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Forest Green Rovers v Dartford

Dartford face a run of five away games in six league matches starting with a visit to playoff chasers Forest Green Rovers this weekend.

With just one win in eleven attempts against the Gloucestershire club, the Darts will be desperate to improve that sequence in fear of being cut adrift in the bottom four. Tony Burman’s side are three points from safety having played a game more than their closest competitors.

Earlier in this season, Rovers came away from Princes Park with a victory to stretch their unbeaten record against Dartford to five in all competitions. Experienced striker, Lee Hughes scored what turned out to be the decider when he deflected Sam Wedgbury’s shot beyond goalkeeper Jason Brown. After a goalless first half in which the Darts hit the woodwork twice, Marcus Kelly put Forest Green Rovers ahead ten minutes into the second half. Hughes doubled the lead which was halved in the final minute when Max Cornhill grabbed a consolation during injury time.

Dartford’s options up front were limited this week with both Andy Pugh and Harry Crawford injured. With just Tom Bradbrook left as the only other recognised striker Tony Burman looked to the loan market. In comes Bradley Tarbuck from League Two side Portsmouth, the 19 year old secured a contract with Pompey this summer and will hope to impress in Dartford colours. The striker made his debut for the South coast club at the start of last season in a League Cup tie against Plymouth. Earlier this month, he came off the bench in a League Two win versus Carlisle United.

After a mid-week capitulation at home to Chester, the Darts need to concentrate on improving their away form. On Tuesday night, Dartford were well on course for a fifth win of the campaign. Lee Noble opened his account for the season with a goal on 15 minutes, the midfielder volleyed home a Ryan Hayes cross to give his side the lead. Two minutes into the second half top scorer and captain Elliot Bradbrook increased the advanateg, this time Noble was the provider for Bradbrook to head the ball beyond Jon Worsnop. Within three minutes Chester began to turn the match around, Craig Mahon scored two in four minutes before Matty Hughes made it 3-2 ten minutes after the Darts went two up. A fourth arrived in the closing stages, Barnsley loanee Rhys Oates completed the comeback.

Burman spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the defaet, he said: “We did ever so well in the first half,” Burman said. “We took the lead and had great start to the second half but unfortunately we then pressed the self-destruct button”, he added: “Certain players, experienced players, made schoolboy errors, it’s as simple as that, and we’ve been punished for it”.

Unbeaten in nine league fixtures, which includes a current run of four consecutive draws, Forest Green Rovers are showing signs of losing the inconsistencies shown from previous campaigns. Only three sides have beaten the Gloucestershire side in the league, however too many draws could cost Ady Pennock’s men come April.

The latest draw and their tenth this term came on Tuesday night in a 0-0 stalemate with newly promoted Dover Athletic at The Crabble. Pennock was pleased with the collective effort of his side and spoke to www.forestgreenroversfc.com, he commented: “It wasn’t a classic. It’s a difficult place to come – they’ve won their last six games on the spin here”, he continued: “We have been conceding a few goals in the last three games. We have been working on that in the last week and the back four have done really well”.

Typically, Forest Green Rovers have options in front of goal with 38 year old Hughes and top scorer James Norwwod, who has scored seven in 21 appearances. Jon Parkin adds more experience, ‘the Beast’ has six league goals this term. Former Welling United midfielder Kurtis Guthrie continues to impress at the New Lawn and in between the sticks Sam Russell has been ever present in the league this season and for the previous two campaigns.

Despite a winless streak of five against Forest Green Rovers, you only have to go back to April last year for Dartford’s last triumph when they won 3-2 at The New Lawn.

Team News

Tony Burman managed to secure a months loan for Bardley Tarbuck to cover for the injured Andy Pugh. Fellow striker, Harry Crawford has been out with a hip problem and Lee Burns also remains sidelined.

Forest Green Rovers welcomed the return of Wedgbury in the 0-0 draw with Dover Athletic, the midfielder managed 35 minutes against the Kent club. Knee injuries have prevented Aarran Racine, Steve Arnold and James Jennings from playing, the trio also missed the mid-week stalemate.

Head to Head

Forest Green Rovers wins: 7 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Forest Green Rovers (DDDDWD) Dartford (LLDWLD)
Dover Athletic  A  0-0 Chester  H  2-4
Torquay United  A  3-3 Lincoln City  A  0-1
Eastleigh  H  1-1 Southport  H  1-1
Lincoln City  H  3-3 Welling United  H  2-1
Bristol Rovers  A  1-0 Grimsby Town  A  0-3
Gateshead  H  1-1 Aldershot Town  H  1-1

Last Meeting at The New Lawn

2 November 2013 – Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 0 – Att: 960

Goalscorer: Norwood (5)

Forest Green Rovers Lineup: Russell, Green, Bennett, Stokes, Asafu-Adjaye, Turley, Klukowski, Kelly, Bangura, Wright, Norwood (subs used: Hodgkiss)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Clark, Fry, Mitchel-King, Collier, Burns, Woodyard, Cornhill, Godden, Hayes, Birchall (subs used: Ibemere, Hill)

Match Stats

dfc v fgr stats

 

Last Five Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

20.09.2014 Dartford 1 Forest Green Rovers 2
12.04.2014 Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 1
03.12.2013* Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 0
30.11.2013* Dartford 1 Forest Green Rovers 1
02.11.2013 Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 0

Stats

1 – number of times Dartford have scored more than one goal against Forest Green Rovers in their 3-2 win in April 2013

9 – Forest Green Rovers are on their longest unbeaten league run for five years. In 2009, Rovers drew eight out of nine games in an unbeaten sequence lasting almost three months

18 – games since Dartford kept a clean sheet. Also, it’s been 18 years since the Darts kept a clean sheet against Forest Green Rovers back in the Southern League Southern Division.

