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Southport v Dartford

Dartford travel up to Merseyside on Saturday determined to finish above their relegation rivals Southport by the end of the afternoon.

The Darts enter the weekend a point behind the Sandgrounders who themselves leap frogged Tony Burman’s side on Tuesday night. Since returning to the Conference Premier, the Darts have yet to fall behind against the Merseysiders. In the two meetings last term both fixtures finished 2-2 with Dartford leading four times. The last visit to Southport saw Harry Crawford score his first goal of his second loan spell with the club. Andy Owens equalised for the hosts but Tom Bonner had the Darts back ahead. The Sandgrounders equalised when Shaun Whalley scored from the spot to share the points.

This season’s match at Princes Park could have seen defender Mat Mitchel-King starting in goal. With Alan Julian stuck in traffic, Derren Ibrahim and Tom Welham were unavailable for selection. Luckily, Julian arrived in time and the pre match preparations didn’t deter the Darts. Just past the half hour mark, Elliot Bradbrook got on the end of Lee Noble’s corner only for Southport goalkeeper Danny Hurst to parry the captain’s shot. Striker Adam Birchall followed up the rebound to secure three points for Dartford.

On Tuesday night satisfaction turned to disappointment at Princes Park with the Darts going agonisingly close to picking up a valuable three points. With the first half coming to an end, Aldershot Town goalkeeper Glenn Morris upended the impressive Alex Wall. Morris was red carded for his foul in the box and captain Elliot Bradbrook netted his seventh league goal of the season. The Shots, needing the points as much as Dartford, waited until two minutes from time to snatch a 1-1 draw. Brett Williams took advantage of the space given to him and hit a fine long range effort past Alan Julian. The 26 year old striker has now scored 18 in the Conference Premier this term. Despite ending the evening with a draw the Darts are now unbeaten in their last six league matches.

Meanwhile up in Merseyside, Southport moved up the league standings with a 2-1 triumph over playoff chasers Grimsby Town. John Coleman’s side had to come from behind to jump out of the relegation zone when Grimsby Town’s Lennell John-Lewis opened the scoring. The Sandgrounders hit back with goals from Scott Brown and Osayamen Osawe to record their second home win in a row.

It’s Southport’s home record of eight wins and four draws that is keeping the club afloat. On their travels they have a solitary victory to their name against bottom side Hyde on the opening day of the season. In December, after the club suffered four straight defeats the previous month, chairman Charlie Clapham appointed former Conference Premier winning manager John Coleman. The former Accrington Stanley boss also played for the Sandgrounders during the eighties.

Head to Head

Southport wins: 0 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Southport (WLWDLL) Dartford (DWWWDW)
Grimsby Town H 2-1 Aldershot Town H 1-1
Forest Green Rovers A 1-3 Hereford United H 2-0
Salisbury City H 3-1 Woking H 5-1
Grimsby Town A 0-0 Wrexham A 2-1
Barnet A 0-1 Cambridge United H 3-3
Wrexham H 1-2 Kidderminster Harriers A 2-1

Last Meeting at Haig Avenue

2 March 2013 – Southport 2 Dartford 2 – Att: 823

Goalscorers: Crawford (29), Owens (40), Bonner (59), Whalley (83 pen)

The Sandgrounders Lineup: McMillan, Smith, Owens, Byrne, Willis, Parry, Whalley, Ledsham, Chalmers, Kay, Poku (subs used: Clancy, Almond)

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

Match Stats

sfc v dfc stats
Previous Meetings

28.09.2013 Dartford 1 Southport 0
02.03.2013 Southport 2 Dartford 2
17.11.2012 Dartford 2 Southport 2

League Stats

33 – Number of players Dartford and Southport have both used in this season’s Conference Premier campaign

15 – Number of players for each side who have registered a league goal this term

7 – Number of goals scored by each clubs league top scorer this season, Dartford’s Elliot Bradbrook and Southport’s Danny Hattersley

Southport have beaten six of the top seven at home and have yet to play third placed Barnet

Dartford v Aldershot Town

Dartford’s battle against the drop continues this week when they host Aldershot Town for the first time in 46 years.

