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Kidderminster Harriers v Dartford

 

Dartford have the chance to complete their first league double over a club this season when they travel to Kidderminster Harriers.

The Darts kick started their campaign in the last meeting between the two sides back in August with a 1-0 victory. Substitute Lee Burns headed the vital and his only goal of the season after 36 minutes from a Ryan Hayes corner. Marcus Bettinelli crowned his Princes Park début with a fine display and Adam Green hobbled off with the injury he has suffered from for most of the season.

By the end of Saturday’s match Tony Burman will have seen his squad reach the half way point of the league campaign with still plenty to play for. The Darts continued their F.A Trophy last weekend with a comfortable 3-0 triumph of fellow Kent side Tonbridge Angels.

Dartford got back to winning ways last weekend after losing their last three fixtures. In a cup derby at Princes Park the Darts knocked out the Conference South side. Harry Crawford got his team on their way when at the second attempt he finished a one on one chance to give the Darts an early lead. In the second half Crawford was upended in the penalty box and captain Elliot Bradbrook scored from the spot in his 150th start for the club. The third goal was the pick of the bunch, created by Jacob Erskine’s back heel, Jon Wallis took a touch before emphatically hitting a fine long range strike into the top corner.

In the Conference Premier, Dartford have recorded just one victory in the last six outings leaving the club falling out of the playoffs. The Darts will want to make the most of the journey to the Aggborough Stadium to ensure they keep in touch with the top five and keep the Harriers below them in the standings.

Saturday’s fixture will be a tougher prospect then the meeting back in August as the Harriers are the form side of the Conference Premier. Languishing at the foot of the table three months ago, in a run which included five straight defeats, Kidderminster Harriers are now flying up the table after five consecutive wins.

An unbeaten home spell of eight games, including five clean sheets has helped set Steve Burr’s side on their way up the ladder. The Harriers surprised league leaders Newport County a fortnight ago in a 3-2 victory. Jamille Matt netted all three goals and since returning to the side has been in form with four league goals in as many matches. Prior the strikers time out of football he had scored 17 goals in 38 starts for the club.

Last weekend the Harriers were on the wrong end of a cup upset against Dartford’s next F.A Trophy opponents Bromley. Josh Gowling conceded the vital penalty which Danny Waldren dispatched just before the break. Anthony Malbon had the chance to force a replay in the last minute but his spot kick was saved by Joe Welch as Bromley held on to win 1-0. Kidderminster Harriers suffered only their second defeat in 17 competitive matches.

Dartford will hope to avoid a similar scoreline to the time they last travelled to Aggborough. The Darts were defeated 4-1 during their last spell in the top non league division back in March 1986.

Team News

Mark Arber is still recovering from his fractured jaw but has returned to training. The centre half is available for selection but is unlikely to be rushed back into action.

The Harriers still have Jack Byrne and Marvin Johnson on the injury list and Kyle Storer returns from his one match suspension.

Head to Head

Kidderminster Harriers wins: 11 / Dartford wins: 11 / Draws: 7

Current League Form

Kidderminster Harriers (WWWWWL) Dartford (LLLDWL)
Newport County H 3-2 Lincoln City H 2-4
Tamworth A 1-0 Nuneaton Town A 0-1
Wrexham H 2-0 Tamworth A 2-3
AFC Telford United A 2-0 Southport H 2-2
Nuneaton Town H 1-0 Luton Town A 2-0
Woking A 2-2 Forest Green Rovers H 0-1

Last Meeting

15 August 2012 – Dartford 1 Kidderminster Harriers 0 – Att: 1068

Goalscorer: Burns (36)

The Darts Lineup: Bettinelli, Rose, Bonner, Arber, Green, Hayes, Champion, Bradbrook, Rogers, Harris, Crawford (subs used: Burns, Noble)

The Harriers Lineup: Lewis, Austin, Dunkley, Williams, Shakes, Vincent, Byrne, Johnson, Rowe, Malbon (subs used: Demetriou, Pilkington, Blissett)

Match Stats

Season Stats

Against teams in the top half of the Conference Premier Dartford lead the way


 

 

 

0 – The Harriers are one of three teams yet to have scored a league penalty this season and have yet to have a player sent off.

5 – Kidderminster Harriers currently hold this seasons longest winning, drawing and losing streaks each lasting five matches

67 – The number of shots off target Dartford have racked up, the fewest in the division. However, only Southport have attempted less shots at the opposition’s goal in total.

416 – Between 6 November 2012 and 8 December 2012 the Harriers went 416 minutes without conceding a goal. Only Wrexham have lasted longer (464 minutes) this season without letting in a goal

2231 – The average attendance involving league games when Dartford are the away side. Only Wrexham and Macclesfield Town have a better away average.

* stats collated from bbc.co.uk and statto.com

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