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Dartford v Luton Town

Dartford hope to cause an upset in a bid to escape the bottom four when they take on league leaders and title favourites Luton Town.

The Darts looked down and out at the end of 2013, however two defeats in 11 Conference Premier matches have pulled the club closer to safety. Tony Burman knows a shock victory over the Hatters will see his side move outside the relegation zone for the first time since the start of November, moving last season’s League Two side Aldershot Town and financial stricken Hereford United into the bottom four.

On the weekend, Dartford had to come from behind to earn a valuable three points. Hosting Macclesfield Town, the Silkmen took the lead against the run of play just before half time. Paul Turnbull hit a 25 yard strike beyond Alan Julian giving the visitors a half time lead. The Darts came out of the starting blocks quickly in the second half with Danny Harris heading home Lee Noble’s corner. With just under ten minutes remaining the Princes Park crowd celebrated as Max Cornhill grabbed a winner.

Burman spoke to BBC Radio Kent after the game and was pleased with how his side dealt with the pressure to get three points, he said: “A lot of the players, in the first half of the season, weren’t putting in decent enough performances”, he added: “There’s a few of them we felt were good players at the start of the season that are now telling us they are”.

Although the Darts remain in 22nd place the gap to safety has reduced from five to two points. Aldershot Town’s win versus relegated Hyde kept the Hampshire club’s noses in front, whilst Hereford United and Chester were beaten.

Earlier in the season the Darts were brushed aside at Kenilworth Road as the Hatters began their incredible run of 27 league matches without defeat, three games short of Crawley Town’s record set in 2010/11. Paul Benson scored his first goal in a Luton Town shirt when his effort went in off the post. Elliot Bradbrook missed a great opportunity and within seconds Luke Guttridge scored at the other end. Alex Lawless who had just returned from injury made it 3-0 just after the hour when he took the ball round Alan Julian.

Last time out at Princes Park, Dartford completed a double over the Bedfordshire club with a 1-0 victory. The first half was quiet with Nathan Collier forcing Mark Tyler into a save and Andre Gray striking the post for the Hatters. The second half had its moments and was lit up by Ryan Hayes, who settled the match with eighteen minutes remaining with a delightful curler. Back in November 2012 the Darts came home from Kenilworth Road with a shock 2-0 win. Lee Noble’s crossed free kick went straight in and Tom Bonner’s close range header earned Dartford three points.

Tony Burman will be without two loan players, Luton Town players Jim Stevenson in midfield and striker Alex Wall cannot face their parent club. Burman has used his connection with Hatters manager John Still, who managed the Darts between 1983-1986 when Burman was firing in goals for Dartford.

Luton Town sit 13 points clear at the summit of the Conference Premier and look likely to return to the Football League. However, the league’s top scorers have won two of their last six. After the Hatters lost their unbeaten run at home to Woking they bounced back with two victories. On the weekend, the Hatters faced a tough trip to FC Halifax Town who have lost just once at The Shay. It was the Yorkshire club that came out on top once more at home winning their fifth in a row thanks to goals from Marc Roberts and Conference Premier top scorer Lee Gregory.

Dartford’s defence will certainly have to be kept on their toes as they are likely to face Andre Gray, who is a goal behind Gregory on 26 and the experienced Paul Benson who’s tally is 17.

Expecting the biggest gate of the season, Burman will hope the noise levels can spur the Darts on to another much needed win.

Team News

Dartford will be without the impressive Alex Wall and Jim Stevenson, both players are contracted to Luton Town and are therefore illegible. Ryan Hayes is out of action due to a long term injury. Luton Town have been missing the services of  Jonathan Smith, Luke Guttridge and Danny Fitzsimons recently, but named an unchanged side in the defeat at FC Halifax Town.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Luton Town wins: 2 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Dartford (WWDLLD) Luton Town (LWWLDD)
Macclesfield Town H 2-1 FC Halifax Town A 0-2
Hyde A 2-0 Grimsby Town A 2-1
Cambridge United A 1-1 Chester H 3-0
Chester H 0-1 Woking H 0-1
Southport A 0-3 Cambridge United A 1-1
Aldershot Town H 1-1 Salisbury City A 0-0

Last Meeting At Princes Park

12 February  2013 – Dartford 1 Luton Town 0 – Att: 1802

Goalscorers: Hayes (72)

