Archives for : October2012

Dartford v Mansfield Town


Dartford’s busy schedule continues on Friday night when they play Mansfield Town in front of the television cameras.

The Darts have taken part in two cup ties since their last Conference Premier match away to Barrow which ended 0-0. A run of two successive draws was ended in a replay on Tuesday night as Dartford missed out on a F.A Cup first round tie against League Two side Port Vale.

Harry Crawford headed in his seventh competitive goal at Princes Park on 27 minutes but the lead did not last long for the Darts. Forest Green had a goal chalked off as Rovers were awarded a free kick, however Yan Klukowski expertly scored from the dead ball situation to level the replay.

Klukowski gave the visitors the lead in the second half with a drilled effort from long range, the midfielder’s sixth of the season set Rovers on their way. England C international Matthew Taylor punished Dartford with a third goal, Forest Green’s top scorer took advantage of a second Louis Wells mistake and former Ebbsfleet United player Magno Vieira netted a fourth to secure a place in the first round.

Mansfield Town have had a mixed season so far after showing so much promise in the second half of the 2011/12 campaign. The Stags finished third despite racking up an impressive 89 points and winning 16 of their final 20 league games. Perhaps Mansfield Town have not recovered from the play off disappointed and so far they occupy tenth place in the Conference Premier.

On Saturday the Stags safely negotiated a passage to the F.A Cup first round beating Conference North side Workington 2-1. Jake Speight scored a brace to add to his six league goals before a late strike from the spot by Workington’s Garth Arnison. Victory was the clubs second in succession following a last minute 1-0 win against Forest Green Rovers.

Form wise the Stags have fared better at home boasting the third best record. However, they have struggled on their travels in the Conference Premier with a solitary win, a draw and four defeats, only Hyde have a worse record away from home. Manager Paul Cox has struggled to find a settled side but remain six points from the top five.

Princes Park will host a live fixture for the first time thanks to coverage by Premier Sports.

Team News

Dartford will be without midfielder Tom Champion who picked his fifth yellow of the season in the F.A Cup replay on Tuesday night.

Exodus Geohaghon missed out on playing Dartford when he was at Kidderminster Harriers back in August. The defender moved to the Stags that week and he missed Saturday’s cup tie against Workington. Ryan Tafazolli and striker Nick Wright were also left off the Mansfield Town team sheet. Striker Jake Speight and former Port Vale midfielder Gary Roberts both face suspensions if they pick up another caution.

Current League Form

Dartford (DLWWWW) Mansfield Town
Barrow A 0-0 Forest Green Rovers H 1-0
AFC Telford United H 1-4 Lincoln City H 0-0
Grimsby Town A 2-0 Cambridge United A 1-4
Hyde H 2-1 Hereford United H 1-1
Braintree Town A 2-0 AFC Telford United A 2-2
Wrexham A 2-2 Braintree Town H 2-0

Dartford lost their last home match which was their first time the side dropped points at Princes Park since the opening day of the season.

Mansfield Town have picked up one point out of the last 12 available on the road.


0 – The Darts are one of six clubs yet to concede a goal in the first 15 minutes of league matches this season

4 – Like last season Mansfield Town are okay in the goals for column, however defensively they have conceded four times in four of their last five defeats.

29 – Mansfield Town have used 29 different players more than any other Conference Premier team this season

33 – Dartford have scored in every home game this season. In their last 33 league matches at Princes Park only Chelmsford City have kept the Darts strike force at bay.

Dartford v Forest Green Rovers


Dartford have the chance to avenge their F.A Cup defeat to Port Vale if they can overcome Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday night.

A well earned draw at the New Lawn ensured the Darts were in the draw for the F.A Cup first round for the second time in three years.

Dartford will have to face Forest Green Rovers in a replay before meeting them in the Conference Premier in a fortnight.

James Norwood became the first player to score in a fixture between the two sides with an excellent strike after 12 minutes. In the second half, Ryan Hayes capitalised on a poor clearance to set up Jacob Erskine who scored his third of the season.

