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Dartford v Gateshead

Dartford are hoping to claim victory against Gateshead for the first time in two years when they meet at Princes Park.

The Darts have failed to score in any of the last three games against the Heed, however it was at Princes Park when Dartford beat the Tynesiders 3-0. In Dartford’s only ever win against Gateshead, Ryan Hayes inspired his side. Coming off the bench with the score goalless Hayes scored two and made another, the winger stuck in a rebound before curling a trademark second. Hayes then set up Charlie Sheringham who wrapped up the victory.

Last term, the Darts suffered a double defeat, a 2-0 away loss was followed up with a 1-0 home reverse in which Lee Noble was red carded and the Darts fell to a last minute goal. The same single goal scoreline was repeated this campaign at the International Stadium meaning the Darts will be eager to end a three game losing streak without finding the Gateshead net.

Another defeat on the weekend, this time to Altrincham has left the Darts eleven points from safety with only six matches remaining. Damian Reeves once again caused Dartford problems scoring a brace to add to his two goals against Burman’s side earlier in the campaign. Reeves has now been the difference between the two sides on both occasions scoring all four for Alty against the Darts this term. Ryan Hayes pulled one back but an equaliser failed to materialise.

Gateshead boss Gary Mills had his side ninety minutes away from a return to the Football League nine months ago. This season a promising start had the Tynesiders up in second place at the beginning of November, with only three defeats. A run to the F.A Cup third round ended by West Bromwich Albion’s ruthlessness as the Heed lost 7-0.

Since the F.A Cup exit, Gateshead have been inconsistent leaving the club in ninth place and eight points behind Forest Green Rovers in the final playoff spot. A 3-2 home loss to Eastleigh on the weekend means the TYnesiders are three without a win, however the last time they recorded back to back defeats in the Conference Premier was in September 2013, setting the current longest sequence of 77 matches.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Gateshead wins: 6 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (LDLWLD) Gateshead (DLWWDL)
Altrincham  H  1-2 FC Halifax Town  A  2-2
Alfreton Town  A  0-0 Dover Athletic  A  0-1
Southport  A  0-2 AFC Telford United  A  1-0
Chester  A  2-1 Macclesfield Town  H  2-1
Alfreton Town  H  0-1 Welling United  H  1-1
FC Halifax Town  A  0-0 Braintree Town  A  0-1

Last Meeting at Princes Park

23 November 2013 – Dartford 0 Gateshead 1 – Att: 975

Goalscorer: Brown (89)

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

Gateshead Lineup: Bartlett, Curtis, Baxter, Sirrell, Clark, Chandler, Oster, Turnbull, Walker, Marwood, Larkin (subs used: Maddison, Brown)

Match Stats

dfc v gfc stats

Previous Meetings (* F.A Trophy)

13.09.2014 Gateshead 1 Dartford 0
23.11.2013 Dartford 0 Gateshead 1
05.10.2013 Gateshead 2 Dartford 0
23.03.2013 Dartford 3 Gateshead 0
08.09.2012 Gateshead 2 Dartford 0
05.02.2011* Gateshead 3 Dartford 0
04.05.1985 Dartford 1 Gateshead 2
09.03.1985 Gateshead 0 Dartford 0

 

Gateshead v Dartford

Dartford make the long trip North East this weekend in an attempt to break their Gateshead hoodoo.

The journey to Tyneside has seen very little in return for the Darts, with the exception of a goalless draw 29 years ago Gateshead have come away victorious on their own patch. At the Gateshead International Stadium, Dartford have yet to score in all four meetings between the two sides.

Whilst Dartford sit fourth from bottom, Gateshead sit fourth from top despite surprisingly suffering a 6-1 drubbing at home to Grimsby Town. The Heed have won their other three home games, something Dartford have failed at an away ground in seven matches.

Tony Burman knows Gateshead will be a tough test and believes his players can get a result if they can ‘work harder’, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “Gateshead is another game. It’s a tough game but they’re all tough. We’ve got to prepare in the right way, work hard and try to get something”.

Burman had to take drastic action mid week having seen his side 2-0 down versus Conference South champions Eastleigh. Harry Crawford may have rescued a point in injury time but early second half substitutions aided an improved performance. The visitors were two up inside 22 minutes, Jamie Collins scored from the spot after Jason Brown conceded a penalty. James Constable who won the spot kick netted the Spitfires second from close range.

The Darts improved for the second forty five minutes when Nathan Collier replaced Adam Green and Lee Noble replaced Ryan Hayes. Ten minutes after the interval captain Elliot Bradbrook headed Noble’s corner to pull a goal back. In the 91st minute Crawford kept his cool with a clinical finish to complete a spirited comeback, his first goal since returning to Princes Park for the club.

Burman admitted that at half time his side had hit ‘rock bottom’ he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “It was absolutely dreadful. We reached rock bottom in respect of what happened in the first 45 minutes. It was a bit embarrassing”. In contrast the Dartford boss was pleased with the players reactionafter the break, he added: “Fair play to the players, they reacted, they got a goal back and they kept plugging away. You hope something’s going to come from it and we managed to salvage something from the game”.

Gateshead have blossomed since the arrival of manager Gary Mills, the former European Cup winner led his side to Wembley just four months ago. Losing out on promotion, the 52 year old is determined to go one better this season. The Tynesiders won their opening two games with Marcus Maddison scoring three times. A draw at Eastleigh and defeat to Grimsby Town followed before three more victories in their last four outings.

Last season Gateshead beat the Darts twice with a a 2-0 win at home in October. The Heed dominated for long periods and took the lead when James Marwood converted Craig Baxter’s cross. Rob Ramshaw scored the home side’s second with a header from close range. At Princes Park, James Brown nodded in the winner to complete the double.

Team News

Striker Andy Pugh missed out on the 2-2 draw with Eastleigh suffering from tendinitis. Lee Burns returned to action which meant Nathan Collier lost out. However the utility player is pushing for a start aftre some impressive performances this term.