The Darts Lineup: Bettinelli, Green, Arber, Bonner, Rose, Champion, Bradbrook, Hayes, noble, Harris, Collier (Sub used: Rogers, Wallis, Erskine)

The Hatters Lineup: Tyler, McNulty, Kovacs, Howells, Henry, Mendy, Martin, Neilson, Smith, Shaw, Gray (Sub used: O’Donnell, Rendell, Taylor)

Match Stats

dfc v ltfc stats

Previous Meetings

17.09.2013 Luton Town 3 Dartford 0
12.02.2013 Dartford 1 Luton Town 0
10.11.2012 Luton Town 0 Dartford 2
22.10.1904 Luton Town 12 Dartford 0

League Stats 

2 – Dartford’s come back on Saturday is only the second time the Darts have conceded first and went on to claim all three points. The only other time was their 5-1 thrashing of Woking

3 – Opening up Luton Town in the first fifteen minutes of matches is tough, the Hatters have only let in three goals during this period

10 – Since the loan signing of Alex Wall, the Darts have averaged more shots at goal. Dartford managed an average of seven attempts pre Wall which has now increased to 10.72 shots per game.

20 – The Hatters have kept the most clean sheets and at one point went 564 minutes without conceding. In that run the Hertfordshire club notched up back to back 7-0, 5-0 and 5-0 wins. Only Cambridge United have gone longer this season without conceding a goal (602 minutes)

88 – Luton Town have netted the most goals in the Conference Premier this season

1164 – Dartford’s average league crowd at Princes Park this season will be easily surpassed. The Hatters can boast the biggest support home and away this season, averaging just under 7000 at Kenilworth Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dartford v Macclesfield Town

Victory this weekend against mid table Macclesfield Town will keep Dartford within touching distance of escaping the bottom four.

With results going the way of the Darts a week ago the gap to safety reduced to three points. Tony Burman’s side picked up a valuable draw at Cambridge United before a crucial win at Hyde. Alex Wall’s brace took Hyde’s goals conceded tally past a century but it took until the second half for the Darts to get in front. Just before the hour the on loan striker headed his first from six yards out. Wall made sure the points came back to Princes Park with ten minutes remaining when he finished Danny Harris’s cross.

Wall has now scored six times in ten league appearances including three in the last two matches. His last minute equaliser at Cambridge United has given the club more hope after a disappointing run against sides struggling at the bottom. Hereford United, Aldershot Town, Chester and Tamworth all lost last weekend and Southport dropped two points. Tony Burman believes that the impact Wall has had on the team as certainly helped with the clubs survival chances.

Results on Tuesday night have left Dartford five points from safety with a game in hand. Chester’s win over Tamworth gives the Darts a cushion over the Lambs whilst remaining close enough to Chester. Tony Burman’s side have now got to eye up Aldershot Town and the plummeting Hereford United to climb out of the bottom four.

Dartford know a repeat of last season’s result against Macclesfield Town will be crucial. The Darts last recorded a fine 2-0 win against this weekends opponents. On a freezing cold Tuesday night, the crowd were warmed up by Jon Wallis’s extraordinary 40 yard lob over former Ebbsfleet United goalkeeper Lance Cronin. Dartford worked hard to restrict the Silkmen and were rewarded when substitutes Danny Harris and Lee Noble combined with eight minutes remaining to secure a much needed triumph.

In this season’s reverse fixture Dartford took the lead when home keeper Rhys Taylor fouled Adam Birchall and Matt Godden scored the resulting penalty. After the break the Silkmen took control scoring three goals in four second-half minutes. Scott Boden headed home a 66th-minute equaliser then on loan Connor Jennings scored a quick brace.

The Silkmen still have an outside chance of reaching the playoffs as they sit in thirteenth place. John Askey’s side have won their last two fixtures, doing a favour for the Darts by beating Tamworth 2-1. Danny Andrew netted a free kick early on before Kevin Thornton levelled for the Lambs. Scott Boden grabbed Macclesfield Town’s winner and his 17th goal in all competitions this season. The Silkmen’s second win in a row followed a 2-0 triumph over Barnet thanks to goals from Paul Turnbull and Chris Holroyd.

On the road, Macclesfield Town have been beaten in their last three attempts. The most recent was a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Southport which followed losses at Kidderminster Harriers and Welling United. The Cheshire club have won once and lost five in their last six away games, only three other teams have a worse record in the last six games. Against teams below them, Macclesfield Town have dominated at their own ground but only beaten Hereford United and Hyde on their travels.

