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FC Halifax Town v Dartford

Dartford will be back at the Shay on Saturday, eight months since last playing FC Halifax Town in the F.A Trophy quarter finals.

In January, the Darts found their trip to the Shay tough with the cup tie ending in a stalemate. Despite the home side being reduced to ten men early on, Chris Worsley was dismissed for his challenge on Mark Arber, the Conference North playoff winners were not deterred when striker Lee Gregory put the hosts one up. A second half substitution was pivotal in the result, Danny Harris pounced from three yards out thus earning the Darts a replay.

At Princes Park a trio of midfielder’s blasted the Darts into the semi-final after falling behind to Dan Gardner’s second minute goal. Lee Noble scored through a crowded box and two minutes later Elliot Bradbrook netted with a well taken finish. The pick of the bunch came courtesy of winger Ryan Hayes who expertly curled his shot beyond Matt Glennon. The Shaymen set up a dramatic finish with Gardner’s second of the match.

Tony Burman started his eighth consecutive campaign in charge with a 1-0 win over Alfreton Town. Adam Birchall’s winner gave the Darts victory in a game they should have finished off sooner according to the Dartford boss. On Tuesday night his side travelled to Hampshire for a fixture against last season’s relegated League Two club Aldershot Town.

With their opponents recovering from financial disarray and assembling a squad with short notice, Dartford failed to capitalise going home with nothing to show. Lee Noble hit the woodwork before the Shots took the lead through Brett Williams, signed from Reading the striker notched his first for the Hampshire side after 18 minutes. It took the home side until the hour mark to double their advantage through Manny Oyeleke and with three minutes remaining Aaron Wickham scored a third.

The Shay Stadium

The Shay: Home of FC Halifax Town

Meanwhile, FC Halifax Town couldn’t have faced a tougher start to their campaign taking on a much changed Cambridge United and one of the promotion contenders Wrexham.

The Shaymen’s return to the top non league division looked good for seven minutes in their televised opener, Gregory turned the ball in to put the visitors in front. Sunday went downhill from there, Danny Lowe was dismissed after conceding a penalty and Adam Cunnington drew Cambridge United level from the spot. FC Halifax Town were reduced to nine men due to Matt Glennon’s professional foul, the goalkeeper was red carded with just 23 minutes played. Ryan Donaldson, a Delano Sam-Yorke brace and another from Cunnington completed the 5-1 defeat.

Like most results this week the Shaymen caused a surprise against Wrexham. New signing and England C International Simon Ainge put through his own net giving the Welsh club a lead. FC Halifax Town hit back when another new signing Lois Maynard heading onto the cross bar and over the line. Former Liverpool defender Stephen Wright conceded a penalty and was dismissed just before half time, Josh Wilson also a summer recruit for the Shaymen, scored from the spot. Gregory scored his second of the campaign on the stroke of half time and Wrexham’s Adrian Cieslewicz netted a consolation.

Over the summer, Neil Aspin lost the services of striker Gareth Seddon who could face the Darts in a Chester shirt next month, Jaso Jarrett moved in the other direction. Experience arrived in midfielder Keith Briggs, the 32 year old featured in the Kidderminster Harriers team which finished runners up last term. Adam Smith joined from Lincoln City, the winger made 30 appearances for the Imps in 2012/13. Aspin also captured Marc Roberts, Kevin Holsgrove and Matt Pearson.

Team News

James Rogers stepped in at left back on Tuesday night due to the ankle injury Tyrone Sterling has been suffering with and the hamstring strain Matt Fry picked up.

Dan Gardner made an appearance in the Shaymen’s win against Wrexham, the midfielder missed the opener through injury. Danny Lowe and Matt Glennon served suspensions for their red cards against Cambridge United.

Stats

2 – The number of meeting between Dartford and FC Halifax Town, both took place last in January.

24 – Number of goals Lee Gregory scored for the Shaymen last season, the clubs top marksman for 2012/13, he’s already hit two goals in as many games this campaign.

The graph below shows Dartford’s steady rise to the Conference Premier against the decline of Halifax Town in 2008, and the rise of the new club FC Halifax Town from the season afterwards.

DFCvFCHT league progress

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