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Dartford v Alfreton Town

Dartford are going to need to make their home matches count in the relegation scrap starting this weekend in their six pointer against Alfreton Town.

Sitting eight points behind their opponents with a game in hand, Dartford know a win will be vital especially when the two sides meet again before the month is out. The last two home fixtures against Alfreton Town have been favourable to the Darts and Tony Burman hopes to keep the perfect record against the Derbyshire side.

Last season an opening day victory over the Reds gave Dartford a promising start. The winning goal came from a piece of skilful play from Adam Birchall. The striker weaved his way along the touchline and finished from an acute angle. In the previous campaign, the Darts put in a dominating display with a resounding 5-1 win. Harry Crawford’s hat trick, Jacob Erskine’s strike and Elliot Bradbrook’s header helped Dartford record their biggest Conference Premier win in 27 years.

The Darts approach a crucial period of their campaign on the back of a well earned draw up at FC Halifax Town. A first league clean sheet in 31 games whilst playing over 70 minutes with ten men would normally be a great result, however teams at the bottom picked up more points leaving Dartford further adrift. Burman fielded a slightly changed side to that who lost 3-1 at home to Woking. Jason Brown was replaced by Deren Ibrahim, Peter Sweeney made his first league start since New Years Day due to Elliot Bradbrook’s absence. When Lee Burns was sent off after 19 minutes the pack needed shuffling once more.

Just one defeat in their last five league fixtures, Dartford are showing form similar to October where draws need converting into wins. The Darts can also look to the fact they are unbeaten against the bottom seven and have only dropped points against Welling United from the bottom five.

Alfreton Town were one of those teams winning at the wrong end of the table as they defeated Kidderminster Harriers 2-0. A second victory and clean sheet in a row left manager Nicky Law delighted with his side. John Johnston scored his third goal in five league gamed and Karl Hawley made sure of the three points. The result on the weekend followed a 1-0 away win at AFC Telford United which was settled by Luke Graham’s strike.

The Reds began their campaign with seven straight defeats but have slowly climbed out of danger zone. The Reds managed to string a four game unbeaten run after their terrible start and have won all their games against the bottom six. Law expressed his delight last week at moving out of the bottom four for the first time since September. The Derbyshire club have also received backing off the field lately when they secured a £250,000 boost from American investors.

Team News

Ryan Hayes and Jason Brown didn’t travel to the Shay on the weekend due to aggravated injuries picked up in training. Tom Bradbrook is still out with a groin injury but his successful operation means he may return before the season ends. Lee Burns will be suspended for the straight red card he received against FC Halifax Town on Saturday.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Alfreton Town wins: 2 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Dartford (DLDWDL) Alfreton Town (WWLLDW)
FC Halifax Town  A  0-0 Kidderminster Harriers  H  2-0
Woking  H  1-3 AFC Telford United  A  1-0
Aldershot Town  A  1-1 Aldershot Town  H  2-3
AFC Telford United  A  3-2 Braintree Town  A  1-2
Bristol Rovers  H  1-1 Forest Green Rovers  H  2-2
Dover Athletic  A  1-6 Southport  H  4-2

Last Meeting at Princes Park

10 August 2013 – Dartford 1 Alfreton Town 0 – Att: 1202

Goalscorers: Birchall (42)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Clark, Mitchel-King, Fry, Cornhill, Noble, Bradbrook, Burns, Hayes, Prior, Birchall, (subs used: Rogers, Harris, Woodyard)

Alfreton Town Lineup: Atkins, Wood, Franklin, Westwood, Law, Bradley, Fenton, Shaw, Meadows, McGrath, Clayton (subs used: Wishart, Ramsey-Dickson)

Match Stats

dfc v atfc stats1

Previous Meetings

21.12.2013 Alfreton Town 2 Dartford 1
10.08.2013 Dartford 1 Alfreton Town 0
05.01.2013 Alfreton Town 3 Dartford 2
01.09.2012 Dartford 5 Alfreton Town 1

Stats

Deren Ibrahim last kept a clean sheet in the league for Dartford on 3 March 2012. During the 1-0 Conference South win at Tonbridge Angels Ibrahim came on as a substitute for the injured Louis Wells. His last full league game for the Darts resulting in a clean sheet was on 25 October 2011 in Dartford’s 3-0 away win at Thurrock.

The last time Dartford kept back to back clean sheets in the league was just under a year ago. A goaless draw at Lincoln City on 5 April 2014 was followed by a 1-0 win five days later at home to Grimsby Town

Alfreton Town have conceded Town have conceded the most number of fouls in the Conference Premier. Excluding last weekend the Reds had given away 419 free kicks.

 

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