Carl Finnigan has signed for the Gateshead but awaits international clearance. The 27 year old is a former Newcastle United reserve and academy striker but spent his first team career in Scotland. Finnigan joins the Heed after being released by South African side Chippa United. Meanwhile, Michael Rankine is getting closer to returning to action after a hamstring injury. The former Hereford United forward’s winner on the last day of the season would have kept the Bulls up if it hadn’t been for their off field problems.

Head to Head

Gateshead wins: 5 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Current Form

Gateshead (WLWWLD) Dartford (DLWLDL)
AFC Telford United H 4-1 Eastleigh H 2-2
Kidderminster Harriers A 1-2 Altrincham A 1-2
Chester H 2-1 AFC Telford United H 2-1
Altrincham A 1-0 Barnet A 0-4
Grimsby Town H 1-6 Torquay United H 0-0
Eastleigh A 2-2 Kidderminster Harriers A 0-1

Last Meeting at Gateshead International Stadium

5 October 2013 – Gateshead 2 Dartford 0 – Att: 561

Goalscorer: Marwood (43), Ramshaw (58)

Gateshead Lineup: Bartlett, Curtis, Baxter, Magnay, Clark, Oster, Turnbull, Ramshaw, Marwood, Hatch, Larkin (subs used: Chandler, Hugill)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Clark, Fry, Noble, Bradbrook, Woodyard, Cornhill, Collier, Burns, Harris, Birchall (subs used: Prior, Hayes, Ibemere)

Match Stats

gateshead v dartford stats

Previous Meetings (* F.A Trophy)

23.11.2013 Dartford 0 Gateshead 1
05.10.2013 Gateshead 2 Dartford 0
23.03.2013 Dartford 3 Gateshead 0
08.09.2012 Gateshead 2 Dartford 0
05.02.2011* Gateshead 3 Dartford 0
04.05.1985 Dartford 1 Gateshead 2
09.03.1985 Gateshead 0 Dartford 0

Stats

2.29 – minutes played when Sean Clancy scored against Gateshead, the quickest opening goal of the Conference Premier campaign so far

5 – number of assists made by Alex Rodman who is joint top of the charts with Barnets’s Charlie MacDonald and Lincoln City’s Sean Newton.

16 – matches since Dartford won by more than a goal

18 – months ago when Dartford recorded their only ever win against gateshead

45 – games since Gateshead suffered back to back defeats, the longest current sequence amongst the Conference Premier clubs

Gateshead

Gateshead International Stadium Founded 1889 The Heed

Reaching Wembley for the first time in their history and coming within ninety minutes of returning to the Football League, Gateshead are showing positive signs. Off the field they are still hoping to move to a new stadium if they can find a new site for the development. The Heed have got plenty of history and the former Football League side, who exited the old Division Four back in 1960 have been on a long journey back. Liquidation, name changes and promotions have been all part of the roller coaster the club find themselves on. A new stadium may well attract larger support and could be the catalyst for Gateshead’s return to the Football League but after last season they may not need a new home.

Last Seasongfc

Conference Premier: 3rd

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: 3rd Round

Top Scorer: James Marwood

Average Attendance: 885

Four straight defeats to open a campaign is never ideal, a draw and a win later and manager Anth Smith left the Tynesiders. The circumstances in which Smith left with the news leaking on social media was the last negative news for the Heed. Gateshead employed a man with know how, a man that git his squad to gel and time their run to become the form side as the playoffs arrived. Six wins from seven in late September to the end of October moved the Heed into the top half. By mid January the Tynesiders reached fourth. Ending this term on 12 matches unbeaten secured the clubs highest ever non league finish. In the playoffs, Gateshead defeated Grimsby Town 4-2 on aggregate to reach Wembley for the first time in their history. However with one obstacle remaining, Cambridge United returned to the Football League at Gateshead’s expense.

The Manager – Gary Mills

That man with the know how was Gary Mills who propelled Gateshead up the Conference Premier table into fourth. A hugely experienced footballing pedigree, Mills played for Nottingham Forest winning the European Cup in 1980 and Leicester City where he made 200 appearances. After spending non league life on the field with six clubs, the 52 year old is familiar with the scene outside the Football League. As a manager, Mills has won the Southern League Midland Division with Grantham in 1997/98, Conference North with Tamworth in 2008/09, Conference Premier playoffs with York City in 2011/12 and in the same season lifted the F.A Trophy. His individual honours as a boss include the Conference North Manager of the Year when he won the title with Tamworth and last season’s National Game Awards Manager of the Year. Mills has certainly moved Gateshead in the right direction and will be hoping to repeat the success he had with York City to take the Heed back into the Football League.

The Summer

Former record-breaking goalscorer Jon Shaw returns to Gateshead from champions Luton Town, the 30 year old scored 56 goals in 96 appearances whilst at Gateshead. Also arriving from the Hatters will be JJ O’Donnell who spent the second half of last season on loan at the International Stadium. Mills raided his former club York City in bringing in Michael Rankine and Tom Allan. Rankine scored the winner which took Hereford United outside of the relegation zone last term but his efforts turned out to be in vain. Right back Andrai Jones had limited opportunities at Barnsley and joins the Heed. One player Mills has worked with before is Alex Rodman whilst at York City and Tamworth, the midfielder signs for Mills again having spent last term with Grimsby Town.

Eleven players were not offered new contracts including strikers Adam Boyes and Richard Brodie. After making 77 appearances for the Heed, Carl Magnay leaves. Liam Hatch, veteran striker Jack Lester and Colin Larkin are others included in the departures list.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Dartford 0 Gateshead 1 – Conference Premier – 23 November 2013

Double defeat and a double blank for the Darts as they completed 180 minutes without scoring against the Heed. This time the deficit was half of the previous fixture despite ten men Dartford coming close to earning a point. Lee Noble was red carded in the second half and a last minute James Brown header sent the Tynesiders home with three points.

Gateshead 2 Dartford 0 – Conference Premier – 5 October 2013

The Heed dominated for long periods of this encounter and took the lead when James Marwood converted Craig Baxter’s cross. Rob Ramshaw scored Gateshead’s second with a header from close range as the Darts struggled to get to grips with their opponents.

