Dartford look to extend their unbeaten home run to six when they host bottom of the table side Concord Rangers this weekend.
In the three previous meetings between the two sides only the away team has managed to come home victorious. The Darts will be hoping to break that record at Princes Park to keep momentum going in the National South. Concord Rangers on the other hand have struggled to get going this term winning just one of their opening eleven fixtures.
Last weekend, current top scorer for the Darts, Elliot Bradbrook took his goal tally for Dartford to 99 in the 3-2 F.A Cup win at Chelmsford City. The captain scored twice in the first half and was unlucky to miss out on his one hundredth and a hat-trick when he had a goal ruled out as well. An own goal by Chelmsford City’s goalkeeper, Ross Fitzsimons set the tone for the first half before Bradbrook’s duo. The Clarets fought back in the second half finding the goal twice in four minutes when Shamir Mullings scored both.
Burman praised his side’s attitude and desire to hold on and progress to the F.A Cup third qualifying round where they meet Slough Town. Victory for the Darts now means they are unbeaten in five in all competitions, avoiding defeat at Concord Rangers will make it a season’s best run.
Defeat was something the Darts were unable to avoid in the same fixture last campaign. Former Dartford midfielder James White scored a superb goal to give the Beachboys an away win at Princes Park. In fact all three strikes in the 2-1 loss back in February were expertly taken from outside the box. Tom Bradbrook curled his effort into the top corner but his goal was cancelled out by Steve Cawley’s twenty yarder.
At last Dartford are back to full strength with defender Ronnie Vint named on the subs bench for the F.A Cup tie, after his cast on his wrist was finally removed. That means Burman is pleased with the amount of players in his squad, so much so he has this week let Ben Francis out on loan for a month and Richard Seixas will join the striker on dual registration at Leatherhead. The Darts boss is hoping the pair can reach a higher level of fitness following injury whilst promoting some more academy talent.
Managed by former Dartford title winning captain Adam Flanagan, Concord Rangers have had a poor start to their season. In their fourth term in the National South, the Beachboys have reached the top ten in their previous three campaigns but sit at the bottom this time.
The Essex club suffered four straight defeats to begin their campaign before picking up their first point away to Oxford City. Since that draw the Beachboys have managed to avoid back to back league losses but still remained winless after nine attempts. At the tenth effort, Concord Rangers finally grabbed their first win beating Weston-super-Mare away.
Flanagan’s team will approach this weekend’s fixture having lost two in a row, the National South reverse at home to Wealdstone was followed by a F.A Cup exit against AFC Rushden and Diamonds. Two former Darts took part in those games, Joao Carlos who played four times in the Isthmian Premier league winning side and Mark Onyemah, the full back spent time on loan at Princes Park last term.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 2 / Concord Rangers wins: 1 / Draws: 0
Current League Form
Won 2-0 v Margate (A)
Drew 1-1 v East Thurrock United (A)
Won 2-1 v Welling United (H)
Drew 0-0 v Maidenhead United (H)
Lost 1-4 v Hampton & Richmond Borough (A)
Won 2-0 v Hungerford Town (H)
Concord Rangers (LWDLDL)
Lost 0-1 v Wealdstone (H)
Won 2-1 v Weston-super-Mare (A)
Drew 0-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (H)
Lost 0-5 v Welling United (H)
Drew 0-0 v Whitehawk (A)
Lost 0-1 v Maidenhead United (H)
Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 2 (27/02/2016)
Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 3 (18/08/2015)
Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 3 (27/01/2009)
Elliot Bradbrook is one goal away from his century after 311 starting appearances and 13 substitute appearances. The Dartford midfielder averages approximately a goal every 3.27 games.
Dartford are unbeaten in five home matches this season winning two and drawing three.
Only league leaders Maidenhead United and newcomers Poole Town have conceded fewer goals (1) at home than Dartford(3).
All five of Concord Rangers’ goals have come away from home this season.
The Beachboys last went one win from their opening eleven league games back in 2011, when they finished 14th in the Isthmian Premier League.
On This Day
Dartford’s match against Concord Rangers will be only their fourth home game on the 24 September in the last 39 years. Since defeat to Atherstone United in the 1977 Southern Premier League, the Darts have beaten Witney Town 4-1 in 1983 and Tonbridge Angels 3-1 five years ago in the National South, Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris and Charlie Sheringham all scored. In between the two home victories, Dartford played six away matches in a row including a 5-1 hammering of Darenth Heathside in the Kent Premier League in 1994. The last time Dartford played on this day was at Blundell Park where they lost 5-2 to Grimsby Town in the National League three years ago.