A fourth win in five has given the Darts the chance of survival that looked a long way away just over a month ago. Meanwhile, their opponents have been dragged into what Tony Burman has called a ‘mini league’ having won one of their last seven.

The Shots lead that ‘mini league’ on goal difference from Chester who are above the relegation line. Dartford also on 32 points have played more matches but have the momentum. Southport and Tamworth make up the other clubs aiming to beat the drop into the second tier of non league football.

Dartford briefly adventured out of the bottom four on Saturday for the first time since early November. Hosting a struggling Hereford United side Alex Wall gave the Darts a twelfth minute lead. The Luton Town loanee’s third in two games caught Bulls goalkeeper Rhys Evans off guard. Results temporarily went Dartford’s way elsewhere but Burman’s men kept their eye on the task at hand. Hereford United’s pressure in the second half threatened to spoil the afternoon until Lee Noble’s wonderful volley twenty minutes from time sealed another important victory.

Burman praised his team’s back line for holding out, he told BBC Radio Kent:  “We came under a lot of pressure. They get the ball in the box early, but I thought we defended really well”. So far this calendar year the Darts have won four, drawn two and lost once and its this good form the manager recognises, he added: “I’ve got to give credit to the players, they have been excellent since the turn of the year and that little bit of a spark is there”.

Earlier this season, the Shots came out on top to help them chip away at their 10 point deficit. Lee Noble hit the woodwork before the Shots took the lead through Brett Williams, signed from Reading the striker notched his first for the Hampshire side after 18 minutes. It took the home side until the hour mark to double their advantage through Manny Oyeleke and with three minutes remaining Aaron Wickham scored a third.

Dartford last played Aldershot Town at home in 1968 when they reached the F.A Cup first round. The Shots had beaten Dartford four years earlier in the competition but this time the Darts took a Football League scalp. In front of over 4000 spectators the Darts reached the second round with a 3-1 triumph.

Aldershot Town have only recently started to look over their shoulder. Not helped by the ten point deduction at the start of the season, the Shots have been inconsistent. During their best part of the season they beat Southport 5-0 and Tamworth 6-0 winning four out five matches. With only three away victories in the league, Scott’s side are still at risk of slumping to a successive relegation.

On the weekend, the Hampshire club travelled up north to bottom club Hyde and come away with a 2-2 draw. Top scorer for the club, Brett Williams put Aldershot Town ahead but two minutes later Adam Blakeman levelled. Hyde went in front with fifteen minutes to go through Jordan Clark and with five minutes remaining Joe Partington equalised. The Shots have now won one of their last nine away matches in the Conference Premier.

Shots boss, Andy Scott felt his side should have beaten Hyde, he told BBC Radio Surrey: “”We’ve created enough chances to win two games today”. The manager noted a lack of width and urgency in the first half and a finishing touch in the second. Aldershot Town’s manager went on to state: “I am obviously disappointed but when you make individual errors we can’t dwell on it and it’s another point to the total”.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Aldershot Town wins: 6 / Draws: 5

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWDWL) Aldershot Town (DDLDWD)
Hereford United H 2-0 Hyde A 2-2
Woking H 5-1 Forest Green Rovers H 2-2
Wrexham A 2-1 Nuneaton Town A 1-2
Cambridge United H 3-3 FC Halifax Town H 2-2
Kidderminster Harriers A 2-1 Barnet A 3-1
Salisbury City A 0-1 Gateshead A 0-0

 

 

Dartford v Hereford United

Dartford have the chance to grab some vital points this weekend when they host financial stricken Hereford United.

When the two clubs met in September 2012 the Darts recorded one of their most convincing victories of the season, running out 4-0 winners. Ryan Hayes opened the scoring early on with a tidy finish and James Rogers headed in just after the break. Substitutes Danny Harris and Jon Wallis emphatically increased the scoreline with Harris’s goal the pick of the match.

Just over four months ago, Dartford brought home a point with a 2-2 draw at Edgar Street. A late Uche Ibemere goal tied the match after the Bulls had come from behind. Lee Noble scored from close range with just 11 minutes played. Hereford United loanees Kevin Krans and Ross Dyer turned the match around after the break. However, Ibemere popped up with the equaliser five minutes from time.

