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Grimsby Town v Dartford

After making it to the F.A Cup first round for a consecutive season Dartford are back in league action against Grimsby Town this weekend.

The Darts have drawn four of their last five Conference Premier outings and take on the Mariners, who managed to go the whole of October unbeaten in all competitions.

Tony Burman’s side may have lost only once in their last seven matches but wins have been hard to achieve. A victory last weekend came in the F.A Cup against Isthmian Division One South side Burgess Hill Town, the last league victory was over a month ago. At least the Darts managed to avoid a cup shock thanks to a brace from Harry Crawford and a penalty by Elliot Bradbrook. A pleased Burman said the game, “was a potential banana skin for us against a side that haven’t lost all season and you have to respect that, whatever league they’re in”. The Dartford boss was impressed with Crawford’s goals but accepted the team’s second half performance could have been better.

A return to league action before the second round away tie at Bromley will as usual have Burman’s full attention, he commented: “The accountants are always happy with a run in the cup and it definitely lifts the club”, he continued: “The most important thing for us, though, is to stay in the league. We’ve worked hard to get this club to where we are and it’s taken a while, I don’t want to go back down to those leagues. Staying in the division is the ultimate aim, but I wouldn’t mind it if we had a little enjoyment in the F.A Cup on the way”.

Grimsby Town will enter this weekend’s league fixture on the back of three successive wins. The latest a 3-0 home triumph over Conference North side Guiseley. With few chances in the contest The Mariners had to wait an hour to open the scoring when Nathan Arnold headed in the first. Lenell John-Lewis secured a first round birth after netting six minutes later and again with fifteen minutes to go. John-Lewis has already caused the Darts problems in the past and this season has found the net seven times in 14 Conference Premier outings.

Over the last couple of campaigns Grimsby Town have built on solid defensive records, this term they have the second best overall and home defence conceding just four at Blundell Park in eight games. Goalkeeper, James McKeown along with regulars Carl Magnay and Aristote Nsiala have a large part to play at the back. Up front the Mariners have the fourth best record, largely down to the back to back 6-1 and 7-0 wins over Gateshead and Alfreton Town respectively.

Manager, Paul Hurst has almost led the club to glory in the F.A Trophy and playoffs in recent seasons and will be determined to make the step up, returning the Lincolnshire side back to the Football League. The Mariners are three points off the top five having lost once in their last eight fixtures, including the recent 3-2 away win at Torquay United.

Less than a month ago the Darts were denied a win at Princes Park by the Mariners when a late penalty meant both teams had to settle for a point. Elliot Bradbrook hit the woodwork but his brother Tom found the back of the net with another header just past the hour mark. Tom’s third headed goal of the campaign left the Darts in front until the 86th minute. In a match which saw seven cautions by official Christopher Powell, Nathan Collier saw red when his professional foul brought down John-Lewis, who equalised from the spot.

Blundell Park will hold mixed emotions for Dartford having visited three times in two season’s. When Dartford returned to top flight non league football they caused an upset by beating Grimsby Town 2-0. Tom Champion and Adam Birchall scored the goals which at the time took the Darts as high as fifth place.

On the other side of the coin, an F.A Trophy run to the semi final in that same campaign effectively ended in the first leg at Blundell Park. Craig Disley’s brace included a fine volley before Anthony Cook added a third to give the Mariners a 3-0 first leg lead. The return leg at Princes Park ended goalless ending Dartford’s dreams of reaching Wembley for the first time since 1974. Last season seven goals were scored with Danny Harris getting the opener, however by half time Grimsby Town were 3-1 up with goals from Pat McLaughlin, Shaun Pearson and John-Lewis. Lee Noble got Dartford back in the match but two late strikes by Scott Kerr and Disley finished off the Darts 5-2.

Team News

Lee Burns was last involved on matchday against Grimsby Town lasting just 21 minutes. The versatile full back was substituted after picking up an injury. Striker Tom Bradbrook has been struggling with a calf strain and has missed the last two competitive fixtures. Defender Rory McAuley has picked up four cautions this season and is one more away from suspension.

Ever present in the Conference Premier this term, Grimsby Town defender Scott Brown missed the F.A Cup tie against Guiseley through injury. The 29 year old is suffering from an ankle ligament injury and  is also one caution away from picking up a ban.

Head to Head

Grimsby Town wins: 4 / Dartford wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Grimsby Town (WWDDLW) Dartford (DDLDDW)
 Torquay United  A  3-2  Aldershot Town  H  1-1
 Wrexham  A  1-0  Macclesfield Town  H  1-1
 Altrincham  H  0-0  Bristol Rovers  A  0-1
 Dartford  A  1-1  Grimsby Town  H  1-1
 Southport  H  0-1  Welling United  A  2-2
 Chester  H  3-0  Nuneaton Town  A  2-1

Last Meeting at Blundell Park

24 September 2013 – Grimsby Town 5 Dartford 2 – Att: 2503

Goalscorer: Harris (24), McLaughlin (32), Pearson (36), John-Lewis (43), Noble (55), Kerr (85), Disley (90)

Grimsby Town Lineup: McKeown, Pearson, Doig, Bignot, Goodall, Kerr, Neilson, Jones, McLaughlin, John-Lewis, Hannah, (subs used: Disley, Hearn, Thomas)

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

Match Stats

gtfc v dfc stats

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy semi-final / ** – Friendly)

04.10.2014 Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 1
10.04.2014 Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 0
25.09.2013 Grimsby Town 5 Dartford 2
09.04.2013 Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 2
23.02.2013* Dartford 0 Grimsby Town 0
16.02.2013* Grimsby Town 3 Dartford 0
06.10.2012 Grimsby Town 0 Dartford 2
17.04.1897** Dartford 2 Grimsby Town 3