79 – Rovers have been caught offside on the most occasions this term, 16 more times than any other club

Dartford v Forest Green Rovers

Familiar opponents return to Princes Park this weekend with the arrival of Forest Green Rovers in the Conference Premier.

Dartford have faced the Nailsworth based club eight times in the last two season’s and have found it difficult to beat them. The Darts only ever victory against Rovers came 17 months ago when the 2012/13 campaign was nearing its end.

Since the 3-2 triumph there has been very little goalscoring action between the two sides. In three of the last four meetings Forest Green Rovers have edged out as 1-0 winners, the other result was a 1-1 draw forcing a F.A Trophy tie into a replay.

Former Wrexham striker, Danny Wright scored the match winner in last season’s Princes Park meeting for Rovers. Once again he was the Darts nemesis last weekend netting the only goal for Gateshead. At the same ground the two teams were drawn together in the F.A Trophy first round with Danny Harris putting the hosts in front before Yan Klukowski forced a replay. Klukowski, Forest Green Rovers top Conference goalscorer of all time has had success in front of goal against the Darts but moved on in the summer to join Newport County.

The Darts approach this weekend’s fixture off the back of a 2-1 win over Kent rivals Dover Athletic. The victory ensured that Dartford climbed out of the bottom four at the expense of their opponents. Goalkeeper Jason Brown made a heroic last minute penalty save to secure the three points in a tense evening. Dover Athletic led after eight minutes when Ricky Miller’s free kick deflected and wrong footed Brown, the Whites looked good for a win. Once again Dartford’s character showed when Harry Crawford scored at the third attempt with just under twenty minutes remaining. In the process of Crawford’s second goal of the season, Dover Athletic’s goalkeeper Mitchell Walker was substituted with an arm injury and relaced by defender Sean Raggett. The visitors kept the hosts at bay until five minutes from time when Tom Bradbrook thumped in a header to steal the three points.

Tony Burman admits his side were fortunate but feels in other games the Darts have been less so. He told www.kentonline.co.uk: “We’ve been unfortunate in a lot of games this season and football does turn itself round sometimes. It probably did for us on Tuesday night”, he added: “The guys have come back from a goal down on Tuesday and they came back from two goals down last Tuesday (against Eastleigh). When you’ve got that in the side, if you get that character, that’ll win you a lot of points”.

As the season has panned out so far it looks like Burman and company will need to make the most of home advantage. Still waiting for their maiden away victory this campaign, the Darts have struggled on their travels since the second half of the  2012/13 season. Aside from the 1-1 draw at Woking just over a month ago, all of Dartford’s points have been gained at home.

Forest Green Rovers have experienced a mixture of results reflective of their current position. Managed by former Gillingham defender Adrian Pennock, Rovers are hoping to finally break into the playoff spots. Not only have Dartford benefited from Salisbury City’s demise, Pennock was able to bring in three former Whites. Clovis Kamdjo, Elliot Frear and Rob Sinclair all ply their trade at the New Lawn.

One player to usually keep a watchful eye on is the experienced striker Lee Hughes. The 38 year old recorded his 300th career goal a month ago scoring against Alfreton Town. Wherever he has played he has been amongst the goals including West Bromwich Albion, Coventry City, Oldham Athletic and more recently Notts County and Port Vale. At Forest Green Rovers his decent strike rate has continued but he hasn’t featured this month.

In Hughes’s absence Jon Parkin and James Norwood have been amongst the goals. Over the last week Rovers ended their five match winless run by beating high flying FC Halifax Town 2-0 and drawing 2-2 with Eastleigh. In both games it was Parkin and Norwood who found the net to help Forest Green Rovers to four points from the last six.

Former Gillingham defender, Adrian Pennock is now in charge of the Rovers and he felt his side deserved something from Tuesday’s draw. He told BBC Radio Gloucestershire: “We conceded two goals, but showed a lot of character to nick a point. If we’d have gone home with nothing it would have been an injustice”, he added: “We played well and it’s a good point away from home”.

Forest Green Rovers start the weekend in twelfth place, the position they have finished for the last three season’s.

Team News

Lee Burns who has already missed some of the campaign with a rib injury picked up a hamstring starin on Tuesday night. Andy Pugh has also missed a couple of fixtures due to an Achilles problem. Meanwhile, Tuesday night’s goalscorer Tom Bradbrook has revealed he has been playing with a slight groin injury over the last three weeks. Peter Sweeney returned to action after completing just 11 minutes of Dartford’s fixture last weekend against Gateshead.

