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Dartford v Hyde FC

 

The Darts return home this weekend when they take on Conference North champions Hyde FC.

It will be the first meeting between the two sides who have been kept apart by the north/south divide of non league football. Whilst Dartford enjoy a fourth season in non league’s elite, the Tigers have joined the top flight for the first time.

The two clubs agonisingly missed out on meeting each other in the F.A Trophy Final twenty three years ago. Both sides reached the semi-finals with Dartford losing out to Macclesfield Town and Hyde FC, then known as Hyde United fell against Telford United.

Dartford have continued their impressive form recording six wins in their last eight league matches. On Saturday they followed up a 4-0 victory against Hereford United with a respectable 2-2 draw with Welsh side Wrexham. On Tuesday night Tom Bonner scored his first goal of the season and Jacob Erskine headed in the second before half time as the Darts defeated Braintree Town 2-0.

Tony Burman spoke to BBC Radio Kent after the Braintree Town match and said: “This is a difficult place to come, I wanted the players to make sure they were right (after the draw at Wrexham) to come here and I thought we deserved to win”, he added: “Braintree came back at us and we were a bit fortunate not to concede a goal”.

Hyde FC have struggled to get to grips with the Conference Premier picking up one win in their first 11 fixtures and sit at the foot of the table. The Greater Manchester club took until matchday eight to record their first victory which they achieved in style. After opening their campaign with two draws followed by five successive defeats the Tigers defeated Hereford United 5-2 at home. The star of the show was ex Evertonian Phil Jevons who scored a vital hat trick within a 12 minute spell.

Jevons has been in great form scoring five goals in his last three appearances. The ever present striker has plenty of experience with spells at various League One and Two clubs since leaving Everton in 2001. The 33 year old’s best record came in his spell at Yeovil Town where he hit 42 goals in 84 appearances.

On the weekend Scott McNiven’s side threw away a two goal lead at Ewens Fields against newly promoted Nuneaton. Adam Griffin and Jevons put the home team ahead before two goals in a minute by Nuneaton’s Wes York levelled the match. The Conference North champions were due to host Alfreton Town on Tuesday night but the fixture fell victim to the weather and was postponed.

Team News

Loan signing Adam Birchall managed to get a run out on Tuesday night making his first appearance in a Dartford shirt. The striker on loan from Gillingham played 22 minutes replacing Jacob Erskine as a substitute. Louis Wells and Adam Green and yet to be selected in the matchday squads since picking up injury’s and Tom Champion remains one booking away from a suspension.

Hyde FC signed defender Ben Dennis from Championship club Bolton Wanderers on a work experience loan. The youngster made a substitute appearance in Hyde’s 2-2 draw with Nuneaton last weekend.

Form

Dartford (WDWLWW) Hyde FC (DLWLLL)
Braintree Town A 2-0 Nuneaton H 2-2
Wrexham A 2-2 Lincoln City A 2-3
Hereford United H 4-0 Hereford United H 5-2
Gateshead A 0-2 Wrexham A 0-2
Newport County H 2-1 Forest Green Rovers A 1-3
Alfreton Town H 5-1 Southport H 0-2

Dartford have won their last four matches at Princes Park in the league average the second highest points per game ratio at home.

Hyde FC have yet to pick up an away win in five matches and have lost four successive games on their travels

Stats

Harry Crawford has scored all five of his goals at home in as many league fixtures at Princes Park and is Dartford’s top scorer in this campaign.

Dartford’s average attendance in the Conference Premier this season at Princes Park is 1326

Mark Arber, Tom Bonner, Elliot Bradbrook and Tom Champion have played every minute in the league this season for the Darts. Luke Ashworth, Josh Brizell, Alex Brown, Phil Jevons and Scott Spencer have featured in every minute of Hyde’s league campaign.

Dartford have managed to get 65% of their shots on target, the highest accuracy rate in the Conference Premier. Hyde FC have the worst record of 41.67% accuracy but have had 28 more attempts at goal than the Darts.

*stats taken from skysports.com and bbc.co.uk

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