By Laura Howard
Hampton & Richmond will be welcoming familiar faces back to Beveree Stadium as they face Dartford on Saturday, including former manager Alan Dowson.
The Darts manager was at the helm when Hampton & Richmond got promoted to the National League South in 2016, winning the Isthmian League title in the process.
Former Beavers captain, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, will also make his return to the Beveree as well as Tommy Block and Brandon Barzey.
Both teams enter the clash off the back of wins. Hampton came back to win 2-1 last weekend away at Havant & Waterlooville, whilst Dartford racked up their second win on the bounce with victory over Chippenham Town.
On form, the two teams look evenly matched. The Darts have picked up six points in their last five games with the Beavers having won seven in the same period.
It’s the Kent side who sit higher in the table, three points ahead of Hampton. It would, however, take victory by a significant margin for the Beavers to move ahead on Saturday.
Hampton & Richmond will also be battling history to get a result on Saturday with the Beavers failing to win against Dartford in their last six clashes.
Mel Gwinnett, however, does remain unbeaten in his encounters as Hampton manager with Dartford, having earnt draws in both his games in charge. Most recently, the Beavers came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw through a late Dean Inman goal earlier in the reverse fixture this season. Brandon Barzey was also sent off in that fixture for a late challenge on Ruaridh Donaldson.
Dartford’s most successful season came in 2012/13 when they pushed for play-off spot in the National League, eventually coming 8th. They finished as the highest part-time side in the country that year.
With the return of Jordan Thomas from suspension on Saturday, the Beavers will be hoping to build on their performance at Havant with another three points in front of a home crowd at Beveree.