The Darts play their second cup tie in a week when they travel across to Weston-super-Mare in the F.A Trophy Third Qualifying Round.
It’s the first time Dartford have been drawn against the Seagulls in cup competition and the third time this calendar year they will visit the Woodspring Stadium. The last trip to the West Country ended 2-1 to the Darts just three months ago, to give them their first win of the season. Luke Wanadio expertly gave Dartford the lead curling his shot into the top corner. Shawn McCoulsky levelled the match scoring his spot kick but Ryan Hayes netted the winner late on.
Beating Weston-super-Mare put last season’s visit firmly behind them. The feisty contest ended 2-1 to the Seagulls and saw captain Elliot Bradbrook sent off after a mass brawl. Bradbrook, who was rested in Tuesday night’s Kent Senior Cup defeat to Welling United, is likely to return to the Woodspring Stadium for the first time since his dismissal. The captain missed the National South fixture between the two sides in August through injury.
Duane Ofori-Acheampong was another player rested in midweek, and with his partnership up front with Andy Pugh beginning to bloom he is also expected to return. Deren Ibrahim almost had the night off on Tuesday but a late call up because Bailey Vose wasn’t registered in time meant Ibrahim played instead. Dartford’s number one picked up a neck injury and will be assessed before the F.A Trophy tie. Kaka Dembele, Ben Francis and Ellis Brown started as well to get much needed game time but it remains to be seen if Tony Burman will rotate his squad for the F.A Trophy.
Weston-super-Mare suffered their first defeat of the campaign when they lost 2-1 to Dartford in August. Since then the Seagulls have slid down the National South table and eight consecutive defeats led to Ryan Northmore leaving the managerial post. Now Scott Bartlett is in charge and he has begun rebuilding the squad currently in third from bottom. Tommy Anderson made his debut for Weston-super-Mare on the weekend and the 17 year old impressed Bartlett.
The former Forest Green Rovers academy boss was appointed at the start of October and won his first game last weekend. The Seagulls were involved in an entertaining 4-3 away win against Eastbourne Borough, the club’s first victory in the league since 13 August. During their barren spell, the Seagulls lost ten in a row which came as a surprise considering they won their opening three games to top the table.
Head to Head
Weston-super-Mare wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 5 / Draws: 4
Weston-super-Mare 1 Dartford 2 (20/08/2016 – National South)
Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 1 (05/03/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Weston-super-Mare 1 (13/09/2015 – National League)
Dartford 1 Weston-super-Mare 1 (12/11/2011 – National League)
Weston-super-Mare 0 Dartford 4 (13/08/2011 – National South)
Weston-super-Mare 0 Dartford 1 (08/02/2011 – National South)
Dartford 4 Weston-super-Mare 1 (04/09/2010 – National South)
Dartford 3 Weston-super-Mare 3 (13/12/1997 – Southern League Southern Division)
Weston-super-Mare 0 Dartford 0 (16/08/1997 – Southern League Southern Division)
Dartford 1 Weston-super-Mare 1 (12/04/1997 – Southern League Southern Division)
Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 0 (23/11/1996 – Southern League Southern Division)
Current Form (all competitions)
Won 4-3 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Drew 1-1 v Gosport Borough (H)
Won 4-2 v Larkhall Athletic (A)
Lost 1-2 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Lost 1-3 v Hampton and Richmond Borough (H)
Drew 0-0 v Oxford City (A)
Lost 2-2 (1-4 on penalties) v Welling United (A) – Kent Senior Cup
Won 3-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Won 2-0 v Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Lost 0-2 v St Albans City (H)
Lost 3-6 v Sutton United (H) – F.A Cup
Won 1-0 v Oxford City (H)
Won 1-0 v Bath City (A)
Dartford went out at the third qualifying round last term for the first time since 2009.
The Darts will play their sixth away cup tie of the season out of seven.
Elliot Bradbrook has scored seven cup goals this term all in the F.A Cup. The captain only made four appearances in the competition.
Weston-super-Mare’s best performance in the F.A Trophy is reaching the fourth round in 1998/99 and 2003/04.
In the last three seasons the Seagulls have made it past the third qualifying round, before that they lost six in a row at this stage.
On This Day
A local derby win over Erith and Belvedere in the Southern League Cup was the last time Dartford tasted victory on 26 November. The 1-0 triumph came in 1991 and 25 years on the Darts are hoping to win another cup tie. Since then, Dartford had a day to forget slumping to a 6-1 defeat to Kent rivals Dover Athletic in the same competition in 2002. Two F.A Trophy ties ended 0-0 against AFC Wimbledon in 2005 and Eastbourne Borough five years ago. The Darts went out against the Dons in the replay but managed to defeat Eastbourne Borough at the second attempt. Barnet were the last team to take on the Darts in the league just three years ago, the Bees winning 2-0. Three games without a goal on 26 November, Dartford will be hoping to make amends this weekend.