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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

 

 

Barnet v Dartford

Bank Holiday football returns on Monday with the Darts making a short journey to Barnet and hoping to bag their first victory.

It’s been a tough start for Dartford playing four teams expecting to push for a return to the Football League. After one point gained in the opening three matches, coming within minutes of winning at Woking sandwiched by two defeats to Wrexham and Kidderminster Harriers, the Darts faced Torquay United on Saturday,who were relegated from League Two last season.

The Darts doubled their points tally with a 0-0 draw against the Gulls but could have easily earned all three. Elliot Bradbrook’s penalty miss just after half time was the closest Dartford came. Earlier in the match Jason Brown made a fantastic double stop in the Dartford goal and at the other end Andy Pugh’s header was well saved by Martin Rice. With Lee Burns missing through injury, Nathan Collier filled in at right back with a man of the match performance and Ryan Hayes made is first start of the campaign.

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Harry Crawford will return to the Hive where he scored just three in 39 appearances for the Bees. Dartford failed to score in back to back matches against Barnet last season when they played consecutive Conference Premier games against one another. The Bees came out on top on both occasions with a 2-0 win at Princes Park followed by a 1-0 triumph at the Hive. In the corresponding fixture John Nurse’s goal after half an hour was enough for Barnet who held on when Player Manager Edgar Davids was sent off for two bookable offences.

Led by the experienced Martin Allen, Barnet got off to a wonderful start this term with a convincing 5-0 away win at Chester. The Bees also won their first home game of the campaign against Bristol Rovers, with summer signing from and former Ebbsfleet United striker John Akinde getting on the scoresheet.

Barnet’s one hundred percent record disappeared thanks to an inspirational team talk involving jelly babies. Hosting Lincoln City, the Imps boss Gary Simpson relied on some jelly babies to talk tactics as the away side’s coach failed to turn up, with the tactic board stranded. The Bees lost 2-1 and were unable to salvage any points after conceding two early goals, their first of the season.

On the weekend, the Hertfordshire club traveled to Nuneaton Town and Charlie MacDonald’s brace was enough for Barnet to maintain their decent start to the season. The striker scored two in five minutes early in the first half, the first from the spot after Anton Brown handled in the box. His second came from close range but MacDonald was denied a hat trick when his second penalty was saved. Barnet’s third win in four leaves them in fourth spot.

Head to Head

Barnet wins: 14 / Dartford wins: 9 / Draws: 3

Last Meeting at The Hive

7 December 2013 – Barnet 1 Dartford 0 – Att: 1461

Goalscorer: Nurse (30)

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

Dartford Lineup: Smith, Clark, Essam, Sterling, Noble, Bradbrook, Martin, Stevenson, Burns, Harris, Birchall (subs used: Collier, Dembele)

Match Stats

barnet v dartford match stats3

Previous Six Meetings

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
15.12.1984 Dartford 2 Barnet 0

 

 

Barnet

The Hive Founded 1888 The Bees

A year ago Barnet fans could look forward to a new home whilst being led out by a former Champions League winner. All the hype about Edgar Davids playing non league football got the terraces intrigued. Now the Bees are minus the much decorated midfielder and have turned to a management team they have trusted in the past. Barnet, now in their third spell in the Conference Premier know what it’s like at this level. Champions in 1990 and 2005, their recent eight year stay in the Football League was spent surviving mainly on the final day of the season. The Hertfordshire club may have found it hard to leave Underhill, their home for 106 years but now they enter a second campaign of their new chapter.

BFCLast Season

Conference Premier: 8th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

FA Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

Top Scorer: Jake Hyde

Average Attendance: 1706

A promising start in the first month of the season left Barnet in second but the Bees lost their buzz in September. Although Barnet went 12 games suffering a solitary defeat putting the North Londoners in touching distance of the playoffs, they fell short of the top five missing out by seven points. Davids often caused unwanted headlines picking up as many cards in his eight appearances on the pitch, three of them reds. The frustrated Dutchman lost his way and left the club by mutual consent. Throughout the campaign Barnet were the masters of getting by on a single goal with nine 1-0 victories and 14 wins by a margin of one. A few more goals may have propelled them into the top five but as it was the Hertfordshire side will be left to rebuild over the summer for a second attempt at another return to the Football League. Chairman, Anthony Kleanthous with one eye on 2014/15 raided old contacts at the tail end of last term and renewed his relationship with a “Mad Dog”.

The Manager – Martin Allen

Take one, after two assistant roles at Reading then Barnet, Martin Allen took charge permanently making drastic changes to the squad in 2003/04. Looking set to succeed the former Queens Park Rangers and west Ham United player left for Brentford. Milton Keynes Dons, Leicester City and Cheltenham Town followed. At Whaddon Road he was placed on gardening leave before departing Cheltenham Town. Take two, Allen returned to Underhill on an eight game contract at the end of the 2010/11 campaign and lasted three unbeaten matches, the Bees survived relegation from the Football League by winning their final game. Moving to Notts County for the climax of that season he managed to keep them up in the division above. Take three, as caretaker manager Barnet was yet again spared dropping out of League Two thanks to Allen’s guidance. A move to Gillingham followed where the 48 year old took the Kent club to the League Two title but “Mad Dog” soon returned to Barnet for his fourth take.