Louis Wells returned for the Darts after his two month injury lay-off and made a fine save from Norwood’s header. Lee Noble almost won the cup tie in the final minutes when his low effort went wide of the goal. Yet again the Darts put in a committed display and will hope home advantage will give them the edge in the replay.

Tom Champion and Elliot Bradbrook returned to action after missing the 0-0 draw at Barrow last week. Bradbrook took the captains armband back from Mark Arber and completed a full 90 minutes. Champion started from the bench and replaced Jon Wallis with almost half hour to play. Adam Green was included in the squad for the second game running as a substitute.

Dartford’s last F.A Cup run to the fist round consisted of three replays over four rounds. After defeating Lowestoft Town at the first attempt the Darts beat Canvey Island 9-8 in a nerve racking penalty shoot out and took two attempts to see off Leiston. The Darts were so close to causing a shock result in the first round when they drew 1-1 at home to League Two side Port Vale before being overpowered in the replay 4-0.

The winner of Tuesday nights fourth qualifying round replay will face Port Vale.

Forest Green Rovers v Dartford


Dartford face a tough tie on Saturday when they travel to The New Lawn to play Forest Green Rovers in the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round.

The Darts last faced the Gloucestershire club when their opponents were on the rise to the Conference Premier. Fifteen years ago the two sides competed against each other for the first time in the Southern League South Division. Dartford held the eventual champions 0-0 home and away and so this fixture is yet to feature a goal.

That season was Dartford’s first back in the Southern League having earned promotion by taking the runners up spot the year before in the Kent League. Rovers went on to win the Southern Premier division in their next campaign and promotion to the Conference, where they have stayed since 1998. Currently the longest serving club in this years Conference Premier, Forest Green Rovers are arguably the toughest draw in the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round.

Dartford will be glad to have had a week to recover from the long journey to the north west coast to play Barrow. The well earned point was just what the side needed following their 4-1 home defeat versus AFC Telford United. Despite one point from the last six Dartford were the in form side leading up to the last couple of league games and occupy a respectable sixth place.

Tony Burman spoke to BBC Radio Kent after the 0-0 draw with Barrow, he said: “I’m pleased we got something out of the game, it’s a difficult place to come and a very long way to come”, he added: “First half we were okay but didn’t trouble Barrow too much. We had to grind out a result and that’s what we did”.

Forest Green Rovers are looking upwards and are currently making a bid to reach the football league. Since September they have not been outside the top three, until Saturday’s defeat away at Mansfield Town. A last minute winner from Mansfield Town’s Matt Rhead separated the two sides. For the first time in two years Rovers have lost three consecutive matches to drop from second to fifth. Last weekends reverse followed loses at home to Tamworth and away against promotion rivals Wrexham.

Rovers had a host of players who were selected to represent England C against Albania this week, unfortunately the friendly was cancelled. Ever present defender Jamie Turley and his defensive partner Eddie Oshodi made the squad as well as midfielder Kieron Forbes and top scorer Matthew Taylor.

Manager David Hockaday realises the Darts will prove to be a stern test in reaching the first round, he said: “Dartford at home will not be an easy game: they have been playing well and so have we – so it should be an entertaining encounter”, he added: “We could have had an easier draw but we could have had a harder one as well – we could have drawn Dartford away. Being at home is a bonus”.

The Darts have only reached the F.A Cup first round once in the last 22 years when they took League Two’s Port Vale to a replay just two years ago.

Team News

Dartford’s injury list has threatened to increase this week with midfielder’s Tom Champion and Elliot Bradbrook being left at home from the trip to Barrow. Danny Harris couldn’t complete the 90 minutes on Saturday after picking up an injury and Adam Green has not featured since Dartford’s first win of the season. Marcus Bettenelli returns to Fulham to be replaced by the now fit Louis Wells.

Forest Green Rovers look like they will be without midfielder Jamie Collins who suffered a knee injury. The 28 year old missed his first league match of the season against Mansfield Town on Saturday. Former Watford midfielder Al Bangura hobbled off against Wrexham and missed Tuesday night’s home game against Tamworth. However, the one time Sierra Leone international is expected to be back soon.