Other Key Games This Weekend

Aldershot Town v Hyde
Hereford United v Grimsby Town
Tamworth v Lincoln City
Welling United v Chester

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Macclesfield Town wins: 3 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WDLLDW) Macclesfield Town (WWLLDL)
Hyde A 2-0 Tamworth H 2-1
Cambridge United A 1-1 Barnet H 2-0
Chester H 0-1 Southport A 1-4
Southport A 0-3 Kidderminster Harriers A 1-2
Aldershot Town H 1-1 Grimsby Town H 1-1
Hereford United H 2-0 Welling United A 0-1

Last Meeting at Princes Park

15 January 2013 – Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 0 – Att: 821

Goalscorers: Wallis (14), Noble (82)

The Darts Lineup: Bettinelli, Burns, Bonner, Arber, Rose, Champion, Wallis, Hayes, Collier, D. Green, Crawford (subs used: Harris, Noble, Erskine)

The Silkmen Lineup: Cronin, N.Brown, Braham-Barrett, Mills, Mackreth, Murtagh, Wedgbury, Henry, Morgan-Smith, Winn, Fairhurst (subs used: Diagne, Payne)

Match Stats

dfc v mtfc stats

Previous Meetings (* F.A Trophy semi finals)

16.11.2013 Macclesfield Town 3 Dartford 1
15.01.2013 Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 0
18.08.2012 Macclesfield Town 2 Dartford 0
15.04.1989* Macclesfield Town 4 Dartford 1
08.04.1989* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
06.04.1974* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
30.03.1974* Macclesfield Town 1 Dartford 2

Hyde v Dartford

Dartford will want to make the most of the opportunity to close the gap on their relegation rivals when they play relegated Hyde on the weekend.

The Darts are currently sitting third from bottom and with teams around them catching up on games, the picture is beginning to look clearer. A win will be vital against basement club Hyde, who are a 22 points behind the next club above them and have conceded 99 goals.

The Darts may have taken a creditable point away to promotion chasers Cambridge United last time out, but they lost ground in their quest to avoid the drop. A spectacular last minute Alex Wall strike rescued a point for Dartford after the away side fell behind to Tom Elliott’s header, against the run of play. The well deserved point may have closed the deficit on Chester, however Southport’s win leaves the Darts five points from safety.

Wall’s first away goal in a Dartford shirt, and fourth in the league this season ended a run of 315 minutes without the club scoring. After a six game unbeaten run, followed by two crucial defeats, Tony Burman will be hoping the draw at the Abbey Stadium is the catalyst to another unbeaten sequence. With just nine games remaining the Darts will see the trip to Hyde as a great chance to put pressure on those above them.

Results in midweek helped the Darts with Chester and Southport drawing with one another and Aldersshot Town picking up just a point, Tamworth failed to register any at all and Hereford United slipped up at Wrexham. All of which means Dartford are six points from safety with a game in hand over Chester and Hereford United.

Hyde will want to forget their season which started with a 27 match winless streak, three games shy of the record set by AFC Telford United last term. The Tigers poor run was popularly followed on social media until they recorded their first win at our Kent rivals Welling United on 14 January 2014. Up to that point the Greater Manchester club picked up just four points including a 12 game losing streak, which they almost ended at Princes Park.

Five months ago a George Monger wonder strike and a Matthew Godden hat trick saw the Darts scrape three points. Dartford fans should partially understand how it feels to be a Hyde supporter. After the 4-3 thriller at home, Dartford went on a run of ten consecutive losses, equalling a club record.

Just over a year ago at the Ewen Fields,  Hyde comfortably ran out 3-0 winners. Up until half time the Darts were still in with a shout despite falling behind to Scott Hogan’s goal. The home side took the initiative against their lacklustre visitors when Matthew Blinkhorn and Louis Almond sealed victory for the Tigers.

Hyde’s last victory has been followed by ten fixtures without a win, however the Greater Manchester club kept a rare clean sheet last weekend drawing 0-0 with struggling Hereford United. The Tigers are nine points away from avoiding the unwanted record of fewest points in a Conference Premier season, set by Leigh RMI in 2004/05.