Next Meetings

Saturday 13 September 2014 at the Gateshead International Stadium

Saturday 21 February 2014 at Princes Park

League Performance Last Ten Years

gateshead 10 years

Best Performances

6th Division Two (1921/22) F.A Cup Quarter Final (1952/53) F.A Trophy Semi Final (2010/11)

Dartford v Gateshead

Dartford will need to tighten up at the back if they want to end a four game losing streak in the Conference Premier.

The Darts hope to repeat the same result they had against Gateshead last season at Princes Park. Having been beaten 2-0 in the North East for the last two campaigns, Dartford recorded their first win against Gateshead in the home fixture back in March.

An inspirational Ryan Hayes turned the corresponding fixture last time out after coming off the bench. A blocked effort was followed up by Hayes who struck home the opener with 24 minutes to go. Six minutes later, the winger found space on the right and cut inside onto his left foot, with only one thing in his mind Hayes curled in a superb trademark finish. The scoreline got even better for the Darts when the return of Charlie Sheringham finished off the visitors in style.

It’s been only seven weeks since the last meeting between the two clubs with Gateshead claiming the three points. Once again Dartford drew a blank up in the North East and continue to wait for their first goal away at the Heed. The hosts enjoyed the majority of possession and dominated throughout. James Marwood scored just before the break and Rob Ramshaw just before the hour to condemn the Darts to a fifth defeat in seven away games.

On Tuesday night, Dartford were outclassed and taking the lead after just three minutes was as good as it got. Lee Burns finished well when he overlapped onto Lee Noble’s pass. It took Wrexham a dozen minutes to level when former Premier League striker Brett Ormerod’s deflected effort left stand in goalkeeper Tommy Forecast with no chance. Joe Clarke added a second for the visitors and by half time it was 4-1 as Rob Ogleby and Ormerod added more. In the second half a quick free kick caught the Dartford defence out once more with Johnny Hunt sealing a 5-1 win for the Welshmen.

The Darts have now conceded 15 goals in their last four competitive matches leaving Tony Burman a tough task. When speaking to BBC Radio Kent, Burman said  he was ‘gobsmacked’ with his team’s defensive display citing the “worst defensive play” his seen from a Dartford side. Having felt ‘let down’ he did point out that he “got a decent performance from the guys who played in front of the back four”. With the Darts in a relegation battle at this stage of the season, Burman has called for his players to have “guts and determination”.

Over the last week Burman has made moves to tighten up the squad by bringing back Connor Essam on loan from Crawley Town. The 21 year old impressed at the Darts just two years ago in a loan spell. The Dartford boss has also bought in goalkeeper Phil Smith from League Two side Portsmouth, the 33 year old has had spells with Kent sides Folkestone Invicta, Dover Athletic and Margate as well as gaining experience at Crawley Town and Swindon Town.

This weekend’s opponents, Gateshead have already seen a change this campaign when Anth Smith resigned as manager in the first week of 2013/2014 season. The Heed lost their opening three matches, the former Sunderland defender was left frustrated by his players. At the beginning of September, the Tynesiders appointed Gary Mills to take charge who has successfully guided his team half was up the Conference Premier standings.

Gary Mills’s side has certainly entertained in their last two league fixtures winning and losing 3-2. In fact, their F.A Cup first round tie against Oxford United ended 2-2 with the Heed throwing away a two goal lead. The replay scheduled for this week was postponed. One defeat in seven league matches, including a four match winning streak whilst going almost seven hours without conceding has moved Gateshead in the right direction. Attacking midfielder, James Marwood scored against the Darts and since netted four in six league games.

 

Team News

Dartford’s squad is stretched once more despite the arrival of Dave Martin on loan. Ryan Hayes who had a scan last weekend has been ruled out forcing Burman to draft in Martin. Alan Julian’s groin injury gave Forecast his full début on Tuesday and Elliot Bradbrook was still out but back to light training. On the suspension front, Matt Fry picked up his fifth caution and will be suspended against Gateshead.

For the Heed, Marcus Maddison has been out with glandular fever and defender Luke O’Brien with a knee injury. Striker Liam Hatch is also a long-term absentee with a broken coccyx.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Gateshead wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLLWD) Gateshead (WLDWWW)
Wrexham H 1-5 Salisbury City H 3-2
Macclesfield Town A 1-3 Wrexham A 2-3
Woking A 0-3 Luton Town H 0-0
Forest Green Rovers H 0-1 Nuneaton Town A 4-1
Hyde H 4-3 Alfreton Town H 3-0
Hereford United A 2-2 Hyde A 2-0

Last Meeting At Princes Park

9 March 2013 – Dartford 3 Gateshead 0 – Att: 1020

Goalscorers: Hayes (66, 72), Sheringham (86)

The Darts Lineup: Bettinelli, Green, Arber, Bonner, Burns, Champion, Bradbrook, Noble, Evans, Harris , Sheringham (subs used: Rogers, Hayes, Prior)

The Heed Lineup: Bartlett, Boyle, Curtis, Clark, Chandler, Gillies, Turnbull, Cummins, Marwood, Donaldson, Brown (sub used: Henderson)

Match Stats

dfc v gfc stats

Previous Meetings

05.10.2013 Gateshead 2 Dartford 0
23.02.2013 Dartford 3 Gateshead 0
08.09.2012 Gateshead 2 Dartford 0
05.02.2011 Gateshead 3 Dartford 0
04.05.1985 Dartford 1 Gateshead 2
09.03.1985 Gateshead 0 Dartford 0

Stats

5 – The top league scorers for both teams have found the net five times. Matthew Godden for Dartford and Larkin, Jordan Huggill and Marwood for Gateshead. Huggill’s excellent form whilst on loan earned him a first team spot back at Port Vale.

Lee Burns is the only Dartford player to start every league game this season, Alex Woodyard is the only other player to have featured in all 20 matches

Gateshead have three ever present players, Adam Bartlett has started every Heed match between the sticks and Phil Turnbull has been ever present too. Colin Larkin is not always selected for the first eleven and has made two substitute appearances.

