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Cambridge United v Dartford

Time is running out for the Dartford and with ten games to go the club travel to second place Cambridge United in search of three vital points.

Both the Darts and the U’s are playing catch up for different reasons at opposite ends of the Conference Premier table. Dartford’s good work of six unbeaten matches have been undone in two clashes against relegation rivals. Meanwhile, Cambridge United have lost ground at the league’s summit winning once in their last eight league matches.

Dartford can take heart with the fact they caused an upset at Abbey Stadium last time. Danny Harris scored three minutes into the second half with a speculative effort. The U’s hit back from the spot five minutes from time through James Jennings. However it was Nathan Collier who grabbed the winner in the 88th minute beating Craig Ross, his former goalkeeper at Hampton and Richmond with a deflected shot.

The Darts were also the first club to score three against the U’s this term drawing 3-3 in a thoroughly entertaining affair at Princes Park. After that fixture fortunes turned for both clubs as Tony Burman’s men went on a six game unbeaten run picking up 14 points to bring them within touching distance of safety.

After taking four wins in those six matches, Dartford failed to defeat any of their closest rivals of late. A 1-1 draw against ten men Aldershot Town was followed by two defeats without scoring. Southport took three vital points from the Darts in a 3-0 win and in front of the television cameras Chester won 1-0. In a lacklustre performance Tony Burman’s side were beaten by an excellent James Seddon strike, leaving Dartford four points from safety.

Cambridge United have won one league game since the 3-3 draw at Princes Park and on Tuesday night they missed the chance to close the gap at the top, by drawing 1-1 with league leaders Luton Town. Tom Elliot’s header ended Luton Town’s run of 563 minutes without conceding in the Conference Premier. As the U’s edged three points closer, Mark Cullen levelled the match in the final minute keeping the Hatters 15 points clear at the top.

Richard Money’s side are looking likely to prepare for the playoffs and with the distraction of the F.A Trophy could reach Wembley twice this season. The U’s face Conference South basement boys Gosport Borough in the F.A Trophy final as favourites, but they also know a place in the Football League is just as important.

Rory McAuley will be absent for the Darts because he cannot play against his parent club. Dartford’s midfield are likely to come up against former Dart Tom Champion who has made 33 league appearances for the U’s this term. Former Dartford defender, Tom Bonner could also feature, the 26 year old missed the fixture in January after he needed an ankle operation and has made just three league starts for the U’s this season.

Head to Head

Cambridge United wins: 3 / Dartford wins: 8 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Cambridge United (DLWLDL) Dartford (LLDWWW)
Luton Town H 1-1 Chester H 0-1
Forest Green Rovers A 2-3 Southport A 0-3
Kidderminster Harriers H 5-1 Aldershot Town H 1-1
Braintree Town A 0-1 Hereford United H 2-0
Wrexham H 0-0 Woking H 5-1
Alfreton Town H 0-1 Wrexham A 2-1

Last Meeting at Abbey Stadium

27 August 2012 – Dartford 2 Cambridge United 1 – Att: 2691

Goalscorers: Harris (48), Jennings (85 pen), Collier (88)

The U’s Lineup: Ross, McAuley, Garner, Hudson, Jennings, Willmott, Berry, Wellard, Dunk, Elliott, Moke (subs used: Gibson, Hughes, Smith)

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

Match Stats

cufc v dfc stats
Previous Six Meetings

28.09.2013 Dartford 1 Cambridge United 3
29.09.2012 Dartford 1 Cambridge United 1
27.08.2012 Cambridge United 1 Dartford 2
19.02.1966 Cambridge United 3 Dartford 0
04.09.1965 Dartford 2 Cambridge United 1
13.03.1965 Dartford 2 Cambridge United 0

 

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