Steve King faces his former club on Boxing Day and there will be no room for sentiment, when he returns to Park View Road to take on local rivals Welling United.
A point will keep the Darts ahead of the Wings in the National South standings, whilst victory will move Dartford five points ahead of their rivals. For the third consecutive campaign the two sides meet each other over the festive season, the Darts will hope to avenge the defeat they suffered at Park View Road a year ago.
Frustrated with his side’s inconsistency, Steve King guided the Darts to a 3-2 home win against Billericay Town before watching on as Concord Rangers took all three points on the weekend. The Dartford boss described his team as ‘chalk and cheese’ when speaking to www.kentonline.co.uk, he commented: “We deserved the plaudits and to win the game against Billericay”, before adding his thoughts after the 1-0 defeat against Concord Rangers, he explained: “I felt there wasn’t enough quality,” he continued: “Normally you can have five or six off their game and the other six can carry you through but I thought nearly all of them were off their game”.
Crowd favourite, Ryan Hayes was praised for his efforts when he came on as a substitute as he ‘lifted the side’ in the final quarter. However the game hinged on two penalties, in form Dartford striker Elliott Romain hit the post with his spot kick, whilst Joel Nouble scored his penalty to earn the Beachboys victory. Two new signings were introduced to the Dartford faithful and one could be in line to face his former club on Boxing Day.
Sanchez Ming left the Wings a day before he was selected in Dartford’s starting eleven on the weekend. The full back was brought in on loan by King whilst at Welling United from Dulwich Hamlet, Ming signed permanently for the Wings in the summer but has now decided to team up with King once more, he was the only change to the team selected against Billericay Town. Appearing as a substitute on the weekend, Marcel Barrington has joined the Darts from Concord Rangers. The 24 year old was part of the Braintree Town side that beat Dartford in the National South playoffs in May 2018. The striker will already be familiar with midfielders Billy Crook and Luke Allen who were also in the Irons team that were promoted that season. In the three months King has been in charge the squad has a different look with over half of the players involved on Saturday new signings.
Welling United haven’t hit the heights of last term when King led them to the Playoff Final. Mark Goldberg has been in charge since the summer and now the Wings are down in sixteenth place, two points behind Dartford in thirteenth. Last season with King working under Goldberg, Welling United won on Boxing Day beating Dartford 2-0 after goals from two former Darts, Josh Hill and Danny Mills. This time Hill will be back in a Dartford shirt for the festive derby hoping to win at Park View Road again.
After a barren run in the league without finding the net, The Wings found some spark in their 6-2 victory at home against Braintree Town just over a month ago. A 2-0 away defeat at Dorking Wanderers followed in the league then a 2-0 win at home to Hemel Hempstead Town, former Dart, Nathan Green found the net. With their game at league leaders Wealdstone postponed on the weekend, Welling United last played in the National South almost three weeks ago.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 20 / Welling United wins: 9 / Draws: 10
Current League Form
|Concord Rangers||H||0-1||Hemel Hempstead Town||H||2-0|
|Billericay Town||H||3-2||Dorking Wanderers||A||0-2|
|Dulwich Hamlet||A||1-1||Braintree Town||H||6-2|
|Bath City||A||0-3||Dulwich Hamlet||H||0-0|
|Maidstone United||H||2-2||Chippenham Town||A||0-0|
|Hampton and Richmond||A||2-1||Slough Town||A||0-1|
Last Six Meetings
Dartford have lost just one of their last six away league games (W4, D1, L1)
Over the last 15 years the Darts have won three out of 11 against Welling United at Park View Road (D4, L4).
Welling United have won just two of the last seventeen meetings between the two sides in normal time, the Wings did win a Kent Senior Cup tie on penalties.