Chelmsford City look to continue their winning run in the Vanarama National League South as they make the trip just over the QE2 bridge to Kent to take on Dartford on Saturday, 25th March, 3pm kickoff.
Dartford sit in 2nd place having played 37 games in the National League South this season. They have won 21, drawn 7 and lost 9, scoring 69 goals and conceding 40 in the league campaign so far which all adds up to 70 league points. Dartford have been the closest challengers to champions-elect Ebbsfleet for most of the season but a recent run by the Darts where they have only won 2 of their last 6 means the Fleet have an 18 point lead at the top of the league.
In terms of players, Dartford have ex Welling keeper Dan Wilks, but they have recently been rotating between him and former Oxford City & Havant goalie Ben Dudzinski. In defence they have the experienced Tom Bonner. Bonner, now 35, is in his 10th season with the Darts cut in half by spells at Cambridge, Dover and Ebbsfleet. They also have Maxwell Statham at fullback. Statham came through the Spurs academy and then moved to Welling last season, and is the son of former Tottenham and Chelmsford City defender Brian Statham. In midfield they have experienced campaigner Kieran Murtagh and former MK Dons and Sheffield United midfielder Samir Carruthers who is their joint top league scorer with 9 this campaign. They also have brought in loanees Jack Smith from Stevenage and Malachi Napa from Wealdstone. Up front Dartford have Pierre Fonkeu, formerly of Hemel, and veteran Alex Wall who has played against the Clarets for numerous clubs and both of whom scored against the Clarets last season. They have recently brought in Harvey Bradbury, son of Eastleigh manager Lee, who has joined on loan from Southern League Dorchester Town.
Dartford had a busy deadline day on Thursday, bringing in centre-back Emmanuel Adebowale formerly of Crawley and Eastbourne, midfielder Richard Chin on loan from Charlton and another midfielder in Bobby Dunn, most recently with Sheffield Wednesday but has spent time more local to Dartford having come through the Charlton academy as well as playing for Ramsgate.
Dartford’s boss is 52 year old Gateshead born Alan Dowson. Dowson took the reins at Dartford in the summer after 4 years in charge at Woking where he lead them to promotion to the National League in 2019. Dowson has also managed Hampton & Richmond & Kingstonian, winning a promotion with each of them. Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler is on the Darts coaching staff.
Chelmsford’s 1-0 win against the Darts in December was manager Robbie Simpson’s first win against the Darts as Clarets boss with 3 defeats and 1 draw against them previously as manager, and City have only scored 2 goals against them in those 5 games. Before that though, Chelmsford City had the eye over Dartford as the Darts only won 1 of the previous 9 in all competitions, including some memorable last gasp moments such as Taylor Miles’ corner that went all the way in, and then Jonny Giles and Rhys Murphy with late goals against the men from Kent in a league game in 2019. City’s last win at Dartford was the Taylor Miles game, with Dartford winning 4 in a row against the Clarets at Princes Park.
The overall record is
Dartford wins: 41 / Chelmsford City wins: 56 / Draws: 23
Chelmsford City captain Dave Winfield is out for Chelmsford as he serves the last of a 2 game ban. Goalkeeper Eddie Beach and defender Jazzi Barnum-Bobb are both on international duty although Simeon Jackson returned to the bench from injury in last weekend’s win against Worthing. Cameron James is a doubt with injury.
Dartford have not played a competitive game for 2 weeks after last week’s trip to Concord was postponed. Defender Jernade Meade is on international duty with Montserrat and will miss the game. Charlie Sheringham and Tommy Block have both been out for some time for the Darts.
Tickets are available on line to buy here
There is no discount in buying in advance.
Adult – £15.00
*Concession (65+) – £10.00
*ID required – the concession rate includes full-time students, unemployed & registered disabled.
As Saturday’s match falls on Non-League Day Dartford are producing some special offers –
All Premier League and EFL Season Ticket Holders are £10 on production of their season ticket
Also all Under 17s are free when accompanied by a paying adult.
How to get there
The Supporters Coach is full but you may be able to get on if there is a drop-out. Please contact Dave Cresswell to check on 07582797001.
If travelling by car, parking is free and Dartford would suggest arriving 45 minutes before kick-off for most games to ensure getting a space. For bigger matches it is advisable to arrive earlier. Upon arrival, entry is through turnstiles at either end of the ground.
From Chelmsford take the A12 and M25 and then:
1. At junction 1b, exit toward Dartford/A225 – 0.2 mi
2. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit toward Dartford/A225 – 0.1 mi
3. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto A296/Princes Rd heading to Dartford/Crayford/A225 Go through 1 roundabout – 0.6 mi
4. Turn left at Darenth Rd – 384 ft
5. Turn second left at Grassbanks – 200ft
By rail, Dartford is the nearest station which is a 10 minute bus ride away.
The Club will be providing coverage of the game on Twitter (@OfficialClarets) using the hashtag #TheClarets.
There will also be live audio commentary from Radio Clarets.
Post-match reports and interviews will be found on the club website, social media and ClaretsTV following the game.
It is set to be a cloudy but mild day with 13 degrees expected during the game. There is a chance of a shower during the afternoon.