Team News

Rory McAuley returns to the squad after being unavailable to play against his parent side Cambridge United. Kenny Clark was substituted in the draw with an injury. Ryan Hayes remains a long term absentee, there are no suspension concerns.

Hyde have lost the serrvices of striker Danny Carlton to Chester. Carlton will join the Blues on loan to the end of the season and scored one goal in 24 appearances for Hyde.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Hyde (DLLLDL) Dartford (DLLDWW)
Hereford United A 0-0 Cambridge United A 1-1
Alfreton Town A 0-3 Chester H 0-1
FC Halifax Town H 1-5 Southport A 0-3
Braintree Town A 1-2 Aldershot Town H 1-1
Aldershot Town H 2-2 Hereford United H 2-0
Nuneaton Town A 0-1 Woking H 5-1

Last Meeting at Ewen Fields

16 March 2013 – Hyde 3 Dartford 0 – Att: 475

Goalscorers: Hogan (26), Blinkhorn (69), Almond (83)

The Tigers Lineup: Carnell, Brizell, Griffin, Ashworth, Dennis, Brown, Tomsett, Milligan, Almond, Blinkhorn, Hogan (subs used: Moses, McCartan, Poole)

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

Match Stats

hfcvdfcstats
Previous Meetings

19.10.2013 Dartford 4 Hyde 3
16.03.2013 Hyde 3 Dartford 0
29.09.2012 Dartford 2 Hyde 1

 

Cambridge United v Dartford

Time is running out for the Dartford and with ten games to go the club travel to second place Cambridge United in search of three vital points.

Both the Darts and the U’s are playing catch up for different reasons at opposite ends of the Conference Premier table. Dartford’s good work of six unbeaten matches have been undone in two clashes against relegation rivals. Meanwhile, Cambridge United have lost ground at the league’s summit winning once in their last eight league matches.

Dartford can take heart with the fact they caused an upset at Abbey Stadium last time. Danny Harris scored three minutes into the second half with a speculative effort. The U’s hit back from the spot five minutes from time through James Jennings. However it was Nathan Collier who grabbed the winner in the 88th minute beating Craig Ross, his former goalkeeper at Hampton and Richmond with a deflected shot.

The Darts were also the first club to score three against the U’s this term drawing 3-3 in a thoroughly entertaining affair at Princes Park. After that fixture fortunes turned for both clubs as Tony Burman’s men went on a six game unbeaten run picking up 14 points to bring them within touching distance of safety.

After taking four wins in those six matches, Dartford failed to defeat any of their closest rivals of late. A 1-1 draw against ten men Aldershot Town was followed by two defeats without scoring. Southport took three vital points from the Darts in a 3-0 win and in front of the television cameras Chester won 1-0. In a lacklustre performance Tony Burman’s side were beaten by an excellent James Seddon strike, leaving Dartford four points from safety.

Cambridge United have won one league game since the 3-3 draw at Princes Park and on Tuesday night they missed the chance to close the gap at the top, by drawing 1-1 with league leaders Luton Town. Tom Elliot’s header ended Luton Town’s run of 563 minutes without conceding in the Conference Premier. As the U’s edged three points closer, Mark Cullen levelled the match in the final minute keeping the Hatters 15 points clear at the top.

Richard Money’s side are looking likely to prepare for the playoffs and with the distraction of the F.A Trophy could reach Wembley twice this season. The U’s face Conference South basement boys Gosport Borough in the F.A Trophy final as favourites, but they also know a place in the Football League is just as important.

Rory McAuley will be absent for the Darts because he cannot play against his parent club. Dartford’s midfield are likely to come up against former Dart Tom Champion who has made 33 league appearances for the U’s this term. Former Dartford defender, Tom Bonner could also feature, the 26 year old missed the fixture in January after he needed an ankle operation and has made just three league starts for the U’s this season.

