host Welling United in the National South.

Back at Princes Park, the Darts have home advantage and have dominated this fixture over the last decade. However, the Wings have the upper hand on current league form, unbeaten on the road and coming off the back of a resounding victory last Saturday.

Dartford are seven without defeat against their local rivals and eight unbeaten at Princes Park in all competitions. This time Alan Dowson’s side will need to show character to bounce back from yet another last-minute loss last weekend. Condemned to a fourth 2-1 defeat on Saturday, this time at Chippenham Town, the Darts let a one goal lead slip for a third occasion this season. Dartford have now won three and lost four of their opening seven matches and are down in thirteenth place.

Highlights – Chippenham Town v Dartford (03/09/2022) – courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Dowson made two changes to the side that won 2-0 at Hemel Hempstead Town on Bank Holiday Monday bringing in Luke Allen and Dan Roberts to replace Luke Coulson and Samir Carruthers. It was Carruthers who scored a brace at Hemel Hempstead Town, but the midfielder picked up a knock and wasn’t named in the starting line-up, he should be ready for the Kent derby. Dan Wilks (ankle injury) and Sam Odaudu (recovering from surgery) were unavailable as was Davide Rodari, who is likely to make a return against Welling United. Charlie Sheringham made an appearance when he was introduced in the second-half, his first outing of the campaign.

Three defenders combined for the opening goal with Connor Essam sending in a cross to Tom Bonner who headed across goal for Maxwell Statham to nod in his first for the club. All was going well heading for the interval until Alefe Santos won a dubious penalty, then just about scored it. Goalkeeper, Joe Young spilt the ball before scrambling back to make a save, the match official decided the ball had crossed the line despite Dartford’s protests. With the points looking like they will be shared the hosts won a free-kick in the final minute, Jordan Young scored to win the match for Chippenham Town.

Dartford did the league double over the Wings last term and knocked them out of the Kent Senior Cup on penalties. At Princes Park, the Darts had to show their character to come from behind twice after Afolabi Akinyemi scored both of Welling United’s goals. Marcus Dinanga netted his first for the Darts to make it all square at 1-1 and Danny Leonard restored parity after Dartford fell behind again. Luke Allen enjoyed this fixture last season scoring the third at home, the midfielder also found the net at Park View Road. Dinanga went on to complete the 4-2 win with his second of the afternoon.

Highlights – Dartford v Welling United (05/02/2022) – courtesy of Dartford FC TV

It was much more convincing earlier in the season when Dartford recorded an impressive away victory. Azeez scored a brace against his future employers and Allen also scored twice. Noor Husin and Leonard were the other scorers that day in a resounding 6-0 win. Towards the end of the campaign the two sides were drawn against each other in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final. Again, Welling United led with both goals from Henry Burnett, but Jordan Greenidge and Jake Robinson last minute penalty forced spot kicks which the Darts won 5-3.

Several players are likely to face their old team in this local derby. Statham signed for the Darts this summer from Welling United, whilst Kristian Campbell moved from Park View Road to Princes Park during last season. Charlie Sheringham scored 19 in 39 games way back in 2008/2009 for Welling United before his first spell with Dartford in 2010/2011. If the selected, the Darts striker will make his 100th start for the club in his fourth stint. Goalkeeper, Dan Wilks was also at Welling United previously, but his ankle injury has forced him out of the last three games.

Highlights – Welling United v Dartford (25/09/2021) – courtesy of Dartford FC TV

Welling United have a striker in fantastic form repeating what he did last season at Dartford. Azeez took home the match ball in his last outing on the weekend and has scored five in six appearances since joining Warren Feeney’s side from the Darts in the summer. The striker also got off to a blistering start last term scoring 11 in his first ten games and ended the campaign on 18 goals in all competitions.  However, he is a doubt going into the Kent derby after being taken off with an injury in the second-half. The creative Tyrique Hyde followed Azeez to Welling United, the midfielder has netted twice so far for the Wings in seven appearances. He played 41 games for the Darts and scored six during his spells at Princes Park. Rob Howard had a brief spell on loan in late 2019 making seven appearances, he could also face his former club.

The first four games the Wings played this term have been against opponents Dartford have also faced. In those games Welling United picked up one point more as they drew 0-0 to Taunton Town on the first day of the season. A home defeat to unbeaten Worthing was followed by consecutive victories over Cheshunt and Hemel Hempstead Town, Warren Feeney’s side came back from two down against the Tudors. After another home loss to Chelmsford City, the Wings returned to winning ways by defeating Dulwich Hamlet on the road. Last weekend they put five past Oxford City without reply, Azeez’s hat-trick and Stefan Payne’s brace made it their biggest league win since November 2019.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 24 / Welling United wins: 10 / Draws: 11

Current League Form

Dartford
(WLLLWL)
Welling United
(LWWLWW)
Chippenham Town A 1-2 Oxford City H 5-0
Hemel Hempstead Town A 2-0 Dulwich Hamlet A 2-1
Worthing H 1-2 Chelmsford City H 1-2
Taunton Town A 1-2 Hemel Hempstead Town A 3-2
Havant and Waterlooville H 1-2 Cheshunt H 2-1
Cheshunt H 2-1 Worthing H 2-4

Last Six Meetings

Welling United 2 – 2 Dartford (26/04/2022 – Kent Senior Cup)*
Dartford 4 – 2 Welling United (05/02/2022 – National South)
Welling United 0 – 6 Dartford (25/09/2021 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 2 Welling United (06/02/2021 – National South)
Dartford 4 – 0 Welling United (01/01/2020 – National South)
Welling United 0 – 3 Dartford (26/12/2019 – National South)
* Dartford won 5-3 on penalties

Statistics

  • Dartford have lost just one of their last 17 against Welling United in all competitions (W10, D6)
  • The Darts are unbeaten in the last eight games at home against the Wings (W7, D1) in all competitions
  • The Darts have won by an aggregate score of 10-2 against Welling United last season eclipsing the previous best of 7-0 in the 2019/2020 campaign
  • Dartford have kept four clean sheets in the last six league fixtures against Welling United
  • The Wings have only won three times in 21 attempts when visiting Dartford (D4, L14)

On This Day

Micky Collins scored a 16-minute hat-trick in 1994 as Dartford rattled in five goals in the last quarter of the game to win 6-1 at home to Cray Wanderers. It’s not the only high scoring game against the Wanderers, on 10 September 1960 the Darts won 5-4 in a F.A Cup tie. Over the years Dartford have shared many goals on this day with a 6-3 loss to Chatham Town in the 2002 Southern League Division One fixture, a 4-3 defeat against Margate in the Southern Premier League back in 1974, a 6-0 Southern League victory over Newport County Reserves in 1938 and the 5-3 Kent League reverse at home to Royal Engineers in 1898. In recent times, Ryan Hayes scored an equaliser in Dartford’s last outing on this day in a 1-1 draw at East Thurrock United six years ago. The Darts last tasted victory on 10 September in 2011 during the playoff winning season. Charlie Sheringham’s brace and a deflected Lee Burn’s effort gave Dartford their only ever victory against Eastleigh