Current Form

Forest Green Rovers (LLLWWW) Dartford (DLWWWW)
Mansfield Town A 0-1 Barrow A 0-0
Tamworth H 1-2 AFC Telford United H 1-4
Wrexham A 1-2 Grimsby Town A 2-0
Lincoln City H 3-0 Hyde H 2-1
Hereford United A 2-1 Braintree Town A 2-0
Macclesfield Town A 2-1 Wrexham A 2-2

Dartford are unbeaten in four away matches going 318 minutes without conceding a goal.

Forest Green Rovers suffered their first defeat at The New Lawn this season against Tamworth after a six game unbeaten run at home.

F.A Cup Performances (2001-2012)

Barrow v Dartford


After suffering their heaviest defeat of the season on Tuesday night the Darts aim to bounce back with a long trip to Barrow on Non League Day.

Dartford’s last journey to Holker Street ended in a 2-1 victory during their last spell in the Conference Premier which was to be their last away win of that season. Four months later the Darts completed a rare double winning 3-2 at Watling Street, which ended up being their last triumph of the 1985/86 campaign. The Darts have only played Barrow six times in each of their stints in the top flight of non league football.

Preparations for the weekend suffered a set back on Tuesday night as Tony Burman’s side were beaten 4-1 by AFC Telford United at Princes Park. The defeat keeps Dartford in the last playoff position and is the first time the team have lost in six league and cup matches.

Former Northern Ireland international Steve Jones opened the scoring when he made the most of some questionable defending. Two minutes later the 35 year old striker scored another to double the lead and his goal tally for the season. A deflected shot in the second half from Luke Hubbins made it 3-0 and a fourth was added in style when a 30 yarder was sent flying into Marcus Bettenelli’s net by Phil Trainer. Elliot Bradbrook nodded home a consolation but the hosts were unable to make the most of their chances throughout the ninety minutes.

Despite defeat fans applauded the performance considering the visitors were clinical in their finishing. Tony Burman also recognised the harshness of the league and told BBC Radio Kent: “We haven’t punished them in the first 20 minutes, we made two mistakes and got punished severely”, he added: “I don’t think we’ve played that badly. That’s what this league is about, you’ll play well and you’ll lose”.

The loss put an end to an exceptional run which included away wins at Braintree Town and Grimsby Town and a credible draw at Wrexham. Dartford’s fine form has propelled the Darts into fifth spot and will be hoping to overcome nineteenth place Barrow.

Barrow have shown some fighting spirit over the last week with back to back wins for the first time this season. Last Saturday the Bluebirds trailed 2-0 against Braintree Town before coming back to win 3-2, Louis Almond scored before the break and equalised with nine minutes to go. In the last minute summer signing Danny Rowe won it for Barrow.

Yet again on Tuesday night the Bluebirds staged a dramatic come back. Southport were two up after 73 minutes until Adam Boyes netted his fourth and fifth goals of the season the up popped up Richie Baker with four minutes remaining to earn Barrow their first home win in the league this season.

The two time F.A Trophy winners failed to win any of their first seven league matches but they have been lifted up the table after better performances since September. The Bluebirds are hoping for an improvement on their average gate of 879 by giving away 1200 free tickets to junior school children who will gain free entry with a paying adult.

Team News

Tom Champion picked up an injury in Tuesday nights defeat and was substituted with twenty minutes to go. Louis Wells and Adam Green have missed out on the last 12 and 10 league matches respectively.

Head to Head

Barrow Wins: 2 / Dartford Wins 3 / Draws: 1

Last Six Meetings

1986 Dartford 3 Barrow 2
1985 Barrow 1 Dartford 2
1985 Dartford 2 Barrow 0
1984 Barrow 0 Dartford 0
1982 Barrow 2 Dartford 0
1981 Dartford 0 Barrow 2

Current Form

Barrow (WWWDWL) Dartford (LWWWDW)
Southport H 3-2 AFC Telford United H 1-4
Braintree Town A 3-2 Grimsby Town A 2-0
Cambridge United H 1-4 Hyde H 2-1
Wrexham A 0-3 Braintree Town A 2-0
Ebbsfleet United A 4-2 Wrexham A 2-2
Newport County H 0-3 Hereford United H 4-0

Barrow have managed one win at Holker Street this campaign which came at their seventh attempt.

