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Southport v Dartford

 

The Darts return to their Conference Premier schedule this weekend when the travel up to Southport’s Haig Avenue for the first time.

After two weeks of F.A Trophy action Dartford will be hoping to record their first competitive away win of the year. The Darts last tasted triumph on the road nine games ago back in November.

Tony Burman’s side took on Southport for the first time in the clubs history prior their last away win at Kingstonian. Elliot Bradbrook scored a brace with a well taken long range effort and a penalty. On both occasions the Merseysiders pegged back Dartford with a headed goal from Steve Akrigg and a last minute equaliser from Karl Ledsham.

Saturday’s league fixtures could see significant changes in the Conference Premier standings as the tight and congested middle of the table covers seventh to fourteenth by just six points.

There was no mid week action for Dartford as they recover from their F.A Trophy exploits. Failure to reach Wembley after a 0-0 second leg draw with Grimsby Town has still seen positives from the teams performances, Burman spoke to newsshopper.co.uk and said: “The players gave everything I asked of them and I thought the performance and effort was fine”, he added: “to get to the last four of the competition is a fantastic effort by everyone”.

Dartford’s boss is determined to reach the 50 point target set out at the start of the season. In order to achive this the Darts are just two wins away. At the same time Burman hasn’t taken his eyes of the playoffs but realises form has to pick up to the standards set earlier in the season.

Southport will be looking to make the most of home advantage considering Dartford’s poor form on the road of late. The Sandgrounders have experienced mixed fortunes on their own patch and have one of the leakiest defences in the division, recording their last clean sheet at Haig Avenue against Ebbsfleet United on 15 September 2012.

Liam Watson’s team also missed out on game time on Tuesday night having last played a fixture last week. Hosting Conference South champions Woking the Sandgrounders had a difficult afternoon. Simon Grand was during the first half which the visitors punished before the break when Bradley Bubb opened the scoring. In the second half, Aaron Chalmers equalised for Southport from a free kick netting his first goal for the club. Parity lasted just eight minutes as Bubb completed a brace earning Woking three points.

The loss against Woking ended a four match unbeaten run which included a respectable 2-2 draw away to league leaders Wrexham and a 5-2 mauling of Barrow. The Merseyside club have certainly been in the thick of goal action totalling 114 goals (for and against) in matches they have played, only Cambridge United (116) have seen more but they have played two games extra.

Head to Head

Southport Wins 0 / Dartford Wins: 0 / Draws: 1

Team News

Lee Noble will be suspended for his red card received in the F.A Trophy first leg defeat at Grimsby Town a fortnight ago. The midfielder will serve his second of a four match ban. Mark Arber missed the second leg last week through illness and will be hoping he can recover before Saturday. Lee Burns returned after missing the first leg of the semi-final with a man of the match performance and Jack Evans’s loan spell has been extended.

Simon Grand will start his suspension this weekend after being sent off against Woking on the weekend. The defender has started all but one first team fixture in the Conference Premier this season. Liam Watson has strengthened his squad with the signing of Sean Clancy from second place Kidderminster Harriers. The 25 year old made just three substitute appearances for Harriers in the league this season. Goalkeeper Tony McMillan will play his 200th match for Southport if selected on Saturday, the 31 year old has featured in every league fixture this campaign.

Current League Form

Southport (LWWDDL) Dartford (WLLWLD)
Woking H 1-2 Luton Town H 1-0
Barrow H 5-2 Lincoln City A 1-2
Nuneaton Town A 1-0 Mansfield Town A 0-5
Hereford United A 2-2 Macclesfield Town H 2-0
Wrexham A 2-2 Alfreton Town A 2-3
Mansfield Town H 1-2 Ebbsfleet United A 2-2

Dartford v Grimsby Town

 

Odds are stacked against Dartford in the second leg of their F.A Trophy semi-final against Grimsby Town.

Tony Burman will have to mastermind an amazing comeback for his side to reach Wembley for the first time in 39 years. In the history of the F.A Trophy no side has ever overturned a three goal deficit in a semi final.

