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Dartford v Chester

To kick start the Conference Premier weekend, Dartford’s big six pointer against relegation rivals Chester will be in front of the BT Sports cameras.

The Darts have happy Princes Park memories in their last televised match in October 2012 when they beat last season’s Conference Premier champions Mansfield Town.

This time they face a Chester side who drew 0-0 against the Darts back in September, which earned the Blues their first home points of the season. Dartford goalkeeper, Alan Julian made a decent save from Alex Titchiner’s 25-yard effort and later on Danny Harris had the best chance for the Darts, but his shot flew across the Chester goal. The hosts could have taken the lead in the second half through Lewis Turner but he missed the target. Darts defender Kenny Clark also had an opportunity to nick three points for the visitors.

Dartford’s six match unbeaten run came to an end last weekend when they travelled to another relegation threatened side. Southport pulled away from the Darts in the league standings thanks to the influential Osayamen Osawe. The 21 year old caused the Darts defence all sorts of problems in the first half and he turned provider in the twelfth minute. Osawe’s cross gave the Sandgrounders top scorer Danny Hattersley a chance which he took from close range. During the second half, the Darts showed promise and began to get on top in the match, but were left with too much to do when Jason Walker added a second for the Merseysiders. The game was killed off by the hosts in the 78th minute as Osawe’s turn and shot made it 3-0 to Southport.

Tony Burman spoke to BBC Radio Kent after the match and said: “We were in the game until the second goal. Second half we took the game to Southport, but we were just not organised for the breakaway”. Dartford’s boss was also pleased with the early substitutions he made, he commented: “The guys who came on did well enough. When we were 1-0 down we took the game to Southport and we got no reward”. Once again Burman highlighted his goals for the end of the season he added: “It’s tight enough at that end of the table and the league we’re in is the five teams at the bottom of the table. We’ve got to finish top of that league”.

On the same afternoon Chester were involved in a thoroughly entertaining affair with Nuneaton Town. Reduced to ten men after just eight minutes, the Blues took the lead three times. Jason Jarrett was dismissed for fighting early on, but the Deva Stadium came alive when John Rooney fired Chester in front. Louis Moult levelled the match after half hour but Steve Burr’s side went back in front through Matty Taylor, his fifth goal in three games. Andy Brown headed home a second equaliser on the stroke of half time for the Boro. Ross Killock hit a third with twenty minutes remaining and with Chester close to victory Brown equalised again.

Chester changed tact in the New Year following the departure of Neil Young who had guided the club back to the Conference Premier. Young had taken just four wins in 25 matches leaving the Blues third from bottom. In came former Kidderminster Harriers boss Steve Burr who has four league wins from nine in charge, taking his new team out of the relegation zone.

The Blues, three points above Aldershot Town who are in the drop zone, have been vulnerable defensively of late. Just over a week ago they conceded another three but still claimed three points against second from bottom side Tamworth, by netting four of their own. With 13 goals scored in Chester’s last two league outings it could be a tense evening in front of the cameras.

Team News

Tony Burman is likely to bring back first team players who were rested in Tuesday’s Kent Senior Cup Quarter Final against Dover Athletic. Last weekend Mat Mitchel-King and Elliot Bradbrook couldn’t make it through the ninety minutes. Mitchel-King departed early in the first half with an ankle injury and Bradbrook dislocated his finger. Creative winger Ryan Hayes remains out of action for the Darts.

Chester will be with the suspended Jason Jarrett, the experienced midfielder has made 20 league appearances for the Blues this season. Steve Burr gave Ricky Bridge his début last weekend, the defender signed from Northern Premier League Division One side Newcastle Town.

Current Form

Dartford (LDWWWD) Chester (DWDWLL)
Southport A 0-3 Nuneaton Town H 3-3
Aldershot Town H 1-1 Tamworth A 4-3
Hereford United H 2-0 Lincoln City A 1-1
Woking H 5-1 FC Halifax Town H 2-1
Wrexham A 2-1 Macclesfield Town A 2-3
Cambridge United H 3-3 Welling United H 1-3

Stats

4 – Dartford are currently four league games unbeaten at Princes Park. Chester have yet to lose against the bottom four

6 – Chester’s top scorer in the league is Matty Taylor, the striker has made six appearances on loan from Forest Green Rovers averaging a goal a game

10 – Chester have racked up ten red cards in the Conference Premier this season more than any other club

258 – Dartford have had the fewest attempts at goal out of all Conference Premier clubs in this season’s league campaign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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