Dartford are unbeaten in three away games, winning their last two matches on the road.


4.37 – The last eight matches involving Barrow have averaged 4.37 goals per game, the league average is 3.05 goals per game

12 – Games since the Bluebirds kept a clean sheet, the longest sequence in the Conference Premier this season

15 – The most goals conceded at home by any club Barrow also have the worst home record in this campaign

Barrow may have left it late to win their last two matches but Dartford have scored the most goals in the final fifteen minutes of games. The Darts also like to keep it tight at the back for the first quarter of an hour as the graph below suggests:

Dartford v AFC Telford United


Dartford aim to make it six home wins on the bounce on Tuesday night when they host AFC Telford United.

The last meetings between the two sides came in Dartford’s last stint at the top of non league football. Both matches ended 2-1 with home advantage being key to the outcome. The Darts won at Watling Street in September 1985 but the Bucks reversed the score two months later.

In an incredible start to their campaign the Darts are in fifth position following Saturday’s excellent 2-0 away win at Grimsby Town. Tony Burman celebrated his manager of the month award for September with another three points to increase his sides unbeaten run to five league matches.

With the scores level at the break Dartford took the lead on 52 minutes when Tom Champion opened his account for the season. With the home side pressing to salvage a point loan signing Adam Birchall scored his first for the Darts with a fine goal to wrap up the match and end Grimsby Town’s ten game unbeaten run.

Burman was pleased by his sides excellent performance, he spoke to BBC Radio Kent and said: “We took the game to Grimsby. When we scored it gave us the belief to win the game. Our play and our support was excellent”, he added: “We know what we’re supposed to be doing. We feel people are not giving us any chance. It’s a bit disrespectful, we deserve to be where we are”.

AFC Telford United managed to stop a winless streak on the weekend after overcoming Conference South champions Woking. A penalty was dispatched by former Premier League striker Darren Byfield after just seven minutes. The much needed win for the Bucks arrived after a barren spell of six games in which they drew four times.

Andy Sinton’s team are seven points behind the Darts in ninth place but are very much the draw specialists in the Conference Premier. Only beaten three times, AFC Telford United have drawn six and won four which included beating Luton Town 1-0 with nine men.

Whilst the Darts have only been defeated once at Princes Park, AFC Telford United have only been beaten once on their travels. If previous history is anything to go by then it could be a close encounter.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 14 / AFC Telford United wins: 13 / Draws: 8

Current Form

Dartford (WWWDWL) AFC Telford United (WDLDDD)
Grimsby Town A 2-0 Woking H 1-0
Hyde H 2-1 Gateshead A 1-1
Braintree Town A 2-0 Newport County H 2-4
Wrexham A 2-2 Mansfield Town H 2-2
Hereford United H 4-0 Cambridge United A 3-3
Gateshead A 0-2 Lincoln City H 1-1

Dartford have won five in a row at home, the longest streak in the division.

AFC Telford United are without an away win in their last three attempts.

Team News

James Rogers sat out Saturday’s win through illness, Louis Wells is still regaining fitness and Adam Green has not featured since his injury picked up almost two months ago.

Kieron St Aimie and Daniel Preston are suspended for the red cards they picked up in the Bucks 4-2 defeat against Newport County. Last season’s top scorer for the Bucks, Chris Sharp returned to the side on Saturday as he racked up 14 minutes, the striker has been out with a groin injury. Luke Hubbins managed a half in AFC Telford United’s 1-0 win as he had to withdraw from the action due to illness.


5 – AFC Telford United have had five players sent off this season, more than any other club in the league.

14 – Dartford have had 14 different goalscorers in their Conference Premier campaign so far, the most by any team.

16 – The amount of league goals Dartford have scored at Princes Park this season, the most goals scored at home in the division

The Darts have scored the most number of goals in the final fifteen minutes, below is a table of the top five teams who leave scoring late.

Team Goals
Dartford 10
Macclesfield Town 9
Forest Green Rovers 8
Nuneaton 7
Newport County 7