At Blundell Park the Darts contained the Mariners to a goal margin following Craig Disley’s superb first half volley. Dartford worked hard keeping themselves in the cup tie providing enough hope for the second leg to overturn the Grimsby Town’s lead.

In the final five minutes Dartford’s hopes were crushed when a rare Marcus Bettinelli mistake allowed Disley to score again. To compound the disappointing afternoon Anthony Cook made it 3-0 putting Grimsby Town in full control of reaching Wembley. Lee Noble was sent off in the final stages, his second dismissal this season will earn him another suspension.

Burman spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “I was disappointed with the result”, he added: “I know we were 1-0 down but I felt we had control of the game in the second-half. We’d have taken a 1-0 to bring back home. It’s the first leg of a semi-final and 1-0 would have been okay, but at 3-0 we’ve got a mountain to climb. It was just a mad 10 minutes”.

At least the Darts can take a positive out of the fact they have won their last three home matches. However, Grimsby Town have yet to lose this season by a margin larger than two, the Darts achieved a 2-0 win against the Mariners back in October. Keeping games tight is a key theme away from Blundell Park because the Lincolnshire club also have the best defensive record on the road conceding a meagre 11 goals in 13 league matches. Up front only two sides in this season’s Conference Premier campaign have scored fewer goals away from home.

Paul Hurst and Rob Scott had led their team to an impressive 18 game unbeaten run until Tuesday nights defeat to Braintree Town. The Mariners first league loss since November was sealed when Luke Daley bagged a brace. Scott told BBC Radio Humberside after the match: “If you perform like that then you’re not going to win games. Tonight we weren’t anywhere near good enough to get anything out of the game”.

In the history of the F.A Trophy only four sides have lost a semi-final first leg and reached the final. The most recent of comebacks came in 2006 when Grays Athletic beat Exeter City 3-2 on aggregate having lost the first match 2-1.

One of the greatest F.A Trophy semi-final turnarounds happened thirty years ago. Harrow Borough visited Bucks Head and brought home a 2-0 lead for the return fixture. Telford United bounced back in style winning 5-1 at Harrow Borough’s Earlsmead Stadium.

Woking came from a goal down in 1995 against Rushden and Diamonds to win 2-1 on aggregate. The same scoreline occurred twenty years earlier when Matlock Town beat Burton Albion. On all four occasions the team coming from behind as gone on to lift the trophy.

Whatever the outcome of the two semi-finals this year a new name will be engraved on the F.A Trophy on 24 March 2013.

Team News

Lee Noble will be suspended for the return game for picking up his second red card this season. The midfielder was sent off earlier in the Conference Premier campaign at Woking. Noble was dismissed on Saturday after retaliating. Lee Burns and Harry Crawford returned to the side, striker Jacob Erskine sat out the first leg.

Grimsby Town v Dartford

 

Dartford will hope to take a step in creating club history at Blundell Park when they take on league leaders Grimsby Town in the F.A Trophy semi-final.

Saturday’s cup tie is the first of two legs and the Darts will aim to set up a chance to reach Wembley for the first time since 1974.

Tony Burman led his team to victory last time his side travelled to Lincolnshire to play the Mariners. In an incredible start to their campaign Dartford reached fifth position following an excellent 2-0 away win at Grimsby Town. With the scores level at the break the Kent club 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 only goal for the Darts during his loan spell.

Whilst Grimsby Town’s midweek match was called off at Nuneaton Town, the Darts hosted F.A Cup headliners Luton Town. The two teams went into the interval locked in a goalless draw. Dartford made a positive start improving on their defeat at Lincoln City on Saturday. Elliot Bradbrook had a great chance to put the Darts in front as his side pressed well. The Hatters grew into the game before half time with Marcus Bettinelli’s goal being threatened late on.

Dartford continued to press in the second half and their hard work was rewarded in style. With just under twenty minutes remaining Ryan Hayes cut inside to curl home the match winner in his 350th appearance for the club. Burman praised the winger after the game and told BBC Radio Kent: “It was a wonderful goal and he’s done that on a regular basis. I’ve got to give Ryan [Hayes] credit, he’s been very consistent this season. I thought it was an outstanding individual goal”.

