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Gateshead v Dartford

Dartford make the long trip North East this weekend in an attempt to break their Gateshead hoodoo.

The journey to Tyneside has seen very little in return for the Darts, with the exception of a goalless draw 29 years ago Gateshead have come away victorious on their own patch. At the Gateshead International Stadium, Dartford have yet to score in all four meetings between the two sides.

Whilst Dartford sit fourth from bottom, Gateshead sit fourth from top despite surprisingly suffering a 6-1 drubbing at home to Grimsby Town. The Heed have won their other three home games, something Dartford have failed at an away ground in seven matches.

Tony Burman knows Gateshead will be a tough test and believes his players can get a result if they can ‘work harder’, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “Gateshead is another game. It’s a tough game but they’re all tough. We’ve got to prepare in the right way, work hard and try to get something”.

Burman had to take drastic action mid week having seen his side 2-0 down versus Conference South champions Eastleigh. Harry Crawford may have rescued a point in injury time but early second half substitutions aided an improved performance. The visitors were two up inside 22 minutes, Jamie Collins scored from the spot after Jason Brown conceded a penalty. James Constable who won the spot kick netted the Spitfires second from close range.

The Darts improved for the second forty five minutes when Nathan Collier replaced Adam Green and Lee Noble replaced Ryan Hayes. Ten minutes after the interval captain Elliot Bradbrook headed Noble’s corner to pull a goal back. In the 91st minute Crawford kept his cool with a clinical finish to complete a spirited comeback, his first goal since returning to Princes Park for the club.

Burman admitted that at half time his side had hit ‘rock bottom’ he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “It was absolutely dreadful. We reached rock bottom in respect of what happened in the first 45 minutes. It was a bit embarrassing”. In contrast the Dartford boss was pleased with the players reactionafter the break, he added: “Fair play to the players, they reacted, they got a goal back and they kept plugging away. You hope something’s going to come from it and we managed to salvage something from the game”.

Gateshead have blossomed since the arrival of manager Gary Mills, the former European Cup winner led his side to Wembley just four months ago. Losing out on promotion, the 52 year old is determined to go one better this season. The Tynesiders won their opening two games with Marcus Maddison scoring three times. A draw at Eastleigh and defeat to Grimsby Town followed before three more victories in their last four outings.

Last season Gateshead beat the Darts twice with a a 2-0 win at home in October. The Heed dominated for long periods and took the lead when James Marwood converted Craig Baxter’s cross. Rob Ramshaw scored the home side’s second with a header from close range. At Princes Park, James Brown nodded in the winner to complete the double.

Team News

Striker Andy Pugh missed out on the 2-2 draw with Eastleigh suffering from tendinitis. Lee Burns returned to action which meant Nathan Collier lost out. However the utility player is pushing for a start aftre some impressive performances this term.

Carl Finnigan has signed for the Gateshead but awaits international clearance. The 27 year old is a former Newcastle United reserve and academy striker but spent his first team career in Scotland. Finnigan joins the Heed after being released by South African side Chippa United. Meanwhile, Michael Rankine is getting closer to returning to action after a hamstring injury. The former Hereford United forward’s winner on the last day of the season would have kept the Bulls up if it hadn’t been for their off field problems.

Head to Head

Gateshead wins: 5 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Current Form

Gateshead (WLWWLD) Dartford (DLWLDL)
AFC Telford United H 4-1 Eastleigh H 2-2
Kidderminster Harriers A 1-2 Altrincham A 1-2
Chester H 2-1 AFC Telford United H 2-1
Altrincham A 1-0 Barnet A 0-4
Grimsby Town H 1-6 Torquay United H 0-0
Eastleigh A 2-2 Kidderminster Harriers A 0-1

Last Meeting at Gateshead International Stadium

5 October 2013 – Gateshead 2 Dartford 0 – Att: 561

Goalscorer: Marwood (43), Ramshaw (58)

Gateshead Lineup: Bartlett, Curtis, Baxter, Magnay, Clark, Oster, Turnbull, Ramshaw, Marwood, Hatch, Larkin (subs used: Chandler, Hugill)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Clark, Fry, Noble, Bradbrook, Woodyard, Cornhill, Collier, Burns, Harris, Birchall (subs used: Prior, Hayes, Ibemere)

Match Stats

gateshead v dartford stats

Previous Meetings (* F.A Trophy)

23.11.2013 Dartford 0 Gateshead 1
05.10.2013 Gateshead 2 Dartford 0
23.03.2013 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

2.29 – minutes played when Sean Clancy scored against Gateshead, the quickest opening goal of the Conference Premier campaign so far

5 – number of assists made by Alex Rodman who is joint top of the charts with Barnets’s Charlie MacDonald and Lincoln City’s Sean Newton.

16 – matches since Dartford won by more than a goal

18 – months ago when Dartford recorded their only ever win against gateshead

45 – games since Gateshead suffered back to back defeats, the longest current sequence amongst the Conference Premier clubs

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