 

Gateshead v Dartford

Dartford make a long trip North East on the weekend in search for their first ever win and goal at Gateshead in three previous attempts.

The Darts first met the Tynesiders 28 years ago in what is today’s equivalent of the Conference Premier. An F.A Trophy defeat over two and a half years ago coupled with last season’s loss has left Dartford waiting for their first away victory at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Just over a year ago, the Heed claimed all three points to end Dartford’s run of four consecutive wins. A goal five minutes before half time lifted the home side when Micky Cummins headed in the opener. Gateshead continued to dominate possession with Josh Gillies securing the match just past the hour to complete a 2-0 triumph. In the return fixture at Princes Park, a Ryan Hayes inspired performance led Dartford to a 3-0 win. In the space of twenty second half minutes Hayes bagged a brace and Charlie Sheringham finished off the scoring.

Dartford enter their away jaunt on the back of a 1-0 win over Southport, however the afternoon didn’t start off to plan. Tony Burman was twenty minutes away from starting defender Mat Mithcel-King in goal because first choice keeper Alan Julian was stuck in traffic. The Darts boss defended his decision to exclude a goalkeeper on the bench, he told BBC Radio Kent: “We made a decision in the summer that we might not have a keeper on the bench as many times as what we would like”. The squad does include two other shot stoppers, Derren Ibrahim is on dual registration with Leatherhead and Tom Welham is in Spain on lengthy course and is due back in December.

Just past the half hour mark, Elliot Bradbrook got on the end of Lee Noble’s corner only for Southport goalkeeper Danny Hurst to parry the captain’s shot. Striker Adam Birchall followed up the rebound to net his second goal of the campaign. The much needed home win lifted the Darts to seventeenth but it’s the away form which needs improving, Dartford have suffered back to back away defeats conceding eight goals in the process.

Last time the Darts faced Gateshead, the Heed were managed by Anth Smith. The former Gateshead boss took on the role last term and after three straight defeats to open this campaign his offer to resign was leaked on social media. Making his position untenable according to chairman Graham Wood, the Heed were left managerless until a month ago.

In the interim period Gateshead lost, drew and won a game each and now Gary Mills is in charge. The 51 year old won the European Cup as a player with Nottingham Forest in 1980. In the dug out he led Tamworth to the Conference North title four years ago and York City to F.A Trophy and Conference Premier playoff glory in 2012.

The Heed sit one place above Dartford level on points, separated by goal difference the North East club have struggled against sides in the top half of the table making the most of games against sides in the lower section. Over the last week Mills has brought in former Tottenham Hotspur and Reading midfielder Darren Caskey as his assistant. Mills spoke to BBC Sport and said: “He is someone I have known for a long time. He prepares his teams like I do and we are on the same wave length”, he added: “Darren has a strong background in both Football League and non-league circles, has a wealth of experience and is a bubbly character”.

Dartford will be on the look out for striker Colin Larkin on the weekend who’s featured in every league match so far. The 31 year old enjoyed scoring a first half hat trick at Princes Park for Lincoln City in December and a last minute penalty at Sincil Bank in February. John Oster recently joined on non contract terms, the 34 year old winger earned 13 caps for Wales and has Football League experience behind him.

Team News

Elliot Bradbrook is one caution away from picking up a suspension. The Dartford captain picked up his fourth yellow card in the 1-0 win against Southport. Tyrone Sterling was the only player unavailable for selection last weekend through injury. Gateshead’s Marcus Maddison is also a booking from suspension.

Head to Head

Gateshead wins: 3 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws 1

Current Form

Gateshead (LWWLLW) Dartford (WLWLLD)
Forest Green Rovers A 0-1 Southport H 1-0
Chester H 3-2 Grimsby Town A 2-5
Tamworth A 1-0 Kidderminster Harriers H 3-0
Wrexham H 0-3 Luton Town A 0-3
Cambridge United A 0-1 Nuneaton Town H 1-2
Hereford United H 2-1 Chester A 0-0

Last League Meeting at the International Stadium

8 September 2012 – Gateshead 2 Dartford 0 – Att: 758

Goalscorers: Cummins (40), Gillies (63)

The Heed Lineup: Bartlett, Magnay, Boyle, Clark, Bush, Chandler, Gillies, Turnbull, Cummins, Donaldson, Odubade (subs used: McGorrigan, Marwood, Fisher)

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

Match Stats

Last Five Meetings (FAT = F.A Trophy)

23.03.2013 Dartford 3 Gateshead 0
08.09.2012 Gateshead 2 Dartford 0
05.02.2011 (FAT) Gateshead 3 Dartford 0
04.05.1985 Dartford 1 Gateshead 2
09.03.1985 Gateshead 0 Dartford 0

Stats

0 – Dartford have yet to concede a goal when they have gone on to win a league match this season

2 – Danny Harris has scored half of Dartford’s away goals in the Conference Premier this term

5 – Gateshead have scored in all but one of their home fixtures in the 2013/2014 campaign

503 – The Heed  recorded the lowest average home attendance in 2012/13. This time only Alfreton Town have a lower home average so far.

Dartford v Gateshead

 

Dartford hope to record their first ever victory over Gateshead this weekend at Princes Park.

Over the last four matches between the two sides Dartford have mustered up just one goal. More recently the Heed beat the Darts back in September in a dominant display. The long journey to the Gateshead International Stadium six months ago ended up 2-0 to the hosts. Goals from 34 year old midfielder Micky Cummins and 22 year old midfielder Josh Gillies deservedly ensured the Tynesiders picked up three points.

Two seasons ago Gateshead knocked out the Darts in a F.A Trophy third round tie. Then representing the Conference South, Tony Burman’s side were unable to cause an upset bowing out of the competition in a 3-0 loss. Phil Turnbull’s deflected shot gave Gateshead the lead just before the break. The now departed duo of Brain Wake and Kris Gale secured the win for the Heed.

