The Kent based Dartford play at Princes Park. A capacity of 4,100, the ground was opened in 2006, seeing Dartford find home in their new environmentally friendly stadium. They had played in several other grounds prior, most notably ground sharing with Ebbsfleet United at Stonebridge Road, commonly known as the Kuflink Stadium.
LAST SEASON’S MEETINGS
Chelmsford City 1-0 Dartford (3rd December 2022) – One of the few games that the Clarets were able to play in December brought table-toppers Dartford to Essex. A close matched game was settled with late drama, as Louis Dunne’s 90th minute cross missed everyone and bounced into the back of the net, to give the Clarets all 3 points.
Dartford 1-2 Chelmsford City (25th March 2023) – As the season was drawing to a conclusion, both sides were battling for the playoffs, seeing this as a crucial match. The Darts took the lead through Luke Coulson in the first half, and looked to be taking the 3 points. However, former Dartford loanee Ody Alfa rifled home an equaliser in off the post to level the scores, with just minutes to play. With a point a piece likely, Giovanni McGregor then stepped up, curling an effort into the far post in the 93rd minute, to send the Pleb army wild as the Clarets stole the 3 points at the dead.
A FEW CLUB LINKS
Both of the Clarets’ goal scorers at Princes Park last season, Giovanni McGregor and Ody Alfa, had been on loan at Dartford previously. Their loan spells in Essex were better than the ones in Kent, with the game between the sides their highlight. Charlie Sheringham swapped Essex for Kent last summer, returning to the Darts for his fourth spell. With the Clarets, he managed 14 league goals in 37 appearances, before departing. Last season, he scored 6 times in 23 league games for Dartford as he suffered with injuries throughout the season. Samir Carruthers went the other way this summer, after a standout season for Dartford, scoring 10 in 35 from midfield.
Dartford’s boss, Alan Dowson has been in the dugout since May 2022. He had previously managed Hampton & Richmond, where he guided them to a playoff final defeat, before heading to Woking. He got The Cards promoted at the first time of asking, but could not build from there, as in January 2022, his 4-year stay was ended. His first season in charge of the Darts can be branded a successful one, as he looks to take them back to the National League.
For the 6th time in 7 seasons, Dartford were in the playoffs. Dowson had guided them to a 2nd place finish, were they progressed automatically to the Semi-Finals. St Albans were their competitors, as the sides looked for a place in the final. A 1-1 scoreline after 120 minutes brought penalties, where Dartford fell short once again, as they lost 5-3. They also did not impress in the Kent Senior Cup, as they were knocked out by rivals Ebbsfleet United, in the 2nd round.