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Cambridge United v Dartford

Dartford clinched their first Conference Premier win in 26 years on Saturday and hope to add to their points tally at Cambridge United tomorrow.

Monday’s Bank Holiday clash will be the first meeting between the two sides since 1966 when the U’s won 3-0. However it is the Darts that hold the better record with seven wins to three.

The two clubs have been kept apart for so long due to Cambridge United’s success in the Football League. Elected in 1970, the U’s reached their peak in the early nineties climbing to the second tier of English football. Dartford’s trip to the Abbey Stadium will be the first time the club has returned there since defeat 42 years ago.

After four games Dartford finally registered points in a 1-0 win against basement side Kidderminster Harriers. Lee Burns scored the decisive goal with a excellently taken header after 36 minutes. Ryan Hayes made his first start impressing on the wing with a man of the match performance and goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli recorded his first clean sheet.

Tony Burman was delighted with the three points but felt his side has played better in the previous three games. The Dartford boss told BBC Radio Kent: “”It’s good to get off the mark but it was only a matter of time. We played better in the three games we had but today we got the three points”.

Tomorrow’s fixture will be tough against an unbeaten Cambridge United team who occupy sixth spot. The signing of Tom Elliott in May has proven to be astute by manager Gez George. In the first three fixtures, the 20 year old has opened the scoring in a draw and two wins. His first of the season was cancelled out by a last minute penalty against Forest Green Rovers. The former Stockport County striker netted in The U’s 2-1 win versus Lincoln City and scored a brace within a three minute spell in a 2-0 triumph against Southport.

On the weekend the striker failed to added to his tally in a 2-2 draw against newly promoted Nuneaton. Unsurprisingly Elliott netted first but a minute later Adam Walker equalised. James Armson finished a penalty in the final minute but a dramatic finish ended when U’s defender popped up to grab a draw.

Team News

Full back Adam Green hobbled off with assistance on Saturday and could be a doubt. Louis Wells remains on the sideline with a groin injury.

Michael Gash and Adam Marriott have secured loan deals for a month. Gash moved to Braintree Town and Marriott to Conference North side Bishop’s Stortford. Injuries to Kevin Roberts and Jonathan Thorpe has reduced the players available for Gez George.

Did you know…

Dartford conceded just two fouls against Kidderminster Harriers, the lowest by any Conference Premier side in a match this season.

The Darts last away day victory in the Conference was on 23 November 1985 against Barrow when the game ended 2-1. Four months later they tasted their last win in the top flight of non league football before Saturday, also against Barrow.

Cambridge United are one of six unbeaten clubs in the Conference Premier and only lost six in the league at the Abbey Stadium last season.

 

 

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