Bath City v Dartford Preview

City welcome old rivals and friends Dartford to Twerton Park on Saturday. One of the pre-season favourites for promotion, the Kent club have made a fine start and top the embryonic league table, winning all four matches, scoring eleven goals and only conceding two. Their two away fixtures have seen 3-1 and 2-0 wins at St Albans and Dulwich respectively.

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Their manager Steve King will need no introduction to City fans as the Darts will be the fourth club he has managed against us and has suffered only two defeats.

He has certainly seen a revival in fortunes since taking the job at Princes Park, initially hauling the Darts away from the lower reaches of the division after his mid-season arrival and then finishing second in the 20/21 curtailed season.

King has overhauled the squad during the summer, bringing in the well-travelled Jake Robinson who had already scored 211 goals in 289 National League South matches for the likes of Hemel and Billericay.

All of this appears to be bad news for a City team who have suffered defeats in their last two matches, including the painful afternoon at Oxford on Monday. No doubt Jerry Gill has worked the squad hard to put thing right leading up to Saturday’s match and any disconsolate supporters should cast their minds back a few months…

Following the huge disappointment of falling to Peterborough Sports in the FA Trophy, City faced high flying Havant & Waterlooville just three days later. The team showed great character that evening and sent their highly fancied opponents back home on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat.

After Chippenham, Dartford are in fact our oldest opponents in this division with over 90 fixtures played in various competitions, the very first played way back in 1930. The City romped home 7-0 and 6-0 in two encounters played around sixty years ago and we were probably seen as the Darts’ bogey team in the 80s and 90s with City unbeaten in 13 matches.

The two clubs didn’t meet in the 25 years before 2015 and the tables have certainly turned since with City only winning one of the ten matches played, a fine 3-0 victory in the Darts’ last visit to Twerton in November 2019. Eleven months later at Princes Park a goal by Husin gave Dartford the three points in our only meeting last season, a match mainly remembered for the extended half time in order that a replacement referee’s assistant could be found.

So can City come back quickly from the disappointments of the bank holiday weekend or will their visitors from Kent continue their winning start to the season? We hope to see you here at Twerton Park on Saturday to find out the answer!