Dartford lost their first league game under Steve King last weekend and hope to get back to winning ways on Saturday, when they take on Dulwich Hamlet at Champion Hill.
The Darts travelled to Twerton Park last weekend having won their previous seven matches against Bath City. However, the Romans ended their winless streak with three unanswered goals in the first half. Tom Smith’s goal and Andy Watkins’ brace condemned Dartford manager Steve King to his first league defeat at the club.
Yet to make an appearance for Dartford since signing for the club in the summer, Sam Blackman returned to the squad and was named on the substitutes bench. Lee Noble, Charlie Sheringham and Jordan Wynter are still recovering from injuries whilst central midfield pairing Luke Allen and Billy Crook were also unavailable. At least King had his full backs returning, Jordan Gibbons and Liam Gordon were back in the starting eleven as was Cameron Brodie, whilst Andy Pugh and Darren McQueen dropped to the bench.
Luke Wanadio was representing Dulwich Hamlet the last time Dartford visited Champion Hill and the winger ended up on the winning side. Jamie Mascoll’s volley and a second from Decarry Sheriff secured a 2-0 victory for Hamlet. The Darts won the earlier meeting that season 2-1 at Princes Park with Charlie Sheringham scoring the winner from the spot.
The Darts are just three points ahead of Dulwich Hamlet, who remained in nineteenth place on Tuesday night thanks to Hungerford Town’s victory over Tonbridge Angels, who lined up with Ben Greenhalgh in the starting eleven on loan from Dartford. Dulwich Hamlet started their National South campaign strongly with three consecutive victories, in fact they took thirteen points from their opening six fixtures to leave them in second place. Since then Hamlet have failed to register a win in the league going back to late August, drawing five and losing seven in a twelve-game winless streak.
The latest reverse came on the weekend when Gavin Rose’s side lost 2-1 to Oxford City. Two penalties from Nana Owusu either side of Dominic Vose’s strike condemned the London club to another defeat. Hamlet have had better times in cup competitions this term and prior the loss at Oxford City they knocked out Chippenham Town in a F.A Trophy replay. After a 2-2 draw, former Dartford striker Danny Mills and David Ijaha scored the goals to send Hamlet into the first round. In the F.A Cup, Dulwich Hamlet reached the first round before going out to Carlisle United in front of the television cameras.
Danny Mills made 26 appearances for Dartford scoring six times during the heartbreaking campaign in which the Darts finished runners up on goal difference. The striker moved on to Welling United last term and is now at Champion Hill where he has managed to be a regular in Dulwich Hamlet’s starting eleven. Another former Dart is part of the management team, assistant manager Junior Kadi was part of the Isthmian Division One North title winning side in 2007/2008, the midfielder made 28 appearances and scored six times.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 1 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 3 / Draws: 2
Current League Form
|Bath City||A||0-3||Oxford City||A||1-2|
|Maidstone United||H||2-2||Billericay Town||H||0-1|
|Hampton and Richmond||A||2-1||Welling United||A||0-0|
|Eastbourne Borough||A||2-0||Bath City||H||1-3|
|Chippenham Town||H||1-1||Chelmsford City||A||1-1|
Last Six Meetings
Both sides are unbeaten in this fixture when playing at home, the Darts have drawn two and won one and Dulwich Hamlet have won all three at home.
Dartford’s loss at Bath City ended a run of four consecutive away wins in the league, in all competitions it ended a seven game unbeaten run on the road.
The Darts have failed to score in successive games for the first time this campaign, the last time they went two games without a goal was April last season.
On This Day
Lee Noble scored one of the goals of the round in the F.A Cup on this day. The Darts were drawn away to Bradford City and although the Bantams were too strong, Noble’s backheel on a muddy Valley Parade pitch was fine consolation in a 4-1 defeat. Twelve months earlier Dartford lost 1-0 away to Barnet at the Hive in the National League. Dartford last won on 7 December in 2011 when they swept aside Folkestone Invicta in the second round of the Kent Senior Cup. Jacob Erskine, Tom Bonner and Richard Graham’s brace set the Darts on their way as they reached the final that season.