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Dartford v Woking

A fixture packed March begins with Dartford determined to close the gap to safety when they host play-off chasers Woking.

With the weather causing postponements, the Darts will have to cram in two games a week this month as they play catch up. If Tony Burman’s side take advantage of the games in hand then the season’s final stages will be tense. Dartford still have fixtures to fulfil against Southport, Alfreton Town and Nuneaton Town but will first need to focus on Woking.

The Darts dropped a place in the league on the weekend with a creditable 1-1 draw at Aldershot Town. An Elliot Bradbrook header in the first half gave Dartford a precious lead. The visitors had to settle for a point though when substitute Tristan Plummer equalised on the hour. Woking approach their fourth successive league match away from home having lost once in their last seven overall, The Cards have picked up two wins in that time with the latest on the weekend against Lincoln City.

Earlier in the season Dartford were unlucky not to have grabbed their maiden victory of 2014/15. The Darts matched the Cards in yet another mid-week fixture at the Kingfield Stadium, a ground where they normally struggle. Rory McAuley put Dartford in front with a header and in the final minute substitute Giuseppe Sole equalised. Burman was pleased with the performance that night, he told kentonline.co.uk: “We were all really gutted after the game because we’d done so well”, he added: “I would have accepted one point before the game but it was a difficult pill to swallow”.

Dartford have fond memories of their last meeting with Woking in a season similar to this term. A much needed win was achieved in style as they brushed the Cards aside in a 5-1 victory. Having fallen a goal behind to Scott Rendell’s strike, a minute later on loan striker Alex Wall equalised. The match turned when the visitors had Joey Jones dismissed leaving Woking with ten men. The Darts cashed in on the extra man advantage with four goals without reply, Wall scored his second before Max Cornhill added a brace of his own, in the last minute Lee Noble made it 5-1.

Over the last four years the two clubs have battled out some entertaining encounters at Princes Park. Whilst in the Conference South both games ended 3-2 with a win apiece. Since promotion to the Conference Premier, the Darts have dominated the last two home performances winning 4-1 and the aforementioned triumph last season.

Although recent home results against Garry Hill’s side have been excellent it may be hard to replicate this time round. The Cards have had a satisfying campaign to date surprising a few pundits by reaching second in the Conference Premier on more than one occasion. However, the Surrey club have failed to keep the momentum going and since December have found wins hard to come by.

Promoted with Dartford almost three years ago, the Cards opened this season impressively with a nine match unbeaten run. Even after a three game losing the streak the Cards bounced back with three victories of their own. An inconsistent spell pre December turned into a poor run and since their win at home to Altrincham they have won once in eleven league games (excludes Saturday’s fixture at Lincoln City).

Manager, Hill has enjoyed the services of striker Scott Rendell who has notched 15 league goals in 25 appearances prior to Saturday’s game. Giving the 29 year old a helping hand up front is crowd favourite Giuseppe Sole. Often used as a substitute, Sole has managed nine league goals in just 13 starts and 20 appearances off the bench. In central midfield the reliable Josh Payne has played in all but two league matches for the Cards and could be another to watch.

Team News

Andy Pugh returns from suspension after missing the 1-1 draw with Aldershot Town on the weekend. Jamie Richards has extended his loan spell until the end of the season. Ryan Hayes who suffered from a hamstring strain was on the bench against the Shots and managed to play the last fifteen minutes.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Woking wins: 4 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WDLLLL) Woking (WDLWDD)
AFC Telford United  A  3-2 Lincoln City  A  2-0
Bristol Rovers  H  2-2 Kidderminster Harriers  A  1-1
Dover Athletic  A  1-6 Barnet  A  1-2
FC Halifax Town  H  1-2 Alfreton Town  A  3-0
Kidderminster Harriers  H  1-2 Bristol Rovers  H  0-0
Braintree Town  A  0-3 Gateshead  H  0-0

Last Meeting at Princes Park

18 February 2014 – Dartford 5 Woking 1 – Att: 1002

Goalscorers: Rendell (4), Wall (5), Wall (45), Cornhill (56), Cornhill (74), Noble (90)

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

Woking Lineup: Beasant, Jones, McNerney, Johnson, Nutter, Betsy, Payne, Ricketts, Goddard, Sole, Rendell (subs used: Marriott, Wright, Murtagh)

Match Stats

dfc v wfc

 

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

12.08.2014 Woking 1 Dartford 1
18.02.2014 Dartford 5 Woking 1
12.11.2013 Woking 3 Dartford 0
01.04.2013 Dartford 4 Woking 1
14.08.2012 Woking 1 Dartford 0
18.02.2012 Woking 1 Dartford 0
13.12.2011 Dartford 2 Woking 3
09.04.2011 Dartford 3 Woking 2
27.11.2010 Woking 2 Dartford 2
21.10.1972* Dartford 3 Woking 2

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