Head to Head 

Dartford wins: 1 / Forest Green Rovers wins: 4 / Draws: 5

Current Form

Dartford (WLDLWL) Forest Green Rovers (DWLLDD)
Dover Athletic H 2-1 Eastleigh A 2-2
Gateshead A 0-1 FC Halifax Town H 2-0
Eastleigh H 2-2 Nuneaton Town A 0-1
Altrincham A 1-2 Wrexham H 0-1
AFC Telford United H 2-1 Welling United A 1-1
Barnet A 0-4 Bristol Rovers H 1-1

Last League Meeting at Princes Park

3 December 2011 – Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 1 – Att: 1061

Goalscorer: Wright (83)

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

Forest Green Rovers Lineup: Russell, Oshodi, Oliver, Green, Hodgkiss, Bennett, Bangura, Jordan, Klukowski, Norwood, Taylor (subs used: Wright, Hughes)

Previous Five Meetings (* F.A Trophy)

12.04.2014 Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 1
03.12.2013* Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 0
30.11.2013* Dartford 1 Forest Green Rovers 1
02.11.2013 Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 0
16.04.2013 Forest Green Rovers 2 Dartford 3

Stats & Facts

0 – Dartford are yet to score in the first half this season, the only Conference Premier side waiting to find the net in the first 45 minutes

3 – The Darts have conceded the most penalties this campaign, along with Chester

4 – games since Forest Green Rovers won away from the New Lawn

17 – games since Dartford won consecutive matches, last achieved in March when they beat Hyde 2-0 and Macclesfield Town 2-1 last season.

37 – Forest Green Rovers have been caught offside more than any other Conference Premier club this term

Forest Green Rovers

The New Lawn Founded 1890 Rovers

Over the last three campaigns Forest Green Rovers start out as one of the favourites only to finish in the same position. Rovers are currently the longest serving club in the Conference Premier and will take part in their seventeenth consecutive season. The Gloucestershire club have branded themselves as environmentally friendly which is no surprise when their owner Dale Vince founded Ecotricity. Twice runners up in the F.A Trophy and former F.A Vase winners meant Forest Green Rovers became the first club to have appeared in both finals. Considering the number of season’s Rovers have spent in the Conference Premier they have yet to reach the playoffs.

fgrfcLast Season

Conference Premier: 10th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

Top Scorer: James Norwood

Average Attendance: 1195

An opening day 8-0 win against Hyde set the tongues wagging in favour of a title challenge. Once again Forest Green Rovers fell short, not just for automatic promotion but also for the playoffs. Dave Hockaday thought he had assembled a squad capable of reaching the clubs ambition and on paper it looked strong. Three months into the season and the manager departed after three wins in 24 games. Rovers considered employing Steve Burr who had impressed at Kidderminster Harriers the year before, however he turned the offer down and in came Adrian Pennock. The Gloucestershire club knew how to find the net with only champions Luton Town and FC Halifax Town scoring more. The problem was at the other end where they conceded twice the amount on their travels than at the New Lawn. An inconsistent season with a consistent placing, Forest Green Rovers finished tenth for the third consecutive campaign.

The Manager – Adrian Pennock

A former central defender, Adrian Pennock made his name at AFC Bournemouth and Gillingham where he made almost 300 Football League appearances between both clubs. Pennock retired when injuries started to get the better of him and he finished his playing career in Kent at Gravesend and Northfleet. To kick start his managerial career Pennock remained in Kent moving the short distance to Welling United. In 2005, he guided the Wings to their highest finish for six years in the Conference South when he took over in January. He stayed at Park View Road until the end of the 2006/07 campaign until Tony Pulis came calling. Pulis, who signed Pennock whilst at Gillingham appointed him as coach at Stoke City until he left in 2013. Following a run of poor results Forest Green Rovers announced their new manager on 12 November 2013 so although Pennock hasn’t had a full season in charge yet, he has had some time to shape his squad for his first full campaign.

The Summer

Adrian Pennock has taken advantage of Salisbury City’s demotion signing three from the Wiltshire club. Clovis Kamdjo made 34 appearances last term as a midfielder but is equally adept in defence. Winger, Elliot Frear appeared in all but three Conference Premier matches last season and also signs a two year deal. Completing the trio of midfielder’s on two year contracts is Rob Sinclair. Sam Wedgbury could play alongside the former Salisbury City players in the middle of the park as he joins from Macclesfield Town. Up front, 21 year old promising Kurtis Guthrie moves from Welling United where he was part of the promotion winning side. Forest Green Rovers have snapped up former Stevenage goalkeeper Steve Arnold to provide competition for Sam Russell. In defence two full backs have been captured in James Jennings from Mansfield Town and David Pipe from Newport County.

Moving in the opposite direction across to Wales is Yan Klukowski. The midfielder spent four years at the New Lawn scoring a club record 48 Conference Premier goals, the 27 year old joins Newport County. Striker James Walker reached the end of his contract and left the club whilst Jared Hodgkiss, Ed Asafu-Adjaye, Stephen Brogan, Reece Styche, Paul Green, Saul Williams and Adam McHugh were all released.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 1 – Conference Premier – 12 April 2014

Rovers completed three wins from four fixtures against the two sides adding to their successes last term. Dartford had the opportunity to move out of the relegation zone, which was denied to them when Danny Wright won the match seven minutes from time.

Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 0 – F.A Trophy First Round Replay – 3 December 2013

Matthew Barnes-Homer recorded the all important strike that made sure Forest Green Rovers progressed to the next round. Defeat for the Darts meant they couldn’t repeat their previous run to the last four whilst Rovers fell at the next hurdle.

Dartford 1 Forest Green Rovers 1 – F.A Trophy First Round – 30 November 2013

Danny Harris scored Dartford’s only goal against Forest Green Rovers last season which came in the F.A Trophy. Yan Klukowski spoiled the party with an equaliser but at least the Darts ended a seven game losing streak. The draw meant the Kent club needed to travel to Gloucstershire three days later.

Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 0 – Conference Premier – 2 November 2013

By the time the Darts met Forest Green Rovers in the league Dave Hockaday had gone. The mangerless club grabbed three points early on when James Norwood headed the winner after just five minutes. There wasn’t much to choose between the two sides with Max Cornhill and Ryan Hayes coming the closest for the Darts.

Next Meetings

Saturday 20 September 2014 at Princes Park

Saturday 29 November 2014 at the New Lawn

League Performance Last Ten Years

fgr 10 years

Best Performances

8th Conference Premier (2007/08) F.A Cup 3rd Round (2008/09) F.A Trophy Runners Up (1998/99 & 2000/01)

Dartford v Forest Green Rovers

Tony Burman has just four games to save Dartford’s season and stave off relegation to the Conference South, starting against Forest Green Rovers.

The Darts are back at Princes Park for the second time in under 48 hours after hosting playoff hopefuls Grimsby Town on Thursday night.

Max Cornhill’s 75th minute winner gave the Darts a crucial win against the Mariners. Now just a point from safety Dartford have kept pace with Aldershot Town and Hereford United who both won on Tuesday. The Darts managed to beat third placed Grimsby Town without their captain Elliot Bradbrook (thigh injury) and Kenny Clark (suspension). Helped by the red card of Jamal Fyfield, who picked up two yellows, Cornhill netted his seventh of the season with a header from Lee Noble’s corner.

Since returning to the Conference Premier, Rovers are the only side to have played Dartford more times than Thursday’s visitors Grimsby Town. Having drawn Forest Green Rovers in last season’s F.A Cup and this term’s F.A Trophy both ties needed a replay to settle matters. In the eight meetings between the two clubs over the previous two campaigns Dartford have come out on top just once, the only time they have managed this feat against the Gloucestershire club.

The last league fixture at Princes Park ended in a 1-0 defeat and a sending off for both sides. Yan Klukowski fired a volley in the top corner after 11 minutes and when Harry Crawford was dismissed for the Darts the task became harder. Jamie Turley was next to see red for his tackle on Lee Noble but Dartford couldn’t rescue a point. Klukowski had a habit of scoring against the Darts last season as his league goal added to his brace he bagged in the F.A Cup.

Rovers couldn’t have started this season any better by recording an 8-0 win against bottom club Hyde, the scoreline is the biggest win in the league this campaign. In the club’s 16 years in the Conference Premier, the current longest serving side, the win versus Hyde is their biggest during their current spell in the top flight of non league football.

The Gloucestershire club quickly became favourites for the title but all that disappeared between mid September and mid October as Rovers picked up one win between seven defeats. During that run Dave Hockaday departed by mutual consent and so Chairman Dale Vince eyed up Steve Burr as a potential successor which never materialised. In came former Gillingham midfielder Adrian Pennock who has managed to return Forest Green Rovers to security. However, Rovers have failed to win any of their last five games picking up two points and losing their last three away trips.

Selected Fixtures

Grimsby Town v Chester
Hereford United v Gateshead
Macclesfield Town v Aldershot Town
Southport v Tamworth

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Forest Green Rovers wins: 4 / Draws: 4

Current Form

Dartford (WDLWWD) Forest Green Rovers (DLLLDW)
Grimsby Town H 1-0 Kidderminster Harriers H 1-1
Lincoln City A 0-0 Barnet A 1-2
Luton Town H 1-2 Woking A 1-2
Macclesfield Town H 2-1 Southport A 0-2
Hyde H 2-0 Welling United H 0-0
Cambridge United A 1-1 Grimsby Town H 2-1

Last League Meeting At Princes Park

6 November 2012 – Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 1 – Att: 915

Goalscorers: Klukowski (11)

The Darts Lineup: Bettinelli, Burns, Bonner, Arber, Rose, Hayes, Bradbrook, Champion, Noble, Harris, Crawford (subs used: Erskine, Collier, Green)

Rovers Lineup: Russell, Turley, Oshodi, Asafu-Adjayi, Racine, Green, Bangura, Klukowski, Brogan, Taylor, Norwood (subs used: Stokes, Vieira, Koroma)

Match Stats

dfc v fgr stats

Previous Meetings (* F.A Cup / ** F.A Trophy)

03.12.2013** Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 0
30.11.2013** Dartford 1 Forest Green Rovers 1
02.11.2013 Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 0
16.04.2013 Forest Green Rovers 2 Dartford 3
06.12.2012 Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 1
23.10.2012* Dartford 1 Forest Green Rovers 4
20.10.2012* Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 1
19.04.1997 Forest Green Rovers 0 Dartford 0
16.11.1996 Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 0

Stats

Since Dartford’s defeat at Salisbury City on 18th January 2014, the Darts would be 5th in the Conference Premier if the season had started the following day

Dartford have not conceded in back to back league games for the first time since a year ago when they shout out Braintree Town and Stockport County on 11th and 13th April 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forest Green Rovers v Dartford

Dartford face Forest Green Rovers in a replay for the second year in a row on Tuesday but this time in the F.A Trophy.

Once again, Jan Klukowski scored against the Darts to deny Saturday’s hosts a place in the second round. Danny Harris gave Tony Burman’s side a lead four minutes before the half time interval. The midfielder’s determination was key to the opener as Harris struck the ball beyond Sam Russell in the Rovers goal. Klukowski levelled the tie with just under twenty minutes on the clock leaving the scoreline as the same as last season’s F.A Cup fixture.

Without the suspended Lee Noble and Kenny Clark as well as the injured Alan Julian, Matthew Godden and Jason Prior, Dartford’s draw has finally put an end to a seven game losing streak.