The Summer

A major clear out occurred at the Hive in the summer break. To start with The Bees will see a brand new strike force this campaign with last season’s top scorer Jake Hyde moving on to York City, England C international Keanu Marsh-Brown transfer listed and former Dart Harry Crawford being released. John Akinde moves to The Hive on the back of an impressive season with Alfreton Town, the 25 year old scored 17 league goals in 2013/14. Team mate at North Street, Dan Bradley also makes the move to Hertfordshire, the midfielder featured in but two league games last term. Allen has used his former contacts in signing Sam Muggleton from League One side Gillingham, the defender spent time on loan at Barnet in the final months of last season.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Barnet 1 Dartford 0 – Conference Premier – 7 December 2013

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.

Dartford 0 Barnet 2 – Conference Premier – 26 November 2013

Barnet visited Princes Park for the first time and came away with all three points. Keanu Marsh-Brown fired the Bees 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. Stand in Dartford goalkeeper Phil Smith was kept busy making a number of saves and having watched two efforts hit the woodwork.

Next Meetings

Monday 25 August 2014 at The Hive

Monday 6 April 2015 at Princes Park

League Performance Last Ten Years

barnet 10 yrs

Best Performances

24th League One (1993/94) F.A Cup 4th Round (2006/07 & 2007/08) F.A Trophy Runners Up (1971/72)

Barnet v Dartford

A new ground can be crossed off Dartford fans list on Saturday when the Darts travel to Barnet in another important Conference Premier fixture.

Without the F.A Trophy and F.A Cup to distract the side, Dartford return to league action and visit The Hive for the first time. It was under two weeks ago when Tony Burman watched his team lose 2-0 against the Bees at Princes Park. Barnet condemned the Darts to a sixth successive league defeat with goals from Keanu Marsh-Brown and Luisma Villa Lopez.

During the week, a trip to Gloucestershire ended Dartford’s brief appearance in the F.A Trophy. The replay ended 1-0 to Forest Green Rovers after the hosts took the lead through Matthew Barnes-Homer’s 25 yard strike. Defeat against Rovers mean the Darts have lost eight out of their last nine matches.

Despite Dartford’s poor form, Burman gave supporters assurances he can improve fortunes, he told KentOnline: “There are big ambitions for the club. We’re working hard behind the scenes, which we have done since we’ve been here, and many people don’t acknowledge that and don’t know that”. Comments arrive after a minority of fans have questioned how much further Burman can take the club. Even with the added pressure the Dartford boss stated: “I’ve got belief in myself” and added: “The main thing is this football club”.

There is no doubt the Darts have struggled in their second season back at the non league summit. Last season’s success as a part time club led players looking elsewhere for full time football. Replacements have been harder to find on the budget available and that’s not going to change in the short term. Finance Director, Jason Outram wrote in the matchday programme: “We have a finite budget within which we must operate. Having made commitments at the beginning of the season we cannot afford to spend our way out of a perceived problem”.

Barnet will be a tough prospect for the Darts having lost just one league game at The Hive, the Bees are unbeaten in their last five outings at home. The draw specialists of the division are just three points shy from the playoff spots and have experienced one reverse in ten Conference Premier fixtures.

Last weekend, the Bees were also in F.A Trophy action for the first time since the 2004/05 season, when the Hertfordshire club won the Conference Premier. Up against Conference South side Hayes and Yeading, a last minute George Sykes’s goal earned Barnet a second round tie with last season’s runners up Grimsby Town.

Dartford could see former player Harry Crawford in action, however the striker has not featured in Barnet’s last three competitive outings. Crawford scored 16 goals for the Darts last campaign in 33 appearances and was snapped up by Edgar Davids in January.

Team News

Defender, Mat Mitchel-King will be out with a broken hand and striker Jason Prior is sidelined with a long term ankle injury. Goalkeeper, Alan Julian has suffered with a groin strain and top scorer Matthew Godden a calf problem, both players are hoping to be part of the matchday squad. Lee Noble is available again after serving his three match ban following his red card against Gateshead. Alex Woodyard is one booking away from missing a match through suspension.

Jake Hyde is back in training, the striker has scored five in nine league games for the Bess this campaign. Dani Lopez is on the path to recovery but is expected to be a few weeks away from full fitness. Luke Gambin has struggled with a knee problem and Marciano Mengerink was out of action last weekend. Two players, Anthony Acheampong and Mauro Vilhete who missed the trip to Princes Park took were not quite ready for the 1-0 win at Hayes and Yeading. Keanu Marsh-Brown and Edgar Davids are one caution away from suspension.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 9 / Barnet wins: 13 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Barnet (WLDDWW) Dartford (LLLLLL)
Dartford H 0-2 Barnet H 2-0
Grimsby Town A 1-2 Gateshead H 0-1
Cambridge United H 2-2 Wrexham H 1-5
Welling United H 0-0 Macclesfield Town A 1-3
Kidderminster Harriers H 1-0 Woking A 0-3
Hereford United A 1-0 Forest Green Rovers H 0-1

Previous Six Meetings

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
15.12.1984 Dartford 2 Barnet 0
24.11.1984 Barnet 0 Dartford 1

League Stats

2 – Barnet have won the Conference Premier title on two occasions. Altrincham, Enfield, Kidderminster Harriers, Macclesfield Town, Maidstone United and Stevenage are the other teams to have achieved the same feat.