Burman admitted to making changes tactically on Tuesday night, he commented: “It’s a great result. The guys worked really hard off the back of the defeat away to Lincoln”. With Jacob Erskine not selected, Burman opted for two normally attacking midfielder’s up front in Lee Noble and Nathan Collier.”We had to play a certain system that we don’t like to play at home but it paid off. Lee played behind Nathan and put in an excellent performance”. The performance from the back five also impressed the boss, he said: “We’ve defended better tonight. The unit was a lot stronger than over the past few weeks”.

Erskine is the only recognised striker as Noble, Collier and Danny Harris have featured mainly on the wing during their time at Princes Park. It’s no surprise that Burman has been desperate to find more options in front of goal and despite his attempts he has struggled to bring in the right player.

However, the Dartford manager had a change of fortune this week with the return of top goalscorer Harry Crawford from Barnet on a months loan. The striker caught the eye of the League Two side by scoring 15 goals in 28 appearances (18 starts) for Dartford this season, only one away from home. Crawford has made three appearances for the Bees so far scoring against Bristol Rovers.

Victory took the Darts to 44 points which has been enough to survive for half of the seasons since the Conference Premier was restructured in 2004. It was also the clubs first double of the season and third home win in a row in all competitions. With league safety edging ever closer Dartford will be desperate to reach Wembley for only the second time in their history.

Dartford’s semi final opponents are on an exceptional run. When the Darts played Grimsby Town last time they ended a 12 match unbeaten run but this time they will need to finish a 17 game streak without defeat. The last team to defeat the Mariners in all competitions were Hyde on 6 November 2012.

The latest triumph came last weekend when on loan striker Richard Brodie netted the winner against AFC Telford United. Victory stretched Grimsby Town’s run at home to seven wins from nine in the league leaving them in top spot. Brodie is one of a few players recruited by managerial duo Rob Scott and Paul Hurst to help push the club back towards the Football League.

When Dartford took on Grimsby Town in October the Mariners lacked fire power for a side challenging at the top. Signing Ross Hannah from League Cup finalists Bradford City has added a further ten goals in the scored column, the 26 year old striker has made 17 appearances in the league so far. Recently, striker Lenell John-Lewis and winger Marcus Marshall signed from Bury joining up with Brodie from Crawley Town. With an already tight defence Scott and Hurst will be aiming to return the club to League Two with an added bonus of cup success.

Head to Head

Grimsby Town wins: 0 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Team News

Lee Burns was missing from Tuesday nights win over Luton Town as Adam Green slotted in at full back. Harry Crawford has returned to the club for a second spell. Dartford have no suspensions for the first leg.

Grimsby Town have loaned striker Greg Pearson to Kidderminster Harriers after the recent additions to Blundell Park. The Mariners also have no suspensions for the first fixture.

Current Form

(League games unless stated – FAT – F.A Trophy)

Grimsby Town (WWWDWW) Dartford (WLWLDW)
AFC Telford United H 1-0 Luton Town H 1-0
Alfreton Town H 4-2 Lincoln City A 1-2
Luton Town H 3-0 FC Halifax Town (FAT) H 3-2
Cambridge United A 0-0 Mansfield Town A 0-5
Hyde H 2-0 FC Halifax Town (FAT) A 1-1
Welling United A 2-1 Macclesfield Town H 2-0

Road To Wembley

Quarter Final

Dartford 3 FC Halifax Town 2

A trio of midfielder’s blasted the Darts into the semi-final after falling behind to Dan Gardener’s second minute goal. Lee Noble scored his fourth goal of the season through a crowded box. Two minutes later the returning Elliot Bradbrook netted with a well taken finish. The pick of the bunch came courtesy of winger Ryan Hayes who expertly curled his shot beyond Matt Glennon. FC Halifax Town set up a dramatic finish with Gardener’s second of the match.

