Dartford v Kidderminster Harriers


At least one team will get off the mark on Saturday as the two bottom clubs Dartford and Kidderminster Harriers face each other at Princes Park.

Dartford last met the Harriers in their final season in the Alliance Premier League, now the Conference Premier back in 1985/1986. At Watling Street the Darts emphatically recorded a 5-1 win which was one of their highlights and the biggest victory of their season. The return fixture at Aggborough was stark in contrast as Kidderminster Harriers claimed a convincing 4-1 triumph.

It has been a tough opening week for the Darts who suffered a third successive league defeat this time against Macclesfield Town. A Tom Champion own goal and a last minute penalty converted by Silkmen’s midfielder Charlie Henry ensured the home team won 2-0.

Tony Burman was pleased with the first half hour and felt his side should have taken advantage of the chances created. However after the own goal the pressure mounted on his players.

One bright spark on a disappointing afternoon was goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli who was drafted in on loan to replace the injured Louis Wells. At 20 years old the Fulham Academy youngster made his Dartford début at the Moss Rose Ground. Also making their first starts for the club were striker Harry Crawford and full back Richard Rose.

Kidderminster Harriers finished sixth, outside of the play-offs for the third time in seven years last season. Whilst they didn’t struggle for goals, racking up the fourth highest total in the Conference Premier they shipped in a fair few.

This season the Harriers took 188 minutes to open their goalscoring account in a 3-2 defeat at home to Mansfield Town. After taking the lead twice through midfielder Jack Byrne and striker Marvin Johnson, Kidderminster Harriers failed to hold on. In the week they fell to league favourites Luton Town in a 2-0 defeat and a week ago lost 1-0 away at Lincoln City.

In an attempt to strengthen the back line Steve Burr can now look towards experienced defender Exodus Geohaghon who spent time with Championship club Peterborough United. Whilst in attack Ricky Shakes, formerly of Kent rivals Ebbsfleet United has been involved in the first team with one start and two substitute appearances. The Kidderminster Harriers boss also captured the signing of Nathan Blissett last Friday, who has previously teamed up with Saturday’s goalscorer Johnson at Romulus in the Northern League Division One.

Burr is far from satisfied by his teams performance so far and believes some players are not producing the goods but they can still show what they can do collectively. In the home dug out Burman is optimistic that the Darts can get up and running by taking points on Saturday.

Team News

Marcus Bettinelli is expected to make his Princes Park début in goal for the Darts replacing the injured Louis Wells. Lee Noble returns from his one match suspension after missing last weekends defeat at Macclesfield Town.

The Harriers will be missing defender Lee Vaughan who will serve his final match of his four game ban. The 26 year old was sent off on the final day of last season in a 3-0 defeat against Mansfield Town.

Did you know…

Saturday’s meeting will be the 29th time the two teams have met. Dartford are one win behind on ten and on seven occasions the two sides have drawn.

Possession is not always the key, the Harriers have yet to have less possession than their opponents in the Conference Premier this season and have lost every match so far.

Including last season Kidderminster Harriers have lost their lost five league matches.

Kidderminster Harriers boss, Steve Burr was on the scoresheet last time he played against the Darts in the F.A Trophy semi-final back in 1989. Burr was playing for our last opponents Macclesfield Town who reached Wembley with a 4-1 aggregate win.

The Darts have taken 17 shots at goal scoring twice, a success rate of 12%. The Harriers have taken twice as many shots with just two goals to show. The table below selected statistics from this season so far.

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