League Stats

4 – Games since Dartford conceded more than a goal, currently the longest sequence in the division

4 – Goals conceded by Grimsby Town at home, the best home defence with Bristol Rovers

5 – Dartford have conceded the most penalties this campaign, one of which was against Grimsby Town in their last meeting

25 – The Darts have failed to win by more than a goal in their last 25 league fixtures, currently the longest spell in the Conference Premier

40 – the number of seconds it took Grimsby Town’s Scott Neilson to get booked against Alfreton Town, the quickest caution this season

100 – Nathan Collier who appeared in Saturday’s 3-1 cup win made his 100th appearance for the Darts, his 53rd start for club

229 – Grimsby Town have recorded the most shots at goal this season. The Mariners have managed 220 on target and 109 off target, all totals being the highest in the division this term

Dartford v Grimsby Town

The Darts face a tough fixture to kick start this month when they prepare for the visit of Grimsby Town this weekend.

Hoping to repeat the upset of last season’s 1-0 win at Princes Park, Dartford go into the Conference Premier fixture having lost just once in their last four outings.

After beating Nuneaton Town from a goal down on the weekend, the Darts were at it again. On Tuesday night they had to come from behind twice at Welling United, who remain unbeaten at home. Tom Bender made his first start for the Darts whilst in form Danny Harris made the first eleven, returning striker Andy Pugh was on the bench and made a late appearance.

An entertaining first half ended level with Welling United taking the lead on six minutes. Ben Jefford’s cross was nudged beyond Jason Brown by Harry Beautyman, but the lead lasted just three minutes. Peter Sweeney scored his first goal for the club and his side’s maiden first half strike of the season. The Wings went ahead once more when Jamal Fyfield headed in Beautyman’s cross to leave the Darts a goal down. Yet again Dartford fought back and a trio of long throw in’s by Mat Mitchel-King put the hosts under pressure, Elliot Bradbrook benefited the most when he hit he’s fourth of the season.

Almost six months have passed since Max Cornhill’s header with fifteen minutes to go gave the Darts a massive three points against the Mariners. A minute before the winning goal Grimsby Town were reduced to ten men when Jamal Fyfield received a second caution. At the time, victory for the Darts put them a point away from safety with four games to go.

In the campaign before, Grimsby Town visited Princes Park twice and went home with fond memories. Jack Evans scored the Darts only goal in the 26th minute following up Nathan Collier’s rebound. Despite working hard, the Darts conceded two late goals. Andy Cook equalised with fifteen minutes to go and full back Aswad Thomas secured an away win, which earned Grimsby Town a playoff spot.

The other result ended 0-0 in the second leg of the F.A Trophy semi-final which was enough to see the Mariners reach Wembley. The 3-0 aggregate win earned Grimsby Town a place in the final which they lost on penalties to Wrexham.

Grimsby Town have finished fourth in the past two seasons losing out in the playoffs, yet again they are pushing for a return to the Football League. Their fifth campaign in the Conference Premier with three consecutive draws with the side taking 254 minutes to score their first goal. Over the Bank Holiday period the Mariners took off in style, a surprise 6-1 away win at Gateshead was followed by  7-0 home win at Blundell Park against Alfreton Town. Since August, Grimsby have won three, lost three and drawn once to leave them in a mid table spot.

On the weekend the Mariners swept Chester aside in a 3-0 victory at home. Shaun Pearson scored from close range and Ross Hannah doubled the lead early in the second half. Hannah then missed a penalty but in the final minute Nathan Arnold made it three having returned from injury. Paul Hurst’s side hosted Southport in the week and went down to a Richard Brodie goal eight minutes from time, the striker grabbed the winner against his former club.

Team News

Lee Noble missed a third successive match through an ankle injury. Andy Pugh returned to action after suffering tendinitis of the Achilles.

Grimsby Town’s Jon-Paul Pittman is still recovering from injury, Nathan Arnold is back in training and Aswad Thomas missed Tuesday’s defeat. Lenell John-Lewis was back in the starting eleven, the striker has scored three this campaign.

Head to Head 

Dartford wins: 2 / Grimsby Town wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Current Form

Dartford (DWLWLD) Grimsby Town (LWWDLL)
Welling United A 2-2 Southport H 0-1
Nuneaton Town A 2-1 Chester H 3-0
Forest Green Rovers H 1-2 Kidderminster Harriers A 1-0
Dover Athletic H 2-1 FC Halifax Town A 1-1
Gateshead A 0-1 Torquay United H 0-2
Eastleigh H 2-2 Lincoln City A 2-3

Last League Meeting at Princes Park

10 April 2014 – Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 0 – Att: 1257

Goalscorer: Cornhill (75)

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

Grimsby Town Lineup: McKeown, Doig, Fyfield, McDonald, Walker, Colbeck, Thanoj, McLaughlin, Tounkara, Cook (subs used: Southwell, Winfarrah)

Match Stats

dfc v gtfc

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy semi-final / ** – Friendly)

10.04.2014 Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 0
25.09.2013 Grimsby Town 5 Dartford 2
09.04.2013 Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 2
23.02.2013* Dartford 0 Grimsby Town 0
16.02.2013* Grimsby Town 3 Dartford 0
06.10.2012 Grimsby Town 0 Dartford 2
17.04.1897** Dartford 2 Grimsby Town 3

Stats

13 – After 13 games last season Dartford were in 18th place with one point per game, the same as this term

24 – Only Barnet (31) have scored more goals than Grimsby Town this season

50 – Mat Mitchel-King made his 50th start for the Darts against Nuneaton Town last weekend and if Nathan Collier starts this weekend he’ll join the defender.