FC Halifax Town 1 Dartford 1

The Darts salvaged a second attempt at making it through to the semi-final after falling a goal behind. Both sides battled for ninety minutes with the Shaymen reduced to ten men early on when Chris Worsley was dismissed. Lee Gregory shocked the Darts to put the hosts ahead. Danny Harris pounced from three yards out netting a leveller leaving the sides to do it all over again.

Grimsby Town 3 Luton Town 0

Grimsby Town booked their place in the FA Trophy semi-finals with a convincing 3-0 victory over Luton Town. Jamie Devitt curled home his 25 yard free kick and second half goals from Andy Cook and Marcus Marshall made sure The Mariners reached the last four.

Third Round

Dartford 4 Bromley 2

New loan signing Dominic Green took no time at all to score on his début taking advantage of a poor back pass. Bromley’s Pierre Joseph-Dubois hit a decent strike past Marcus Bettinelli to level up. A clever counter attack finished by Green ensured the Darts restored their lead before half time. In the second half, Lee Burns netted from Ryan Hayes’ delightful back heel and Harry Crawford continued his excellent form in front of goal. There was time for consolation when Joseph-Dubois scored again for Bromley.

Welling United 1 Grimsby Town 2

The Mariners didn’t have it all their own way at Conference South side Welling United. With the Kent club boasting a decent record at Park View Road in recent seasons they took the lead through Joe Healy’s penalty. More spot kicks ensued as Ross Hannah failed to equalise from 12 yards before Jamie Devitt equalised from a second penalty attempt. Marcus Marshall clinched the match with a winner to send Grimsby Town through.

Second Round

Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 0

In a cup derby at Princes Park the Darts knocked out the Conference South side. Harry Crawford got the Darts on their way when at the second attempt the striker scored to give the Darts an early lead. In the second half top goalscorer Crawford was upended in the penalty box and captain Elliot Bradbrook scored from the spot. The third goal was the pick of the bunch, created by Jacob Erskine’s back heel, Jon Wallis took a touch before emphatically hitting a fine long range strike into the top corner.

Grimsby Town 4 Havant and Waterlooville 0

A comfortable victory at Blundell Park put the struggles of the first round behind the Mariners. Shaun Pearson nodded the hosts in front and Andy Cook made it 2-0. Havant and Waterlooville were down and out when a third hit the Conference South sides net before the break thanks to Greg Pearson. A fourth arrived in the second half despite Joe Colbeck being dismissed for the Mariners with Cook completing a brace.

First Round

Kingstonian 0 Dartford 4

The happy memories of promotion two years ago came back to the Darts in round one. The trip to Kingsmeadow started badly when début defender Semi Ajayi conceded a penalty with four minutes on the clock. Fortunately Andre McCollin’s spot kick was saved by the other loan signing Marcus Bettinelli. From then on Dartford didn’t look back, Jacob Erskine flicked in number one before Simon Huckle was dismissed for the hosts. The lead was doubled when Elliot Bradbrook flicked the ball goalwards with his head and Danny Harris expertly curled home a third. Nathan Collier wrapped up the match by coolly slotting the ball underneath the oncoming goalkeeper.

Buxton 0 Grimsby Town 1

At the first hurdle Grimsby Town were heading to extra time until Ian Miller popped up with a late header in the closing minutes. Not a comfortable 180 minutes for the Mariners against a side two divisions below but they got the job done.

Grimsby Town 0 Buxton 0

When Northern Premier League side Buxton travelled to Blundell Park few would have expected the outcome. Grimsby Town failed to breakdown the Derbyshire club who took the tie back to Silverlands thanks to a goalless draw.

Dartford v Luton Town

 

The Darts host their first Conference Premier match at Princes Park in almost a month on Tuesday night, with the visit of Luton Town.

Dartford shocked the Hatters at Kenilworth Road three months ago with a surprise 2-0 win. Lee Noble scored direct from a free kick after six minutes to give the visitors a great start. Tom Bonner doubled his season’s tally with a close range header to put Tony Burman’s side two up before half time.  At the time the Darts were in their best form on the road but have not tasted success in the league away from Princes Park since.