The Darts will be hopeful not to repeat the replay result of last season when they were beaten at Princes Park 4-1. Klukowski notched a brace that day as Rovers earned a first round tie against Port Vale. However, the last two meetings at The New Lawn have been closer affairs. Forest Green Rovers edged out Dartford 1-0 just a month ago, thanks to James Norwood’s early goal and the Darts won 3-2 towards the tail end of last season’s Conference Premier campaign.

Tuesday night’s meeting will be the seventh time the two clubs have met since October 2012. The winner will earn a second round away tie against Northern Premier League side Chorley. The Magpies are currently second, a point behind leaders Skelmersdale United with three games in hand.

Dartford v Forest Green Rovers

Dartford take a break from league action as their F.A Trophy campaign starts with a home tie against Forest Green Rovers.

Hoping to repeat last season’s run to the semi-final, the Darts enter the first round on the back of seven straight defeats in all competitions. The terrible November run started against this weekend’s opponents at the New Lawn, when James Norwood fired Rovers in front after five minutes. The striker’s header was enough to end a run of five consecutive loses for Forest Green Rovers before a new manager was appointed.

Judging by the form book, Dartford will be underdogs versus the side that knocked them out of the F.A Cup over a year ago. Taking Rovers to a replay, the Darts followed up the 1-1 away draw with defeat. Jan Klukowski’s double along with goals from Matthew Taylor and Magno Vieira, overturned Harry Crawford’s strike to guide Forest Green Rovers into the first round. Within a fortnight, the Gloucestershire club notched another win beating Dartford 1-0 in the league.

Out of the four meetings with Forest Green Rovers during 2012/13, the Darts claimed one victory with a 3-2 win in Nailsworth. Danny Harris scrambled the visitors ahead and Elliot Bradbrook scored from the spot. Chris Stokes halved the deficit before Bradbrook headed in his second, Jamie Turley recorded a consolation goal for the hosts.

On Tuesday night, Tony Burman watched his side fall to a Barnet side who had not won a Tuesday night fixture for eight years. England C international Keanu Marsh-Brown scored from a tight angle on his return to the side, the striker now has eight league strikes to his name this season. Luisma Villa curled a 20-yard free kick into the top corner to secure the triumph for the Bees and his third goal in five matches.

In order to strengthen the current squad, Burman turned to Luton Town again on deadline day for loan signings. Midfielder, Jim Stevenson joins from the Hatters until 4 January. The 21 year old has made six appearances for Luton Town this season after being signed from Conference North club Histon.

Forest Green Rovers Chairman, Dale Vince decided to freshen his management team up at the end of October. Hovering four points above the bottom four and suffering a F.A Cup exit to Conference South side Bishop’s Stortford, Dave Hockaday left his position as boss. With Gary Mills and Steve Burr on Vince’s wishlist, the pair pledged their futures to their current clubs. Former Bournemouth and Gillingham defender Adrian Pennock was appointed just over a fortnight ago. Having gained coaching experience under Tony Pulis at Stoke City and managerial experience at Welling United, the 42 year old has made a promising start.

Home wins against Nuneaton Town and Lincoln City may have been followed by defeat at Wrexham but Pennock made amends on Tuesday night. Travelling to Salisbury City, Rovers secured their first away win since August as Norwood scored the first and last goals on the night. Salisbury City’s Dan Fitchett equalised but a Danny Wright volley and Klukowski penalty was rounded off with Norwood’s second in a 4-1 triumph. The Gloucestershire club have moved up to 12th in the Conference Premier, four points off the playoffs.

The two time F.A Trophy runners up were knocked out at the second round last season to Conference North side Gainsborough Trinity.

Team News

Dartford’s injury crisis continues, in mid week Jason Prior lasted less than a half and was taken to hospital. The striker who suffered a serious leg injury last year will be out of action again. Elliot Bradbrook battled through the full ninety minutes despite his repairing ribs feeling tender. Matthew Godden was not fit enough to start against Barnet suffering from last weeks calf strain, the Darts top scorer did manage to get on the park for half an hour. Lee Noble is suspended for the red card he picked up versus Gateshead and defender Kenny Clark’s fifth caution on Tuesday night means he will miss one match.

England C international, Jamie Turley is available having served a one match ban for the two cautions he picked up at Wrexham. Defender Eddie Oshodi stepped in on Tuesday night but he is one more yellow card away from another suspension. Chris Stokes has been out of action, his last appearance was against Dartford. Former Ebbsfleet United midfielder Magno Vieira also missed the mid week trip to Salisbury City. Striker, Matthew Barnes-Homer picked up his fifth yellow card in the 4-1 win at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium and will be suspended.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Forest Green Rovers wins: 3 / Draws 3 (* = F.A Cup)

02.11.2013 Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 1
16.04.2013 Forest Green Rovers 2 Dartford 3
06.11.2012 Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 1
23.10.2012* Dartford 1 Forest Green Rovers 4
20.10.2012* Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 1
19.04.1997 Forest Green Rovers 0 Dartford 0
16.11.1996 Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 0

F.A Trophy Ten Year Performance

FAT 10 year FGR

Stats

Dartford and Forest Green Rovers have come runners up three times between them in the F.A Trophy. The Darts lost 2-1 against Morecambe in the 1974 final. Rovers were defeated 1-0 in 1999 versus Kingstonian and by the same scoreline against Canvey Island two years later.

