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Southport v Dartford

A glimmer of survival hope is beginning to flicker for the Darts and next up is another ‘six pointer’ away to Southport.

Dartford’s away form is keeping the side within a chance of staying in the Conference Premier; the Kent side are now four unbeaten on the road. Southport are in equally good form having lost just once in their last seven outings, which has included four draws.

Tony Burman’s side have just nine games remaining and are nine points behind Southport and Alfreton Town, their next two games. With the game in hand also on the horizon at the end of the month, the picture at the bottom could look very different as the season approaches the Easter period.

After a last minute home defeat against Alfreton Town, the Darts looked down and out until a mid-week victory at Chester. An inspired performance by goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim contributed to the three points despite falling behind. Oliver McBurnie gave the hosts the lead with a header in the second half. Within a minute the scores were level when Nathan Green scored his second of the campaign when he poked home the equaliser. Harry Crawford hit the woodwork for the Darts and as the game looked as if it was heading for a draw, it was Dartford’s turn to net a last minute winner. Danny Harris claimed the decisive goal despite other sources claiming Kingsley James had put through his own net.

In what will be the sixth meeting between the two clubs, there is little that separate the teams head to head. Dartford are yet to taste victory up in Merseyside against Southport and just over a year ago were brushed aside 3-0. Goals from Danny Hattersley, Jason Walker and Osayaman Osawe made sure the Sandgrounders took maximum points.

Two years ago, the Darts managed a 2-2 draw which saw Harry Crawford score his first goal of his second loan spell with the club. Andy Owens equalised for the hosts but Tom Bonner had Dartford back ahead. Southport equalised when Shaun Whalley scored from the spot to share the points. Burman has also led Dartford to one victory and two draws back at Princes Park with the fixture earlier this term ending 1-1.

Southport have finished consistently over the past three seasons and their current placing of nineteenth shows no change. The Sandgrounders have blown hot and cold this campaign, unbeaten runs such as the six without loss in October and November have contrasted with twice losing four in a row. At present the Merseyside club are on a decent streak unbeaten in four with just one goal conceded.

Two players at opposite ends of the pitch are impressing at Haig Avenue. Richard Brodie, the clubs top scorer on 11 goals this season turned his loan deal into a permanent contract in the summer. At the back Luke Foster has made impressive performances picking up the most man of the match awards for Southport this term.

Team News

Goalkeeper, JasonBrown and striker Andy Pugh have been out with hamstring injuries but Pugh is likely to return. Tom Bradbrook is out with a groin injury and older brother Elliot Bradbrook is one caution away from a suspension.

Southport will be without Joe Thomas who has returned to Bury following his month’s loan. Meanwhile Joe Connor is making good progress recovering from injury and could be added to the squad for the weekend.

Head to Head

Southport wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Southport (WDDWLD) Dartford (WLDLDW)
Aldershot Town  A  2-1 Chester  A  2-1
Wrexham  A  0-0 Alfreton Town  H  0-1
Nuneaton Town  H  0-0 FC Halifax Town  A  0-0
FC Halifax Town  H  1-0 Woking  H  1-3
Forest Green Rovers  A  3-5 Aldershot Town  A  1-1
Dover Athletic  A  2-2 AFC Telford United  A  3-2

Last League Meeting at Haig Avenue

1 March 2014 – Southport 3 Dartford 0 – Att: 1041

Goalscorers: Hattersley (12), Walker (71), Osawe (78)

Southport Lineup: Hurst, Fitzpatrick, Flynn, Nsiala, George, O’Sullivan, Brown, Ledsham, Walker, Osawe, Hattersley (subs used: Challonor, Brodie, Mukendi)

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

Match Stats

dfc v sfc2

Previous Meetings

15.11.2014 Dartford 1 Southport 1
01.03.2014 Southport 3 Dartford 0
28.09.2013 Dartford 1 Southport 0
02.03.2013 Southport 2 Dartford 2
17.11.2012 Dartford 2 Southport 2

Stats

15 – number of goals Southport have scored at home, the lowest home total in the league

44 – league games since Dartford won consecutive matches

49 – Richard Brodie has been caught offside the most number of times in the Conference Premier this season

72 – Southport have received the most yellow cards this term

On This Day

Since reforming, Dartford have played twice on 21 March and lost on both occasions. Fifteen years ago, the Darts lost 4-1 in the Southern League Southern Division to Folkestone Invicta. The most recent loss was in the Isthmian Premier League in 2009 when they were beaten 2-0 by AFC Hornchurch.

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