Head to Head

Cambridge United wins: 3 / Dartford wins: 8 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Cambridge United (DLWLDL) Dartford (LLDWWW)
Luton Town H 1-1 Chester H 0-1
Forest Green Rovers A 2-3 Southport A 0-3
Kidderminster Harriers H 5-1 Aldershot Town H 1-1
Braintree Town A 0-1 Hereford United H 2-0
Wrexham H 0-0 Woking H 5-1
Alfreton Town H 0-1 Wrexham A 2-1

Last Meeting at Abbey Stadium

27 August 2012 – Dartford 2 Cambridge United 1 – Att: 2691

Goalscorers: Harris (48), Jennings (85 pen), Collier (88)

The U’s Lineup: Ross, McAuley, Garner, Hudson, Jennings, Willmott, Berry, Wellard, Dunk, Elliott, Moke (subs used: Gibson, Hughes, Smith)

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

Match Stats

cufc v dfc stats
Previous Six Meetings

28.09.2013 Dartford 1 Cambridge United 3
29.09.2012 Dartford 1 Cambridge United 1
27.08.2012 Cambridge United 1 Dartford 2
19.02.1966 Cambridge United 3 Dartford 0
04.09.1965 Dartford 2 Cambridge United 1
13.03.1965 Dartford 2 Cambridge United 0

 

Dartford v Chester

To kick start the Conference Premier weekend, Dartford’s big six pointer against relegation rivals Chester will be in front of the BT Sports cameras.

The Darts have happy Princes Park memories in their last televised match in October 2012 when they beat last season’s Conference Premier champions Mansfield Town.

This time they face a Chester side who drew 0-0 against the Darts back in September, which earned the Blues their first home points of the season. Dartford goalkeeper, Alan Julian made a decent save from Alex Titchiner’s 25-yard effort and later on Danny Harris had the best chance for the Darts, but his shot flew across the Chester goal. The hosts could have taken the lead in the second half through Lewis Turner but he missed the target. Darts defender Kenny Clark also had an opportunity to nick three points for the visitors.

Dartford’s six match unbeaten run came to an end last weekend when they travelled to another relegation threatened side. Southport pulled away from the Darts in the league standings thanks to the influential Osayamen Osawe. The 21 year old caused the Darts defence all sorts of problems in the first half and he turned provider in the twelfth minute. Osawe’s cross gave the Sandgrounders top scorer Danny Hattersley a chance which he took from close range. During the second half, the Darts showed promise and began to get on top in the match, but were left with too much to do when Jason Walker added a second for the Merseysiders. The game was killed off by the hosts in the 78th minute as Osawe’s turn and shot made it 3-0 to Southport.

Tony Burman spoke to BBC Radio Kent after the match and said: “We were in the game until the second goal. Second half we took the game to Southport, but we were just not organised for the breakaway”. Dartford’s boss was also pleased with the early substitutions he made, he commented: “The guys who came on did well enough. When we were 1-0 down we took the game to Southport and we got no reward”. Once again Burman highlighted his goals for the end of the season he added: “It’s tight enough at that end of the table and the league we’re in is the five teams at the bottom of the table. We’ve got to finish top of that league”.

On the same afternoon Chester were involved in a thoroughly entertaining affair with Nuneaton Town. Reduced to ten men after just eight minutes, the Blues took the lead three times. Jason Jarrett was dismissed for fighting early on, but the Deva Stadium came alive when John Rooney fired Chester in front. Louis Moult levelled the match after half hour but Steve Burr’s side went back in front through Matty Taylor, his fifth goal in three games. Andy Brown headed home a second equaliser on the stroke of half time for the Boro. Ross Killock hit a third with twenty minutes remaining and with Chester close to victory Brown equalised again.

Chester changed tact in the New Year following the departure of Neil Young who had guided the club back to the Conference Premier. Young had taken just four wins in 25 matches leaving the Blues third from bottom. In came former Kidderminster Harriers boss Steve Burr who has four league wins from nine in charge, taking his new team out of the relegation zone.

The Blues, three points above Aldershot Town who are in the drop zone, have been vulnerable defensively of late. Just over a week ago they conceded another three but still claimed three points against second from bottom side Tamworth, by netting four of their own. With 13 goals scored in Chester’s last two league outings it could be a tense evening in front of the cameras.

Team News

Tony Burman is likely to bring back first team players who were rested in Tuesday’s Kent Senior Cup Quarter Final against Dover Athletic. Last weekend Mat Mitchel-King and Elliot Bradbrook couldn’t make it through the ninety minutes. Mitchel-King departed early in the first half with an ankle injury and Bradbrook dislocated his finger. Creative winger Ryan Hayes remains out of action for the Darts.

Chester will be with the suspended Jason Jarrett, the experienced midfielder has made 20 league appearances for the Blues this season. Steve Burr gave Ricky Bridge his début last weekend, the defender signed from Northern Premier League Division One side Newcastle Town.

