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FC Halifax Town v Dartford

 

Dartford could earn a place in the F.A Trophy semi-finals for the first time in 24 years when they play FC Halifax Town on Wednesday.

The Darts have been left out in the cold of late having seen their last three fixtures postponed against Braintree Town, Hereford United and Wednesday night’s hosts. Like the Shaymen games have been scarce as clubs around the country struggled to fulfil matches in snowy conditions.

Volunteers have worked hard to clear the pitch in an attempt to host the Shaymen’s first home game since the last round of the trophy just over a fortnight ago.

The Darts last recorded a fine 2-0 win against F.A Cup giant killers Macclesfield Town. On a freezing cold Tuesday night, the crowd were warmed up by Jon Wallis’s extraordinary 40 yard lob over former Ebbsfleet United goalkeeper Lance Cronin. Dartford worked hard to restrict the Silkmen and were rewarded when substitutes Danny Harris and Lee Noble combined with eight minutes remaining to secure a much needed triumph.

Tony Burman’s side will find the going tough having lost top scorer Harry Crawford to Barnet this week but hope to overcome their Conference North opponents. Dartford will be without top goalscorer Harry Crawford after the striker earned a move to League Two side Barnet. The former Southend United player made 28 appearances (18 starts / 10 substitute) for the Darts and scored 15 times in all competitions.

Losing one up front and gaining another at the back, Tony Burman has acquired loan signing Jack Evans from Gillingham. The 19 year old right back will be at Princes Park for at least a month. Evans made it through the Gillingham Centre of Excellence and spent a loan spell at Welling United.

The Shay Stadium

FC Halifax Town sit just outside the Conference North’s top five with a staggering ten games in hand over league leaders Chester. The Shaymen look a strong possibility to reach the playoffs having lost just four games in the league and conceded the fewest goals in the Conference North, although fixture congestion will stretch the club.

Former Leeds United and Port Vale defender Neil Aspin has led his side to the last eight for the first time since the club reformed. After tax debts brought Halifax Town to an end, the Shaymen have since risen back up from the Northern Premier League Division One North. Aspin earned back to back promotions since his appointment in 2009 and was denied a third successive one last season in the playoffs.

The Shaymen have made plenty of progress to get back to where they once were and in their former guise spent over 80 years in the Football League.

F.A Trophy Semi-Final Draw

Wrexham v Gainsborough Trinity, Gateshead or Barrow

Grimsby Town or Luton Town v FC Halifax Town or Dartford

1st leg scheduled for Saturday 16 February 2013 / 2nd leg scheduled for 23 February 2013

Current Form

(League games unless stated – FAT – F.A Trophy)

FC Halifax Town (WDLWWW) Dartford (WWLDDW)
Chelmsford City (FAT) H 3-0 Macclesfield Town H 2-0
Solihull Moors H 0-0 Bromley (FAT) H 4-2
Gainsborough Trinity A 0-3 Alfreton Town A 2-3
Gainsborough Trinity H 3-1 Ebbsfleet United A 2-2
Maidstone United (FAT) H 2-1 Cambridge United H 1-1
Worcester City A 1-0 Ebbsfleet United H 3-1

Road To Wembley

Third Round

Dartford 4 Bromley 2

New loan signing Dominic Green took no time at all to score on his début taking advantage of a poor back pass. Bromley’s Pierre Joseph-Dubois hit a decent strike past Marcus Bettinelli to level up. A clever counter attack finished by Green ensured the Darts restored their lead before half time. In the second half, Lee Burns netted from Ryan Hayes’ delightful back heel and Harry Crawford continued his excellent form in front of goal. There was time for consolation when Joseph-Dubois scored again for Bromley.

FC Halifax Town 3 Chelmsford City 0

The Shaymen eased into the last eight with a win against their Conference South opponents. Liam Needham’s low drive early on set FC Halifax Town on their way. After the break Jason St Juste scored his first of the season from close range. Needham completed his brace on the counter attack.

Second Round

Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 0

In a cup derby at Princes Park the Darts knocked out the Conference South side. Harry Crawford got the Darts on their way when at the second attempt the striker scored to give the Darts an early lead. In the second half top goalscorer Crawford was upended in the penalty box and captain Elliot Bradbrook scored from the spot. 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.

FC Halifax Town 2 Maidstone United 1

Gareth Seddon was the Shaymen’s saviour in round two scoring both goals to knock out Dartford’s Kent neighbours. Seddon nodded in the first goal after just five minutes before Alex Brown equalised for the Stones. In additional time at the end of the match a dramatic winner was sealed by Seddon when he dispatched a low cross passed Dartford loanee Deren Ibrahim.

First Round

Kingstonian 0 Dartford 4

The happy memories of promotion two years ago came back to the Darts in round one. The trip to Kingsmeadow started badly when début defender Semi Ajayi conceded a penalty with four minutes on the clock. Fortunatley Andre McCollin’s spot kick was saved by the other loan signing Marcus Bettinelli. From then on Dartford didn’t look back, Jacob Erskine flicked in number one before Simon Huckle was dismissed for the hosts. The lead was doubled when Elliot Bradbrook flicked the ball goalwards with his head and Danny Harris expertly curled home a third. Nathan Collier wrapped up the match by coolly slotting the ball underneath the oncoming goalkeeper.

FC Halifax Town 5 Altrincham 2

The Yorkshire club beat Dartford’s 1989 Quarter Final opponents in some style. Seddon put in an extraordinary performance scoring three goals in as many minutes yet it was the visitors who went in front courtesy of Damien Reeves. The Shaymen levelled when Lee Gregory struck a decent shot before Seddon made club history. Three minutes before half time the striker hit his quick fire hat trick against the ten men of Altrincham. Dale Johnson made it five for the hosts and Nicky Glee grabbed a consolation.

Third Qualifying Round

Cammell Laird 0 FC Halifax Town 1

Seddon started his tremendous F.A Trophy goal scoring run by notching the winning penalty against their Birkenhead opponents. A clean sheet and progression to the first round, for the first time as FC Halifax Town, was just the start of things to come for the Shaymen.

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