Tony Burman’s side approach the weekend on the back of a four match unbeaten run. A win at home to Woking on Tuesday night added to recent victories against Kidderminster Harriers and Wrexham.

The Cards went in front in the fourth minute when Scott Rendell’s deflected shot wrong footed goalkeeper Alan Julian. The lead was short lived when the Darts hit back immediately, Alex Wall scored his first for the club seconds from the restart. The visitors were reduced to ten men when a poor challenge on Jim Stevenson resulted in Joey Jones being dismissed. Dartford capitalised right before half time when Wall was on the end of a decent through ball to score his second of the night.

Max Cornhill continued his good form notching his third then his fourth goal in as many games. Just before the hour the midfielder was rewarded for winning the ball back by converting Wall’s cross. He added Dartford’s fourth of the night with fifteen minutes to go when he headed a corner in at the near post. There was time for a fifth from Lee Noble who slotted home from débutante Mikkel Suarez’s flick on to secure Dartford’s biggest win of the season.

Performances from the Darts have improved of late but a run of postponed games saw them drop further behind in their relegation battle starting Tuesday five points adrift. The mid week win has lifted Dartford one position and they have now closed the gap to just two points.

Hereford United have had a week off and time to reflect on their worst league defeat in 50 years. Last weekend’s visit to Kenilworth Road ended in a 7-0 trouncing. The Hatters remained at the summit of the Conference Premier table thanks to Andre Grays hat-trick being added to by Paul Benson, Jake Howells, Pelly Ruddock and Alex Lawless. The Bulls second defeat in a row without scoring comes after their inspriational midfielder Josh O’Keefe left for Kidderminster Harriers. After the Luton Town match, manager Martin Foyle admitted to the club’s website that there has been “problems in the camp for a long time” and the gulf between the top and bottom sides is “getting bigger and bigger”.

Off the field, Hereford United have struggled financially since last season and due to falling attendances are trying to keep afloat. Early this month the club announced redundancies including four members of the backroom staff. Cuts have been made in an attempt to averat a winding up order from Revenue and Customs over a PAYE bill.

Team News

Ben Swallow and Mikkel Suarez are still awaiting for full league débuts for the Darts, the pair came on as substitutes on Tuesday night. Andy Pugh has returned to second placed Cambridge United, the former Welling United striker scored two goals in four appearances whilst on loan with Dartford. Alex Wall will remain with the Darts for a further month after Luton Town agreed to extend his stay at Princes Park. Ryan Hayes remains out of action through injury, there are no suspension concerns.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 11 / Hereford United wins: 21 / Draws: 11

Current League Form

Dartford (WWDWLD) Hereford United (LLDWWD)
Woking H Luton Town A 0-7
Wrexham A 2-1 Woking A 0-3
Cambridge United H 3-3 Kidderminster Harriers H 1-1
Kidderminster Harriers A 2-1 Salisbury City H 1-0
Salisbury City A 0-1 Southport H 4-1
Welling United A 1-1 Forest Green Rovers A 1-1

Last Meeting at Princes Park

15 September 2012 – Dartford 4 Hereford United 0 – Att: 1601

Goalscorers: Hayes (6), Rogers (47), Harris (76), Wallis (89)

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

The Bulls Lineup: Hanford, Gallinagh, Anthony, Graham, Heath, Watkins, Carruthers, Pell, Clist, Clucas, Bowman (subs used: Sammons, Nichols, Evans)

Match Stats

dfc v hufc stats

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

12.10.2013 Hereford United 2 Dartford 2
26.03.2013 Hereford United 1 Dartford 0
15.09.2012 Dartford 4 Hereford United 0
14.03.1972 Dartford 0 Hereford United 1
26.02.1972* Hereford United 0 Dartford 1

Stats

Dartford are four matches unbeaten, their best run of this campaign

Hereford have failed to win on their travels in their last five attempts

Away from Edgar Street, The Bulls have picked up just one point from sides in the top half of the table, but they have lost just one against clubs in the bottom half

 

Dartford v Woking

Dartford will be determined to beat the weather as well as their opponents on Tuesday night when the host fellow part timers Woking.

