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Dartford v Lincoln City

Dartford hope to take their first ever points off Lincoln City on Saturday after a much needed Bank Holiday victory.

The Darts will hope to make amends for last season’s performance against the Imps who did the double over Tony Burman’s men. In the corresponding fixture last term Colin Larkin was the star of the show netting a first half hat-trick. The 31 year old striker is now at Gateshead and has already opened his account for the Heed.

Back in December, the Darts suffered a dreadful start conceding four goals in the opening 45 minutes. Set pieces were problematic with Daniel Gray nodding Lincoln City in front and Larkin getting on the end of a free kick from close range. The away side went three up when a cut back was finished by Larkin and he completed his hat trick on the stroke of half time, following up another set piece. The Darts did manage to win the second half with two goals from the now departed Harry Crawford.

Two months later, up at Sincil Bank, Vadaine Oliver gave the hosts an early advantage but the Imps ended the first half a man short, Jake Sheridan was dismissed for a poor challenge on Lee Noble. It was Noble who levelled the match with fourteen minutes to go, however, it was that man Larkin again who won the encounter with a last minute penalty.

On Bank Holiday, Dartford faced another one of the sides that completed a double over them last term. The Darts travelled up to Tamworth on the back of three straight defeats without a single goal. However the Darts didn’t have long to wait to double their goalscoring tally when Danny Harris slotted the ball in the back of the net after just three minutes played. Impressive centre half Kenny Clark put Dartford two up mid way through the first half connecting with Adam Birchall’s shot across goal. Clark’s diving header is his first in Dartford colours and was enough to secure victory. Triumph at the Lambs Ground has moved the Darts up to fifteenth position.

Victory has given confidence back to the Darts but Tony Burman wasn’t too concerned in first place trusting his squad, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “In this league, you can lose three or four games and then win the next three or four. It happens but you have to move on”, he added: “I felt the players had done well enough to get something out of the other games but it didn’t work for us”.

Opponents, Lincoln City have got off to a great start and sit in the playoff zone a polint behind league leaders Barnet. Although the season is still early Gary Simpson joined the Imps as boss in February and has already made an imapct. This summer he has already made his mark by clearing out the Imps strike force. Larkin, Oliver and Jamie Taylor all left and between them they scored almost half of Lincoln City’s goals last term. The replacements, Danny Rowe from Fleetwood Town, Waide Fairhurst from Macclesfield Town, Nick Wright from Mansfield Town and Ben Tomlinson from Alfreton Town have netted five between them. Whilst defensively Simpson brought in Sean Newton from relegated Stockport County, Nat Brown from Macclesfield Town and Luke Foster from Preston North End the midfield remains much the same.

The result of Simpson’s changes is an opening day goalless draw at Woking followed by two home wins over Macclesfield Town and Forest Green Rovers. Rowe scored against the Silkmen on his début to give the Imps their first three point haul, whilst former Silkman Fairhurst notched a brace in their 2-1 triumph versus Forest Green Rovers as his side came back from a goal down.

On Saturday, Lincoln City visited Cambridge United where they suffered their first defeat of the campaign by a goal to nil, it was the second away match without a goal. On Bank Holiday Monday they hosted Wrexham taking a 2-0 win against the Welsh club with Ben Tomlinson scoring both to seal victory.

Team News

Matt Fry returned to first team action following his injury on the opening day of the season, the left back only lasted fifty one minutes on day one but completed the full ninety against Tamworth. Fry’s return meant Tyrone Sterling played his second match for the Darts, this time as a left midfielder meaning Ryan Hayes was dropped to the bench. Danny Harris made his second start replacing Jason Prior and Alex Woodyard, who previously made four substitute appearances earned a place in the starting eleven at the expense of Max Cornhill. The Darts have no injury or suspension concerns.

Lincoln City will have Alan Power suspended for his dangerous tackle on Cambridge United’s Greg Taylor, the midfielder received a straight red card in that match and serves a three game ban. The Imps also had two strikers, Nick Wright and Adi Yussuf out injured for the 2-0 win versus Wrexham.

Current Form

Dartford (WLLLW) Lincoln City (WLWWD)
Tamworth A 2-0 Wrexham H 2-0
Braintree Town H 0-2 Cambridge United A 0-1
FC Halifax Town A 0-2 Forest Green Rovers H 2-1
Aldershot Town A 0-3 Macclesfield Town H 1-0
Alfreton Town H 1-0 Woking A 0-0

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 0 / Lincoln City wins: 2 / Draws 0

Last Meeting at Princes Park

8 December 2012 –  Dartford 2 Lincoln City 4 – Att: 1466

Goalscorers: Gray (7), Larkin (24, 32, 45), Crawford (49,71)

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

The Imps Lineup: Preece, Robson, Mills, Miller, Gilbert, Smith, Gray, Nicolau, Fofana, Oliver, Larkin (sub used: Robinson)

Match Stats

dartford v lincoln stats

Previous Meetings

09.02.2013 Lincoln City 2 Dartford 1
08.12.2012 Dartford 2 Lincoln City 4

Stats

0 – Number of second half goals conceded by Lincoln City so far this campaign

30 – Dartford are one of just five teams to have forced 30 corners or more this season, Lincoln City have won 31

61 – The number of fouls conceded by the Imps, only Kidderminster Harriers (70) and Hereford United (64) have given away more free kicks this term

 

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