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Macclesfield Town v Dartford

Dartford play their fourth away game in a row on Saturday when they travel north west to face Macclesfield Town.

Having picked up one point in the last seven away games, the Darts are finding life on the road tough. Adding to the league defeat at Forest Green Rovers and the cup loss at Salisbury City, Woking were the latest club to inflict misery on the Darts. Tuesday night’s defeat meant Dartford finished the evening in the relegation zone.

Tony Burman watched on as his side were overcome at the Kingfield Stadium conceding three times in a fifteen minute second half spell. The match was lost in the final half hour as the Darts failed to go the distance, Burman told BBC Radio Kent after the game: “For 60 minutes it was fairly even, but a bit of tiredness crept in and because you go a goal down, it doesn’t mean you need to go tally-ho for the next five minutes”.

Ipswich Town loanee Jack Marriott guided in the opener for the Cards on his début and set up Scott Rendell for the second. Two minutes later Joe McNerney added gloss to the scoreline dragging Dartford down to twentieth in the Conference Premier table. Dartford have now gone two league games without scoring and on their travels are amongst the lowest scorers.

The Darts boss is looking for more composure and belief from his players, he commented: “You’ve got to be patient and I felt we did keep organised. We tried to rush to win the game back to quickly. You’ve got to be more composed than we were”, he added: “You’ve got to believe you can get back in the game and that belief is not there at the moment”.

Saturday’s opponents are looking in better shape compared to a couple of months ago. Macclesfield Town were winless in their opening nine games and only Hyde had a worse record. Since then, the Silkmen have lost once picking up six wins in the process.

Part of their success has come about thanks to the goalscoring feats of Connor Jennings. The 21 year old will be familiar with Dartford striker Matthew Godden who is also under contract to parent club Scunthorpe United. Jennings has made 11 league starts and 2 substitute appearances in the Conference Premier this season netting 11 times, including a hat trick at Wrexham. The striker also scored four in 13 appearances on loan at Stockport County last term.

After months of financial concerns, Macclesfield Town set their sights on another cup run last weekend by shocking League One side Swindon Town for a second year in a row. Jennings hit a brace for the Silkmen with Scott Boden and Peter Winn adding to the 4-0 scoreline. Macclesfield Town reached the fourth round last time beating Cardiff City, before being knocked out by the eventual winners Wigan Athletic.

On Tuesday, John Askey’s men followed up cup glory with a last minute draw at home to last season’s runners up Kidderminster Harriers. Paul Turnbull’s late leveller grabbed a point for the Silkmen who trailed since the twenty seventh minute. Callum Gittings put Harriers ahead with a powerful header.

The Darts played the Silkmen early in last season’s Conference Premier and a lack of non league top tier experience showed. Although Dartford looked bright for the first half hour, a Tom Champion own goal shortly after put the hosts in front before the interval. Macclesfield Town created chances, dominated possession and were rewarded when Mark Arber handled in his own box. Charlie Henry stepped up in the final minute to seal three points for the Cheshire club as the Darts lost 2-0.

Team News

Lee Noble’s fifth yellow card means the midfielder is ruled out of the trip to Macclesfield. Both Jason Prior and Tyrone Sterling made substitute appearances at Woking, the duo are returning after spells out with injury. Captain Elliot Bradbrook missed a third consecutive Conference Premier. The Dartford midfielder is still recovering from cracked ribs picked up in the F.A Cup tie against Ebbsfleet United. Matt Fry and Kenny Clark still remain one caution away from a match ban.

Goalkeeper, Rhys Taylor returned on Tuesday night after missing the F.A Cup win at Swindon Town with injury. Efetobore Sodje last featured a month ago and is one caution from suspension, as well as Daniel Whitaker, Andrew Halls and Jennings.

Head to Head

Macclesfield Town wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 2 / Draws 2

Current League Form

Macclesfield Town (DWDWWL) Dartford (LLWDDL)
Kidderminster Harriers H 1-1 Woking A 0-3
Wrexham H 3-2 Forest Green Rovers A 0-1
Southport H 2-2 Hyde H 4-3
Forest Green Rovers A 3-2 Hereford United A 2-2
Hereford United H 1-0 Salisbury City H 1-1
Tamworth A 0-1 Gateshead A 0-2

Last League Meeting at The Moss Rose

18 August 2012 – Macclesfield Town 2 Dartford 0 – Att: 1420

Goalscorers: Champion (34 o.g), Henry (89 pen)

The Silkmen Lineup: Cronin, Jackson, N.Brown, Charnock, Braham-Barrett, Henry, Wedgbury, Murtagh, Kissock, Barnes-Homer, Fairhurst (subs used: Edmans, Mackreth, Mendy)

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

Match Stats

mtfc v dfc stats

Previous Meetings (* F.A Trophy semi finals)

15.01.2013 Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 0
18.08.2012 Macclesfield Town 2 Dartford 0
15.04.1989* Macclesfield Town 4 Dartford 1
08.04.1989* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
06.04.1974* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
30.03.1974* Macclesfield Town 1 Dartford 2

League Stats (taken from bbc.co.uk)

70% of away games in the league have resulted in Dartford not scoring. In the three games in which they have scored they have netted twice on each occasion.

The 15 minutes before half time could be a crucial period for both clubs. Macclesfield Town have the second best scoring record in this period (7 goals) and the best defence (conceded 0). Dartford have shipped in the most goals leading up to the interval out of all the Conference Premier teams this season.

mtfc v dfc stats2

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