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Dartford v Grimsby Town

The Darts face a tough fixture to kick start this month when they prepare for the visit of Grimsby Town this weekend.

Hoping to repeat the upset of last season’s 1-0 win at Princes Park, Dartford go into the Conference Premier fixture having lost just once in their last four outings.

After beating Nuneaton Town from a goal down on the weekend, the Darts were at it again. On Tuesday night they had to come from behind twice at Welling United, who remain unbeaten at home. Tom Bender made his first start for the Darts whilst in form Danny Harris made the first eleven, returning striker Andy Pugh was on the bench and made a late appearance.

An entertaining first half ended level with Welling United taking the lead on six minutes. Ben Jefford’s cross was nudged beyond Jason Brown by Harry Beautyman, but the lead lasted just three minutes. Peter Sweeney scored his first goal for the club and his side’s maiden first half strike of the season. The Wings went ahead once more when Jamal Fyfield headed in Beautyman’s cross to leave the Darts a goal down. Yet again Dartford fought back and a trio of long throw in’s by Mat Mitchel-King put the hosts under pressure, Elliot Bradbrook benefited the most when he hit he’s fourth of the season.

Almost six months have passed since Max Cornhill’s header with fifteen minutes to go gave the Darts a massive three points against the Mariners. A minute before the winning goal Grimsby Town were reduced to ten men when Jamal Fyfield received a second caution. At the time, victory for the Darts put them a point away from safety with four games to go.

In the campaign before, Grimsby Town visited Princes Park twice and went home with fond memories. Jack Evans scored the Darts only goal in the 26th minute following up Nathan Collier’s rebound. Despite working hard, the Darts conceded two late goals. Andy Cook equalised with fifteen minutes to go and full back Aswad Thomas secured an away win, which earned Grimsby Town a playoff spot.

The other result ended 0-0 in the second leg of the F.A Trophy semi-final which was enough to see the Mariners reach Wembley. The 3-0 aggregate win earned Grimsby Town a place in the final which they lost on penalties to Wrexham.

Grimsby Town have finished fourth in the past two seasons losing out in the playoffs, yet again they are pushing for a return to the Football League. Their fifth campaign in the Conference Premier with three consecutive draws with the side taking 254 minutes to score their first goal. Over the Bank Holiday period the Mariners took off in style, a surprise 6-1 away win at Gateshead was followed by  7-0 home win at Blundell Park against Alfreton Town. Since August, Grimsby have won three, lost three and drawn once to leave them in a mid table spot.

On the weekend the Mariners swept Chester aside in a 3-0 victory at home. Shaun Pearson scored from close range and Ross Hannah doubled the lead early in the second half. Hannah then missed a penalty but in the final minute Nathan Arnold made it three having returned from injury. Paul Hurst’s side hosted Southport in the week and went down to a Richard Brodie goal eight minutes from time, the striker grabbed the winner against his former club.

Team News

Lee Noble missed a third successive match through an ankle injury. Andy Pugh returned to action after suffering tendinitis of the Achilles.

Grimsby Town’s Jon-Paul Pittman is still recovering from injury, Nathan Arnold is back in training and Aswad Thomas missed Tuesday’s defeat. Lenell John-Lewis was back in the starting eleven, the striker has scored three this campaign.

Head to Head 

Dartford wins: 2 / Grimsby Town wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Current Form

Dartford (DWLWLD) Grimsby Town (LWWDLL)
Welling United A 2-2 Southport H 0-1
Nuneaton Town A 2-1 Chester H 3-0
Forest Green Rovers H 1-2 Kidderminster Harriers A 1-0
Dover Athletic H 2-1 FC Halifax Town A 1-1
Gateshead A 0-1 Torquay United H 0-2
Eastleigh H 2-2 Lincoln City A 2-3

Last League Meeting at Princes Park

10 April 2014 – Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 0 – Att: 1257

Goalscorer: Cornhill (75)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Mitchel-King, McAuley, Sterling, Burns, Noble, Stevenson, Swallow, Cornhill, Harris, Suarez (subs used: Collier, Eisa)

Grimsby Town Lineup: McKeown, Doig, Fyfield, McDonald, Walker, Colbeck, Thanoj, McLaughlin, Tounkara, Cook (subs used: Southwell, Winfarrah)

Match Stats

dfc v gtfc

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy semi-final / ** – Friendly)

10.04.2014 Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 0
25.09.2013 Grimsby Town 5 Dartford 2
09.04.2013 Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 2
23.02.2013* Dartford 0 Grimsby Town 0
16.02.2013* Grimsby Town 3 Dartford 0
06.10.2012 Grimsby Town 0 Dartford 2
17.04.1897** Dartford 2 Grimsby Town 3

Stats

13 – After 13 games last season Dartford were in 18th place with one point per game, the same as this term

24 – Only Barnet (31) have scored more goals than Grimsby Town this season

50 – Mat Mitchel-King made his 50th start for the Darts against Nuneaton Town last weekend and if Nathan Collier starts this weekend he’ll join the defender.

70 – Elliot Bradbrook has now scored 70 times for Dartford and is ten behind current top scorer Ryan Hayes

77 – Prior last weekend Grimsby Town had the most shots on target

83 – Minutes Dartford have been in front this season out of 1170 minutes played

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