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Salisbury City v Dartford

Underdogs Dartford plan to progress in this season’s F.A Cup with a trip to in form Salisbury City at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.

Having waited 21 years for a first round appearance the Darts have made it this far twice in the last four campaigns. Their opponents made it to the third round stage just two seasons ago losing to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

The two clubs met only a month ago at Princes Park in a Conference Premier fixture ending all square. Salisbury City took the lead with a wonderful 30 yard strike from Theo Lewis. However, the lead lasted just twelve minutes when loan débutante Matthew Godden netted in his first game for the Darts, following up his own rebound. The striker on loan from Scunthorpe United has extended his stay at Princes Park for another two months, but will be ruled out of the first round tie to prevent the 22 year old from becoming cup tied.

Dartford’s struggling away form means Salisbury City are likely favourites. The Whites have been beaten once in 15 outings, last losing at home on the opening day of their campaign. Since the beginning of last term the Wiltshire club have won 25, drawn 5 and lost just 3 in the league, F.A Cup and F.A Trophy at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.

However, Dartford’s last visit there ended in a three point haul grinding out victory having fallen behind in the first minute. Stuart Anderson’s deflected shot wrong footed goalkeeper Louis Wells, who was making his first start for the Darts. Jon Wallis equalised with a free kick which was spilt by Salisbury City’s Conor Gough. The young goalkeeper conceded again in the second half against the onrushing Jacob Erskine, a collision which left Gough with broken ribs.

Tony Burman watched his side lose 1-0 to an out of form and managerless Forest Green Rovers on the weekend. James Norwood’s fifth minute winner was enough to condemn the Darts to a seventh away game without a win on the road. The Dartford boss spoke to BBC Radio Kent: “I think we played alright. We worked hard in dreadful conditions and we deserved something from the game but it wasn’t to be”. Burman was pleased with his players commitment and playing style but cited a lack of goalscoring opportunities, commenting: “I can’t fault the effort. We conceded in the first five minutes, which was disappointing, but we should have come in level, if not in the lead”, he added: “I think we did enough to take something from the game. We didn’t test the goalkeeper enough but our build-up play was excellent”.

Salisbury City had a happy Halloween by convincingly recording a 4-1 televised victory versus Hereford United. Top scorer for the Whites Dan Fitchett netted a brace taking his tally to seven league goals. Clovis Kamdjo headed Salisbury City in front with ten minutes played and Fitchett extended the lead. Hereford United’s Sam Smith pulled a goal back before Mikey Harris’s side added two more in the closing stages courtesy of Fitchett and Ben Wright.

Both clubs have only endured one qualification round this year. Dartford were taken to a replay by North Kent rivals Ebbsfleet United. At Stonebridge Road, the Darts struggled to get to grips with the first half and were let off the hook when Ben May missed the penalty conceded by goalkeeper Alan Julian, who escaped with a caution. Lee Noble had Dartford in front following up a rebound before half time but Anthony Cook forced a replay for the Fleet just past the hour.

The replay was a tale of two penalties in which the Darts took full advantage by winning 1-0. Elliot Bradbrook dispatched his spot kick which turned out to be the winner. However, Cook fluffed his lines from twelve yards and with the help of Bradbrook’s heroics meant Dartford progressed. The Dartford captain blocked an important rebound, breaking two ribs in the process and finished the full ninety minutes.

Salisbury City only needed one attempt to beat Conference South side Bath City. Theo Lewis, who notched a scorcher against the Darts, thumped home a header just before the half time interval. The Whites, currently fifth in the Conference Premier have certainly been on the up, keeping last season’s momentum. Their current form has been noticed by England C boss Paul Fairclough who this week called up Fitchett, Angus MacDonald and Elliott Frear for the Three Lions fixture against Czech Republic’s under 21 side.

Team News

Elliot Bradbrook missed Dartford’s defeat at Forest Green Rovers and will be out of the F.A Cup First Round tie on Saturday. The captain scored last time the Darts reached the first round against Port Vale. Matthew Godden  and Adam Burchill will be unavailable to prevent being cup tied for Scunthorpe United and Gillingham respectively. Lee Noble also missed the defeat last weekend but centre half Kenny Clark returned. Tyrone Sterling is still out injured having last featured against Grimsby Town two and a half months ago. Matthew Fry, Noble and Clark are all one caution away from a match suspension.

Salisbury City have had injuries of their own to contend with. Robbie Sinclair has been out for almost two months and Luke Ruddick missed the whole of October. Last season’s top goalscorer Jamie White has been out of action since the start of the 2013/2014 campaign. Callum Hart has been restricted to just five appearances in the Conference Premier and Ryan Brett just eleven. Willem Purdy is one caution away from a one match ban.

Head to Head

Salisbury City wins: 7 / Dartford wins: 9 / Draws: 4

Current Form (all competitions / FAC – F.A Cup / KSC – Kent Senior Cup)

Salisbury City (WWLWDW) Dartford (LWDWWD)
Hereford United H 4-1 Forest Green Rovers A 0-1
Bath City (FAC) A 1-0 Ebbsfleet United (FAC) H 1-0
Cambridge United A 0-2 Ebbsfleet United (FAC) A 1-1
Grimsby Town H 1-0 Hyde H 4-3
Dartford A 1-1 Charlton Athletic (KSC) H 1-0
Wrexham H 2-1 Hereford United A 2-2

Last Five Meetings

08.10.2013 Dartford 1 Salisbury City 1
25.02.2012 Dartford 2 Salisbury City 0
05.11.2011 Salisbury City 1 Dartford 2
29.11.2003 Salisbury City 3 Dartford 1
18.10.2003 Dartford 0 Salisbury City 3

Stats

5 – the amount of clean sheets kept by both sides in this season’s Conference Premier campaign

11 – number of league goals Salisbury City have scored in the final 15 minutes this season, more than any other Conference Premier club. Almost 50% of the goals the Whites have scored.

Dartford concede the majority of their goals (14) fifteen minutes before and after half time. Good job Salisbury City are at their less potent having scored only 3 times in this period

F.A Cup Ten Year Performancefac scfc

 

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