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Braintree Town v Dartford

 

 

The Darts will be reacquainted with Braintree Town on Tuesday night when the two sides meet at Cressing Road.

Two seasons ago Dartford put in two exceptional performances against the eventual Conference South champions. In the space of twelve days the Darts won 1-0 at Princes Park with a 79th minute goal from captain Elliot Bradbrook then followed up the victory with 1-1 draw in Essex. On loan striker John Main levelled the scoring on 38 minutes after the Iron took the lead just five minutes in through a Billy Burgess own goal.

 

Elliot Bradbrook pounces to secure Dartford's only win against the Iron in February 2011

Dartford’s tremendous draw with Welsh side Wrexham means the Darts have lost just once in the last seven. On Saturday Tony Burman’s squad visited the Racecourse Ground and Danny Harris’s goal gave his side a shock early lead. Wrexham fought back with goals from Danny Wright and loan signing Andy Bishop. Yet again the Darts continued to keep battling to the end and were rewarded when substitute Lee Noble fired in a last minute free kick.

Burman was delighted with the result, he told BBC Sport: “I thought we thoroughly deserved what we got out of the game. When it was 1-1 we had chances and we got punished”, he added: “We’ve come to a fantastic place, lots of history, good side, experienced side, and I think we’ve come here and given a good account of ourselves”.

Ahead of Tuesday nights fixture Burman has swooped to sign Adam Birchall on a months loan from Gillingham. The striker was prolific at Conference South rivals Dover Athletic breaking the goalscoring record for the league in the 2010/11 season netting 34 times. The 27 year old has been out with a cruciate ligament injury and has made three substitute appearances for the Gills this season.

Braintree Town have more than settled into the Conference Premier. In their promotion season the side kept the most clean sheets and in their début season in the top flight of non league football the Irons reached second place after a dozen games. Inevitably the Essex side couldn’t maintain the challenge but equipped themselves very well to finish in a respectable twelfth.

This season manager Alan Devonshire has expereinced a mixed start to his second season in the Premier. His side are currently occupying fourteenth spot with three wins, three draws and four defeats. With the loss of Jai Reason in the summer the goals have been shared around the squad with Bradley Quinton and Dan Holman scoring three.

Dartford will be familiar with Dean Wells who scored against the Darts for Hampton and Richmond two seasons ago. So far the defender has started every game this campaign helping Braintree Town to a clean sheet on Saturday against Stockport County in a 0-0 stalemate.

Team News

Loan signing Adam Birchall has been added to the squad in a one month deal. Marcus Bettenelli started his eighth league game in succession on the weekend following the injury to goalkeeper Louis Wells. Tom Champion is on four yellow cards and faces a one match suspension if he picks up another caution. Adam Green has yet to feature in the league since 25 August 2012 but was named as a substitute in the Kent Senior Cup last week.

Head to Head

Braintree Town wins: 2 / Dartford wins 1 / Draws: 1

Form

Braintree Town (DLLDWW) Dartford (DWLWWW)
Stockport County H 0-0 Wrexham A 2-2
Mansfield Town A 0-2 Hereford United H 4-0
Macclesfield Town A 1-2 Gateshead A 0-2
Kidderminster Harriers H 1-1 Newport County H 2-1
Tamworth H 2-1 Alfreton Town H 5-1
Woking H 4-1 Cambridge United A 2-1

Dartford have lost just once in seven league matches, picking up 16 out of the last 21 points available.

Braintree Town have gone four matches without a win. At home they have been beaten just once with three draws and a win.

 

Stats

Dartford played in front of 3772 at Wrexham on Saturday, the clubs biggest attendance of the season.

Braintree Town’s average home attendance of 588 is the lowest in the Conference Premier.

Eleven different players have scored for the Darts this term, the most by a club joint with Forest Green Rovers, Grimsby Town and Wrexham.

Both Dartford and Braintree Town have picked up 14 cautions and one red card this season.

The Darts have scored seven of their 16 goals in the final fifteen minutes of games.

Both sides have conceded four goals in the final fifteen minutes of the first half and five goals in the final fifteen minutes of the full 90 minutes.

Shooting Accuracy


* stats taken from skysports.com & bbc.co.uk/sport

** picture courtesy of Dave Adkins

 

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