Over the last two season’s a small rivalry has been built up between the two clubs having followed similar paths. A well fought battle for the Conference South title ended with the Cards taking the title in 2012. However, Dartford finished in a higher league position as both teams returned to the Conference Premier last season.

It was Woking who came out on top at the Kingfield Stadium, just over a month ago, with three quick fire goals. For an hour the fixture was evenly contested until Jack Marriott guided in the opener on his début. The Ipswich Town loanee has continued to impress in Surrey since including a hat trick away at FC Halifax Town. Scott Rendell doubled the lead and Joe McNerney complete a trio of goals in a 14 minute spell. Tony Burman will be hoping his side can keep their composure better than they did back in November.

The Darts are showing signs of turning a corner with fantastic results against Cambridge United, Kidderminster Harriers and Wrexham. Tony Burman has used the loan market wisely, however striker Andy Pugh was recalled to Cambridge United  leaving one less attacking option. Without a home game since the entertaining 3-3 draw against the U’s, Dartford’s last football fix came away from home as they triumphed over Wrexham.

After ten minutes Pugh scored his second goal for the club putting the Darts ahead. The striker who was unable to play against his parent club Cambridge United a fortnight ago, followed up Alex Wall’s free kick. The scores were level just past the twenty minute mark when Joe Clarke took advantage of a corner earning the Dragons an equaliser . Approaching half time, Dartford took a priceless lead through captain Elliot Bradbrook, the midfielder netted his sixth league goal of the season when he scored what turned out to be the winner.

Woking had a slow start this term and since beating Dartford in November have got their season on the move. The Darts were a point and position ahead of the Cards in the relegation zone when they last met. Woking’s push up the table has coincided with a couple of decent loan signings including Ipswich Town’s Marriott striking up a partnership with Luton Town’s Scott Rendell, who joined in September.

The Surrey club pulled nine points clear of the drop zone and into 16th position with a 2-0 win on the weekend. Travelling north-east to face Gateshead, John Nutter’s early goal from Kevin Betsy’s cross put the Cards ahead. The lead was extended twenty minutes from time when John Goddard secured victory which ended Gateshead’s nine game unbeaten run.

Last season, the Darts defeated Woking emphatically towards the end of the Conference Premier campaign. Lee Noble’s double at the end of each half helped Dartford record their biggest ever win against the Cards. Nathan Collier opened the scoring just seven minutes into the match, the versatile player finished neatly from 12 yards. Jayden Stockley headed Woking level ten minutes before the break but the Darts went into half time ahead when Noble made scored his first. Charlie Sheringham’s header gave Burman’s side a cushion and Noble’s 30 yard strike secured victory.

Head to Head

Woking wins: 4 / Dartford wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (WDWLDL) Woking (WLWDLL)
Wrexham A 2-1 Gateshead A 2-0
Cambridge United H 3-3 Salisbury City A 0-2
Kidderminster Harriers A 2-1 Hereford United H 3-0
Salisbury City A 0-1 Lincoln City A 2-2
Welling United A 1-1 Chester H 0-1
Welling United H 1-2 Welling United A 0-3

Last Meeting at Princes Park

1 April 2013 – Dartford 4 Woking 1 – Att: 1407

Goalscorers: Collier (7), Stockley (34), Noble (45), Sheringham (60), Noble (90)

The Darts Lineup: Somogyi, Green, Arber, Bonner, Burns, Champion, Bradbrook, Noble, Collier, Hayes, Sheringham (subs used: Evans, Wallis, Prior)

The Cards Lineup: Brown, Newton, Parkinson, Johnson, Nutter, Ricketts, Betsy, Sawyer, Knott, Bubb, Stockley (subs used: Frith, McNerney, McCallum)

Match Stats

dfc v wfc stats2

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

12.11.2013 Woking 3 Dartford 0
01.04.2013 Dartford 4 Woking 1
14.08.2012 Woking 1 Dartford 0
18.02.2012 Woking 1 Dartford 0
13.12.2011 Dartford 2 Woking 3
09.04.2011 Dartford 3 Woking 2
27.11.2010 Woking 2 Dartford 2
21.10.1972* Dartford 3 Woking 2

 

 

Wrexham v Dartford

Dartford travel to Wrexham on the weekend hoping to repeat last season’s effort and come home with some points.

