City have to blunt the Darts
Tony Burman’s side in town this Saturday
AFTER a turbulent week that has seen St Albans City lose their relegation showdowns with Thurrock and Dorchester the Saints will be looking to get back on track when Dartford visit Clarence Park on Saturday.
ADDRESS: Clarence Park, York Road, St Albans, Herts, AL1 4PL
Tel: 01727 864296
THE LOWDOWN: Dartford joined Blue Square Bet South in the summer having romped to the Ryman Premier Division title.
Tony Burman spent the off season building a squad full of experienced Conference South performers but despite being able to call upon that experience it has proved to be a difficult first season in the league for the Darts.
It is only recently that the Kent side have pulled themselves away from the relegation battle but now find themselves comfortably in 13th place.
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The club’s biggest margin of victory this season in the league came with 4-1 wins over both Farnborough and Weston-super-Mare while their biggest defeat saw them slump to a 4-0 defeat at home to Dorchester.
THE SQUAD: The name that really stands out on the Dartford squad list is that of Charlie Sheringham.
The striker, the son of former England, Manchester United and Tottenham forward Teddy, is the Darts’ leading scorer with 13 goals having arrived at Princes Park in the summer from Bishop’s Stortford. Sheringham netted both goals in Dartford’s 2-2 draw with City a fortnight ago and also grabbed two in the club’s 3-0 defeat of Lewes.
Sheringham’s goals will be even more vital to the cause after on-loan striker Jon Main was recalled by AFC Wimbledon and shipped out to Conference South rivals Dover Athletic.
As a result Danny Harris is likely to feature alongside Sheringham fresh from scoring a wonder goal in the 3-0 defeat of Lewes last weekend. Harris is in his second season at Princes Park having arrived from Bishop’s Stortford and he also includes East Thurrock on his CV.
There is a strong ex-Stortford presence at Dartford with goalkeeper Andy Young and defenders Matt Jones and Paul Goodacre all former favourites at Woodside Park.
Goalkeeper Young has been with the Darts for three seasons now and was a member of the Stortford side that enjoyed a lengthy run in the FA Trophy in 2005.
Centre half Goodacre was a former captain at Stortford before heading down the A14 to play for Braintree last season. The experienced defender joined Dartford in the summer and netted his first goal for the club in their 3-0 win over Canvey Island in the FA Cup.
The latest player to switch Stortford for Dartford is former St Albans City right-back Matt Jones. The ex-Stortford captain moved to Kent in January after notching up 193 appearances for City’s county rivals.
Fellow defender Joe Bruce also counts Stortford amongst his former employers as well as enjoying spells with City’s neighbours Luton Town and Hitchin Town while Tom Champion scored the winning goal when Stortford won the Herts Senior Cup in 2005/06. Champion has operated in midfield this season for Dartford having also appeared for Barnet.
Left-back Tom Bonner started out at Northampton Town where he earned a professional contract but after failing to make an appearance for the first team the Scottish defender moved on and has been with Rushden, Heybridge and Ilkeston prior to joining Dartford.
It was the goals of Lee Burns that helped fire Dartford to the Ryman Premier Division title last season. The top scorer joined Tony Burman’s outfit in the summer of 2009 having spent two seasons with Braintree Town.
Midfielder James White’s early career saw him on the books with both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur before making a name for himself at Great Wakering Rovers. White joined Dartford in the summer of 2008 and was sent off during the game with City a fortnight ago.
Elliot Bradbrook was named captain for the 2010/11 season, his third with the club. Bradbrook was snapped up from Maidstone a club he enjoyed two spells with either side of studying at university in America.
LAST TIME: Paul Bastock’s last appearance in a St Albans City shirt provided plenty of thrills and spills as the two sides shared a 2-2 draw.
Inih Effiong’s first half strike was cancelled out immediately by the first of Charlie Sheringham’s brace and the former Stortford striker netted soon after the interval to put the home side in front.
James White saw red after accumulating to yellow cards, the first of which was issued after a 20-man brawl erupted following a challenge by Matt Jones on City’s Jonathan O’Donnell.
The drama wasn’t over there though as Effiong saw an excellent shot rattle the cross bar before Ryan Hayes missed a last minute penalty after Bastock was adjudged to have fouled Jon Main.
REFEREE (subject to change): Ian Rathbone (Northamptonshire) assisted by M Wardell & S Barry.
There will be no CITYLIVE coverage of this game.