After a month away for personal reasons, Walking With The Darts is back with another monthly update in the latest issue of Dartford Living Magazine.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to get a copy of the latest issue, here is the full Walking With The Darts article:

Hello again, welcome to another edition of Walking With The Darts, a monthly update on all things related to Dartford FC, courtesy of Dartford Living Magazine.

I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise for the lack of an article last month. Personal circumstances got in the way, and I was unable to write my piece in time for it to go to printing, so I apologise for that.

The schedule has been extremely hectic for all involved with Dartford FC recently, as the games come thick and fast for both the men’s First Team and Dartford FC Women.

With the First Team being on the receiving end of a shock early exit in the FA Cup Qualifying Rounds at the hands of an excellent Beckenham Town team back in September, Alan Dowson has taken advantage of the free dates by altering league fixtures in order to get them played earlier than expected. This has seen the Darts go on an incredible run of results of eleven wins, one draw, and a defeat in all competitions in the last 13 games. Unfortunately, the unbeaten record of twelve games came to a shuddering halt last weekend (Saturday 12th November) after a 3-1 defeat at the hands of an excellently organised Farnborough side.

The excellent recent form of the team saw Alan Dowson collect the recent Vanarama National League South Manager of The Month Award, which is well deserved to say the least! So, congratulations and thank you to him and his coaching staff for all the hard work they do in order to bring us success on the pitch. The team has climbed up to second place in the league table and continues to battle it out with Ebbsfleet United and Havant & Waterlooville for top spot.

By the time you read this, Tom Bonner and Co will surely have bounced back from the recent defeat with a strong performance on the road again, as we travel to Swindon Supermarine in the Second Round of The Isuzu FA Trophy. That fixture will then be followed by further trips on the road to Oxford City and Ebbsfleet United, as November sees the team rack up a few miles. The latter game will see the Darts begin their defence of the Kent Senior Cup against our local rivals in what should be a feisty game!

As far as the squad is concerned, goalkeeper Dan Wilks has recovered from the ankle injury he picked up at Taunton Town earlier in the season. However, with Wolves loanee Joe Young performing so well, Dan has joined Hayes & Yeading United on loan in order to get minutes on the pitch. Striker Dan Roberts has also gone back out on loan, having signed for National League South strugglers Hungerford Town. Midfielder Jack Smith’s loan from Stevenage Town has been extended, while fellow midfield man Joshua Johnson has proved to be effective since his arrival on loan from Oxford United.

Meanwhile, Connor Dymond and his Dartford FC Women’s side continue to impress and make history of their own. Last weekend (Sunday 13th November) saw the ladies take part in their first ever Vitality Women’s FA Cup (proper) First Round. The game took place in front of 233 supporters on the Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park main pitch against Ascot United Women, where they dominated for a majority of the 120 minutes. Two superb free-kicks from Georgie Davis and Shauni Griffiths ensured that the game remained locked at 2-2, before they endured the extra time and then a penalty shootout. That was locked at 5-5 and, as we nervously watched the sudden death knockout spot-kicks, goalkeeper Jade Charlton (who only delivered her second baby in August!) saved the decisive kick to see the Darts through with an 8-7 success. The historical moment was fantastic to witness, and they now host Hashtag United FC Women in the 2nd round.

By the time you have read this, the ladies would have also faced Ashford United Ladies FC in the Quarter Final of the Kent Cup, as well as continued their league campaign which has been disrupted a little due to the successful cup runs. The team currently occupies fifth place in The London & South-East Regional Women’s Premier Division, having won four of their opening eight games.

So, a huge congratulations to Connor and his team for making history! Let’s hope that the good form continues and they achieve well-deserved success this season.

Finally in other, more disturbing news, the club has been forced to update its policy concerning 13-17-year-old supporters. With reports of disturbances and other anti-social behaviour at games, the club has had to make important changes to protect everyone at games, including the players and match officials. Please check out the official Dartford FC website for more information and how these policy updates might affect you.

As always, thank you for your continued support and thanks for reading.

By Chris Palmer