Under the Tuesday night Princes Park floodlights Dartford looked to bounce back from their disappointing defeat at Hyde. This time Barrow were the visitors who are in a Conference Premier relegation scrap. The Darts were put under pressure in the opening ten minutes relying on two quality saves from Marcus Bettinelli and a goal line clearance. The Darts grew in confidence and just passed the half hour mark Elliot Bradbrook’s header was blocked on the line. Bradbrook caused problems earlier in the half being upended when almost clear on goal, Barrow’s debutant Steve Williams was cautioned.

New loan signing Jason Prior lasted just after the hour before being replaced by Jacob Erskine and Ryan Hayes came off for Lee Noble. Moments later Burns came to Dartford’s rescue again clearing Danny Rowe’s effort off the line. On 73 minutes Alex-Ray Harvey was brought down in the box by Richard Rose and up stepped Richie Baker to put the Bluebirds in front and earn the visitors three points. The second loss without scoring this week ended Dartford’s ten match unbeaten home run and left Dartford remaining in twelfth place on 49 points.

On Tuesday night, Gateshead hosted Hereford United and fell behind when Chris Sharp opened the scoring after seventeen minutes. The lead didn’t last long as the Heed equalised two minutes later through Ryan Donaldson. Just before the break the hosts turned the match around when James Brown made it 2-1 at half time.

It took just five minutes for the next twist in the match as Hereford United’s Marlon Jackson grabbed a second for the Bulls. Parity was short lived when Brown found the back of the net for a second time putting Gateshead in front.

The fixture congestion of four games in eight days is the result of earlier postponements. On Saturday, Gateshead travelled to the Impact Arena and let a two goal slip against Alfreton Town. Having led 2-0 at half time courtesy of an Anton Brown own goal and Josh Gillies’s spot kick the visitors looked in control. The Reds fought back in the final 13 minutes scoring from Ben Tomlinson’s header and a minute later Steven Hewitt put Alfreton Town level. Substitute Liam Hatch was dismissed reducing Gateshead to ten men and Scott Boden’s stoppage time winner completed the Reds comeback.

Although the visitors are just four points from safety at the time of writing, games in hand and a level goal difference puts the Tynesiders in a ‘false’ position. The Heed can easily climb up the Conference Premier ladder to safety but still need to look over their shoulders.

Gateshead have fallen victim to the wet winter failing to complete a home league match over a staggering 55 day period between November and December. The poor condition of their pitch is so severe they have resorted to playing at Hartlepool United’s Victoria Ground and York City’s Bootham Crescent. Last week the club announced their final game of the season will be at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium. It’s of little surprise that the club are in the process of planning a move away from the Gateshead International Stadium. At the time of writing Gateshead play again on Thursday night against Newport County.

Under Ian Bogie the Tynesiders had looked comfortable in eight place up to December. After a four match winless run Graham Wood relieved the former midfielder of his duties. Anth Smith came in as Caretaker Manager and after a difficult start to 2013 seems to have found his feet. The start of this year began with five successive defeats, a downturn in form saw the club drop from into the relegation zone. Smith now permanent manager until the end of the season has steadied the ship with just one defeat in five before Thursday’s fixture.

Team News

Jason Prior made his first team début on loan from AFC Wimbledon. Dartford’s new striker came in for Jacob Erskine to make his first start for the Darts.

Carl Magnay is out with ankle ligament damage for an expected two more weeks. The defender only recently returned to first-team action following injury and has made 28 league appearances. Liam Hatch will be suspended for his red card last weekend, the striker has served two matches already of his three game ban. Highly rated England Youth international Jake Fowler is on loan from Middlesbrough.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 0 / Gateshead wins: 3 / Draws: 1 / Dartford goals: 1 / Gateshead goals: 7

Current League Form

Dartford (LLWDDW) Gateshead (WLDWWL)
Barrow H 0-1 Hereford United H 3-2
Hyde A 0-3 Alfreton Town A 2-3
Wrexham H 2-1 AFC Telford United A 0-0
Stockport County H 1-1 Hyde H 3-0
Southport A 2-2 Kidderminster Harriers H 2-0
Luton Town H 1-0 Braintree Town H 1-2

Last Meeting

8 September 2012 – Gateshead 2 Dartford 0 – Att: 758

The Heed Lineup: Bartlett, Magnay, Boyle, Clark, Bush, Chandler, Gillies, Turnbull, Cummins, Donaldson, Odubade (subs used: Fisher, Marwood, McGorrigan)

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

Match Stats

 

Previous Meetings (* = F.A Trophy)

05.02.2011* Gateshead 3 Dartford 0
04.05.1985 Dartford 1 Gateshead 2
09.03.1985 Gateshead 0 Dartford 0

Gateshead v Dartford

 

On Saturday Dartford return to the venue where they were knocked out of the F.A Trophy last sixteen 19 months ago.

In a cup run which included the scalp of Crawley Town, now in League One, Dartford drew Gateshead in round three only to sucumb to a 3-0 defeat.

Phil Turnball’s deflected shot gave Gateshead the lead just before the break. In the second half Gateshead were in control when substitute Brain Wake doubled the lead four minutes from time and with Dartford pressing forward were caught out again in the last minute by Kris Gale. Despite being knocked out of the competition many fans hold fond memories of the day at The Gateshead International Stadium.

The Darts are on a roll and have firmly put their slow start behind them. A four game winning streak in the league has equalled a club record at Conference Premier level. Wins against struggling sides Kidderminster Harriers and Alfreton Town as well as shock results versus Cambridge United and Newport County has propelled the club up to eighth in the table.

Richard Rose

A dramatic climax at the end of Tuesday night’s fixture has increased optimism at the club. Richard Rose’s first Dartford goal and last gasp winner in a 2-1 victory against Newport County earned all three points. Earlier in the second half the Darts leading scorer Harry Crawford netted his fifth of the season and Newport County’s Aaron O’Connor scored his seventh in as many games.

Tony Burman spoke to PUREDFC and was pleased with a fourth successive win, he said: “I’m delighted we’ve managed to do that and the guys have worked hard. We felt after the first three games the players deserved more than zero points and now it has come good for us and it breeds confidence”.