On Saturday the trend continued in a 2-1 defeat against a struggling Lincoln City side. An early goal at Sincil Bank by Vadaine Oliver put the Imps one up inside six minutes. The 20 year old striker took advantage of some slack marking to net his sixth league goal of the season. Lee Noble was then on the receiving end of a poor challenge which saw Lincoln City’s Jake Sheridan sent off on 35 minutes.

Noble was involved in the action again levelling up the score fourteen minutes from time, the midfielder scored his first league goal since his opener at Kenilworth Road. Controversially the Imps won a penalty in the closing stages resulting in a fracas between players. Colin Larkin remained composed enough to net the winner, scoring his fourth against the Darts following his hat trick at Princes Park. The match ended with nine cautions, six for the home side and a dismissal, leaving Dartford with only a point from the last seven away games.

Dartford boss Tony Burman and Luton Town manager Paul Buckle have a dilemma to make when picking their starting eleven. Following Tuesday night’s fixture looms important cup ties for both clubs. The Darts’ small squad travel to Grimsby Town in the first leg of the F.A Trophy semi final, a round Dartford have not reached since 1989. Meanwhile the Hatters who caused a massive F.A Cup scalp knocking out Premier League side Norwich City, face Millwall in the fifth round. Buckle’s men became the first non league club to beat a top flight team since Sutton United’s famous victory against Coventry City, also in 1989.

Luton Town travel to Princes Park for the first time and are currently in touching distance of a playoff spot. Since November the Bedfordshire club have been inconsistent in the Conference Premier highlighted by their 6-1 mauling of Barrow before a 1-0 defeat to the same side a month later.

On the weekend Kenilworth Road played host to third place Forest Green Rovers. Andre Gray put the home side ahead on five minutes with his ninth league goal of the season. The Hatters were pegged back almost ten minutes later when Matthew Taylor equalised. In the second half Alex Lawless was cautioned twice in a matter of minutes to leave Luton Town a man down. Like Dartford’s match cards were handed out resulting in seven cautions and Forest Green Rovers’ Al Bangura joining Lawless in an early departure.

Paul Buckle still believes his side can win automatic promotion back to the Football League but they will need to make the most of the games in hand. Buckle has experience of taking clubs back to League Two as manager of Torquay United and to help him achieve his aim he has signed former Dartford winger Dave Martin.

Martin has featured in two league games so far since moving from Southend United and since leaving the Darts for Crystal Palace in 2007 he is at his sixth club. Dartford fans will certainly know that Martin is capable of producing spectacular goals like he managed against Burgess Hill Town and Godalming during his spell under Burman.

Team News

Tom Bonner will be the latest of a list of players to reach a milestone. The centre half will make his 150th appearance if selected, all of which have been starts. Bonner joins Lee Burns who reached 150 starts and Tom Champion who made his 100th start on Saturday. Dartford have no suspensions to worry about and a healthy squad.

Alex Lawless and Lathaniel Rowe-Turner are suspended after both players were sent off in recent matches. England C international Simon Ainge needed stitches after the national side lost 1-0 to Turkey at Princes Park and he missed Saturday’s game versus Forest Green Rovers. Ex Gillingham midfielder Danny Spiller and Garry Richards have been out with injury’s.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Luton Town wins: 1 / Dartford Goals: 2/ Luton Town Goals: 12

Current League Form

Dartford (LLWLDD) Luton Town (DLDWLW)
Lincoln City A 1-2 Forest Green Rovers H 1-1
Mansfield Town A 0-5 Barrow A 0-1
Macclesfield Town H 2-0 AFC Telford United A 0-0
Alfreton Town A 2-3 Barrow H 6-1
Ebbsfleet United A 2-2 Woking A 1-3
Cambridge United H 1-1 Woking H 3-1

Last Meeting

10 November 2012 – Luton Town 0 Dartford 2 – Att: 6567

Goalscorers: Noble (6), Bonner (41)

The Hatters Lineup: Brill, Howells, Ainge, Henry, Lawless, Mendy, O’Donnell, Smith, Rendell, Fleetwood, Gray (sub used: Walker)

The Darts Lineup: Bettinelli, Burns, Bonner, Arber, Rose, Hayes, Champion, Bradbrook, Noble, Erskine, Harris (subs used: Collier, Rogers)

Match Stats


Stats

The Darts have accrued the most points at home (16) against tables currently in the top half of the table.

