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Burgess Hill Town v Dartford

Dartford have already met Burgess Hill Town in this season’s F.A Cup, this time they travel to Leylands Park for this weekend’s F.A Trophy second round tie.

Drawn against each other once more the two sides met two and half months ago at Princes Park. Harry Crawford’s brace and Elliot Bradbrook’s penalty earned Dartford a F.A Cup first round spot in a 3-1 triumph.

The Darts have won all of their previous visits to the Sussex club, the last coming over eight years ago in the Isthmian Division One South. On the opening day of Dartford’s homecoming season, three months before the Darts moved into their new home, a memorable away day gave Dartford the best possible start. In a 6-1 victory, fans favourite Brendon Cass opened his season with a hat trick, John Farley recorded his only goal of 2006/07 and Jay May notched a brace. In 2003, the Darts won 1-0 in the Southern League Eastern Division during their homeless years.

With the January window open Tony Burman is hoping some transfer dealings along with a cup run will boost the confidence of his squad. The visit of Kiderminster Harriers on Sunday became a familiar tale as Dartford couldn’t hold on to earn important league points. Ryan Hayes gave Dartford a superb start after just 45 seconds, the winger scored his 84th career goal for the club by scoring directly from a corner. Chances were missed to increase the lead when Tom Bradbrook headed a golden opportunity wide of the post. Kidderminster Harriers grew into the game and built up pressure throughout the second half, eventually the Darts defence was breached twice by Marvin Johnson in the final eleven minutes to condemn Dartford to another defeat.

On a positive note new signing Nathan Green made his debut and impressed with his performance. The former Dagenham and Redbridge midfielder can also play at left back so could feature in that position following the release on Tom Bender. Bender made 21 appearances for the Darts and was signed in September. Burman has already made it know he is attempting to sign more players to bolster his squad so there could be some new faces come the weekend.

Dartford’s visitors may be three divisions below them but the form of each club suggests the gap is narrower. Incredibly, Burgess Hill Town are unbeaten in 25 Isthmian Division One South games sitting top by three points with three games in hand.

The Hillians have lost just one match this term at the hands of Dartford in the F.A Cup. The only unbeaten side in the top eight tiers of English football have already played 15 cup games as well. In the F.A Cup, Burgess Hill Town played five times adding to the six F.A Trophy ties so far, two county cup fixtures and two league cup matches. All together the Hillians record stands at played 40, won 33, drawn 6 and lost 1.

The F.A Trophy second round is the furthest the Sussex side has ever reached, which they have managed twice before. Progression will take the club the furthest they have been and captain Darren Budd is hoping history is created, he told www.midsussextimes.co.uk, “The lads will be brimming with confidence after the victory against Aldershot in the last round and hopefully we can write another bit of history in record books for Burgess Hill Town FC”.

Victory at Aldershot Town came as a surprise but with the confidence building Burgess Hill Town are currently on a winning streak of twelve matches, the Hillians are looking to beat the 15 consecutive wins set earlier in the season. The run continued during the week when they beat Folkestone Invicta 3-1 despite being reduced to ten men, the strike force of Rob O’Toole and Pat Harding combined again who have netted 29 goals in all competitions between them. Top scorer Greg Luer with 16 goals has earned much praise this term, so much so that the 19 year old has joined Premier League side Hull City.

Team News

Striker Andy Pugh has returned to light training but remains out of match action whilst Nathan Green will be cup tied. Captain Elliot Bradbrook could start his 250th game for Dartford, the captain has made the second most appearances from the current squad of players. If selected, central defender Rory McAuley and midfielder Max Cornhill will make their 50th start for the Darts. Nathan Collier will also reach the 50 mark of substitute appearances should he come off the bench to participate.

F.A Trophy Story So Far

First Round

Dartford 2 Solihull Moors 0

In a slow first half goalkeeper Jason Brown kept Dartford in the competition with some decent saves. An improved second half was enough to see the Darts progress at the expense of their Conference North opponents. Firstly captain Elliot Bradbrook netted from the spot and brother Tom sealed the win with just under twenty minutes to go.

Aldershot Town 0 Burgess Hill Town 1

The F.A Cup giantkillers were giantkilled, the Shots who beat Portsmouth in the F.A Cup a month before and drew with Rochdale days prior hosted the Hillians. However, Burgess Hill Town caused an upset and Dan Perry’s strike earned arguably the biggest victory in the club’s history.

Third Qualifying Round

Burgess Hill Town 3 Leatherhead 2

The hosts left it late to secure a first round place by coming from 2-0 down. Leatherhead of the Isthmian Premier League went in front through Vasileious Karagiannis and former Dart Carl Rook made it two. Joe Keehan started the come back from the spot and had to score from another penalty with ten minutes to go. With the match heading for a replay Darren Budd scored with three minutes to go to put the Hillians through.

Second Qualifying Round Replay

Folkestone Invicta 0 Burgess Hill Town 1

A goalless draw at Leylands Park meant the two sides had to face each other again just three days later. Despite heavy rain the fixture went ahead at Fullicks Stadium. Up until 69 minutes the sides were inseparable but with Dan Perry one on one with the Folkestone Invicta goalkeeper, the striker netted the winner.

First Qualifying Round

Burgess Hill Town 2 Chesham United 0

The Hillians bounced back from their F.A Cup defeat at Dartford with a cup win of their own. A brace from striker Pat Harding either side of half time gave the Sussex club a 2-0 win. Harding scored a minute before the interval and doubled his tally with fifteen minutes remaining.

Preliminary Round

Burgess Hill Town 1 Aveley 0

The F.A Trophy journey started back in October against Isthmian Division One North side Aveley. Manager Ian Chapman rested a few players but still relied on the impressive Greg Luer. The striker scored a penalty three minutes into the second half which turned out to be the deciding goal.

Head to Head

Burgess Hill Town wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 5 / Draws: 0

Current Form (*F.A Trophy / ** County Cup)

Burgess Hill Town (WWWWWW) Dartford (LLLWWL)
Folkestone Invicta  H  3-1 Kidderminster Harriers  H  1-2
Hastings United  A  2-1 Braintree Town  A  0-3
Three Bridges  H  3-0 Braintree Town  H  0-2
Worthing  A  5-1 Wrexham  A  3-1
Hastings United**  A  1-0 Solihull Moors*  H  2-0
Carshalton Athletic  H  2-1 Gillingham**  A  3-7

Previous Meetings

25.10.2014+ Dartford 3 Burgess Hill Town 1
13.01.2007** Dartford 7 Burgess Hill Town 2
19.08.2006** Burgess Hill Town 1 Dartford 6
28.10.2003^ Dartford 0 Burgess Hill Town 3
21.10.2003* Dartford 2 Burgess Hill Town 1
20.08.2003* Burgess Hill Town 0 Dartford 1

*Southern League Division One Eastern / **Isthmian Division One South / ^ Southern League Cup / + F.A Cup

F.A Trophy Performances (Last Ten Years)

bhtfc 10 years

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