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Brackley Town v Dartford

Dartford participate in their second cup tie in four days on Saturday when they visit Brackley Town in the F.A Trophy First Round.

The Darts are a division higher than their Northamptonshire hosts who are currently top of the Southern Premier League. Dartford caused an upset at this stage last year with a replay win against Conference Premier champions Crawley Town. Tony Burman’s side will be careful this time around not to be on the receiving end.

Danny Harris scores in the last round of the F.A Trophy

Dartford have warmed up to their cup clash by winning three consecutive matches. After defeating Eastbourne Borough in a cup replay, Dover Athletic in the league and Folkestone Invicta in the county cup, The Darts could make it eight matches unbeaten in all competitions with progression to round two.

Tony Burman made seven changes to the starting eleven on Wednesday night and came away with a 4-1 victory. Goals by Jacob Erskine, Tom Bonner and a brace from Richard Graham started The Darts defence of the Kent Senior Cup. Lee Noble hobbled off with an injury in the first half, otherwise it was a comfortable night for the squad against Folkestone Invicta.

Brackley Town have made steady progress in recent years and went top of the Southern League on Tuesday night with an impressive 5-2 win against Oxford City. At their home ground, St James Park they have only dropped four points.

The Saints have never made it passed the first round of the F.A Trophy after three previous attempts. The Saints have so far disposed of Northern Premier League’s Mickleover Sports by a solitary goal, beat Southern Premier League’s Hemel Hempstead Town 3-2 and in the last round defeated Southern League Division One outfit Chertsey Town 2-0.

Brackley were promoted to the Southern League in 2004 having spent just two previous seasons at this level in their entire history between 1997-1999. Two years after promotion from their county league they won the Southern League Midlands by an astonishing 15 points.

Managed by the experienced Jon Brady he guided The Saints to their best ever finish just two years ago. Brackley Town lost in the Southern Premier League playoffs having ended the season in fifth. As a player Brady knows what it takes to win leagues after be involved in title winning sides with Chester City and Rushden and Diamonds in the Conference Premier, Kettering Town in the Conference North and Hayes in the Conference South.

St James Park: Brackley Town's home ground has hosted seven straight wins for The Saints

Brady has managed to sign experienced football league players from Northampton Town and Oxford United. Tom Winters has had three professional seasons with Oxford United whilst captain Chris Wilmott has played for both sides. Goalkeeper Billy Turley has played 243 football league matches with Northampton Town and the now defunct Rushden and Diamonds and former Republic of Ireland international Barry Quinn has earned five caps, 83 appearances with Coventry City and 199 with Oxford United.

One player Dartford will be familiar with is striker Jefferson Louis who has netted seven league goals this season for The Saints. Louis played for Maidenhead United last season and scored against The Darts four minutes from time in the final game of the season, luckily he was on the losing side.

Statistics

Brackley Town (1st – Southern Premier) versus Dartford (3rd – Conference South)

Current Form (league and cup) – FAT = F.A Trophy / CC = County Cup

Last five Brackley Town matches at home Last five Dartford matches away
Won 5-2 v Oxford City Won 4-1 v Folkestone Invicta (CC)
Won 2-0 v Chertsey Town (FAT) Drew 0-0 v Eastbourne Borough (FAT)
Won 3-2 v Bashley Drew 2-2 v Eastleigh
Won 2-1 v Cogenhoe United (CC) Won 2-1 v Salisbury City
Won 1-0 v Mickleover Sports (FAT) Won 3-0 v Thurrock

F.A Trophy Performances

Season Brackley Town Dartford
2010/2011 3rd Qualifying Round: Wealdstone 3rd Round Proper: Gateshead
2009/2010 2nd Qualifying Round: Mossley 3rd Qualifying Round: Dover Athletic
2008/2009 1st Round Proper: Basingstoke Town 3rd Qualifying Round: St Albans City
2007/2008 2nd Qualifying Round: Dover Athletic 1st Qualifying Round: AFC Hornchurch
2006/2007 1st Qualifying Round: Ashford Town (Middlesex) 2nd Qualifying Round: Evesham United
2005/2006 1st Qualifying Round: Banbury United 3rd Qualifying Round: AFC Wimbledon
2004/2005 1st Qualifying Round: Oxford City 1st Round Proper: Redbridge
2003/2004 Competed in F.A Vase 1st Round Proper: Ashford Town (Middlesex)
2002/2003 Competed in F.A Vase Preliminary Round: Salisbury City
2001/2002 Competed in F.A Vase 1st Round Proper: Braintree Town

Attendances (league only)

Brackley Town average home attendance: 231

Highest home attendance: 302 v Evesham United/ Lowest: 193 v Redditch

Dartford average away attendance: 731

Highest away attendance: 1455 v Dover Athletic/ Lowest: 441 v Boreham Wood

Did you know…

Dartford last reached the F.A Trophy first round in back to back seasons in 2003/04 and 2004/05

Brackley Town have won their last seven home fixtures in all competitions.

During October, The Saints did not concede a single goal.

Brackley Town have scored the most Southern Premier League goals this season with 40.

*Attendances taken from www.bluesqsouth.com and www.brackleytownfc.com

 

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