70 – Elliot Bradbrook has now scored 70 times for Dartford and is ten behind current top scorer Ryan Hayes

77 – Prior last weekend Grimsby Town had the most shots on target

83 – Minutes Dartford have been in front this season out of 1170 minutes played

Grimsby Town

Blundell Park Founded 1878 The Mariners

Over the past two season’s Grimsby Town have come close to returning to the Football League which they exited four years ago. The Mariners spent most of their history in the second tier of the footballing pyramid. After the new millennium their demise was gradual but alarming to what is now one of the biggest fan bases in non league. Successive fourth place finishes have ended in playoff misery whilst cup competitions have seen the club come close to glory. Grimsby Town should be amongst the contenders for the forthcoming term but will be desperate to go one step further.

gtfcLast Season

Conference Premier: 4th

F.A Cup: 3rd Round

F.A Trophy: Semi Final

Top Scorer: Ross Hannah

Average Attendance: 3568

The Mariners continued where they left off from their previous campaign reaching the playoffs, a couple of decent cup runs and a strong defence. It’s hardly suprising when Grimsby Town managed to keep the majority of the squad together. In September, one half of the management team departed when rob Scott wass suspended. After a 5-2 home win against Dartford the Mariners found the right gear. In the final two months of the campaign, Grimsby Town’s success in the cups took their toll in the league when they played 16 Conference Premier matches in the final two months. Despite the promising results on the field the Mariners ended the campaign in more disappointment. F.A Trophy finalists the year before, this time they reached the last four and once again lost in the semi final of the playoffs. In the F.A Cup the Lincolnshire club reached the third round beating local rivals Scunthorpe United in the first round.

The Manager – Paul Hurst

Where their was two there is now one man in charge at Blundell Park. Hurst began life in management with Ilkeston Town alongside Rob Scott. The pair won promotion to the Conference North triumphing in the Northern Premier League playoff final. Five years ago the duo switched allegiances to Boston United visiting the playoff once more taking the Lincolnshire club to the Conference North. For the last time the partnership moved and this time they ended up at Blundell Park. It wasn’t until last term that Hurst took sole charge and so he will embark on his first full season without Scott. The transition has been seem less with the Mariners continuing to perform and challenge for promotion. The former defender built up a decent lower league career with Rotherham United where his loyalty can be commended having played for the Millers for 15 years. Whilst with the Yorkshire club, Hurst racked up over 400 appearances winning the Football League Trophy in 1995/96.

The Summer

Grimsby Town may have been beaten in the playoff semi-final against Gateshead but the relationship between the two sides hasn’t suffered. Carl Magnay joins the Mariners from the Heed, the versatile defender made 67 appearances for the north east club over two seasons. Moving the other way, Alex Rodman will plat at the International Stadium next term. Hurst has swooped for rated midfielder Jack Mackreth who played 86 times for Macclesfield Town, the 22 year old scored seven goals for the Silkmen. A double signing from Southport will bolster the squad, DR Congo international defender Aristote Nsiala and midfielder Scott Brown have signed deals. Nathan Arnold, formerly of Cambridge United and Alfreton Town has agreed a season long loan, the midfielder who can play up front had a trial with the Mariners when Mike Newell was in charge.

Blundell Park will bid farewell to a number of players including Andi Thanoj who broke into the senior ranks with the club. Sam Hatton moves south to start a new challenge at Aldershot Town and 2011/12’s top scorer for the mariners, Liam Hearn makes the step up to League Two with Mansfield Town.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 0 – Conference Premier – 10 April 2014

A Max Cornhill header with fifteen minutes to go gave the Darts a massive three points. A minute before the winning goal Grimsby Town were reduced to ten men when Jamal Fyfield received a second caution. Victory for the Darts put them a point away from safety with four games to go.

Grimsby Town 5 Dartford 2 – Conference Premier – 24 September 2013

The Darts tried to repeat the triumph from the previous season and took the lead through Danny Harris half way through the first half. By half time the hosts were 3-1 with goals from Pat McLaughlin, Shaun Pearson and Lenell John-Lewis. Lee Noble got Dartford back in the match but two late strikes by Scott Kerr and Craig Disley finished off the visitors.

Next Meetings

Saturday 4 October 2014 at Princes Park

Saturday 1 November 2014 at Blundell Park

League Performance Last Ten Years

grimsby last 10 years

Best Performances

5th Old Division One (1934/35) F.A Cup Semi Final (1935/36 & 1938/39) F.A Trophy Runners Up (2012/13)

Dartford v Grimsby Town

Dartford and Grimsby Town meet for the sixth time since the Darts return to the Conference Premier with both sides needing points for different reasons.

The Darts pulled within a point of safety on the weekend after a clean sheet and goalless draw up at Lincoln City’s Sincil Bank. Whether the point is vital enough at the end of the season remains to be seen. Jim Stevenson came the closest for the Darts as they looked comfortable. In the second half their opponents improved without really troubling Dartford’s defence who managed an eighth clean sheet in the league this season. Mid week fixtures without Dartford’s involvement has left Tony Burman’s side four points adrift.

A well earned away draw comes off the back of a spirited home performance against league leaders and title certainties Luton Town, and back to back wins against north west sides Hyde and Macclesfield Town. Hosting third place Grimsby Town will be Dartford’s first of five remaining games over the next 16 days. Tony Burman’s small squad has been further reduced with the suspension of Kenny Clark, the absence of Ryan Hayes and with Elliot Bradbrook substituted through injury on Saturday.

A mixture of successful cup runs and postponements leave Grimsby Town playing catch up, having played the fewest league fixtures so far. The Mariners look destined to reach the playoffs for a successive year, however they are still glancing over their shoulders as they hold a four point advantage.

