Barnet v Dartford

A new ground can be crossed off Dartford fans list on Saturday when the Darts travel to Barnet in another important Conference Premier fixture.

Without the F.A Trophy and F.A Cup to distract the side, Dartford return to league action and visit The Hive for the first time. It was under two weeks ago when Tony Burman watched his team lose 2-0 against the Bees at Princes Park. Barnet condemned the Darts to a sixth successive league defeat with goals from Keanu Marsh-Brown and Luisma Villa Lopez.

During the week, a trip to Gloucestershire ended Dartford’s brief appearance in the F.A Trophy. The replay ended 1-0 to Forest Green Rovers after the hosts took the lead through Matthew Barnes-Homer’s 25 yard strike. Defeat against Rovers mean the Darts have lost eight out of their last nine matches.

Despite Dartford’s poor form, Burman gave supporters assurances he can improve fortunes, he told KentOnline: “There are big ambitions for the club. We’re working hard behind the scenes, which we have done since we’ve been here, and many people don’t acknowledge that and don’t know that”. Comments arrive after a minority of fans have questioned how much further Burman can take the club. Even with the added pressure the Dartford boss stated: “I’ve got belief in myself” and added: “The main thing is this football club”.

There is no doubt the Darts have struggled in their second season back at the non league summit. Last season’s success as a part time club led players looking elsewhere for full time football. Replacements have been harder to find on the budget available and that’s not going to change in the short term. Finance Director, Jason Outram wrote in the matchday programme: “We have a finite budget within which we must operate. Having made commitments at the beginning of the season we cannot afford to spend our way out of a perceived problem”.

Barnet will be a tough prospect for the Darts having lost just one league game at The Hive, the Bees are unbeaten in their last five outings at home. The draw specialists of the division are just three points shy from the playoff spots and have experienced one reverse in ten Conference Premier fixtures.

Last weekend, the Bees were also in F.A Trophy action for the first time since the 2004/05 season, when the Hertfordshire club won the Conference Premier. Up against Conference South side Hayes and Yeading, a last minute George Sykes’s goal earned Barnet a second round tie with last season’s runners up Grimsby Town.

Dartford could see former player Harry Crawford in action, however the striker has not featured in Barnet’s last three competitive outings. Crawford scored 16 goals for the Darts last campaign in 33 appearances and was snapped up by Edgar Davids in January.

Team News

Defender, Mat Mitchel-King will be out with a broken hand and striker Jason Prior is sidelined with a long term ankle injury. Goalkeeper, Alan Julian has suffered with a groin strain and top scorer Matthew Godden a calf problem, both players are hoping to be part of the matchday squad. Lee Noble is available again after serving his three match ban following his red card against Gateshead. Alex Woodyard is one booking away from missing a match through suspension.

Jake Hyde is back in training, the striker has scored five in nine league games for the Bess this campaign. Dani Lopez is on the path to recovery but is expected to be a few weeks away from full fitness. Luke Gambin has struggled with a knee problem and Marciano Mengerink was out of action last weekend. Two players, Anthony Acheampong and Mauro Vilhete who missed the trip to Princes Park took were not quite ready for the 1-0 win at Hayes and Yeading. Keanu Marsh-Brown and Edgar Davids are one caution away from suspension.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 9 / Barnet wins: 13 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Barnet (WLDDWW) Dartford (LLLLLL)
Dartford H 0-2 Barnet H 2-0
Grimsby Town A 1-2 Gateshead H 0-1
Cambridge United H 2-2 Wrexham H 1-5
Welling United H 0-0 Macclesfield Town A 1-3
Kidderminster Harriers H 1-0 Woking A 0-3
Hereford United A 1-0 Forest Green Rovers H 0-1

Previous Six Meetings

26.11.2013 Dartford 0 Barnet 2
03.11.1987 Dartford 1 Barnet 3
04.01.1986 Dartford 5 Barnet 3
01.10.1985 Barnet 2 Dartford 0
15.12.1984 Dartford 2 Barnet 0
24.11.1984 Barnet 0 Dartford 1

League Stats

2 – Barnet have won the Conference Premier title on two occasions. Altrincham, Enfield, Kidderminster Harriers, Macclesfield Town, Maidstone United and Stevenage are the other teams to have achieved the same feat.

9 – The Bees have drawn nine times this season the most by any other club in the Conference Premier

10 – Dartford have failed to find the net in ten league matches, the worst in the division along with Hyde.

61-75 – Barnet have scored the most goals (8) in the league between 61 and 75 minutes, Dartford have scored the fewest (1) in the same duration.


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