Dartford’s run to last season’s semi-final was their best F.A Trophy performance since the 1988/89 campaign. The Darts were beaten by Macclesfield Town 4-1 on aggregate having drawn the first leg 0-0 at Watling Street.

No side have ever won the F.A Vase and F.A Trophy, Forest Green Rovers remain the closest to have achieved this double. Having won the vase in 1982 and reaching the trophy final twice.

Forest Green Rovers have only failed to score on three occasions this season, twice in the league and once in the F.A Cup. No team in the Conference Premier has failed on fewer occasions.

Forest Green Rovers v Dartford

Dartford will arrive in Gloucestershire on Saturday determined to pick up three points against a below par Forest Green Rovers.

The Darts met their opponents four times last term eventually recording a win against Rovers at the fourth time of asking. A year ago, Dartford forced a F.A Cup replay in the fourth qualifying round before crashing out. In Nailsworth, the first meeting ended one a piece thanks to Jacob Erskine’s equaliser cancelling out James Norwood’s 25 yard strike.

Days later, the replay failed to go to plan for Dartford goalkeeper Louis Wells, his two unfortunate errors proving costly. Harry Crawford may have given the Darts the lead but Forest Green Rovers struck four times to earn a first round place. Jan Klukowski scored a free kick and added a second which Wells should have handled better. The Darts keeper spilt a long range effort for Matthew Taylor to pounce and former Ebbsfleet United player Magno Vieira made it 4-1.

It seemed like the Darts were never going to beat Forest Green Rovers after a 1-0 loss at Princes Park, a fortnight after the F.A Cup exit. However, towards the end of last season Dartford recorded their final win of 2012/13. Danny Harris got the score moving in the eighth minute, scrambling the visitors ahead at The New Lawn. Elliot Bradbrook increased Dartford’s lead from the spot after Ryan Hayes was upended. Eddie Oshodi, who was sent off last week, was red carded for a dangerous tackle but Chris Stokes halved the deficit. Bradbrook’s header restored the two goal advantage meaning Jamie Turley’s goal was merely consolation.

The Darts approach this weekend’s league fixture on the back of a hard working North Kent derby victory. Dartford started brightly without causing too many problems in front of goal whilst Ebbsfleet United had better chances in the first half. Lee Noble won a penalty early in the second half and on his 200th appearance Bradbrook dispatched the spot kick. The Fleet won a penalty of their own and when Anthony Cook missed he became the fourth Ebbsfleet United player to miss from 12 yards this season. The Darts hung on to secure a first round meeting with fellow Conference Premier club Salisbury City.

Tony Burman’s side have failed to win their last five away fixtures in the Conference Premier but enter Saturday unbeaten in six competitive games.

Meanwhile, Forest Green Rovers are unexpectedly in a terrible run of form which cost manager Dave Hockaday his job. Amongst one of the favourites at the start of the season, especially after their 8-0 mauling of Hyde on day one, Rovers have won once in eight league matches and lost the other seven.

To make their campaign worse, the currently longest serving Conference Premier club crashed out of the F.A Cup at the first hurdle, falling to Conference South side Bishop’s Stortford. Reece Prestedge’s goal was enough to send the Bishops into the F.A Cup first round and earn a tie with League Two’s Northampton Town.

Gary Seward took charge in the cup defeat making it clear he would like to continue in his role permanently, just a few days ago Seward parted company with the club. Chairman Dale Vince continues his search and has already approached Gateshead for Gary Mills. The Tynesiders appointed Mills just two months ago and the former York City boss has committed his services to the Heed. In charge on Saturday will be the Academy Manager Scott Bartlett.

Team News

Elliot Bradbrook is the latest name on the Dartford injury list after cracking two ribs in Tuesday nights F.A Cup replay. The Darts skipper blocked a penalty rebound and still managed to finish the rest of the match, helping his side reach the first round proper. Matthew Godden returns from sitting out the two F.A Cup clashes with Ebbsfleet United whilst Jason Prior is racing to get fit. Striker Adam Birchall and defender Kenny Clark look set to make a comeback. Tyrone Sterling has been continuing with his recovery and Matt Fry has returned to action. Academy player Femi Akinwande made his début on Tuesday by coming on as a substitute and loan goalkeeper Tommy Forecast was on the bench. Midfielder Lee Noble and defender Fry are both one caution away from picking up a suspension.

Forest Green Rovers will be without suspended Oshodi, the defender who was sent off agianst the Darts last term was red carded a fortnight ago versus Grimsby Town. Stokes and Matthew Barnes-Homer are currently on four cautions and will face a ban if they pick up another yellow card. Reece Styche is making progress on his return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury by playing a part in Rovers’s defeat to Bishop’s Stortford. Norwood and Aarran Racine return from suspension whilst Kieron Forbes has been a doubt and didn’t feature last weekend.

