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Dartford v Gateshead

Dartford will need to tighten up at the back if they want to end a four game losing streak in the Conference Premier.

The Darts hope to repeat the same result they had against Gateshead last season at Princes Park. Having been beaten 2-0 in the North East for the last two campaigns, Dartford recorded their first win against Gateshead in the home fixture back in March.

An inspirational Ryan Hayes turned the corresponding fixture last time out after coming off the bench. A blocked effort was followed up by Hayes who struck home the opener with 24 minutes to go. Six minutes later, the winger found space on the right and cut inside onto his left foot, with only one thing in his mind Hayes curled in a superb trademark finish. The scoreline got even better for the Darts when the return of Charlie Sheringham finished off the visitors in style.

It’s been only seven weeks since the last meeting between the two clubs with Gateshead claiming the three points. Once again Dartford drew a blank up in the North East and continue to wait for their first goal away at the Heed. The hosts enjoyed the majority of possession and dominated throughout. James Marwood scored just before the break and Rob Ramshaw just before the hour to condemn the Darts to a fifth defeat in seven away games.

On Tuesday night, Dartford were outclassed and taking the lead after just three minutes was as good as it got. Lee Burns finished well when he overlapped onto Lee Noble’s pass. It took Wrexham a dozen minutes to level when former Premier League striker Brett Ormerod’s deflected effort left stand in goalkeeper Tommy Forecast with no chance. Joe Clarke added a second for the visitors and by half time it was 4-1 as Rob Ogleby and Ormerod added more. In the second half a quick free kick caught the Dartford defence out once more with Johnny Hunt sealing a 5-1 win for the Welshmen.

The Darts have now conceded 15 goals in their last four competitive matches leaving Tony Burman a tough task. When speaking to BBC Radio Kent, Burman said  he was ‘gobsmacked’ with his team’s defensive display citing the “worst defensive play” his seen from a Dartford side. Having felt ‘let down’ he did point out that he “got a decent performance from the guys who played in front of the back four”. With the Darts in a relegation battle at this stage of the season, Burman has called for his players to have “guts and determination”.

Over the last week Burman has made moves to tighten up the squad by bringing back Connor Essam on loan from Crawley Town. The 21 year old impressed at the Darts just two years ago in a loan spell. The Dartford boss has also bought in goalkeeper Phil Smith from League Two side Portsmouth, the 33 year old has had spells with Kent sides Folkestone Invicta, Dover Athletic and Margate as well as gaining experience at Crawley Town and Swindon Town.

This weekend’s opponents, Gateshead have already seen a change this campaign when Anth Smith resigned as manager in the first week of 2013/2014 season. The Heed lost their opening three matches, the former Sunderland defender was left frustrated by his players. At the beginning of September, the Tynesiders appointed Gary Mills to take charge who has successfully guided his team half was up the Conference Premier standings.

Gary Mills’s side has certainly entertained in their last two league fixtures winning and losing 3-2. In fact, their F.A Cup first round tie against Oxford United ended 2-2 with the Heed throwing away a two goal lead. The replay scheduled for this week was postponed. One defeat in seven league matches, including a four match winning streak whilst going almost seven hours without conceding has moved Gateshead in the right direction. Attacking midfielder, James Marwood scored against the Darts and since netted four in six league games.

 

Team News

Dartford’s squad is stretched once more despite the arrival of Dave Martin on loan. Ryan Hayes who had a scan last weekend has been ruled out forcing Burman to draft in Martin. Alan Julian’s groin injury gave Forecast his full début on Tuesday and Elliot Bradbrook was still out but back to light training. On the suspension front, Matt Fry picked up his fifth caution and will be suspended against Gateshead.

For the Heed, Marcus Maddison has been out with glandular fever and defender Luke O’Brien with a knee injury. Striker Liam Hatch is also a long-term absentee with a broken coccyx.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Gateshead wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLLWD) Gateshead (WLDWWW)
Wrexham H 1-5 Salisbury City H 3-2
Macclesfield Town A 1-3 Wrexham A 2-3
Woking A 0-3 Luton Town H 0-0
Forest Green Rovers H 0-1 Nuneaton Town A 4-1
Hyde H 4-3 Alfreton Town H 3-0
Hereford United A 2-2 Hyde A 2-0

Last Meeting At Princes Park

9 March 2013 – Dartford 3 Gateshead 0 – Att: 1020

Goalscorers: Hayes (66, 72), Sheringham (86)

The Darts Lineup: Bettinelli, Green, Arber, Bonner, Burns, Champion, Bradbrook, Noble, Evans, Harris , Sheringham (subs used: Rogers, Hayes, Prior)

The Heed Lineup: Bartlett, Boyle, Curtis, Clark, Chandler, Gillies, Turnbull, Cummins, Marwood, Donaldson, Brown (sub used: Henderson)

Match Stats

dfc v gfc stats

Previous Meetings

05.10.2013 Gateshead 2 Dartford 0
23.02.2013 Dartford 3 Gateshead 0
08.09.2012 Gateshead 2 Dartford 0
05.02.2011 Gateshead 3 Dartford 0
04.05.1985 Dartford 1 Gateshead 2
09.03.1985 Gateshead 0 Dartford 0

Stats

5 – The top league scorers for both teams have found the net five times. Matthew Godden for Dartford and Larkin, Jordan Huggill and Marwood for Gateshead. Huggill’s excellent form whilst on loan earned him a first team spot back at Port Vale.

Lee Burns is the only Dartford player to start every league game this season, Alex Woodyard is the only other player to have featured in all 20 matches

Gateshead have three ever present players, Adam Bartlett has started every Heed match between the sticks and Phil Turnbull has been ever present too. Colin Larkin is not always selected for the first eleven and has made two substitute appearances.

 

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