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Dartford v Thurrock

Dartford complete their trilogy of games against sides in the bottom four on Saturday when they host Thurrock.

The Darts will go into this weekends fixture on the back of four straight victories in the Conference South which has seen the club rise to second spot. With two games in hand Dartford will be determined to reduce the eleven point deficit on league leaders Woking. In between the league matches Dartford also won a cup tie and over the last five competitive games have scored an impressive 16 goals.

Thurrock on the other hand have a deficit of their own to make up. The Fleet prop up the rest of the league table and are seven points from safety. The Essex club have failed to win in their last nine league fixtures but have drawn their last three.

Former Dart Adam Burchell is denied a goal in last seasons encounter

Last season The Darts met Thurrock as favourites when the played at Princes Park. The Fleet were in the bottom three, had just lost 6-1, 7-2 and departed company with their manager Greg Lincoln. This season the story is similar with Dartford in a higher position than twelve months ago and Thurrock at the bottom without a permanent manager. Grant Gordon is part of the management team and he helped mastermind Thurrock’s 1-0 win last season, with the winning goal coming from former Dart loanee Matt Bodkin.

Thurrock started the season managed by former Dartford striker Robbie Garvey but he left the managers post last month and Lee Goodwin has taken charge until the end of the season. Throughout December The Fleet have signed numerous free agents and loan players in an attempt to avoid relegation, a feat they achieved last season due to the demise of Rushden and Diamonds.

The Fleet have still struggled to pick up points since the change in management and lack goals, managing to net just twice in 540 minutes of league football. However, manager Lee Goodwin believes his side are a ‘whisker away’ from a win and his side just need that extra ‘spark’.

Earlier in the season, Dartford comfortably beat Thurrock 3-0 at Ship Lane. Jacob Erskine opened the scoring with his first for the club on 51 minutes, James Rogers netted five minutes later and Jack Pallen wrapped up the win four minutes from time.

Team News

Connor Essam scored his first Dartford goal on Tuesday night and his loan spell has been extended. Tom Champion returns from his two match ban to increase Tony Burman’s options. Former Dart James White will be available to select for the visitors.

Statistics (league only)

Dartford (2nd) v Thurrock (22nd)

Current Form

Last five Dartford matches at home Last five Thurrock matches away
Won 1-0  v Welling United Drew 1-1 v Sutton United
Drew 1-1 v Dorchester Town Lost 0-3 v Dorchester Town
Lost 2-3 v Woking Lost 0-1 v Chelmsford City
Won 3-1 v Dover Athletic Lost 2-3 v Eastleigh
Drew 1-1 v Weston Super-Mare Won 2-0 v Hampton and Richmond

Attendances

Dartford average home attendance: 1313 (2nd)

Highest home attendance: 2559 v Welling United/ Lowest: 924 v Dorchester Town

Thurrock average away attendance: 520 (21st)

Highest away attendance: 1064 v Chelmsford City / Lowest: 162 v Boreham Wood

Did you know…

If Dartford win on Saturday it will be their fifth successive league win, the seventh game without a league defeat and their best run of the season

The Darts have scored in their last 20 league games. The next best team to score consecutively is Truro City with 13 and their run ended on Boxing Day

A clean sheet by Dartford will be the first back to back clean sheets at Princes Park in league this season

Thurrock has the worst goal difference in the Conference South (-32) and have scored the least goals (22)

The Fleet have scored the fewest amount of goals in the first half of league games, just 7 goals

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