Head to Head

Forest Green Rovers wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws 3

Current League Form

Forest Green Rovers (LLLLWL) Dartford (WDDLWL)
Grimsby Town A 1-3 Hyde H 4-3
Macclesfield Town H 2-3 Hereford United A 2-2
Kidderminster Harriers A 1-4 Salisbury City H 1-1
Alfreton Town A 2-3 Gateshead A 0-2
Gateshead H 1-0 Southport H 1-0
Tamworth H 1-2 Grimsby Town A 2-5

Last League Meeting at The New Lawn

16 April 2013 – Forest Green Rovers 2 Dartford 3 – Att: 575

Goalscorers: Harris (8), Bradbrook (25 pen), Stokes (48), Bradbrook (52), Turley (79)

The Rovers Lineup: Russell, Hodgkiss, Stokes, Turley, Oshodi, Bangura, Klukowski, Forbes, Vieira, Norwood, Connolly (subs used: Bennett, Odubade, Rowe)

The Darts Lineup: Somogyi, Green, Champion, Bonner, Arber, Wallis, Bradbrook, Burns, Hayes, Harris, Sheringham (subs used: Rogers, Evans, Collier)

Match Stats

fgr v dfc stats

Last Five Meetings (* = F.A Cup)

16.04.2013 Forest Green Rovers 2 Dartford 3
06.11.2012 Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 1
23.10.2012* Dartford 1 Forest Green Rovers 4
20.10.2012* Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 1
19.04.1997 Forest Green Rovers 0 Dartford 0

Stats

2.43 – The average number of goals per game scored at home by Forest Green Rovers this season, the best in the league

12 – Rovers have scored in their last 12 league matches, the longest streak at present in the Conference Premier

62.5% – the percentage of games in which Dartford have failed to score in away matches this campaign

Forest Green Rovers v Dartford

Dartford aim to leap frog  opponents Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn on Tuesday night in their penultimate game of the campaign.

In which will be the fourth meeting between the two clubs this season, the Darts have yet to rack up a win against their opponents. Dartford played Forest Green Rovers three times in a fortnight back in October and November starting with a 1-1 draw in the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round. Jacob Erskine’s goal cancelled out James Norwood’s strike forcing a replay.

Back at Princes Park it was looking good for the Darts when Harry Crawford scored in the first half. In the second half Rovers had other ideas when Yan Klukowski completed a brace before goals from Matthew Taylor and Magno Vieira completed the 4-1 defeat.

The last match of the trilogy went the Gloucestershire clubs way yet again. Klukowski scored the winner in the eleventh minute whilst Dartford striker Harry Crawford was dismissed early on. Moments later the sides were even when Jamie Turley was also red carded.

After a dreadful away run the Darts are now three matches unbeaten on the road. A draw at Newport County and a win at AFC Telford United was followed up with triumph over former football league side Stockport County. Charlie Sheringham 18 minutes from time when he headed in a Ryan Hayes cross. Hungarian goalkeeper Csaba Somogyi has now gone 322  minutes without conceding a goal away from Princes Park, the 28 year old has now notched up three clean sheets in three away appearances.

If Tony Burman’s side can break their winless streak against Forest Green Rovers then they could well be looking at an astonishing sixth place finish, if Hereford United fail to pick up points at home to title chasing Mansfield Town.

Up until the middle of February Forest Green Rovers had spent the majority of the season in the top five. Manager, Dave Hockaday has seen his promotion hopes slide away since recording just three victories in the last dozen fixtures. On Saturday a third straight loss left Rovers a place above Dartford in seventh. An own goal by Chris Stokes gave visitors Southport a much needed win to pull the Merseyside club five points clear of the drop. Rovers are now seven games without a win at the New Lawn, their worst run on their own patch since the start of the 2010/11 campaign.

Without the playoffs to aim for Hockaday is using the remainder of the season to look at his squad, he told BBC Radio Gloucestershire: “The game gave me a chance to look at some people, and obviously I’ve got to decide now whether we keep those people or we look for others”.

The Gloucestershire club will be disappointed to have missed the playoffs but will want to stay on course to set a new club record. Currently the longest serving Conference Premier club Forest Green Rovers have never finished higher than eighth. Two more wins  will equal their highest points total during their 14 year stay at the top of non league football.

Team News

Mark Arber missed Saturday’s 1-0 win at Edgeley Park through illness and Lee Noble was rested due to injury. Louis Wells was included in the matchday squad at Stockport County and Tom Champion made his 150th start.

Head to Head

Forest Green Rovers wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 0 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Forest Green Rovers (LLLDWL) Dartford (WDLWWD)
Southport H 0-1 Stockport County A 1-0
Hereford United H 0-1 Braintree Town H 0-0
Tamworth A 1-2 Grimsby Town H 1-2
AFC Telford United H 0-0 AFC Telford United A 2-0
Ebbsfleet United A 2-0 Woking H 4-1
MansfieldTown H 1-2 Newport County A 0-0

Last Meeting

6 November 2012 – Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 1 – Att: 915

Goalscorers: Klukowski (11)

The Darts Lineup: Bettinelli, Burns, Bonner, Arber, Rose, Hayes, Champion, Bradbrook, Noble, Harris, Crawford (subs used: Green, Erskine, Collier)

Rovers Lineup: Russell, Turley, Oshodi, Asafu-Adjayi, Racine, Green, Bangura, Klukowski, Brogan, Taylor, Norwood (subs used: Stokes, Vieira, Koroma)

Match Stats

dfc v fgr stats

Dartford v Forest Green Rovers

 

 

A third meeting in a fortnight with Forest Green Rovers awaits the Darts on Tuesday night at Princes Park.

Dartford will be hoping their F.A Cup exit has been put firmly behind them when they crashed out to Rovers in a replay. At the New Lawn a Jacob Erskine goal cancelled out James Norwood’s strike so the sides met again three days later.

It was looking good for the Darts in the return match when Harry Crawford scored in the first half until Yan Klukowski equalised. Klukowski completed a brace in the second half and goals from Matthew Taylor and Magno Vieira settled the cup tie.