Dartford have conceded the most goals by penalties (7) in the league this season, joint with Forest Green Rovers.

Luton Town are the best supported club averaging 6127 at Kenilworth Road this season. If the Hatters were in the Football League they would be fourth in the League Two average attendance table and tenth in League One average attendance table.

The Hatters have conceded most of their goals (10) in the first 15 minutes of matches.

Lincoln City v Dartford

 

Dartford follow up a great week for the club with a trip to Lincoln City’s Sincil Bank on Saturday.

Princes Park not only hosted its first international, in which Turkey B defeated England C by a goal to nil, the following night saw the Darts progress to the F.A Trophy semi-final.

Just over a week ago Dartford had to fight hard to earn a Quarter Final replay against Conference North side FC Halifax Town. With the Shaymen down to ten men Lee Gregory put the hosts ahead and Danny Harris equalised. On Wednesday night, the Shaymen took the lead again after only two minutes when Dan Gardener scored from six yards. The Yorkshire club stayed in front into the break leaving everything to do for the Darts.

Tony Burman took advantage of the interval because his side turned the match around. A trio of midfielders blasted the Darts into a 3-1 lead. Lee Noble scored his fourth goal of the season through a crowded box. Two minutes later the returning Elliot Bradbrook netted with a well taken finish. The pick of the bunch came courtesy of winger Ryan Hayes who expertly curled his shot beyond Matt Glennon. FC Halifax Town set up a dramatic finish with Gardener’s second of the match, then the visitors conceded a penalty immediately afterwards. Bradbrook took responsibility and struck the spot kick against the crossbar but the hosts held out to progress into the last four and face top of the table Grimsby Town.

It was a much needed victory for Dartford after suffering a 5-0 away defeat last weekend at Mansfield Town. Despite drawing a blank and conceding five, Burman was happy with some aspects of the match, he told BBC Sport: “Mansfield Town played very very well second half, but first half we bossed the game completely – we should have gone 1-0 up. We bossed the first half and thought we could get something out of the game”, he added: “The story of the game was in the two boxes. They were better in our box than we were in their box, it’s as simple as that”.

Dartford’s heaviest defeat of the season slipped the club back down to tenth position in the Conference Premier, six points behind the playoffs. The Darts have now lost five of their last six league games on the road, picking up a solitary point.

In a slump of their own, Lincoln City have gone seven league games without a win. Manager David Holdsworth has had to tighten the purse strings recently and contract talks have to wait. The Imps last tasted league victory against the Darts back in December.

Two months ago, Dartford suffered a dreadful start conceding four goals in the first half against the Imps. Goals from Daniel Gray and a first half hat trick from Colin Larkin put the away side 4-1 up at half time. The now departed Harry Crawford pulled two back for the Darts but the mountain was too big to climb.

Lincoln City experienced a dramatic change in fortune when the slipped out of the Football League two years ago and they will be hoping for history not to repeat itself. After a very good October and November the Lincolnshire club reached ninth in the Conference Premier, they are now in seventeenth and three points above the drop zone.

Consistency is a word fans and staff crave at Sincil Bank, not only has the on pitch form been up and down but the playing staff has chopped and changed. Holdsworth has so far used more players (32) then any other Conference Premier club. One of those players who have stood out is Daniel Gray who has missed just one match. Whilst Jamie Taylor and Colin Larkin have scored seventeen league goals between them, first choice goalkeeper Paul Farman has kept only three clean sheets.

Team News

Elliot Bradbrook returned to starting action after a month on the sidelines. Tom Champion will make his 100th league start if selected in the first eleven. Lee Burns will reach 150 starts for the club in all competitions if he is picked by Burman.

In January, Lincoln City full back Paul Robson, goalkeeper Jake Turner, defenders Elliot Green and Dan Coupland have all left Sincil Bank with another three players departing since the last meeting against the Darts. Holdsworth has signed Paul Turnbull on loan from Northampton Town until the end of the season, the midfielder has featured in just one fixture.