Current Form

Dartford (LDWWWD) Chester (DWDWLL)
Southport A 0-3 Nuneaton Town H 3-3
Aldershot Town H 1-1 Tamworth A 4-3
Hereford United H 2-0 Lincoln City A 1-1
Woking H 5-1 FC Halifax Town H 2-1
Wrexham A 2-1 Macclesfield Town A 2-3
Cambridge United H 3-3 Welling United H 1-3

Stats

4 – Dartford are currently four league games unbeaten at Princes Park. Chester have yet to lose against the bottom four

6 – Chester’s top scorer in the league is Matty Taylor, the striker has made six appearances on loan from Forest Green Rovers averaging a goal a game

10 – Chester have racked up ten red cards in the Conference Premier this season more than any other club

258 – Dartford have had the fewest attempts at goal out of all Conference Premier clubs in this season’s league campaign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dartford v Dover Athletic

A place in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final is up for grabs when Dartford host Dover Athletic in the last eight of the competition.

The Darts are the highest ranked club left in the cup and victory will secure a tie with Conference South league leaders Bromley. First Tony Burman’s side have to get past a Dover Athletic side who are five places below Bromley and pushing for a playoff spot.

During Dartford’s rise from the Isthmian Division One to the Conference Premier a rivalry has blossomed with The Whites since the 2006/07 season. The last meeting between to the two clubs was back in December 2011 when Dartford triumphed 3-1. Adam Green settled any early nerves scoring from the spot, the penalty was won by Elliot Bradbrook in the sixth minute. The visitors hit back when Agustin Battipiedi rose the highest to head in the equaliser from Barry Cogan’s free kick. It took until just past the hour for the Darts to edge back in front, Ryan Hayes whipped in a dangerous free kick which eluded everyone and ended up in the back of the net. As Dover Athletic pushed for a leveller they were caught out with three minutes remaining, Bradbrook’s neat control was expertly finished with a 25 yard curling effort leaving Mikhael Jamiez-Ruiz stranded.

Four goals were also recorded in the previous two meetings. A 2-2 draw in the same season saw Dover Athletic come from behind twice.  Charlie Sheringham’s quick fire opener was cancelled out by former Dart loanee, George Purcell’s equaliser. Bradbrook’s header put Dartford ahead until Billy Bricknell levelled the match. In the campaign before, the Darts claimed a convincing 4-0 victory at Princes Park with two goals from Sheringham and a goal each for Tom Champion and Danny Harris.

Dartford’s six match unbeaten run came to an end on the weekend when they travelled up to fellow relegation threatened side Southport. Osayamen Osawe caused the Darts defence all sorts of problems in the first half and he turned provider in the twelfth minute. Osawe’s cross gave the Sandgrounders top scorer Danny Hattersley a chance which he took from close range. The Darts showed promise and began to get on top in the match during the second half, but were left with too much to do when Jason Walker added a second for Southport. The game was killed off by the hosts who regained control in the 78th minute as Osawe’s turn and shot made it 3-0 to Southport.

The starting eleven is likely to change as manager Tony Burman has used the Kent Senior Cup to look at some academy and first team squad players. Eight players have started both rounds so far although Ryan Hayes is out injured and will miss the Quarter Final.

Dover Athletic are targeting a return to the Conference Premier after twelve years away. Last season they came close by losing 3-2 in the playoff final, after extra time against Salisbury City. Now managed by Chris Kinnear for the second time, his last spell was between 1985-1995, the Whites are currently ninth in the table two points from the top five. Kinnear is Dover Athletic’s most successful manager leading the club to three titles before reaching the top flight of non league football in 1993, where the club stayed until 2002.

The Darts could welcome back James Rogers, the midfielder joined Dartford from Margate in 2011 and made 103 appearances for under Burman. Rogers left the Darts this season after making seven appearances to rejoin Dover Athletic, where he has spent the majority of his career.

Dover Athletic arrive at Princes Park after hosting this season’s surprise F.A Trophy finalists Gosport Borough. Their visitors, fresh from their semi final win against rivals Havant and Waterlooville, were no match for Dover Athletic who claimed a convincing 3-0 win. Tom Murphy, Barry Cogan and Liam Bellamy scored the goals to move the Whites into sixth position and two points behind the playoffs with games in hand. Victory against the leagues bottom club ended a run of two successive defeats.