After Dartford’s surprise scalp of Grimsby Town last term, where they won 2-0 at Blundell Park thanks to goals from Tom Champion and Adam Birchall, the Mariners have got the better of Tony Burman’s men in recent fixtures.  The Darts suffered a 3-0 aggregate defeat at the F.A Trophy semi final stage last season, followed by a 2-1 loss at Princes Park in the league and a 5-2 thrashing at Blundell Park this campaign.

Last time Grimsby Town visited Princes Park, Jack Evans scored the Darts only goal in the 26th minute following up Nathan Collier’s rebound. Despite working hard, the Darts conceded two late goals. Andy Cook equalised with fifteen minutes to go and full back Aswad Thomas secured an away win, which earned Grimsby Town a playoff birth. The Mariners failed to return to Wembley losing to Newport County in the semi-final, adding to their disappointment of becoming F.A Trophy runners up.

The Mariners boasted the best defence last season conceding just 38 times, a trend which has continued under boss Paul Hurst. This time out Grimsby Town are ranked fourth in defence, letting in the fewest in the league on their travels. In fact, the Lincolnshire club are on a roll away from Blundell Park having recorded four 1-0 wins in a row versus Nuneaton Town, Hereford United, Wrexham and Kidderminster Harriers. Victory against the Harriers made it Grimsby Town’s third straight triumph in the Conference Premier.

On Tuesday, they hosted in form Woking, who themselves had won their last six fixtures. Incredibly the match featured three stoppage time goals as the two sides drew 2-2. Kevin Betsy looked to have given the Cards victory six minutes from time but Oumare Tounkara struck a last minute equaliser. Woking went back in front through Kieran Murtagh which was eventually cancelled out by Lenell John-Lewis’s stoppage time penalty.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Grimsby Town wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (DLWWDL) Grimsby Town (DWDDLW)
Lincoln City A 0-0 Woking H 2-2
Luton Town H 1-2 Kidderminster Harriers A 1-0
Macclesfield Town H 2-1 Wrexham A 1-0
Hyde A 2-0 Hereford United A 1-0
Cambridge United A 1-1 Luton Town H 1-2
Chester H 0-1 Nuneaton Town A 1-0

Last League Meeting At Princes Park

9 April  2013 – Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 2 – Att: 1201

Goalscorers: Evans (26), Cook (79), Thomas (88)

The Darts Lineup: Somogyi, Green, Arber, Bonner, Burns, Wallis, Bradbrook, Evans, Rogers, Collier, Sheringham (Subs used: Noble, Harris, Prior)

The Mariners Lineup: McKeown, Hatton, Miller, Naylor, Niven, Colbeck, Disley, Wood, Taylor, Cook, John-Lewis (Subs used: Thomas, Artus, Southwell)

Match Stats

dfc v gtfc

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy semi-final / ** – Friendly)

25.09.2013 Grimsby Town 5 Dartford 2
09.04.2013 Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 2
23.02.2013* Dartford 0 Grimsby Town 0
16.02.2013* Grimsby Town 3 Dartford 0
06.10.2012 Grimsby Town 0 Dartford 2
17.04.1897** Dartford 2 Grimsby Town 3

 

Grimsby Town v Dartford

Dartford hit the road after a morale boosting win on the weekend and hope to carry the momentum up to Grimsby Town on Tuesday night.

The Darts take on the Mariners for the fifth time in less than a year with one of the meetings ending in a memorable away win for Tony Burman’s side. Back in October, the now departed midfielder Tom Champion gave the Darts a second half lead. With the home side pressing to salvage a point, Adam Birchall scored to seal the match in his first loan spell at the club. Dartford’s form eleven months ago propelled them to fifth place, a far cry from their current eighteenth place standing.

In a two legged F.A Trophy semi-final, the Mariners gained the upper hand in the first match on home soil. Craig Disley’s superb volley gave the hosts a half time lead which was only extended in the final five minutes. Disley netted a second following Marcus Bettinelli’s rare mistake and Anthony Cook put the tie beyond Dartford, who managed a 0-0 draw in the second leg. Grimsby Town also edged out the Darts at Princes Park with two late goals after falling behind.

Dartford enter Tuesday night’s fixture in good spirit, having gone four games without a win and netting just five times all season, Saturday’s expectations against last season’s runners up were low. Hosting an in form Kidderminster Harriers side ended in one of the weekend’s surprise results.

Jason Prior opened his account for 2013/14 when his close range effort came off Harriers defender Lee Vaughan. The strikers second Dartford goal of his career gave the Darts enough hope to complete a victory, Tony Burman told BBC Radio Kent: “You need something to give you a boost. When you score a goal you get a boost, but full credit to Jason (Prior), he took his chance well and that gives you the belief”.

Dartford’s captain then notched his third goal in five games, Elliot Bradbrook slotted the ball home six minutes after the interval. A third arrived when Danny Harris

finished from twelve yard, his second goal for the campaign.Victory lifted the Darts out of the bottom four to give them confidence going into Tuesday’s game. Burman was delighted with his team’s work ethic who bounced back from a difficult spell, he commented: “The guys have come out from the off and they’ve worked hard, closed Kidderminster down, they deserved the win today”, he added: “It probably could have been more, we had a few chances that could have been put in, but it’s nice, it’s given us a lift for a few days. You can’t beat working hard as a team, I’m really pleased for the players”.

Grimsby Town have had a mixed start and with a tight defence from last term are strong candidates to reach the playoffs this time. Despite the long awaited return of Liam Hearn, goals have been hard to find as the Mariners have recorded just one more than Dartford so far. Hearn top scored for his club two years ago but long term injury’s have prevented his progress. Off the pitch the striker had to refute rumours of a bust up with the now departed joint boss Rob Scott, who was sacked for “gross misconduct” after defeat at Nuneaton Town.

Now with only Paul Hurst managing the side, the Mariners go into the mid week clash on the back of one win in five. Scoring just once in 364 minutes of football the Lincolnshire club have picked up five points from the last 15 available. The last of those points were earned in a goalless draw up at Chester.

