Welling United v Dartford preview
Welling United v Dartford preview

Although in miles, there is little between the two sides, Dartford and Welling United are far apart in their aspirations for the season.

Steve King’s Dartford are top of the league and title favourites whilst Welling lost their manager and assistant last week in the midst of a squad rebuild. Last week, Welling were knocked out of the F.A. Cup by a lower league side while Dartford rested a lot of their players but still beat Hythe Town 5-1.

Therefore, when the two teams meet at Welling’s Park View Road many will consider the result to be a foregone conclusion. However, King will be wary knowing that local derbies don’t always go to form.

Following the resignations of Steve Lovell and Tristan Lewis last Sunday, Welling chairman Mark Goldberg has a favoured replacement but there are some details to iron out so Goldberg himself, with some assistance from Hugo Langton, will take charge this weekend.

Due to Covid-19 causing last season to be finished early, there was no meeting between the two clubs at Welling however, they did meet at Princes Park. Co-incidentally it was Lovell’s first game in charge of the Wings. Lyle Della-Verde put Welling ahead and Dartford should have had a player sent off before the break but King was given the chance to substitute him at half time.

Two minutes into the second half, Dipo Akinyemi converted from the spot. Dartford came back strongly and Luke Allen pulled one back before  Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong scored the equaliser. Dartford had a couple of good chances after that but both clubs had good claims of deserving to win.

As often happens when local clubs meet, there are players who have represented both clubs. Dan Wilks, Josh Hill, Jack Jebb, George Porter, Luke Wanadio and Dan Wilks are all Darts who have previously represented Welling.

Images courtesy of Dave Budden