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Dartford v Chelmsford City

The Darts could stretch their winning league run at Princes Park to nine when they entertain play off hopefuls Chelmsford City on Saturday.

Since promotion to the Conference South, Dartford have failed to defeat The Clarets in three attempts taking one point last time they met in August. At Melbourne Park the two clubs could not break the deadlock in a 0-0 draw. At the time The Darts lost top spot but considering previous results against the Essex club a draw was a fine result.

Rook opens the scoring last time The Darts played Chelmsford City at home

Last season, Glenn Pennyfather’s team completed a double over Dartford with a 2-0 victory in Essex courtesy of goals from Billy Bricknell after half an hour and Anthony Cook four minutes from time. At Princes Park, Bricknell scored again as The Clarets came from a goal down to win 2-1. Carl Rook opened the scoring on 52 minutes but the lead only lasted six more until Bricknell scored. Rob Edman netted the winner seven minutes later to leave Dartford pointless.

On Tuesday night Dartford kept in touch with top spot in a crucial 1-0 win against Eastbourne Borough. The solitary goal scored by Elliot Bradbrook just before the hour has cut the lead to five points. With Woking playing on Good Friday, a day before Dartford’s clash with Chelmsford City, Tony Burman will be hoping Basingstoke Town can upset the league leaders and five Dartford the chance to further reduce the gap on Saturday.

Since November, Chelmsford City have not fallen below fifth reaching second three times during that period. Recent form has left Pennyfather’s squad looking over their shoulder as one win in six has seen The Clarets in their worst run this campaign. With such a strong squad they do pose a challenge for Dartford and last month acquired Jamie Slabber and Conor Gough. Slabber scored nine league goals for Eastleigh before netting on his Chelmsford debut, since then The Clarets have failed to score in their last two fixtures. Gough joins on loan and Dartford fans will be familiar with the goalkeeper who fractured his cheekbone against The Darts whilst playing for Salisbury City earlier in the season.

For all their poor form The Clarets have the second best away record in the league. After a league’s best, 14 away matches unbeaten from the start of the season, they lost three in a row, their only away defeats in 2011/2012. Chelmsford know a result at Princes Park could help secure a play off position and keep their distance from Dover Athletic and Basingstoke Town.

Statistics (league only)

Dartford (2nd) v Chelmsford City (5th)

Current Form

Last five Dartford matches at home Last five Chelmsford City matches away
Won 2-1 v Maidenhead United Drew 0-0 v Tonbridge Angels
Won 6-1 v Sutton United Won 2-1 v Dorchester town
Won 3-1  v Havant and Waterlooville Lost 2-3 v Sutton United
Won 3-0 v Farnborough Lost 1-2 v Dover Athletic
Won 4-1 v Basingstoke Town Lost 0-1 v Bromley

Attendances

Dartford average home attendance: 1223

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

Chelmsford City average away attendance: 742

Highest away attendance: 1558 v Woking / Lowest: 214 v Eastbourne Borough

Did you know…

8 – Consecutive home wins by Dartford, no other team has had a better winning streak at home this season

14 – On 25 February 2012 Chelmsford suffered their first away defeat of 2011/2012, a run of 14 unbeaten away matches, this season’s Conference South best

17 – From 10 September 2011 to 1 January 2012, Chelmsford City went 17 games unbeaten in the league, a joint best with Woking

19 – Dartford have scored in every league game at home. Chelmsford City were the first team of 2011/2012 to shut The Darts out in all games

0-30 – Chelmsford City have scored 18 times in the first 15 minutes and Dartford have scored 15 times between the 16th and 30th minute. Both records are season’s bests in the Conference South

+35 – Dartford’s second half goal difference. The Darts have scored 49 second half goals, the most in the league and conceded just 14 second half goals, the fewest in the Conference South

 

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