Hurst’s first fixture in sole charge was pleasing enough for the 38 year old, he told BBC Radio Humberside: “I’m pleased with a point because of how the game went, with the sending off so early in the second half”, he continued: “I thought just towards the end of the first half, we finally looked like we were getting into our stride and playing a bit better so obviously I would have liked to keep 11 on the pitch”. Like Burman, the Grimsby Town boss was also impressed with his players efforts, he added: “I thought we coped extremely well with it, and it’s credit to the players work rate and commitment”.

Team News

James Rogers has left the Darts to rejoin former club and Kent rivals Dover Athletic. The midfielder has been a reliable player but has found first team football limited. Max Cornhill and latest Dartford signing Josh Hill returned to the substitutes bench on the weekend but Mat Mitchel-King was still out with injury. Adam Birchall was dropped to the bench before replacing Prior and Uche Ibemere made his second substitute appearance for the Darts.

Joe Colbeck will be suspended after his red card versus Chester. Hearn featured for first time this month in that 0-0 draw at Chester. Ritchie Jones made his first start for the club after getting iternational clearance just over a week ago, having previously signed for San Jose Earthquakes where he didn’t feature in a first team match.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Grimsby Town wins: 3 / Draws 1

Current Form

Grimsby Town (DLWDLW) Dartford (WLLDLW)
Chester A 0-0 Kidderminster Harriers H 3-0
FC Halifax Town A 0-4 Luton Town A 0-3
Braintree Town H 1-0 Nuneaton Town H 1-2
Luton Town A 0-0 Chester A 0-0
Nuneaton Town H 1-2 Lincoln City H 1-2
Hyde A 1-0 Tamworth A 2-0

Last League Meeting at Blundell Park

6 October 2012 –  Grimsby Town 0 Dartford 2 – Att: 4009

Goalscorers: Champion (52), Birchall (84)

The Mariners Lineup: McKeown, Wood, Pearson, Pond, Thomas, Colbeck, Disley, Niven, Neilson, Cook, Hannah (subs used: Elding, Artus, Southwell)

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

Match Stats

gtfc v dfc stats

Last Five Meetings (FAT = F.A Trophy / Fr = Friendly)

09.04.2013 Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 2
23.02.2013 (FAT) Dartford 0 Grimsby Town 0
16.02.2013 (FAT) Grimsby Town 3 Dartford 0
06.10.2012 Grimsby Town 0 Dartford 2
17.04.1897 (Fr) Dartford 3 Grimsby Town 2

Stats

With every point Dartford have picked up they have kept a clean sheet. The first goal is important in Dartford games, with the side going on to score first winning on each occasion.

At home Grimsby Town have scored in every league match this season

3 – the number of clean sheets and blanks recorded by Grimsby Town in the last four matches

Dartford v Grimsby Town

Dartford play their second game of four in eight days against F.A Trophy runners up Grimsby Town.

The Mariners defeated the Darts on the way to Wembley in a two legged semi-final losing to Wrexham in the final on penalties. The second leg at Princes Park ended in a goalless stalemate as Dartford were unable to overturn the 3-0 deficit from the first leg.

Tom Champion celebrates his goal at Blundell Park

Tom Champion celebrates his goal at Blundell Park

Tony Burman guided his side to one of many memorable moments of the season back in October at Blundell Park. In an incredible start to their campaign Dartford reached fifth position following an excellent 2-0 away win. With the scores level at the break Tom Champion opened his account for the season in the 52nd minute. With the home side pressing to salvage a point loan signing Adam Birchall scored his only goal for the Darts during his loan spell.

The Darts finally put to bed their poor away form on the weekend defeating relegated AFC Telford United. Victory on the road for the first time in a dozen attempts lifted Dartford up to ninth and guaranteed Conference Premier football next season.

Jason Prior opened his account with his first goal during his loan spell. On his sixth appearance Prior netted from close range to put the Darts in front after 11 minutes. Charlie Sheringham added another to his tally in the second half just after the interval. The AFC Bournemouth loanee has now scored three goals in five games since his return to the club. Goalkeeper, Csaba Somogyi notched up his second clean sheet in three appearances as Dartford continue to push for a top ten finish.

Opponents, Grimsby Town will secure a playoff place with a three point haul at Princes Park. Sitting in fifth, the final playoff place, the Mariners are eight points clear of Forest Green Rovers with four games to go. A last gasp draw on Saturday edged the Lincolnshire club closer to a shot at promotion. Southport’s Karl Ledsham hit a brace for the visitors putting the Sandgrounders ahead twice. Anthony Cook grabbed the first equaliser and a point was salvaged in the final minute by Jamaican loanee Cleveland Taylor.

As expressed by Rob Scott, fixture congestion has been a cause for concern. Along with management partner Rob Hurst has found it difficult to combine the club’s F.A Trophy exploits with a promotion challenge. In March, leading up to the trophy final the Mariners lost four on the bounce with a single goal scored. Since picking up the runners up medal Grimsby Town have found form again unbeaten in five and winning their last two away matches.

Team News

Tom Champion will serve the final match of his suspension, the midfielder picked up his tenth caution in the 4-1 win versus Woking. Goalkeeper, Louis Wells missed a third successive fixture with ankle ligament damage and Danny Harris was not in Saturday’s squad with a hamstring injury.