9 – The Bees have drawn nine times this season the most by any other club in the Conference Premier

10 – Dartford have failed to find the net in ten league matches, the worst in the division along with Hyde.

61-75 – Barnet have scored the most goals (8) in the league between 61 and 75 minutes, Dartford have scored the fewest (1) in the same duration.

 

Dartford v Barnet

Tony Burman will pit his wits against a Champions League winner Edgar Davids as Dartford host Barnet in an attempt to end a six game losing streak.

The Darts have been going through a tough time of late leaving Burman reacting and bringing in more players on loan. Over the past week winger Dave Martin has come back to Princes Park after six years away and Connor Essam has returned too. The former Gillingham defender played seven times in his previous loan spell and joins for a month from League One club Crawley Town. With Alan Julian out through injury in recent weeks Phil Smith also arrived on loan from League Two south coast side Portsmouth.

Martin made his second start back in the white shirt, Essam his first since returning and Smith his début. Elliot Bradbrook returned after missing the last five Conference Premier matches with cracked ribs. Top scorer Matthew Godden was ruled out after failing a late fitness test. In an improved defensive display the Darts were just a minute away from a clean sheet until Gateshead’s James Brown scored the winner in the 89th minute. The goal came late on despite midfielder Lee Noble being sent off for violent conduct just passed the hour mark, defeat keeps Burman’s side in the bottom four.

Burman recognises his side are going through a hard period, he told BBC Radio Kent: “There’s been a bit of stick flying about but the crowd was excellent – it’s a really difficult period. It’s tough and today was one of those games we could have got a point out of it”.

The Dartford manager felt aggrieved with the officials decision to dismiss Noble, he commented: “To get a player sent off when things are going OK, it’s a bitter pill to swallow”, he added: “The first glimpse of it on a small screen is the referee has got it wrong. Lee has not elbowed someone, and the ref says he’s hit him in the face”.

Barnet were relegated out of the Football League and returned to the Conference Premier after eight years away. Despite dropping a division the Hertfordshire club have started a new era with a new stadium, The Hive will be visited by the Darts in just over a weeks time.

This month, Barnet have faced three of the top four beating Kidderminster Harriers and drawing with league leaders Cambridge United. Sandwiched between those to fixtures the Bees drew 0-0 with Welling United, at the time keeping a third clean sheet in a row. However, Barnet lost their first league game in nine on the weekend when they travelled to Blundell Park. Grimsby Town’s Ross Hannah scored a decent half volley and Liam Hearn doubles the Mariners money. Dave Stephens pulled a goal back for Barnet from 25 yards but they were unable to salvage any points on the road.

With the exception of September’s blip, where Davids’s side recorded just one win, the Bees have been difficult to beat. Only leaders Cambridge United and third placed Luton Town have lost fewer league fixtures as Barnet have steadily gone about their business. Dartford could see the return of Harry Crawford who managed a goal every other league game before signing for the Bees. The 21 year old top scored in the Darts Conference Premier campaign last season, however time on the field this term has been limited. Crawford has netted two league goals in seven starts and nine substitute appearances.

When the Darts last played the Bees in the league 27 years ago, Burman was part of the squad involved in an entertaining 5-3 victory at Watling Street. The earlier fixture that season, played at Barnet’s former home Underhill ended 2-0 to the hosts.

Team News

Alan Julian,Ryan Hayes and Matthew Godden all missed Saturday’s narrow defeat. Lee Noble will start his suspension for the red card on the weekend.

Barnet top goalscorer Keanu Marsh-Brown returns from a three match ban. The England C international was sent off in the F.A Cup defeat against Preston North End. Marsh-Brown has scored seven times in 16 starts in this season’s Conference Premier but has not scored in the league since 5 October. Jake Hyde, Dani Lopez and Luke Gambin all missed the trip to Blundell Park on Saturday.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 9 / Barnet wins: 12 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLLLW) Barnet (LDDWWD)
Gateshead H 0-1 Grimsby Town A 1-2
Wrexham H 1-5 Cambridge United H 2-2
Macclesfield Town A 1-3 Welling United H 0-0
Woking A 0-3 Kidderminster Harriers H 1-0
Forest Green Rovers H 0-1 Hereford United A 1-0
Hyde H 4-3 Wrexham H 1-1

Previous Five Meetings

03.11.1987 Dartford 1 Barnet 3
04.01.1986 Dartford 5 Barnet 3
01.10.1985 Barnet 2 Dartford 0
15.12.1984 Dartford 2 Barnet 0
24.11.1984 Barnet 0 Dartford 1