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Dartford v Newport County

 

Top of the table side Newport County will be in town on Tuesday night as Dartford aim to continue their winning run.

The Darts last took on the Welsh club 14 years ago winning 4-2 at Ship Lane during their homeless years in the Southern Premier League. In the away fixture earlier in the 1997/98 season Newport AFC won 3-1 at their former ground.

Dartford go into Tuesday nights fixture on the back of three successive wins including a 5-1 victory against Alfreton Town on the weekend. Credit is due to the squad after a difficult opening week the Darts have also beaten Kidderminster Harriers 1-0 and shocked Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium 2-1.

Hat-trick hero Harry Crawford

Harry Crawford claimed the match ball on Saturday when his hat-trick deservedly earned the striker man of the match. The 20 year old celebrated his third start in a Dartford shirt on 11 minutes when his low accurate drive beat Jon Stewart in the Alfreton Town goal. Strike partner Jacob Erskine used his strength to double the lead before Elliot Bradbrook’s header made it 3-0 right on half time.

After the restart Ryan Hayes delicately chipped a free kick into the Alfreton Town box for Crawford to take advantage of a flick on. Danny Meadows pulled a goal back with ten minutes remaining but just two minutes later Crawford pressured Darran Kempson into a mistake and finished at the second time of asking.

The visitors may have had the majority of possession yet they rarely threatened the Dartford goal. With exception of a consolation Alfreton Town came close twice when Richard Rose and Mark Arber both cleared the ball off the goal line.

Tony Burman was relieved his side managed to get the three points before Tuesday’s game and the long trip to Gateshead, he told PURE DFC: “It was a massive three points with the games we have coming up in the future, it’s daunting but we’ve had a very good week”, he added: “The players have worked hard for a long time now, that’s how we play and that’s how we are. There is a lot more quality to come out on top of our work rate”.

Newport County may have lost the Welsh derby to Wrexham on Saturday but they still sit at summit of the Conference Premier. Five straight wins in August gave last seasons F.A Trophy runners up maximum points thanks to wins against Mansfield Town, Nuneaton, Lincoln City, Braintree Town and Hereford United.

Manager Justin Edinburgh signed Aaron O’Connor in the summer and the striker has weighed in with six goals in as many games, although he has netted just once on the road. Both Edinburgh and O’Connor scooped awards last month with Manager of the Month and Player of the Month respectively. O’Connor’s strike partner Jefferson Louis played against the Darts two years ago scoring for Maidenhead United.

The Exiles recently appointed Lee Scadding as the clubs new Chairman. Known as Sir Les he struck it lucky in the EuroMillions winning £45.5 million in 2009. Scadding will hope with his backing the Welsh club can return to the Football League after 24 years.

Team News

Marcus Bettinelli has impressed with his commanding performances in goal and he will continue on loan as a replacement for injured Louis Wells. Pacey striker and last seasons top scorer Danny Harris was the latest casualty when he was not included in Saturday’s squad against Alfreton Town after he picked up a knock. Adam Green was another player not to take part, the full back has managed four starts this season before being substituted with an injury against Kidderminster Harriers.

Current Form

Dartford

Newport County

Tamworth

H

2-3

Mansfield Town

A

4-3

Woking

A

0-1

Nuneaton

H

4-0

Macclesfield Town

A

0-2

Lincoln City

H

2-1

Kidderminster Harriers

H

1-0

Braintree Town

A

2-1

Cambridge United

A

2-1

Hereford United

H

2-0

Alfreton Town

H

5-1

Wrexham

A

0-2

Did you know…

It is the first time since March 1985 the Darts have achieved three consecutive wins in the top flight of non league football.

Newport County’s six yellow cards on Bank Holiday Monday is the most picked up by any one side this season.

The Darts 5-1 win versus Alfreton Town and The Exiles 4-0 victory against Nuneaton are the biggest winning margins this season.

Stats

Dartford lead the head to head record against Newport County by two goals. Both sides have won three times in eight meetings. The Darts have scored 18 to the Exiles 16.

The Darts are at their most potent in the 15 minutes before half time netting four times. Newport County have scored the same amount in the opening 15 minutes.

Defensively, Dartford have conceded five times in the final 15 minutes. Newport County are at their must vulnerable after half time with four goals let in between 45 and 60 minutes.

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