Head to Head

Lincoln City wins: 1 / Dartford wins 0 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Lincoln City (LLDLLW) Dartford (LWLDDW)
Newport County H 2-4 Mansfield Town A 0-5
Southport A 2-4 Macclesfield Town H 2-0
Ebbsfleet United A 1-1 Alfreton Town A 2-3
Grimsby Town H 1-4 Ebbsfleet United A 2-2
Woking H 0-2 Cambridge United H 1-1
Hereford United H 3-2 Ebbsfleet United H 3-1

Last Meeting

8 December 2012 – Dartford 2 Lincoln City 4 – Att: 1466

Goalscorers: Crawford (49, 71); Gray (7), Larkin (24, 32, 45)

The Darts Lineup: Bettinelli, Burns, Bonner, Ajayi, Rose, Champion, Bradbrook, Rogers, Noble, Harris, Crawford (subs used: Hayes, Wallis, Erskine)

The Imps Lineup: Preece, Robson, Mills, Miller, Gilbert, Smith, Gray, Nicolau, Fofana, Oliver, Larkin (sub used: Robinson)

Match Stats

 

Stats

1 – Dartford have won once away from Princes Park against teams currently below them in the league table

8 – Lincoln City have scored in their last eight league matches

24 – Dartford are bottom of the current away form table

29 – The Imps have conceded 29 home goals in the Conference Premier, the worst home defence of 2012/13

2199 – The average league attendance at Sincil Bank this season

 

Dartford v FC Halifax Town

 

A place in the F.A Trophy last four is up for grabs on Wednesday when Dartford take on Conference North side FC Halifax Town.

The Darts salvaged a second attempt at making it through to the semi final last week after falling a goal behind. Both sides battled for ninety minutes with the Shaymen reduced to ten men early on. Chris Worsley was dismissed for his tackle on defender Mark Arber leaving the home side at a disadvantage.

FC Halifax Town took the lead when Lee Gregory shocked the Darts with his tenth goal of the season. Tony Burman made two changes in the second half which paid off. Danny Harris may have missed a decent chance to equalise but he pounced from three yards out netting a leveller. The stalemate could not be broken in the later stages and so the sides try again on Wednesday.

The winners will go on to face top of the table Grimsby Town over two legs with the first fixture on 16 February 2013 at Blundell Park, the return leg will take place a week later.

Preparations didn’t exactly go to plan on Saturday as Dartford went down to a heavy defeat at Mill Field. Against an in form Mansfield Town, the Darts conceded an early goal by Adam Murray. With a one goal deficit to overcome in the second half Dartford fell further behind before the hour. Anthony Howell, Luke Jones, Matthew Green and Lee Stevenson all scored for the Stags leaving Tony Burman’s side beaten.

Meanwhile, the Shaymen travelled to Corby Town and recorded an excellent 5-1 victory. Shaun Kelly opened proceedings five minutes into the match and by the half way point of the first half FC Halifax Town were 3-0 up. Gregory scored a brace before Tom McGowan pulled a goal back for the hosts, on the stroke of half time Gareth Seddon made it 4-1. Gregory completed his hat trick just after the hour to complete a resounding win.

In a week of cup action, the Quarter Final replay will be played a day after Princes Park hosts its first ever international between England C and Turkey B. The Three Lions hope to progress into the International Challenge Trophy final under the guidance of Paul Fairclough.

Dartford’s Co-Chairman Bill Archer told thefa.com: “We are delighted to be hosting this fantastic fixture and I know that everyone at Princes Park will pull out all the stops to make it an evening to remember”, he added: “We have a modern, family friendly set-up here at Princes Park which makes it an ideal showcase for big games and we are thrilled to be hosting our first international”.

Team News

Dartford’s much changed starting line up on Saturday excluded winger Ryan Hayes and full back Richard Rose. Captain Elliot Bradbrook is still recovering from injury, loanee Dominic Green started on the bench and new loan signing Jack Evans made his début. Adam Green made his first league start for Dartford since 25 August 2012.