Dartford’s boss recognises his squads work ethic as a contributing factor to the turn around in form, he added: “It’s something we believe in, we know the players work very hard and look after themselves”, he continued: “What we have got into the players is that they do have quality and they need to bring that out. The players can do it they just have to believe they can do it. It doesn’t matter where you go but you need the work rate and we have that in abundance”.

The major difference to the fixture two seasons ago is the fact the Heed have lost striker Jon Shaw to Luton Town. Shaw scored 35 goals in league and cup last season which saw the North East club finish eighth. However manager Ian Bogie is accustomed to losing high profile strikers, he told the Evening Chronicle:  “Jon Shaw left and we move on. In my tenure as manager of Gateshead we have never had any problems when players have left”, he added: “Now it is about the players we have in our dressing room taking responsibility. they have got to share the workload in the goals-for column and be more resolute at the back”.

Over the first seven games the Heed have tightened up conceding eight times which is the fourth best record in the division. In midfield they can rely on Josh Gillies who was called up to the England C squad and up front Nathan Fisher has netted three times.

This is Hardcore: Dartford fans travelled all the way to the North East in the F.A Trophy nineteen months ago

Gateshead threw a two goal lead in their opener at Luton Town to draw 2-2, brushed Mansfield Town aside with a 4-1 win before drawing 1-1 with another of the favourites Forest Green Rovers. Their unbeaten run continued with a 2-1 triumph at Edgeley Park versus Stockport County, a 1-1 draw at home to Lincoln City and a 1-0 win against Nuneaton.

For the first time this season the Heed were toppled at Southport late on. Bogie felt his side dominated in their 2-1 defeat and should have been out of sight before a costly mistake three minutes from time gave the Sandgrounders the win.

Team News

Danny Harris briefly returned on Tuesday as a substitute before being replaced by Jon Wallis. The forward only managed ten minutes after looking fit enough prior the match. Top scorer Harry Crawford left Princes Park with a dead leg whilst Louis Wells and Adam Green remained absent from the squad through injury.

Current Form

Gateshead

Dartford

Mansfield Town

H

4-1

Woking

A

0-1

Forest Green Rovers

H

1-1

Macclesfield Town

A

0-2

Stockport County

A

2-1

Kidderminster Harriers

H

1-0

Lincoln City

H

1-1

Cambridge United

A

2-1

Nuneaton Town

A

1-0

Alfreton Town

H

5-1

Southport

H

1-2

Newport County

H

2-1

Did you know…

Four Dartford players (Mark Arber, Tom Bonner, Elliot Bradbrook and Tom Champion) have started every Conference Premier league match this season compared to six Gateshead players.

Dartford (8) and Gateshead (7) have accrued 15 yellow cards between them, less than Mansfield Town (17) and Wrexham (18)

Only twice has the Darts enjoyed more possession than their opponents this season, the Heed have managed to keep the ball better than the opponents five times.

Gateshead has averaged an attendance of 712 at home this season

Stats

The Darts have scored the same amount of goals as Gateshead this season netting 23.53% of their shots. The Heed have been less accurate scoring from 14.29% of their efforts at goal.


*statistics taken from www.skysports.com and bbc.co.uk

* picture of Richard Rose taken from dartfordfconline.com

*picture of Dartford fans courtesy of Dave Adkins

Season Review Part Eight– A look back on 2010/2011

8 – Mid-January to February – Dartford on Tour

Bouncebackability

Whilst Dartford was falling Farnborough was rising. The Boro had won three consecutive matches and striker Bradley Bubb was scoring for fun with eight goals in his last five league matches. The Darts had no chance especially if the last match between the two sides in August was anything to go by. Before the game Tony Burman signed full back Matt Jones from Bishop’s Stortford, George Purcell and Lee Burns were ruled out through injury.

Lee Noble who was recalled from his loan spell was on form and Dartford’s main hope, in the twelfth minute he was taken out in the penalty box. Dartford fans behind the goal were jubilant, great start. Charlie Sheringham stepped up to the spot to place his shot right footed and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.

The lead lasted just eight minutes when on form striker Bradley Bubb was released on the left, his shot was struck well enough. Andrew Young pushed the ball upwards but it looped into the far corner. Dartford defenders all looked at one another, shoulders shrugged, here we go again.

Noble continued to weave inside out causing Farnborough some problems, he harassed, scurried at their defenders to put them under pressure. His enthusiasm rubbed off on the Dartford team until it went a step too far. Noble knocked the ball out to Elliot Bradbrook on the right who put in a deep cross to the far post. A misplaced header across the six yard box enticed Farnborough goalkeeper Michael Jordan to go for the ball. Noble steamed forward in an over enthusiastic attempt to win possession. The ball hit the goalkeeper; Noble’s outstretched leg went into Jordan’s chest. The referee charged to the scene, Farnborough players were furious and surrounded the referee, the red card was pulled out, Noble was sent off. The Dartford players were furious with the Boro reaction. Everything calmed down. The Darts had to play 55 minutes a man down. No chance for a win, let’s hope for a draw.

Tom Champion takes the plaudits

Adversity galvanised Dartford and three minutes after the restart Jon Main was sent through but the ball got caught between his feet. Main turned with his back to goal and layed the ball off to the onrushing Sheringham. Charlie drove the shot low and hard into the bottom corner from 19 yards, a quality finish, and an unexpected lead.

Fifteen minutes later, The Darts grew in confidence and boxed Farnborough into their own corner. The Boro tried to clear their lines three times and Dartford kept pressing. Main won possession and passed to Sheringham who looked up to notice Tom Champion on the edge of the ‘d’ and crossed the ball. One bounce, Champion adjusted his body, wrapped his right foot around the ball and his stunning volley landed in the top far corner of the net. The head strapped Champion milked the plaudits from the crowd, he deserved it. What was going on? Farnborough was shell shocked.

The Darts was denied a penalty, Main was denied by Jordan, it looked like Farnborough was a man down.  Then on 73 minutes The Boro failed to clear again from a corner. Sheringham flicked the ball on and Danny Harris nodded the ball past the goalkeeper at the near post, 4-1. Incredible afternoon.