Grimsby Town captain Craig Disley missed out with a knee injury on the weekend, the midfielder has played 38 times in the league this season and scored against the Darts in the F.A Trophy semi-final. Striker Liam Hearn is still recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon he picked up in August, the 27 year old top scored for the club last season and won the Supporters Player of the Year. Hearn has managed three substitute appearances including coming off the bench on the weekend.  Richard Brodie returned to his parent club Crawley Town after scoring just twice in ten appearances for the Mariners, Brodie also missed one of the penalties in the F.A Trophy final at Wembley.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Grimsby Town wins: 2 / Draws: 1 / Dartford goals: 2 / Grimsby Town goals: 15

Current League Form

Dartford (WWDLWL) Grimsby Town (DWWDDL)
AFC Telford United A 2-0 Southport H 2-2
Woking H 4-1 Macclesfield Town A 3-1
Newport County A 0-0 Stockport County A 2-1
Hereford United A 0-1 Barrow H 0-0
Gateshead H 3-0 Gateshead A 1-1
Barrow H 0-1 Nuneaton Town A 0-1

Last League Meeting

6 October 2012 – Grimsby Town 0 Dartford 2 – Att: 4009

Scorer: Champion (52), Birchall (84)

The Mariners Lineup: McKeown, Wood, S. Pearson, Pond, Thomas, Colbeck, Disley, Niven, Neilson, Cook, Hannah (subs used: Elding, Artus, Southwell)

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

Match Statsdfc v gtfc stats

Previous Meetings (* = F.A Trophy / ^ = Friendly)

23.02.2013* Dartford 0 Grimsby Town 0
16.02.2012* Grimsby Town 3 Dartford 0
06.10.2012 Grimsby Town 0 Dartford 2
22.10.1904^ Grimsby Town 12 Dartford 0

Stats

dfc v gtfc

Only Mansfield Town have scored more goals in the fifteen minutes before half time than Grimsby Town

Dartford v Grimsby Town

 

Odds are stacked against Dartford in the second leg of their F.A Trophy semi-final against Grimsby Town.

Tony Burman will have to mastermind an amazing comeback for his side to reach Wembley for the first time in 39 years. In the history of the F.A Trophy no side has ever overturned a three goal deficit in a semi final.

At Blundell Park the Darts contained the Mariners to a goal margin following Craig Disley’s superb first half volley. Dartford worked hard keeping themselves in the cup tie providing enough hope for the second leg to overturn the Grimsby Town’s lead.

In the final five minutes Dartford’s hopes were crushed when a rare Marcus Bettinelli mistake allowed Disley to score again. To compound the disappointing afternoon Anthony Cook made it 3-0 putting Grimsby Town in full control of reaching Wembley. Lee Noble was sent off in the final stages, his second dismissal this season will earn him another suspension.

Burman spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “I was disappointed with the result”, he added: “I know we were 1-0 down but I felt we had control of the game in the second-half. We’d have taken a 1-0 to bring back home. It’s the first leg of a semi-final and 1-0 would have been okay, but at 3-0 we’ve got a mountain to climb. It was just a mad 10 minutes”.

At least the Darts can take a positive out of the fact they have won their last three home matches. However, Grimsby Town have yet to lose this season by a margin larger than two, the Darts achieved a 2-0 win against the Mariners back in October. Keeping games tight is a key theme away from Blundell Park because the Lincolnshire club also have the best defensive record on the road conceding a meagre 11 goals in 13 league matches. Up front only two sides in this season’s Conference Premier campaign have scored fewer goals away from home.

Paul Hurst and Rob Scott had led their team to an impressive 18 game unbeaten run until Tuesday nights defeat to Braintree Town. The Mariners first league loss since November was sealed when Luke Daley bagged a brace. Scott told BBC Radio Humberside after the match: “If you perform like that then you’re not going to win games. Tonight we weren’t anywhere near good enough to get anything out of the game”.

In the history of the F.A Trophy only four sides have lost a semi-final first leg and reached the final. The most recent of comebacks came in 2006 when Grays Athletic beat Exeter City 3-2 on aggregate having lost the first match 2-1.

One of the greatest F.A Trophy semi-final turnarounds happened thirty years ago. Harrow Borough visited Bucks Head and brought home a 2-0 lead for the return fixture. Telford United bounced back in style winning 5-1 at Harrow Borough’s Earlsmead Stadium.

Woking came from a goal down in 1995 against Rushden and Diamonds to win 2-1 on aggregate. The same scoreline occurred twenty years earlier when Matlock Town beat Burton Albion. On all four occasions the team coming from behind as gone on to lift the trophy.

Whatever the outcome of the two semi-finals this year a new name will be engraved on the F.A Trophy on 24 March 2013.

Team News

Lee Noble will be suspended for the return game for picking up his second red card this season. The midfielder was sent off earlier in the Conference Premier campaign at Woking. Noble was dismissed on Saturday after retaliating. Lee Burns and Harry Crawford returned to the side, striker Jacob Erskine sat out the first leg.

Grimsby Town v Dartford

 

Dartford will hope to take a step in creating club history at Blundell Park when they take on league leaders Grimsby Town in the F.A Trophy semi-final.

Saturday’s cup tie is the first of two legs and the Darts will aim to set up a chance to reach Wembley for the first time since 1974.

Tony Burman led his team to victory last time his side travelled to Lincolnshire to play the Mariners. In an incredible start to their campaign Dartford reached fifth position following an excellent 2-0 away win at Grimsby Town. With the scores level at the break the Kent club took the lead on 52 minutes when Tom Champion opened his account for the season. With the home side pressing to salvage a point loan signing Adam Birchall scored his only goal for the Darts during his loan spell.

Whilst Grimsby Town’s midweek match was called off at Nuneaton Town, the Darts hosted F.A Cup headliners Luton Town. The two teams went into the interval locked in a goalless draw. Dartford made a positive start improving on their defeat at Lincoln City on Saturday. Elliot Bradbrook had a great chance to put the Darts in front as his side pressed well. The Hatters grew into the game before half time with Marcus Bettinelli’s goal being threatened late on.

