Cards face desperate Darts
11:42am, Fri 27th Dec 2013
Dartford v Woking
3pm on Saturday 28 December 2013
The Darts have lost 10 league games in a row and will be desperate to halt that run with a win over rivals Woking. The Cards, for their part, will be keen to make amends for a poor display against Salisbury City on Boxing Day. Expect the usual tough encounter with no-holds barred. Let’s hope the pitch at Princes Park survives the latest bout of bad weather.
A bright opening on Boxing Day, which saw Jack Marriott notch his ninth goal in nine games, went rapidly downhill as poor defending allowed a very committed Salisbury side to claw their way back into the game and then take control as the Cards became increasingly smothered in midfield, barely testing the Whites keeper in the second half.
The Cards will be without Scott Rendell at Princes Park, his successful loan spell having ended. It will be interesting to see how Garry Hill lines up his side to compensate for Scott’s absence.
The Darts have hit a dreadful run of poor form. When the two teams met in mid-November (see below) the Darts lay in 18th place, four points and four places above the Cards. But the continuing run of defeats has now left Tony Burman’s side in 23rd place, eleven points and seven places behind the Cards. The Darts’ latest defeat came on Boxing Day when they succumbed 2-1 at home to Kent neighbours, Welling United.
The Darts seem to have suffered from the loss of a couple of key defenders during the summer, with both Tom Champion and Tom Bonner joining Cambridge United, and they have also been hit by injury problems. But they still have some fine players in their squad, including the sharp-shooting Ryan Hayes, the influential midfielder Elliott Bradbrook, experienced defender Lee Burns and goalscorer Lee Noble. Among the summer arrivals were keeper Alan Julian from Newport County, defender Tyrone Sterling from Dover Athletic, defender Mat Mitchel-King from AFC Wimbledon, and defender Kenny Clark and midfielder Max Cornhill, both from Chelmsford City. A much-trumpeted capture was the long-term loan signing of striker Adam Birchall from Gillingham.
The Darts have recently lost two loan signings, both Matt Godden and Connor Essam being recalled by Scunthorpe and Crawley respectively.
Kent DA1 1RT
The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 12.30pm. The cost is £12 for members and £17 for non-members. The Club Shop is closed, so, if you want to book a place on the coach, phone Rosemary Johnson on 01483 776609. (Rosemary is also taking bookings for the trip to Salisbury on New Year’s Day.)
Take the M25 eastbound. Exit at J2 (towards A2(E)/Canterbury/M2/Dartford). Then at roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the ramp to Dartford/A225. At the Princes Road interchange roundabout take the 1st exit onto Princes Road/A296, heading towards Dartford/Crayford/A225. Continue to follow Princes Road, then turn left at Darenth Road traffic lights and second left into Grassbanks. Journey time is around 60 minutes according to the AA.
You’ll need to head up to London to Waterloo East. Trains to Dartford leave at 05, 12, 35, 43 and 59 minutes past the hour, with the journey taking about 40 minutes. Returning, trains are at 18, 22, 29, 48 and 59 minutes past the hour.
The Dartford FC website gives the following directions for getting from the station to the ground. Exit station straight ahead towards the Orchard Theatre/Shopping Centre. Do NOT cross the bridge but take the steps/ramp down to the bus stops. Then take the Fastrack B service towards Bluewater/Gravesend and alight at the Princes Park stop. Buses run every 10 minutes during the day.
It’s a 10-15 minute walk from Dartford town centre largely alongside the Fastrack busway.
Concessions (Over 65s and age 12-17): £8
Juniors (aged 5-11): £3
Under 5s: Free
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 3 Dartford 0
12 November 2013
This seemed, in prospect, a vital game for the Cards, who had gone five games without a win and, in retrospect, that view was absolutely right for this decisive victory against Dartford marked the beginning of Woking’s climb out of the relegation places and into comparative safe territory.
The game also marked the debut of loan signing Jack Marriott, who soon convinced the Kingfield faithful that he could provide the goalscoring touch which had been missing. Jack nabbed the opening goal in the second half and set up Scott Rendell for the second, with Joe McNerney making the game safe with the third.
Woking: Sam Beasant, Adam Newton, John Nutter, Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Jack Parkinson (Mike Cestor 82), Kevin Betsy, Josh Payne, Scott Rendell, Jack Marriott (Gez Sole 88), Charles Banya (John Goddard 89)
Unused subs: Aaron Howe, Gavin Williams
Goals: Jack Marriott 63, Scott Rendell 75, Joe McNerney 77
Dartford: Alan Julian, Lee Burns, Kenny Clark, Ryan Hayes (Tyrone Sterling 81), Lee Noble, Alex Woodyard (Danny Harris 73), Matt Fry, Max Cornhill, Mat Mitchel-King, Adam Birchall, Matty Godden (Jason Prior 81)
Unused subs: Nathan Collier, Tommy Forecast
Cautions: Lee Noble 76
The Cards are away at Salisbury City on New Year’s Day and are then at home to Hereford United on Saturday 4 January.
Come on, you Cards!