Dartford 4 Farnborough 1 – Highlights

A New Cup Adventure

A new cup adventure began. Okay so it was ‘only the Kent Senior Cup’ but for some fans it was a realistic opportunity to land some silverware. The Kent Senior Cup is like the Football League Cup in some ways. Do we go for it? Do we try out some youngsters? Is it a chance to win something or a waste of time? However you feel about the cup it was here and Dartford faced Isthmian Premier League outfit Tonbridge Angels. Tony Burman opted for the young and promising Deren Ibrahim in goal and gave Adam Burchell a run out, other than that the first eleven could have started a league match.

Danny Harris opened the scoring on the hour when Ryan Hayes’ deep free kick to the far post was knocked down to Harris who swept the ball home. Charlie Sheringham replaced Hayes in the 85th minute then wrapped up the win. Sheringham took the ball down on his chest before cutting inside the defender and curling the ball beyond the Tonbridge keeper into the net. The Darts negotiated their way through the first round.

Dartford 2 Tonbridge Angels 0 – Kent Senior Cup First Round Highlights

Out of Harms Way

Despite the incredible win against the odds versus Farnborough, Dartford was still in the bottom three. The atmosphere surrounding the club lifted after a second win in succession against Tonbridge Angels. Next up was mid-table side Bishop’s Stortford who The Darts demolished earlier in the season.

Lee Noble was lively and was blocked off the ball early on, blood was spilt, and the challenge was nasty enough for Noble to change his shirt and to be bandaged up. The knock back failed to stop the midfielder as he controlled the game with his intricacy and skill; the sides were level at the break.

In the second half, Danny Harris was sent clear and rounded the goalkeeper. Harris went to ground, the referee deemed it a dive, yellow card, contentious decision. Jon Main was shut out, Bonner shot straight at the keeper, and Dartford was defending and playing on the break. With sixteen minutes remaining Noble delivered a low in swinger from the left, Billy Burgess jumped over the ball and Charlie Sheringham with his back towards goal turned on a sixpence and fired into the roof of the net, brilliant finish. The afternoon in Hertfordshire was a success, a third consecutive win and second consecutive clean sheet, 1-0 it finished. Out of the bottom three.

Bishops Stortford 0 Dartford 1 – Highlights

Thou Shall Not Pass

Princes Park hosted league leaders Braintree Town in a fiery encounter against The Darts. Dartford was growing in confidence but knew this would be a difficult fixture. The supporters started to believe, the team gained momentum, and everyone was starting to pull together. The Irons had won six in a row with strikers Sean Marks and Jamie Guy scoring eleven between them in the last seven matches.

Braintee Town showed why they were comfortable league leaders early on when Kenny Davis tested Andrew Young. Dartford’s Danny Harris failed to get on the end of Jon Main’s cross then on seventeen minutes, controversy. Charlie Sheringham went up for a header just inside the Braintree half; Matt Paine fell to the ground clutching his face. It was hard to tell what had happened but referee was convinced Sheringham threw an elbow to Paine’s face, red card, and uphill struggle.

Later on in the first half Irons player Kenny Davis was more than fortunate. When on the halfway line he lunged two footed at Danny Harris, the tackle was a shocker, the Dartford fans gasped in horror it was that bad. The referee unbelievably played on as Braintree won possession back and attacked, at which point the referee put a stop to the game. Braintree players raced towards the referee furious he stopped their attack, the man in black lost control of the match. Complete injustice for Dartford.

 

Captain Bradbrook nets the only goal of the game in a fiery contest

Like the Farnborough game the poor refereeing decisions galvanised Dartford supporters who remained incensed. The second half was tough; Dartford players worked their socks off against 11 men and the officials, as if it wasn’t hard enough playing the league leaders. Dartford held out until 81 minutes when the crucial moment arrived.  Lee Noble persisted to keep control off the ball on the half way line but was bundled over. The ball trickled to Elliot Bradbrook, The Captain dinked the ball forward which rolled underneath the foot of the Braintree centre half. Suddenly Jon Main was in, his first touch was heavy, his second was almost smothered by the goalkeeper, the ball bobbled up, Bradbrook reacted and side footed goal wards, goal! The Darts had beaten the odds again. Four consecutive wins, three consecutive clean sheets. Onwards and upwards.

Dartford 1 Braintree Town 0 – Highlights

The Darts Head North East

It was onwards and upwards indeed as The Darts and their faithful travelled to the north east. Dartford faced Conference National side Gateshead in the last sixteen of the F.A Trophy. Quite literally the journey was just too far for the Dartford players.

Phil Turnball’s deflected shot gave Gateshead the lead just before the break, if only The Darts could have held on. In the second half Gateshead were in control as they used their wingers to good effect. Substitute Brain Wake doubled the lead four minutes from time and with Dartford pressing forward were caught out again in the last minute by Kris Gale. Gateshead was barely troubled but like the Port Vale game in the F.A Cup the adventure was fun, Dartfordians could be proud.

 

This is Hardcore: Dartford fans travelled all the way to the North East

Gateshead 3 Dartford 0 – F.A Trophy Third Round Highlights

Gateshead to Weston

After the long trip north east The Darts and their travelling contingent travelled west as they clocked up the miles. A Tuesday night at Weston Super-Mare was to follow; a side Dartford soundly beat 4-1 back in September. The Seagulls was winless in six losing their last three, Dartford had won three league matches on the bounce.

Weston started brightly and Justin Porter tested the reflexes of Andrew Young. There were very few chances in the first half. The best efforts from The Darts came from Carl Rook and Charlie Sheringham. A tight game ensued and the second half was much the same until Weston’s Jamie Laird lost his footing, Sheringham turned quickly and beat goalkeeper Lloyd Irish in the 73rd minute. The season was turning around, another win, and another clean sheet.

