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Staines Town v Dartford

A second journey to Middlesex in three days awaits Dartford on Tuesday night when they take on Staines Town at Wheatsheaf Park.

The Darts will hope to make their game in hand count over the teams above them with a three point haul. The Swans have picked up some excellent results in recent weeks and continue their fight for survival at the bottom of the Conference South.

Ryan Hayes celebrates scoring from the spot

For a successive match one of Dartford’s mid season signings will be facing his former club. Goalkeeper Louis Wells played against The Darts earlier in the season and ended up on the losing side. Dartford came from behind at Princes Park back in September when Adam Everitt scored a penalty with eighteen minutes played. Undeterred by the deficit The Darts fought back in the second half. First Ryan Hayes was brought down in the box, he stepped up and tucked the spot kick away to draw the sides level. Then, in the 73rd minute Tom Champion went up for a corner and his bullet header gave Dartford their first ever victory against Staines Town at the sixth attempt.

In last seasons meeting at Wheatsheaf Park, Staines Town ran out 2-0 winners. The league meeting was brought to life on four minutes when the home side went in front from a quick break finished by Andre Scarlett. The lead was doubled when Elliot Onochie cut into the box and set up Scott Taylor who made it two.

Dartford enter Tuesday nights Conference South clash in good form. One defeat in ten league games has seen The Darts maintain pressure on the sides above them. On Saturday, Tony Burman’s team had to come back from a goal down to defeat Hampton and Richmond 3-1 at The Beveree. James Simmons gave the hosts the lead inside ten minutes but Dartford continued to control the game. Just after the half hour mark Elliot Bradbrook’s looping header tied the match and the sides went in at the break all square. In the second half, Bradbrook scored his fourth goal in two league games with a stunning long range volley which could well win goal of the season. To secure victory Jacob Erskine netted yet again to add to last weeks hat trick in the cup.

Tony Burman was delighted with his sides  performance in difficult conditions, he spoke to PURE DFC and said: “I’m pleased for them because it was a very difficult pitch and the conditions were not so good with the wind. We had a warning early on, we didn’t clear the ball as well as we should have done and then didn’t charge the guy down who had the shot”.

Despite going a goal down Burman praised the teams professionalism and added: “They took the lead which put us under pressure. All in all we should have come in at half time with more than the one goal. Having said that the boys come out the second half and did the business”.

Louis Wells in action for The Darts

Whilst Dartford helped out Staines Town with a win against Hampton and Richmond, Staines Town have returned the favour in recent weeks. Prior to the league match against Woking a fortnight ago Staines had failed to keep a clean sheet in the Conference South and win back to back league games, now that has all changed. The Swans caused an upset two weeks ago when they travelled to the league leaders and won 1-0. On Saturday, Steve Cordery’s team were at it again and this time defeated Chelmsford City by a solitary goal at Melbourne Park.

Cast your mind back to our last match at Wheatsheaf Park and The Swans were challenging for a top ten spot with The Darts. However, the tail end of last season saw the Middlesex club win just twice in their final sixteen fixtures. In fact Staines picked up just one point out of the last twenty one available in 2010/2011. This season the poor form has continued until recently with two wins from the first eighteen league matches leaving the club in a relegation battle. Despite the wins away from Wheatsheaf Park over the past two weeks only Thurrock have a home record worse than The Swans this season.

Team News

 Tom Champion will be out through suspension and Lee Noble who was substituted on the weekend with an injury will be assessed before Tuesday’s match and could feature.

Since Dartford’s last meeting with The Swans, Steve Cordery has added to his squad which includes the return of crowd favourite Ali Chaaban who shot to fame during The Swans 2009 F.A Cup run. Rhys Evans, former Swindon player of the year replaced Louis Wells back in November and recently Mo Shariff has joined The Swans on loan from Queens Park Rangers.

Statistics (league only)

Staines Town (19th) v Dartford (4th)

Current Form

Last five Staines Town matches at home Last five Dartford matches away
Lost 1-4  v Hampton and Richmond Won 3-1 v Hampton and Richmond
Lost 0-3 v Dover Athletic Won 4-1 v Havant and Waterlooville
Drew 1-1 v Havant and Waterlooville Drew 1-1 v Welling United
Lost 1-4 v Sutton United Drew 2-2 v Eastleigh
Lost 0-1 v Woking Won 2-1 v Salisbury City

Attendances

Staines Town average home attendance: 452 (18th)

Highest home attendance: 1019 v Woking / Lowest: 255 v Boreham Wood

Dartford average away attendance: 821 (2nd)

Highest away attendance: 1815 v Welling United / Lowest: 441 v Boreham Wood

Did you know…

For the second Conference South fixture in a row Dartford are playing away to a side from Middlesex occupying nineteenth place and with a current player up against his former club.

In the league, Staines Town have picked up one point from their last six home matches and have yet to keep a clean sheet at Wheatsheaf Park.

Since the departure of Charlie Sheringham Dartford have scored 24 league goals in 11 games at a rate of 2.18 a game. With Sheringham The Darts scored 26 league goals in 12 matches at a rate of 2.16 a game.

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