Dartford continued to press in the second half and their hard work was rewarded in style. With just under twenty minutes remaining Ryan Hayes cut inside to curl home the match winner in his 350th appearance for the club. Burman praised the winger after the game and told BBC Radio Kent: “It was a wonderful goal and he’s done that on a regular basis. I’ve got to give Ryan [Hayes] credit, he’s been very consistent this season. I thought it was an outstanding individual goal”.

Burman admitted to making changes tactically on Tuesday night, he commented: “It’s a great result. The guys worked really hard off the back of the defeat away to Lincoln”. With Jacob Erskine not selected, Burman opted for two normally attacking midfielder’s up front in Lee Noble and Nathan Collier.”We had to play a certain system that we don’t like to play at home but it paid off. Lee played behind Nathan and put in an excellent performance”. The performance from the back five also impressed the boss, he said: “We’ve defended better tonight. The unit was a lot stronger than over the past few weeks”.

Erskine is the only recognised striker as Noble, Collier and Danny Harris have featured mainly on the wing during their time at Princes Park. It’s no surprise that Burman has been desperate to find more options in front of goal and despite his attempts he has struggled to bring in the right player.

However, the Dartford manager had a change of fortune this week with the return of top goalscorer Harry Crawford from Barnet on a months loan. The striker caught the eye of the League Two side by scoring 15 goals in 28 appearances (18 starts) for Dartford this season, only one away from home. Crawford has made three appearances for the Bees so far scoring against Bristol Rovers.

Victory took the Darts to 44 points which has been enough to survive for half of the seasons since the Conference Premier was restructured in 2004. It was also the clubs first double of the season and third home win in a row in all competitions. With league safety edging ever closer Dartford will be desperate to reach Wembley for only the second time in their history.

Dartford’s semi final opponents are on an exceptional run. When the Darts played Grimsby Town last time they ended a 12 match unbeaten run but this time they will need to finish a 17 game streak without defeat. The last team to defeat the Mariners in all competitions were Hyde on 6 November 2012.

The latest triumph came last weekend when on loan striker Richard Brodie netted the winner against AFC Telford United. Victory stretched Grimsby Town’s run at home to seven wins from nine in the league leaving them in top spot. Brodie is one of a few players recruited by managerial duo Rob Scott and Paul Hurst to help push the club back towards the Football League.

When Dartford took on Grimsby Town in October the Mariners lacked fire power for a side challenging at the top. Signing Ross Hannah from League Cup finalists Bradford City has added a further ten goals in the scored column, the 26 year old striker has made 17 appearances in the league so far. Recently, striker Lenell John-Lewis and winger Marcus Marshall signed from Bury joining up with Brodie from Crawley Town. With an already tight defence Scott and Hurst will be aiming to return the club to League Two with an added bonus of cup success.

Head to Head

Grimsby Town wins: 0 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Team News

Lee Burns was missing from Tuesday nights win over Luton Town as Adam Green slotted in at full back. Harry Crawford has returned to the club for a second spell. Dartford have no suspensions for the first leg.

Grimsby Town have loaned striker Greg Pearson to Kidderminster Harriers after the recent additions to Blundell Park. The Mariners also have no suspensions for the first fixture.

Current Form

(League games unless stated – FAT – F.A Trophy)

Grimsby Town (WWWDWW) Dartford (WLWLDW)
AFC Telford United H 1-0 Luton Town H 1-0
Alfreton Town H 4-2 Lincoln City A 1-2
Luton Town H 3-0 FC Halifax Town (FAT) H 3-2
Cambridge United A 0-0 Mansfield Town A 0-5
Hyde H 2-0 FC Halifax Town (FAT) A 1-1
Welling United A 2-1 Macclesfield Town H 2-0

Road To Wembley

Quarter Final

Dartford 3 FC Halifax Town 2

A trio of midfielder’s blasted the Darts into the semi-final after falling behind to Dan Gardener’s second minute goal. Lee Noble scored his fourth goal of the season through a crowded box. Two minutes later the returning Elliot Bradbrook netted with a well taken finish. The pick of the bunch came courtesy of winger Ryan Hayes who expertly curled his shot beyond Matt Glennon. FC Halifax Town set up a dramatic finish with Gardener’s second of the match.

FC Halifax Town 1 Dartford 1

The Darts salvaged a second attempt at making it through to the semi-final after falling a goal behind. Both sides battled for ninety minutes with the Shaymen reduced to ten men early on when Chris Worsley was dismissed. Lee Gregory shocked the Darts to put the hosts ahead. Danny Harris pounced from three yards out netting a leveller leaving the sides to do it all over again.

Grimsby Town 3 Luton Town 0

Grimsby Town booked their place in the FA Trophy semi-finals with a convincing 3-0 victory over Luton Town. Jamie Devitt curled home his 25 yard free kick and second half goals from Andy Cook and Marcus Marshall made sure The Mariners reached the last four.

Third Round

Dartford 4 Bromley 2

New loan signing Dominic Green took no time at all to score on his début taking advantage of a poor back pass. Bromley’s Pierre Joseph-Dubois hit a decent strike past Marcus Bettinelli to level up. A clever counter attack finished by Green ensured the Darts restored their lead before half time. In the second half, Lee Burns netted from Ryan Hayes’ delightful back heel and Harry Crawford continued his excellent form in front of goal. There was time for consolation when Joseph-Dubois scored again for Bromley.

Welling United 1 Grimsby Town 2

The Mariners didn’t have it all their own way at Conference South side Welling United. With the Kent club boasting a decent record at Park View Road in recent seasons they took the lead through Joe Healy’s penalty. More spot kicks ensued as Ross Hannah failed to equalise from 12 yards before Jamie Devitt equalised from a second penalty attempt. Marcus Marshall clinched the match with a winner to send Grimsby Town through.