Jon Main's first for Dartford

Loanee Strikes

The battle between Dartford and Braintree Town just eleven days ago was still fresh in the memory.  Charlie Sheringham was controversially sent off whilst Braintree’s Kenny Davis was lucky to stay on the pitch. Dartford supporters were still aggrieved by the events and really wanted to put one over the league leaders, furthermore our very own Ray Cherry was not allowed to film the match.

Dartford players were looking tired after long journeys and a crammed fixture list. Lee Noble was suspended and young Deren Ibrahim replaced Andrew Young in goal. On five minutes the league leaders attacked, a cross was unfortunately turned in by Billy Burgess, Dartford got off to a bad start. However parity was restored when Ibrahim’s punt up field was met by loanee Jon Main who lobbed the keeper with aplomb. The rest of the match was played out with both sets of players looking weary. The spoils were shared.

Unbeaten Run Continues

One of Dartford’s poorest performances was against Welling United in January. The Wings were coping well with off field problems and still challenging in the playoff places. Lee Noble was back and early on he set up Jon Main, his shot was tipped round the post. Another Dartford effort was hacked off the line. At the other end Joe Bruce was turned by Andrew Pugh and his curling effort was bravely blocked by Billy Burgess. A desperate lunge by Paul Goodacre gave Welling a free kick on the edge of the box, Jamie Day’s effort dipped just over the cross bar.

In the second forty five, Loui Fazackerley crossed for Liam Bellamy who nodded wide, Ibrahim was beaten. Elliot Bradbrook dug out an opportunity on the edge of the Welling box but his sliced volley ended inches wide scrapping the side netting. Then just past the hour The Wings took the advantage. After a number of testing corners they finally made one count when Jack Parkinson headed in from six yards.

Ryan Hayes scores an audacious free kick

Tony Burman made a double substitution on 73 minutes which proved to be a great decision. Ryan Hayes who had been out of the first eleven for a little while was introduced for his craft, Lee Burns came on for his endeavour. With eight minutes remaining Dartford won a free kick way out against the right touchline a good 30 to 35 yards out. Hayes looked up and struck the ball with power and swerve, Welling goalkeeper Tom Lovelock moved across to his near post, the ball swerved into the top corner, what a goal. Super sub Ryno saved the day.

Dartford 1 Welling United 1 – Highlights

Slip Up

It had been seven matches since Dartford lost, it had been 15 games since Hampton and Richmond last won. Normally in this position Dartford supporters will be expecting nothing but victory but with our record against the bottom sides we were still wary. After all, we lost to Thurrock when they were on a dreadful run; we were turned over by Dorchester Town which left us shocked. Dartford did not disappoint, well they did but some of us expected.

The Beavers came away from Princes Park with a resounding 4-0 win. Dean Wells scored against the Darts for a second time in the season when a corner was not cleared on 24 minutes. Six minutes before the break Ian Hodges doubled the lead. In the second half it took Hampton and Richmond a minute to make it three through Lawrence Yaku. Just two minutes later Yaku headed in his second. Let’s just call it a slip up.

Dartford 0 Hampton and Richmond 4 – Highlights

Back On Track

Dartford travelled to Dorset on a Tuesday night to put right their latest defeat, to revenge the 4-0 drubbing The Magpies gave us in November. The pitch was boggy as the winter weather had taken its toll across the non-league scene across the country. In all fairness this was not a game for the football purists but the exhausted Dartford players battled hard and were rewarded.

A goalless draw looked on the cards and how fitting it was when the Patron Saint of Lost Causes battled a lost cause in the Dorchester box. Danny Harris broke one tackle, rode another challenge and reached out a leg to slide the ball into the goal, 1-0 with just under seventeen minutes remaining. As the game reached a conclusion Jon Main spotted Lee Noble who looked like he went too wide, his shot was hit low and into the net for number two. Dartford avenged the defeat early in the season and had put the previous match to bed.

Dorchester Town 0 Dartford 2 – Highlights

February Finishes

It had been an incredible turnaround for Dartford, who was in the bottom three just a month and a half ago.  Six league wins, three draws and a defeat lifted them up to fourteenth position and seven points clear of relegation. Although they were fourteen matches to play over two more months it was the first time Dartford supporters could relax a little but there was still work to be done.

Braintree Town still led the table seven points ahead of in form Ebbsfleet United. The Fleet won four of their five February fixtures. Welling United, Farnborough and Chelmsford City maintained their playoff spots. Lewes moved off the foot of the table with three consecutive wins and Maidenhead United slipped towards danger after just two victories in twenty one matches. It was Woking who were the in form team with six consecutive wins without conceding, this was to stretch to seven on 1 March 2011.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Braintree Town 29 20 5 4 57 22 +35 65
2 Ebbsfleet United 29 17 7 5 55 36 +19 58
3 Farnborough 29 17 5 7 55 33 +22 56
4 Chelmsford City 29 16 6 7 58 33 +25 54
5 Welling United* 29 17 5 7 55 35 +20 51
6 Eastleigh 27 14 5 8 49 33 +16 47
7 Dover Athletic 28 14 5 9 60 40 +20 47
8 Woking 28 13 7 8 39 27 +12 46
9 Bromley 29 12 10 7 37 41 -4 46
10 Havant and W 24 9 6 9 34 33 +1 33
11 Staines Town 29 9 11 9 37 39 -2 38
12 Basingstoke Town 29 9 8 12 33 43 -10 35
13 Weston-super-Mare 31 10 7 14 41 47 -6 37
14 Dartford 28 8 9 11 35 40 -5 33
15 Bishop’s Stortford 30 9 4 17 34 60 -26 31
16 Hampton and Richmond 26 5 11 10 31 38 -7 26
17 Dorchester Town 28 6 9 13 28 38 -10 27
18 Thurrock 28 6 9 13 37 56 -19 27
19 Maidenhead United 27 6 7 14 28 46 -18 25
20 Boreham Wood 29 6 8 15 37 53 -16 26
21 Lewes 31 6 6 19 25 49 -24 24
22 St Albans City 29 4 10 15 25 48 -23 22

*Welling United deducted five points

Stuart Maidment

Photos courtesy of Dave Adkins, videos courtesy of Ray Cherry.