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Barrow v Dartford

 

After suffering their heaviest defeat of the season on Tuesday night the Darts aim to bounce back with a long trip to Barrow on Non League Day.

Dartford’s last journey to Holker Street ended in a 2-1 victory during their last spell in the Conference Premier which was to be their last away win of that season. Four months later the Darts completed a rare double winning 3-2 at Watling Street, which ended up being their last triumph of the 1985/86 campaign. The Darts have only played Barrow six times in each of their stints in the top flight of non league football.

Preparations for the weekend suffered a set back on Tuesday night as Tony Burman’s side were beaten 4-1 by AFC Telford United at Princes Park. The defeat keeps Dartford in the last playoff position and is the first time the team have lost in six league and cup matches.

Former Northern Ireland international Steve Jones opened the scoring when he made the most of some questionable defending. Two minutes later the 35 year old striker scored another to double the lead and his goal tally for the season. A deflected shot in the second half from Luke Hubbins made it 3-0 and a fourth was added in style when a 30 yarder was sent flying into Marcus Bettenelli’s net by Phil Trainer. Elliot Bradbrook nodded home a consolation but the hosts were unable to make the most of their chances throughout the ninety minutes.

Despite defeat fans applauded the performance considering the visitors were clinical in their finishing. Tony Burman also recognised the harshness of the league and told BBC Radio Kent: “We haven’t punished them in the first 20 minutes, we made two mistakes and got punished severely”, he added: “I don’t think we’ve played that badly. That’s what this league is about, you’ll play well and you’ll lose”.

The loss put an end to an exceptional run which included away wins at Braintree Town and Grimsby Town and a credible draw at Wrexham. Dartford’s fine form has propelled the Darts into fifth spot and will be hoping to overcome nineteenth place Barrow.

Barrow have shown some fighting spirit over the last week with back to back wins for the first time this season. Last Saturday the Bluebirds trailed 2-0 against Braintree Town before coming back to win 3-2, Louis Almond scored before the break and equalised with nine minutes to go. In the last minute summer signing Danny Rowe won it for Barrow.

Yet again on Tuesday night the Bluebirds staged a dramatic come back. Southport were two up after 73 minutes until Adam Boyes netted his fourth and fifth goals of the season the up popped up Richie Baker with four minutes remaining to earn Barrow their first home win in the league this season.

The two time F.A Trophy winners failed to win any of their first seven league matches but they have been lifted up the table after better performances since September. The Bluebirds are hoping for an improvement on their average gate of 879 by giving away 1200 free tickets to junior school children who will gain free entry with a paying adult.

Team News

Tom Champion picked up an injury in Tuesday nights defeat and was substituted with twenty minutes to go. Louis Wells and Adam Green have missed out on the last 12 and 10 league matches respectively.

Head to Head

Barrow Wins: 2 / Dartford Wins 3 / Draws: 1

Last Six Meetings

1986 Dartford 3 Barrow 2
1985 Barrow 1 Dartford 2
1985 Dartford 2 Barrow 0
1984 Barrow 0 Dartford 0
1982 Barrow 2 Dartford 0
1981 Dartford 0 Barrow 2

Current Form

Barrow (WWWDWL) Dartford (LWWWDW)
Southport H 3-2 AFC Telford United H 1-4
Braintree Town A 3-2 Grimsby Town A 2-0
Cambridge United H 1-4 Hyde H 2-1
Wrexham A 0-3 Braintree Town A 2-0
Ebbsfleet United A 4-2 Wrexham A 2-2
Newport County H 0-3 Hereford United H 4-0

Barrow have managed one win at Holker Street this campaign which came at their seventh attempt.

Dartford are unbeaten in three away games, winning their last two matches on the road.

Stats

4.37 – The last eight matches involving Barrow have averaged 4.37 goals per game, the league average is 3.05 goals per game

12 – Games since the Bluebirds kept a clean sheet, the longest sequence in the Conference Premier this season

15 – The most goals conceded at home by any club Barrow also have the worst home record in this campaign

Barrow may have left it late to win their last two matches but Dartford have scored the most goals in the final fifteen minutes of games. The Darts also like to keep it tight at the back for the first quarter of an hour as the graph below suggests:

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