The Darts travelled across to Wales last term and against the odds came back with a draw. Danny Harris scored an early goal at the Racecourse Ground, his shot from the edge of the box four minutes into the match gave the visitors an unexpected lead. Wrexham hit back and by half time with goals from Danny Wright and Andy Bishop. In the final minute Dartford earned a free kick which substitute Lee Noble scored to make it 2-2.

Earlier this season, the Darts took another early lead against the Welsh side when Lee Burns finished well when he overlapped onto Lee Noble’s pass. However, Wrexham outclassed their hosts levelling on 12 minutes courtesy of former Premier League striker Brett Ormerod.  Joe Clarke added a second for the visitors and by half time it was 4-1 as Rob Ogleby and Ormerod added more. In the second half a quick free kick caught the Dartford defence out once more, Johnny Hunt sealed a 5-1 win for the Welshmen.

Tony Burman’s side haven’t played since 25 January when they drew 3-3 with Cambridge United which followed up the 2-1 win at Kidderminster Harriers. Hoping his squad has turned a corner, mid week results helped out the Darts who are five points from safety. Towards the January transfer window, Burman has extended the services of Jim Stevenson and Rory McAuley and signed former Tonbridge Angel striker Mikkel Suarez. The 27 year old hit the headlines in 2012 when a clash of heads with team mate Lee Browning left him in intensive care for a week.

Wrexham’s slow start to their campaign is in contrast to last season’s F.A Trophy triumph and Playoff final defeat. At the beginning of October the Welshmen were one place off the relegation places. Six wins from their last eight home matches have pushed the club up the table to twelfth and eight points from the top five.

Unbeaten in four league matches, Andy Morrell’s side have beaten three of Dartford’s relegation rivals in that time. In an attempt to close the gap and reach the playoffs, Morrell has brought in defender Danny Livesey from Carlisle United. The 29 year old will be on loan until the end of the season and was instrumental in Carlisle United’s rise to League One. At the other end of the pitch, prolific Elliott Durrell makes the step up from the Conference North. Durrell won the leagues Player of the Season last year and scored 58 goals in 98 appearances during his time with Hednesford Town.

Head to Head

Wrexham wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Wrexham (WWDWLW) Dartford (DLLLLL)
Tamworth H 2-0 Cambridge United H 3-3
Southport A 2-1 Kidderminster Harriers A 2-1
FC Halifax Town H 0-0 Salisbury City A 0-1
Aldershot Town H 2-1 Welling United A 1-1
Alfreton Town A 0-1 Welling United H 1-2
Hyde A 5-2 Alfreton Town A 1-2

Last Meeting at the Racecourse Ground

22 September 2012 – Wrexham 2 Dartford 2 – Att: 3772

Goalscorers: Harris (4), Wright (16), Bishop (42), Noble (90)

The Dragons Lineup: Mayebi, Walker, S. Wright, Riley, Ashton, Harris, Keates, Hunt, Cieslewicz, D. Wright, Bishop (subs used: Ormerod, Morrell)

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

Match Stats

wrexfc v dfc stats
Previous Meetings

19.11.2013 Dartford 1 Wrexham 2
09.03.2013 Dartford 2 Wrexham 1
22.09.2012 Wrexham 2 Dartford 2

League Stats

The meeting between the two sides was Dartford’s heaviest defeat this term and Wrexham’s biggest league win

Wrexham have lost just once in their last nine home games in the Conference Premier

Dartford have had the fewest attempts at goal this season (222) and the fewest shots off target (122). Wrexham on the other hand have scored 17% of their shots at goal, only Luton Town (18%) have a better strike rate

The Darts are looking for their first back to back away wins in the Conference Premier since the end of last season

3241 – Wrexham have the third largest average crowd this season behind Luton Town and Grimsby Town

Between the two sides, top scorers Andy Bishop and Johnny Hunt have netted just six times. Dartford’s top goal getters are Matthew Godden, now back at Scunthrope United and Elliot Bradbrook on five.