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AFC Telford United v Dartford

Dartford will search for their first away league win in almost five months when they face relegated AFC Telford United on the weekend.

Winless on the road since November, the Darts travel to the New Bucks Head and attempt to reverse the previous meeting between the two sides. Dartford’s opponents are on an unwanted run of their own setting a Conference record of 29 games without a win, their last victory came in October at Princes Park.

The Bucks ran out 4-1 winners with former Northern Ireland international Steve Jones opening 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 before the break. A deflected shot in the second half from Luke Hubbins made it 3-0 and a fourth was added in style when a 30 yard effort 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.

Whilst Dartford have picked up three points from the last 33 available on the road they warmed up with an excellent 4-1 win versus Woking on Easter Monday. Nathan Collier made a rare start and celebrated with a well taken goal just seven minutes into the match. The Cards equalised when Jayden Stockley flicked in a corner. On the stroke of half time Collier turned provider with a delicate through ball which Lee Noble superbly dispatched. The Darts third goal saw intelligent build up play from Ryan Hayes and Lee Burns who crossed to Noble, the midfielder’s shot spun towards Charlie Sheringham who nodded in the third. Noble put the icing on the cake in the final minute when his free kick flew passed Woking’s Seb Brown.

Over the Easter period Dartford have risen to tenth place and with six games remaining are well placed to finish as the highest part time team in the country. Three points for the Darts will officially guarantee Conference Premier football next season.

AFC Telford United have had a torrid season getting through four managers. Interim manager John Psaras is currently steering the side through the rest of the campaign and was happy with his teams ‘resilient performance’ against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday. After relegation was confirmed in their 3-0 defeat at home to Nuneaton Town, the Bucks held Forest Green Rovers to a 0-0 draw.

Andy Sinton started the campaign in charge and he was replaced by Mark Cooper at the start of 2013. Cooper took a role at Swindon Town leaving Graham Hyde in the hotseat and then, after 39 days of Sinton’s departure, Hyde resigned. The club do remain defiant and will need to in order to negotiate their way back from the Conference North.

Psara’s will know he will be able to count on ever present players Ryan Young  and Phil Trainer. Young has kept ten clean sheets in 2012/13 and Trainer has netted five times from midfield. The only player reaching double figures in front of goal is Steve Jones who has missed the last two league matches. Capped 29 times for his country the former Burnley striker has scored in each of his last three appearances for the club.

Dartford last visited Wellington in November 1985, when Telford United won 2-1. The Darts were relegated from the top flight in that season and 26 years on the roles have been reversed.

Team News

Tom Champion picked up his tenth caution of the season against Woking and as a result will sit out the next two league fixtures. Danny Harris has been absent from the last two games with a hamstring strain and goalkeeper Louis Wells has also been out with injury.

Head to Head

AFC Telford United wins: 14 / Dartford wins: 14 / Draws: 8 / AFC Telford United Goals: 54 / Dartford Goals: 51

Current League Form

AFC Telford United (DLLLLD) Dartford (WDLWLL)
Forest Green Rovers A 0-0 Woking H 4-1
Nuneaton Town H 0-3 Newport County A 0-0
Lincoln City A 2-3 Hereford United A 0-1
Macclesfield Town A 1-2 Gateshead H 3-0
Woking A 2-5 Barrow A 0-1
Gateshead H 0-0 Hyde A 0-3

Last Meeting

9 October 2012 – Dartford 1 AFC Telford United 4 – Att: 1359

Goalscorers: Jones (35), Jones (37), Hubbins (55), Trainer (69), Bradbrook (75)

The Darts Lineup: Bettinelli, Burns, Bonner, Arber, R. Rose, Hayes, Champion, Bradbrook, Noble, Birchall, Crawford (subs used: Harris, Erskine, Wallis)

The Bucks Lineup: Young, Salmon, Hubbins, J Rose, Chilvers, Davies, Trainer, Leslie, Taylor, Jones, Spray (subs used: Brown, Roberts, Sharp)

Match Stats

dfc v afctu stats

Previous Meetings

02.11.1985 Telford United 2 Dartford 1
07.09.1985 Dartford 2 Telford United 1
30.04.1985 Telford United 1 Dartford 2
01.09.1984 Dartford 0 Telford United 0

 Stats

9 – red cards AFC Telford United have accumulated in league and cup, more than any other Conference Premier team

11 – points picked up since AFC Telford United played Dartford in October

21 – points picked up by Dartford against teams in the bottom half of the Conference Premier

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