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Dartford v FC Halifax Town

Dartford meet last season’s Conference North playoff winners FC Halifax Town for the fourth time in just under a year this weekend.

Languishing a place off the foot of the Conference Premier table, the Darts will need to make the most of their home matches.  The Shaymen have adapted well to life in the premier non league division, a statement they made in their 2-0 win against Dartford four months ago. However, away from The Shay the Yorkshire club have picked up just two points and are searching for their first league win on the road.

The Darts enter their 24th league match of the season setting an unwanted record. Defeat against Barnet on Saturday means Tony Burman’s side suffered their seventh straight league loss, their worst run in any of their previous Conference Premier campaigns. The reverse at The Hive ensured the run beat the previous sequence of six consecutive defeats back in 1981.

Substitute Jon Nurse scored the solitary goal for the Bees after half hour, six minutes after replacing George Sykes. The pace of Keanu Marsh-Brown was too much for the Dartford defence whose shot was guided passed Phil Smith by Nurse. Late on, former Champions League winner Edgar Davids was sent off for the second time in the league but the Darts couldn’t make the extra man count. Burman spoke to BBC Radio Kent after the match and said: “We’ve played really well today but the results aren’t going our way. The only thing lacking was a goal, we’ve created chances. We should have got something but it wasn’t to be”.

Passing the halfway point of the league campaign, a repeat of the performance at The Shay in August isn’t an option for the Darts who are desperate for points. FC Halifax Town’s Lee Gregory opened the scoring four months ago as the Shaymen dominated the match. The club’s top scorer this season, inadvertently set up a second when his effort was spilt by goalkeeper Alan Julian and finished of by Kevin Holsgrove.

The Darts face a run of part time teams and Burman knows he will have to make the most of those games, he told KentOnline: “We’re mixing with other teams in this run who are semi-professional. With all due respect to those clubs, we’re up against it when we play the pro sides, the full-time sides, so when we come up against clubs who are part-time, it’s more of an even playing field”.

Neil Aspin’s side have failed to record a single win on their travels in the league this term. Up until Saturday they were however unbeaten at the Shay. Hosting a Woking side looking to edge away from the bottom four, FC Halifax Town were beaten 4-3. Jack Marriott’s hat-trick for the Cards and a Scott Rendell goal turned around a one goal deficit created by Archie Love’s second minute strike.  Josh Lowe and Dan Gardner managed to net for the hosts but Woking held out. The Shaymen also had  Rochdale loanee Reece Gray sent off late on for a lunge on Mark Ricketts. The Shaymen have now suffered five consecutive losses in all competitions, three in the Conference Premier.

The FC Halifax Town boss is desperate to break their losing sequence, he told www.halifacafc.co.uk: “There’s only one thought, we need to win. We need to get a result, and will be trying desperately hard to get one”, he added: “They could turn it around and say that we are in similar bad form. At the end of the day, we have not won away from home and it will be a chance for them to get the three points. Both teams will be looking at it as an opportunity to get a win as both teams need the win”.

Dartford last played the Yorkshire club at Princes Park in an entertaining F.A Trophy replay. After escaping with a 1-1 draw away from home, the Darts hosted the Shaymen in the Quarter Finals. Dan Gardner put the visitors in front at the break but goals from a trio of midfielder’s put Dartford in command. Lee Noble, Elliot Bradbrook and Ryan Hayes all got themselves on the scoresheet but Gardner’s second of the evening set up a nervy finish.

Team News

Alan Julian was on the bench against Barnet as he is still regaining fitness from his groin strain. Loanee, Matthew Godden was not selected in Saturday’s match day squad, the striker has been out with a calf problem though. Mat Mitchel-King has a broken hand and Jason Prior remains out for the long term. Ryan Hayes has also been out since mid November and is recovering. Alex Woodyard is one caution away from picking up a suspension.

The Shaymen will be without Ryan Toulson and top scorer Lee Gregory who have both recently had operations. Toulson has started 16 league matches this term whilst Gregory has scored an impressive 11 league goals in 15 appearances. Another long term absentee is Danny Lowe, the Club Captain will be out for up to 12 weeks. Marc Roberts has missed the last two league matches and is making progress and Matt Pearson managed an hour in the 4-3 defeat against Woking. Striker, Reece Gray will be suspended after his red card on Saturday.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / FC Halifax Town wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLLLLL) FC Haifax Town (LLLWWL)
Barnet A 0-1 Woking H 3-4
Barnet H 0-2 Hereford United A 2-3
Gateshead H 0-1 Braintree Town A 0-1
Wrexham H 1-5 Aldershot Town H 4-0
Macclesfield Town A 1-3 Hyde H 4-0
Woking A 0-3 Alfreton Town A 0-3

Last Meeting At Princes Park

6 February  2013 – Dartford 3 FC Halifax Town 2 – Att: 805

Goalscorers: Gardner (2), Noble (54), Bradbrook (56), Hayes (79), Gardner (89)

The Darts Lineup: Bettinelli, Burns, Bonner, Arber, Rose, Hayes, Bradbrook, Champion, Noble, Harris, Erskine (Sub used: Collier)

The Shaymen Lineup: Glennon, Toulson, McManus, Hogan, Needham, Lowe, Worsley, Marshall, Gardner, Gregory, Seddon (Sub used: St Juste)

Previous Meetings

19.08.2013 FC Halifax Town 2 Dartford 0
06.02.2013 Dartford 3 FC Halifax Town 2
30.01.2013 FC Halifax Town 1 Dartford 1

League Stats

Dartford have now gone 357 minutes without scoring in the Conference Premier

Half of FC Halifax Town’s away defeats have occurred from winning positions. In 40% of their away matches the Shaymen have failed to score.

Only Wrexham have beaten Dartford at home when the Darts have scored first at Princes Park this season.

The Shaymen strike hot in the last half hour of the first half, on 20 occasions FC Halifax Town have scored in this period more than any other Conference Premier club this season. Dartford have conceded the most in the division between 31 and 45 minutes. The top two charts show when both clubs have scored, whilst the bottom two charts are the times of goals conceded.

dfc v fcht stats

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