Preview: Sharpshooting Darts Come To Town
Preview written by Peter White.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday following the heart-breaking, injury time defeat to Oldham in The FA Cup on Monday night.
We welcome Dartford to the Jezzards Beveree Stadium as Gary and the boys look to replicate the performance that brought them so close to such a famous victory.
But with The FA Cup run having come to an end, focus shifts swiftly back to the league. The Beavers are without a win since September 15 and will be desperate to turn around a run of four defeats in five that has seen the side slip to 16th in the table.
The Darts will be no pushover, however. After a slow start under co-managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle, last season’s runners-up have been on a fine run of late and have four wins in their last five matches.
Our visitors sit just inside the play-off places in seventh with 27 points. The Beavers are six points behind, albeit having played one game less.
Gary will be looking for an improvement from the last league game which saw Oxford City run out 4-2 winners at the Beveree. Dartford beat Oxford 3-2 on Tuesday night, demonstrating that Saturday’s match will be a tough affair.
Conceding early goals has been an all too common occurrence of late, with the Beavers going behind within six minutes in four of the last five league games. Ahead of the Oldham match, the manager stressed that this had been the focus in training and the defence held on until the death.
The centre-half pairing of Yado Mambo and Rian Bray is steadily becoming more established and strong displays from fullbacks Tyrell Miller-Rodney and Nathan Mavila on Monday night will encourage Gary that the team is improving defensively.
Chris Dickson scored his 12th goal of the season against Oldham and strong attacking performances from Zak Joseph and Jack Connors suggest that there are plenty of goals in the side.
Team selection could be key to the Beavers going one better than the 2-2 draw that this fixture produced last season. Casey Maclaren got the nod ahead of Ricky Wellard in midfield on Monday, while Rhys Murrell-Williamson could be pushing for a start after coming off the bench against Oxford and Oldham.
Charlie Sheringham could be the dangerman to watch out for. The Kent side’s summer signing has three goals in Dartford’s last four games and he has forged a dangerous partnership with Jamie Philpot up front.
Following Monday night’s capacity crowd, there is hope that there may be a few new faces at the Beveree on Saturday. Let’s hope Gary and the boys can give them something to remember by getting the league campaign back on track.