Second Round

Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 0

In a cup derby at Princes Park the Darts knocked out the Conference South side. Harry Crawford got the Darts on their way when at the second attempt the striker scored to give the Darts an early lead. In the second half top goalscorer Crawford was upended in the penalty box and captain Elliot Bradbrook scored from the spot. The third goal was the pick of the bunch, created by Jacob Erskine’s back heel, Jon Wallis took a touch before emphatically hitting a fine long range strike into the top corner.

Grimsby Town 4 Havant and Waterlooville 0

A comfortable victory at Blundell Park put the struggles of the first round behind the Mariners. Shaun Pearson nodded the hosts in front and Andy Cook made it 2-0. Havant and Waterlooville were down and out when a third hit the Conference South sides net before the break thanks to Greg Pearson. A fourth arrived in the second half despite Joe Colbeck being dismissed for the Mariners with Cook completing a brace.

First Round

Kingstonian 0 Dartford 4

The happy memories of promotion two years ago came back to the Darts in round one. The trip to Kingsmeadow started badly when début defender Semi Ajayi conceded a penalty with four minutes on the clock. Fortunately Andre McCollin’s spot kick was saved by the other loan signing Marcus Bettinelli. From then on Dartford didn’t look back, Jacob Erskine flicked in number one before Simon Huckle was dismissed for the hosts. The lead was doubled when Elliot Bradbrook flicked the ball goalwards with his head and Danny Harris expertly curled home a third. Nathan Collier wrapped up the match by coolly slotting the ball underneath the oncoming goalkeeper.

Buxton 0 Grimsby Town 1

At the first hurdle Grimsby Town were heading to extra time until Ian Miller popped up with a late header in the closing minutes. Not a comfortable 180 minutes for the Mariners against a side two divisions below but they got the job done.

Grimsby Town 0 Buxton 0

When Northern Premier League side Buxton travelled to Blundell Park few would have expected the outcome. Grimsby Town failed to breakdown the Derbyshire club who took the tie back to Silverlands thanks to a goalless draw.

Grimsby Town v Dartford

 

October starts with a long journey up the east coast to Blundell Park on Saturday when the Darts take on Grimsby Town.

Dartford have never played the Mariners in a competitive match and go into the Conference Premier fixture undefeated in five league and cup games. Grimsby Town have been beaten just once this season but remain just outside the playoff places.

It’s been a great start to Dartford’s return to the top flight of non league football and their excellent run continued this week. After picking up a respectable draw in Wales, Tony Burman’s side overcame Braintree Town 2-0 on the road before coming from behind to beat bottom of the table Hyde.

The Darts moved into the playoff zone on the weekend but not without a scare. In a lacklustre first half Hyde edged in front when Alex Brown scored in the 28th minute. In the second half Lee Noble and Harry Crawford were introduced and it looked as if though Dartford found a way back into the game. Jacob Erskine was upended in the box before Crawford’s penalty was saved by David Carnell.

With Hyde reduced to ten men after a sending off, Crawford made amends with five minutes to go when his superb looping header levelled the score. The Darts sensed three points and pushed for the win and were rewarded when full back Richard Rose kept his cool to lob a crowd of players for a last minute winner.

Tony Burman was pleased to grab the three points despite a below par performance, he spoke to BBC Radio Kent after the game and said: “That was agony, for 70 we haven’t played well at all”, he added: “You can’t turn on and off your form like we have done today. Having said that I’ve got to give the players credit, in the last 20 minutes we’ve gone on and won the game and all we’re concerned about is winning three points”.

Grimsby Town moved into sixth place after a fine draw with high flying Newport County. Saturday’s goalless draw increases the Mariners unbeaten run to ten, the longest run without a loss this season by any Conference Premier club. Since their only reverse on 14 August 2012 against Stockport County, Grimsby Town have picked up five wins and five draws which has included two excellent victories against Luton Town and Forest Green Rovers.

Joint managers Rob Scott and Paul Hurst have made their squad a difficult side to overcome after overseeing a huge turnaround of personnel in the summer. Former Burton Albion striker Greg Pearson was added and Joe Colbeck, former team mate of Richard Rose at Hereford United also signed for the Mariners. Former Woking and Braintree Town defender Aswad Thomas, another summer signing has also impressed and earned an England C call up this week.

Ten years ago The Mariners were mixing with life in the second tier of English football recapturing their golden era of the thirties. Between 2003 and 2004 the decline started with Grimsby Town slipping from the second tier to the fourth tier until relegation to the Conference Premier in 2010.

Form

Grimsby Town (DWWDWD) Dartford (WWDWLW)
Newport County A 0-0 Hyde H 2-1
Gateshead H 3-0 Braintree Town A 2-0
Luton Town H 4-1 Wrexham A 2-2
Kidderminster Harriers A 0-0 Hereford United H 4-0
Forest Green Rovers H 1-0 Gateshead A 0-2
Barrow A 2-2 Newport County H 2-1

Grimsby Town have won their last four home matches scoring 12 and conceding just twice.

Dartford are unbeaten in two away from Prince Park.

Stats

Dartford’s win on Saturday was the first time this season the Darts won a match after going behind. The Mariners have yet to drop points after taking the lead.

Harry Crawford netted his sixth goal of the season against Hyde but has yet to score away from home. Grimsby Town’s top scorer, Nathan Pond has scored all three of his goals at home.

Grimsby Town have made their best start in seven years picking up 21 points in their first twelve matches.

The Lincolnshire club may lack goals for a side in the top six but at the back they have conceded just seven times, the fewest in the goals against column with Wrexham.

In each of Dartford’s defeats on the road they have failed to score.

Dartford would top the league table had the season started on 25 August 2012. The Darts would be ahead of Forest Green Rovers on goals scored.