Dartford v Wealdstone FA Trophy Last 16 Match Preview
Wealdstone head to Dartford on Tuesday night (14 February) to take on the Conference South high fliers in the much postponed FA Trophy last 16 tie. The game was originally scheduled to take place on the 4th of February; however the arctic weather conditions have meant that neither side has seen any action for the best part of two weeks but the recent thaw should enable the game to go ahead at Princes Park
The last time Stones reached this stage of the competition was in 1986, when they of course went on to win the trophy as well as claiming the Conference title during the most successful season in the clubs history.
This season’s FA Trophy run has been a highly dramatic one for Stones, culminating in their superb win over Blue Square Premier side AFC Barrow in the last round with goals from Richard Jolly and Britt Assombalonga handing them a historic 2-1 victory over their professional counterparts. Stones fans will no doubt be hoping for more of the same as they look to book their place in the quarter finals.
Dartford are currently a team in great form, with manager Tony Burman having been named Blue Square Bet South manager of the month for January as he led his side to victory in all seven league and cup matches last month. One of the main reasons for the Darts recent good run has been the form of captain Elliot Bradbrook, with the former Maidstone United man having netted 6 times in January on his way to picking up the Blue Square Bet South player of the month award.
Wealdstone do of course come into this contest in some inspired form of their own, having tasted defeat just once in their last 17 games. They will also once again no doubt be back by a large vociferous following that despite now having to travel midweek will be making as much noise as possible in an attempt to roar their side into the quarter finals.
The key man for Stones will once again be top scorer Richard Jolly, with the prolific striker having scored an incredible 29 times already this season. Nine of these goals have also come in the FA Trophy, including two hatricks, one in the 4-0 victory over Banbury in the 3rd Qualifying round and one in the next round during the 5-0 romp of near neighbours Uxbridge. One player who they will have to do without however is Britt Assombalonga; the popular forward now having been recalled by parent club Watford and subsequently loaned to Braintree Town. Whilst the youngster will no doubt be missed there are several experienced players that will be available for selection on what will no doubt be another highly dramatic night in this rollercoaster of a cup run for Stones.
For those fans wanting to travel to the game by public transport, directions can be found here.
By Stuart Warren