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Dartford v Havant and Waterlooville

Dartford aim to equal their six match winning home run they set at the start of the season on Saturday when they face Havant and Waterlooville.

Danny Harris celebrates Dartford's first goal in the Conference South

Twenty months ago The Darts crowned their Conference South début with an opening day draw at Princes Park, their opponents that day were Havant and Waterlooville. The two sides have met three times since Dartford’s promotion in 2010 with the spoils shared.

The first of those meetings ended in a 2-2 draw and ended in dramatic fashion. Danny Harris was privileged to score the first goal of Dartford’s Conference South era when he flicked in a Ryan Hayes free kick on twenty six minutes. The Hawks won a penalty after Hayes handled in the area and Bobby Hopkinson equalised.

Wes Fogden looked to have won the match with two minutes to go with an eighteen yard curler. Undeterred The Darts pushed for a point and in the final minute Harris equalled the penalty count when he was upended. Hayes stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to earn a draw.

Westleigh Park hosted the other two fixtures between the sides and last season Havant and Waterlooville won 1-0. Sammy Igoe’s cross was turned into the net by Wes Fogden in the thirty third minute. Fogden’s first half strike earned The Hawks victory which helped the Hampshire club finish a point above Dartford in ninth place last campaign.

Earlier this season The Darts convincingly won 4-1 in an excellent away performance, Elliot Bradbrook and Danny Harris scored two goals each. Bradbrook took twenty one minutes to score the first when he waltzed through the Havant defence to calmly slot the ball home. Harris doubled the lead with half hour played with a well taken lob over onrushing goalkeeper Lyall Beasely.

Bradbrook opens up the Havant defence and scores

The Hawks pulled back a goal in the second half when Scott Jones scrambled in from a corner to give the Hampshire side hope. With fifteen minutes remaining Dartford pulled away when Harris turned the ball into the net from close range and Bradbrook ensured Lee Noble’s free kick ended up over the goal line to make it 4-1.

On Tuesday night The Darts dropped two points at York Road as they were held by Maidenhead United in a 1-1 draw. Alex Wall gave the hosts the lead with 13 minutes played when his shot took a deflection over goalkeeper Louis Wells. The lead was cancelled out by Danny Harris fifteen minutes later when he got on the end of a well worked move. Reece Tison-Lascaris was dismissed on the stroke of half time for an altercation with Louis Wells but Dartford couldn’t take advantage of the extra man. The result leaves The Darts eight points behind league leaders Woking with a game in hand.

In contrast to Dartford’s form The Hawks are struggling of late with one win in nine league games. Away from home they have won just three times and only Thurrock have a worse away record. The Hawks are fighting a relegation battle and are currently in 18th position and just a point above the drop zone.

Havant and Waterlooville lost their third successive game, their sixth in seven on the weekend in a enthralling 4-3 defeat against Woking. During this poor run they have conceded an average of just over three a game but in their only victory they netted six when the beat Dorchester Town 6-3. To add to the Hampshire sides woes of late they were knocked out of their County Cup to AFC Totton on Tuesday night. The Hawks were defeated 2-1 in the semi final against the Southern Premier League side.

Although Havant and Waterlooville have struggled in the Conference South this seaon they do pose a threat up front. Ollie Palmer has netted a dozen league goals in just 14 starts and five substitute apeparances. His strike partner Steve Ramsey has scored the same amount of goals in 26 league starts and a single appearance as a substitute. The duo account for just under half of the teams total goals this season in the league.

Manager Shaun Gale strengthened his squad recently with the signing of midfielder Eddie Hutchinson from Eastbourne Borough. Joe Dolan was also signed by Gale after spells with Bromley and Staines Town this season. Craig Braham-Barrett left The Hawks to join playoff hopefuls Sutton United.

Statistics (league only)

Dartford (2nd) v Havant and Waterlooville (18th)

Current Form

Last five Dartford matches at home Last five Havant and Waterlooville matches away
Won 3-0 v Farnborough Lost 0-2 v Sutton United
Won 4-1 v Basingstoke Town Won 6-3 v Dorchester Town
Won 2-0  v Salisbury City Lost 1-3 v Welling United
Won 6-0 v Thurrock Lost 1-3 v Chelmsford City
Won 1-0 v Welling United Lost 2-3 v Eastleigh

Attendances

Dartford average home attendance: 1253 (2nd)

Highest home attendance: 2559 v Welling United / Lowest: 783 v Basingstoke Town

Havant and Waterlooville average away attendance: 552 (18th)

Highest away attendance: 1655 v Woking/ Lowest: 194 v Thurrock

Did you know…

A win for Dartford will equal their best winning home streak in the Conference South of six set at the start of the season, no other team has won more home games in a row this campaign

At Princes Park The Darts have conceded just one goal in the last 470 minutes of football

Dartford have averaged the most goals per game at home in the league this season with 2.44 goals a match

Havant and Waterlooville have scored the most goals (13) in the league this season during the fifteen minutes before half time

The Hawks have also conceded 17 goals, the most in the first fifteen minutes after half time.

The Hampshire side has conceded 38 times in the second half of league matches this season, the most by any club in the Conference South

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