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Dartford v Barnet

Dartford play in front of the cameras on Easter Monday looking to beat title contenders Barnet for the first time in twenty nine years.

The Darts have been defeated in each of their last four fixtures versus the Bees without scoring in the last three. What will make the task even more difficult is Barnet are challenging for a return to the Football League after a two year absence. The Hertfordshire club are battling with Grimsby Town and Bristol Rovers for the Conference Premier trophy.

Whilst it’s likely both clubs will  head in opposite directions this summer, Tony Burman will desperately want to give supporters something to celebrate. The manager was part of the last Dartford team who tasted victory against Barnet in 1986 in an entertaining 5-3 win. Manager at the time, John Still was to stay in charge for just one more league match and the Darts were relegated at the end of the season back to the Southern League.

Since then Dartford have had to endure a 3-1 loss in the General Motors Inter League Cup followed by a hat-trick of losses since the two sides returned to the Conference Premier. Last term at Princes Park, Barnet ran out 2-0 winners with Keanu Marsh-Brown firing the visitors in front from a tight angle.  Just passed the half hour mark Barnet stretched their lead to two with a curling free kick from Luisma Villa. Only three Dartford players, Danny Harris, Elliot Bradbrook and Nathan Collier that started that day are left at the club.

In what turned out to be a double header with the return fixture played just a fortnight later, the Bees added another triumph with a 1-0 win. The Darts first trip to The Hive ended in defeat and completed back to back losses against Barnet. Jon Nurse’s goal half hour into the game was enough to settle the match. Player manager Edgar Davids received a second yellow card late on but the Bees held out for a double against Dartford.

Earlier this season, Dartford visited the Hive for the second time and were brushed aside when they fell victim to a Lee Cook hat trick. Former Ebbsfleet United striker John Akinde opened the scoring just before the interval. Cook stole the headlines in the second half with three goals in just under forty minutes.

Since the departure of Davids last season and the return of Martin Allen, for a fourth spell with the club, Barnet have shown the credentials expected by pundits at the start of the campaign. The Bees have led the Conference Premier for the majority of the campaign and have a superior goal difference in case the title goes down to the wire.

Helping in the goal difference column is the league’s top scorer John Akinde, the 25 year old is way out in front in the goalscoring charts and is odds on to take the golden boot. The Bees have netted with frequency this term and with Charlie MacDonald picking up his fair share of assists, Luisma Villa weighing in with goals from midfield and Akinde up front, Martin Allen has put together an attacking side.

Up until the end of February Barnet had led the table since the end of August and were nine points clear heading into 2015. A wobble since the New Year has let Grimsby Town and Bristol Rovers back in to the title race, however results in March including a 5-0 victory against Welling United has kept the Bees ahead entering April.

Dartford striker, Harry Crawford will be up against his former club who he joined in the January transfer window just over two years ago. Crawford has had better times at Princes Park than the Hive as he managed three goals in 39 games for the Bees. During that time, the 23 year old played for the Darts on loan until re-signing permanently last summer. Now in his third spell at Dartford, Crawford is waiting to reignite his form that earned him a move to Barnet in the first place.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 9 / Barnet wins: 15 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Dartford (DDLDLW) Barnet (WDWDWL)
Torquay United  A  1-1 Nuneaton Town  H  1-0
Gateshead  H  1-1 Alfreton Town  A  1-1
Altrincham  H  1-2 Welling United  H  5-0
Alfreton Town  A  0-0 FC Halifax Town  A  1-1
Southport  A  0-2 Eastleigh  A  2-1
Chester  A  2-1 Forest Green Rovers  H  1-3

Last Meeting at Princes Park

26 November 2013 – Dartford 0 Barnet 2 – Att: 803

Goalscorer: Marsh-Brown (19), Villa (33)

Dartford Lineup: Smith, Sterling, Clark, Essam, Burns, Collier, Bradbrook, Martin, Prior, Birchall, Harris (sub used: Godden, Woodyard)

Barnet Lineup: Stack, Saville, Stephens, Abdulla, Weston, Yiadom, Gambin, Villa, Marsh-Brown, Davids, Sykes (subs used: Cadogan, Byrne, Nurse)

Match Stats

dfc v bfc

Previous Six Meetings (* – General Motors Inter League Cup – 2nd round)

25.08.2014 Barnet 4 Dartford 0
07.12.2013 Barnet 1 Dartford 0
26.11.2013 Dartford 0 Barnet 2
03.11.1987* Dartford 1 Barnet 3
04.01.1986 Dartford 5 Barnet 3
01.10.1985 Barnet 2 Dartford 0

 

 

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