Fleet and Dartford renew acquaintances after 18 years

Excitement builds ahead of first north Kent derby in the league since 1992…


Ebbsfleet United make the short trip to Dartford’s Princes Park for the first league clash between the two near neighbours since April 1992. With the game an all-ticket affair, a spokesman for Dartford FC estimated ticket sales of around 2,000 on Friday morning with a brisk trade reported during the day and fans can still pick up tickets from the Dartford club shop on matchday before kick-off.

On Saturday, the Dartford FC reception desk will be open for cash ticket sales and telephone orders from 9am until the club shop opens at 11.30am. Tickets will continue to be sold in the club shop thereafter. Those people still without tickets are requested to arrive as early as possible before kick off to buy tickets from the shop and to ease congestion before the match.

For the Fleet, who tomorrow will wear all purple, Scott Ginty’s inclusion still looks to be in doubt as the striker’s hamstring problem has not cleared up. The squad has, however, been bolstered with the acquisition of ex-Rushden and Glenn Hoddle Academy defender Ugo Udoji who can operate at right full-back or in the centre of defence. He played in a recent reserve game against Great Wakering Rovers.

Dartford could be without James White and Elliot Bradbrook but having welcomed back hotshot striker Charlie Sheringham against his old club Bishop’s Stortford in midweek, they will be hoping they can unsettle the Fleet defence.

Fleet’s last outing against Dartford was in April 1992 which resulted in a 1-1 draw at Stonebridge Road. Having suffered a 5-0 reverse in the away fixture earlier that season (attendance 1,152), Fleet finished bottom of the league while the Darts enjoyed sixth place in their last full season before they lost their Southern League status the following season.

The two clubs met at Stonebridge Road in an FA Cup tie in 2001, an ‘away’ fixture for the Fleet against tenants Dartford, and the reds ended up 2-0 winners. The Fleet also triumphed in the only other game since 1992, a 4-1 win in the Kent Senior Cup in 2008. Fleet’s last league win over Dartford came on New Year’s Day 1991, a 3-1 win at Stonebridge Road. To find the last win in Dartford itself for a Fleet team you have to go all the way back to January 1983.

Our record against Dartford in all competitions is played 46, won 15, drawn 6, lost 25, goals 51-91.

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