Like Dartford, the Whites have often made changes to their starting eleven for the Kent Senior Cup, with nine players involved in both rounds. A trio of  former Ebbsfleet United players have featured in both rounds, Nathan Elder, who netted against the Darts last season, Liam Bellamy and Ashley Carew.

Team News

If featured Lee Noble will make his 250th appearance since joining the club from Brentwood in May 2008, the midfielder has started 176 games, made 73 substitute appearances and scored 35 goals for the Darts. Mat Mitchel-King departed mid way through the first half on Saturday with an ankle injury and Elliot Bradbrook early in the second half with a dislocated finger.

Previous Rounds

Round One

Welling United 2 Dartford 3

Two late goals from the Darts was enough to seal a second round place in a five goal entertainer. Mohamed Eisa’s first half goal was cancelled out by Loick Pires, but late strikes from Alex Woodyard and Brima Daramy was too much for the Wings despite Loui Fazakerley’s consolation.

Dover Athletic 8 Margate 0

The Whites cruised into round two equalling the clubs biggest competitive victory. Michael Bakare recorded a hat-trick whilst Ashley Carew added two free-kicks. Nathan Elder and Barry Cogan found themselves on the score sheet and former Dart, John Beales scored an own goal. At least goalkeeper Mitch Walker had something to do when he saved a Margate penalty.

Round Two

Dartford 1 Charlton Athletic 0

The Darts knocked the Addicks out of the Kent Senior Cup for the second time in three seasons. Once again Dartford left it late to scrape into the next round. Despite Charlton Athletic’s dominance for long periods, Dartford’s youth held their nerve and in the final minute Mohamed Eisa’s free kick grabbed victory for the hosts.

Dover Athletic 3 Erith and Belverdere 1

Chris Kinnear’s side edged past Erith and Belverdere, a team two divisions lower. Nathan Elder gave the hosts a lead just before the break. That advantage was extended in the second half with goals from Elliott Charles and Ricky Modeste. The Kent League champions managed to pull a goal back through Mo Conteh, but it was Dover Athletic who progressed to the Quarter Finals.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 31 / Dover Athletic wins: 33 / Draws: 23

Current Form

Dartford (LDWWWD) Dover Athletic (WLLWWW)
Southport A 0-3 Gosport Borough H 3-0
Aldershot Town H 1-1 Weston Super-Mare A 1-2
Hereford United H 2-0 Sutton United H 0-1
Woking H 5-1 Bath City H 2-0
Wrexham A 2-1 Maidenhead United H 2-0
Cambridge United H 3-3 Chelmsford City H 2-2

Last Meeting At Princes Park

3 December 2013 – Dartford 3 Dover Athletic 1 – Att: 1558

Goalscorers: Green (6 pen), Battipiedi (13), Hayes (62), Bradbrook (87)

The Darts Lineup: Wells, Jones, Green, Bonner, Goodacre, Champion, Hayes, Wallis, Burns, Bradbrook, Rogers (subs used: Noble, Graham, Harris)

The Whites Lineup: Jamiez-Ruiz, Starkey, Wynter, Battipiedi, Schulz,  Huke, Cogan, Southam, Walker, Purcell, Redwood (subs used: Bricknell, Baker)

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

03.12.2011 Dartford 3 Dover Athletic 1
23.08.2011 Dover Athletic 2 Dartford 2
25.04.2011 Dartford 4 Dover Athletic 0
09.11.2010 Dover Athletic 0 Dartford 2
21.11.2009* Dover Athletic 3 Dartford 2

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in four matches against Dover Athletic, last losing in the 2009/10 F.A Trophy tie 3-2 at The Crabble.

The last Kent Senior Cup meeting between the Darts and the Whites was in 2007/08. The first round tie ended with the Darts claiming a 2-0 win on 11 December 2007. Elliot Bradbrook’s brother Tom and Junior Kadi scored the goals to send Dartford through.

In the seventies the two sides met in successive Kent Senior Cup finals. The 1970/71 and 1971/72 finals both ended with 3-2 aggregate wins for Dover Athletic. During this period Dartford reached four finals in a row between 1970 & 1973, the Darts won the other two.

Dartford and Dover Athletic have crossed paths on a number of occasions in the last eight years, the graph below charts the progress of both clubs. In 2007/2008, both clubs took the Isthmian Division One title with Dartford winning the Northern section and Dover Athletic the Southern section.

dfc & dafc league progress