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Dartford v Truro City

Dartford host Truro City for the first time ever on the weekend as both sides return to Conference South action.

The Darts aim to make it an astonishing seven wins in a row at home this season to keep up with the early pace setters in the division.

Dartford had to come from a goal down on Saturday to progress in the F.A Cup. After losing the lead against Cray Wanderers, Ryan Hayes and substitute Danny Harris turned the game around in a 2-1 win. Tony Burman was pleased with the conduct of his players and told PURE DFC: “We’ve had to come from a goal behind, you have to battle and we’ve done that”, he added “we battled back and showed a lot of commitment”.

Danny Harris scored the winner on Saturday

Harris who has appeared as a substitute for the thirteenth time this term managed to notch his third goal of the season. With the departure of top striker Charlie Sheringham to full time football with League One’s AFC Bournemouth, Harris remains a key member of the squad. Burman values the forwards ability, he commented: “Danny has been a little bit upset that he is not in the starting eleven but unfortunately that’s football. He’s a great player for us to bring on because he is very very quick and he works hard”.

Whilst The Darts made it through to the fourth qualifying round Truro City crashed out with a 7-2 defeat against Conference North side Gloucester City. This result followed a 5-2 loss at home to Basingstoke Town and disappointing draws with Thurrock in the league and Bournemouth Poppies in the cup, although they beat The Poppies 3-2 in a replay.

The White Tigers were promoted as Southern League champions last season and started their début in excellent form. Manager, Lee Hodges guided the Cornish club to three straight wins. However, the next four fixtures ended in defeat and Truro City have picked up just two more wins in the league in nine attempts.

Tom Smith lifts the F.A Vase

No matter where Truro finish this season it will be the highest in their history. Since 2005 the club have won eight trophies including five promotions in just six seasons. The meteoric rise of The White Tigers is largely due to Kevin Heaney who took over the club in 2004. In 2007 Truro City became the first Cornish club to win a national trophy when they beat AFC Totton in the F.A Vase Final at Wembley.

Hodges who was appointed in the summer of 2010 won promotion at the first attempt. One factor in the promotion winning side was ex Premier League striker Barry Hayles who is still at the club.  Now 39 years old the former Fulham striker won 10 caps for Jamaica and was last seasons top goalscorer.

Despite the rapid rise of the Cornish club they are due to appear in court on 31 October 2011 relating to a dispute with a HM Revenue and Customs bill.

As Dartford look to get back to winning ways in the Conference South, Burman will treat Saturday’s fixture “like every other game” and feels The Darts “need to get three points”. Matt Jones missed his second successive game through injury on the weekend for Dartford whilst Truro’s Arran Pugh serves a one match suspension.

Current Form (league only)

Last five Dartford matches at home Last five Truro City matches away
Won 3-1 v Tonbridge Angels Drew 1-1 v Thurrock
Won 2-1 v Staines Town Won 3-1 v Maidenhead United
Won 3-0 v Eastleigh Won 2-1 v Boreham Wood
Won 3-1 v Bromley Lost 1-4 v Havant and Waterlooville
Won 2-1 v Hampton and Richmond Lost 1-2 v Salisbury City

League Stats

Dartford average home attendance: 1182

Highest home attendance: 1550 v Bromley / Lowest: 937 v Hampton and Richmond

Truro City average away attendance: 500

Highest away attendance: 899 v Salisbury City / Lowest: 201 v Thurrock

Minutes Dartford Goals For Dartford Goals Against Truro Goals For Truro Goals Against
0-15 7 2 3 3
16-30 4 4 2 4
31-45+ 4 1 0 3
46-60 2 2 2 4
61-75 5 3 3 2
76-90+ 4 2 5 5

*attendances and minutes of goals taken from www.bluesqsouth.com and www.bbc.co.uk

Did you know…

Dartford’s current winning streak at home in competitive matches dates back to 25 April 2011. Between 27 November 2007 and 22 March 2008 The Darts won 12 competitive games in a row at Princes Park.

Truro City are one of only three Conference South teams to score in every away game in the league this season. Welling United and Weston Super-Mare are the other two clubs.

Truro’s top league goalscorer is Scott Walker who has netted seven times, five of which have been from the penalty spot the most by any player this season. Frannie Collin of Tonbridge Angels has also scored five goals from the spot.

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