After fourth qualifying round disappointment Tony Burman’s side went in front of the television cameras in a historic night at Princes Park just days later. Former football league side Mansfield Town became the next victim of Dartford’s hard work and commitment.

As the match approached half time the Darts hit double top when a well worked move was rolled home from the edge of the box by captain Elliot Bradbrook. All of a sudden it was 2-0, the Stags kicked off and winger Ryan Hayes intercepted a stray pass on the half way line, dribbled towards the edge of the box and curled a stunning shot into the top corner for a second goal in a minute.

Burman commented on his team’s attitude and display and told BBC Sport: “We rotated the squad, the guys have taken it in a professional manner and I’m delighted for them”, he added: “We put on a real good performance in front of a big crowd”.

Victory propelled the club into third place for a couple of hours at least and the Darts became the highest placed English non league team. Dartford have since dropped to fifth place after Grimsby Town’s win on Saturday and because Luton Town left it late to see off Forest Green Rovers last weekend.

Tuesday’s opponents went in front just after the break when Klukowski pounced on a goalkeeping error. Luton Town’s Stuart Fleet wood curled in a shot from the edge of the box before Rovers had Paul Green dismissed. In the final minute the Hatters stole the points from the spot thanks to Scott Rendell.

Dave Hockaday is not concerned by Forest Green Rovers fourth consecutive league defeat as he felt his side more than matched Luton Town, he spoke to BBC Sport and said: “We dominated our territory and had better of the possession, we just lost it at a couple of key moments but we have to learn”, he continued: “It’s four league games we’ve lost in a row, but I’m not worried because you couldn’t tell the two sides apart and we’re still right up there”.

Rovers run of defeats continued on Saturday but they fought back from 2-0 down in the F.A Cup in a spirited display. Against Dartford’s cup conquerors of two years ago Forest Green Rovers were eventually knocked out by League Two side Port Vale.

Vale opened the scoring early on through  Ashley Vincent and doubled their advantage five minutes later when Clayton McDonald put the visitors two up inside 12 minutes. James Norwood finished well before half time and on the other side of the break Eddie Oshodi tapped in from close range to level the tie. Vale substitute Ben Williamson had only been on the pitch for eight minutes when he netted the winner ten minutes from time.

For the third time this season the Darts entertain Forest Green Rovers looking for the first ever victory against the Gloucestershire club.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 0 / Forest Green Rovers wins: 1 / Draws: 3

Team News

Goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli returned after re-signing on loan until December. Tony Burman admitted to not giving enough game time to Louis Wells on BBC’s non league show but he wants Wells to regain ‘that title’ of being number one. Tom Champion returns from suspension which he served for picking up five cautions this campaign. If Lee Noble he will start his 100th league game for the Darts.

Forest Green Rovers will have Paul Green available to select after he missed Saturday’s F.A Cup tie with Port Vale. Jamie Collins has had surgery on his knee and is just over a month away from a return. Phil Marsh and Chris Todd are out on loan at  Hereford United.

Current League Form

Dartford (WDLWWW) Forest Green Rovers (LLLLWW)
Mansfield Town H 2-0 Luton Town H 1-2
Barrow A 0-0 Mansfield Town A 0-1
AFC Telford United H 1-4 Tamworth H 1-2
Grimsby Town H 2-0 Wrexham A 1-2
Hyde A 2-1 Lincoln City H 3-0
Braintree Town A 2-0 Hereford United A 2-1

Dartford are second in the form table behind Luton Town who they play on Tuesday

Forest Green Rovers have lost their last two away games and have dropped from top spot to sixth after losing their last four matches

Stats

Marcus Bettinelli has played 14 times for the Darts and has kept six clean sheets

Dartford have the best home record in the Conference Premier this season and have scored the most goal as the home side

Forest Green Rovers’ run of four successive defeats is their worst spell since September 2010 when they lost five in a row

Dave Hockaday’s side have the third best defence on their travels, they have conceded just 8. Only Wrexham have scored more than once as a home side against Rovers.

Dartford v Forest Green Rovers

 

Dartford have the chance to avenge their F.A Cup defeat to Port Vale if they can overcome Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday night.

A well earned draw at the New Lawn ensured the Darts were in the draw for the F.A Cup first round for the second time in three years.

Dartford will have to face Forest Green Rovers in a replay before meeting them in the Conference Premier in a fortnight.

James Norwood became the first player to score in a fixture between the two sides with an excellent strike after 12 minutes. In the second half, Ryan Hayes capitalised on a poor clearance to set up Jacob Erskine who scored his third of the season.

Louis Wells returned for the Darts after his two month injury lay-off and made a fine save from Norwood’s header. Lee Noble almost won the cup tie in the final minutes when his low effort went wide of the goal. Yet again the Darts put in a committed display and will hope home advantage will give them the edge in the replay.

Tom Champion and Elliot Bradbrook returned to action after missing the 0-0 draw at Barrow last week. Bradbrook took the captains armband back from Mark Arber and completed a full 90 minutes. Champion started from the bench and replaced Jon Wallis with almost half hour to play. Adam Green was included in the squad for the second game running as a substitute.

Dartford’s last F.A Cup run to the fist round consisted of three replays over four rounds. After defeating Lowestoft Town at the first attempt the Darts beat Canvey Island 9-8 in a nerve racking penalty shoot out and took two attempts to see off Leiston. The Darts were so close to causing a shock result in the first round when they drew 1-1 at home to League Two side Port Vale before being overpowered in the replay 4-0.

The winner of Tuesday nights fourth qualifying round replay will face Port Vale.