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Dartford v Chester

This season Dartford could have lined up in a different league to their mid-week visitors Chester, instead the two sides meet for only the third time.

The story could have been so much different had it not been for the demise of Salisbury City and Hereford United. With the Darts finishing below their opponents last term, both clubs were reprieved for the current campaign.

For Chester, news of a second chance put the final day relegation heartbreak firmly behind them. A last minute Hereford United winner at Aldershot Town sent Chester down on goal difference, until the Bulls were thrown out of the Conference due to financial problems. Dartford’s reprieve was more chaotic than dramatic, as they heard later on in the summer that they too will get another opportunity in the Conference Premier.

Dartford are finding life just as tough the second time round, however this time last year the club were in the middle of a ten game losing streak. This term there are no signs of a repeat with the squad looking and playing better. Whilst it’s tight just above the bottom four, the Darts know a few wins could move them into mid table. With three tough fixtures coming up before the F.A Cup second round tie with League One side Bradford City, Tony Burman will be eyeing up three points against fellow part timers.

The squad has been stretched of late with striker Andy Pugh sidelined for a long spell following an operation. Tom Bradbrook has suffered recently but has now returned and at the back Mat Mitchel-King, Nathan Collier and Lee Burns have taken time out to recover. Burman has had to call in Callum Driver and play midfielder Elliot Bradbrook at centre back. With the captain moving further towards his own goal, midfielder’s Lee Noble and Max Cornhill have linked well with the influential Peter Sweeney, who missed the 1-0 defeat at Lincoln City with flu. With Pugh out for a while, Harry Crawford continues to stake a claim in the starting eleven.

In sixteenth place amongst four teams on 27 points Chester under Steve Burr have also made improvements, and despite inconsistent results they sit in a comfortable mid table position. It took the Cheshire club six games to record a win last term, this campaign it only took the third attempt. The Blues have just faced tricky home matches against Gateshead and Bristol Rovers and managed four points, but it’s their home form that has been more productive. On their travels, Chester have beaten Braintree Town and AFC Telford United but have lost seven and drawn one. The finest away day so far for Chester came in the F.A Cup first round where they went to League Two side Southend United and won 2-1.

The Blues have a midfield content on chipping in with goals thanks to the efforts of Sean McConville and John Rooney. Up front Craig Hobson often leads the line with former Macclesfield Town player Peter Winn. Manager, Steve Burr recently added to his squad with two loan signings, Josh O’Keefe formerly of Kidderminster Harriers is well accustomed to the Conference Premier having played for Hereford United, Lincoln City and Southport. Rhys Oates comes in from Barnsley having spent time in the Conference North with Gainsborough Trinity and Stockport County, the teenager also featured for Grimsby Town a couple of months ago.

The Darts are still looking for their first goal against the Blues having failed to find the net in both league fixtures last campaign. A goalless draw up in Cheshire was followed by a 1-0 defeat in front of the television cameras at Princes Park. A fine volley from Chester striker Gareth Seddon separated the two teams which at the time was an important six pointer. This season both sides will be hoping the result will carry less significance.

Head to Head 

Dartford wins: 0/ Chester wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (LDWLDD) Chester (DWLLWL)
Lincoln City A 0-1 Bristol Rovers H 2-2
Southport H 1-1 Gateshead H 1-0
Welling United A 2-1 Macclesfield Town A 1-3
Grimsby Town A 0-3 Eastleigh A 2-3
Aldershot Town H 1-1 Alfreton Town H 2-1
Macclesfield Town H 1-1 Dover Athletic A 1-2

Last League Meeting at Princes Park

7 March 2014 – Dartford 0 Chester 1 – Att: 1610

Goalscorer: Seddon (51)

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

Chester Lineup: Chapman, Lillock, L Turner, Heath, Linwood, Rooney, Bond, N Turner, Mahon, Seddon, Taylor (subs used: Lindfield, Daniels)

Match Stats

dfc v cfc stats

Previous Meetings

07.03.2014 Dartford 0 Chester 1
07.09.2013 Chester 0 Dartford 0

 

 

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