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Macclesfield Town v Dartford

Dartford have pride to play for now relegation to the Conference South has been confirmed, starting with their final away game of the season at Macclesfield Town this weekend.

The Darts were relegated on Tuesday night when Kent rivals Welling United beat Wrexham. Tony Burman’s side may be down and out but they still have some say in Macclesfield Town’s fate. The Silkmen have dropped out of the playoff places and trail Forest Green Rovers in fifth spot by a point with two matches left.

The unlikely scenario of survival has failed to materialise, however Dartford will be targeting consecutive wins in the league for the first time since March last year. On Saturday, the Darts completed a double over Nuneaton Town who were also relegated on Tuesday night. For the fifth league game this campaign, Dartford had to come from a goal down to secure three points. A fortunate free kick was awarded to Boro mid way through the first half and from it Andy Brown gave the visitors a lead, the striker headed from close range.

Burman’s half time words had a positive impact as his side looked more attacking and were rewarded with a penalty. Gareth Dean was adjudged to be holding Harry Crawford and captain Elliot Bradbrook dispatched the spot kick. Tom Bradbrook scored his first goal since returning from injury heading his seventh of the campaign in all competitions. Harry Crawford wrapped things up from close range to secure a 3-1 win for the Darts.

Dartford have only beaten their opponents at Moss Rose once in four attempts, claiming their only victory 41 years ago in a F.A Trophy semi-final. Ending the campaign as Southern League champions, the Darts beat the Silkmen 2-1 in the first leg. Dave Cunningham and Alan Payne scored that day and with a goalless second leg, Ernie Morgan’s side reached Wembley

The Silkmen have dominated meetings on their own patch ever since with three straight wins. The first of a trio of triumphs avenged the 1974 semi-final loss, the Cheshire club knocked Peter Taylor’s Dartford out in the same round 15 years later. This time the first leg ended 0-0 but Macclesfield Town ran out 4-1 winners in their home leg to reach the F.A Trophy final.

With Dartford returning to the top flight of non league football the two sides met for the first time in the league just two and a half years ago. Macclesfield Town won the first league meeting comfortably recording a 2-0 victory thanks to a Tom Champion own goal and a last minute Charlie Henry penalty. Last term the Silkmen triumphed 3-1 despite falling a goal behind when Matthew Godden scored from the spot. In the space of four minutes Scott Boden and a Connor Jennings brace handed Macclesfield Town the three points.

Macclesfield Town have failed to win any of their last six fixtures and are joint bottom of the form guide. The Silkmen do have an exemplary home record this term tasting defeat only twice boasting the best home defence. Sporadically, John Askey’s side have flirted with second spot thanks to some excellent form throughout October to early March.

On the weekend, the Silkmen suffered what may be a costly defeat when they went down 3-1 to Forest Green Rovers. Their opponents jumped above them into the final playoff spot making the last two games crucial. Losses to Gateshead and Nuneaton Town then draws against Bristol Rovers, FC Halifax Town and Wrexham prior Saturday has left the Silkmen vulnerable.

Matthew Barnes-Homer is one to watch, the striker is joint top scorer is Macclesfield Town’s top scorer in the Conference Premier this term. In a second spell with the club, Barnes-Homer returned after playing for Forest Green Rovers, Cambridge United, Tamworth and Whitehawk. The 29 year old hit headlines with the club during an F.A Cup run two years ago, his brace knocked out Premier League side Cardiff City.

Earlier this season the two sides could not be separated in a 1-1 draw despite Ryan Hayes giving Dartford the lead with five minutes remaining. The Darts managed to stay ahead for only two minutes when Barnes-Homer grabbed a late equaliser.

Head to Head

Macclesfield Town wins: 3 / Dartford wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Macclesfield Town (LDDDLL) Dartford (WLDDLD)
Forest Green Rovers  A  1-3 Nuneaton Town  H  3-1
Wrexham  H  2-2 Barnet  H  0-1
FC Halifax Town  A  2-2 Torquay United  A  1-1
Bristol Rovers  H  0-0 Gateshead  A  1-1
Nuneaton Town  H  0-1 Altrincham  H  1-2
Gateshead  A  1-2 Alfreton Town  A  0-0

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

11.10.2014 Dartford 1 Macclesfield Town 1
29.03.2014 Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 1
16.11.2013 Macclesfield Town 3 Dartford 1
15.01.2013 Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 0
18.08.2012 Macclesfield Town 2 Dartford 0
15.04.1989* Macclesfield Town 4 Dartford 1
08.04.1989* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
06.04.1974* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
30.03.1974* Macclesfield Town 1 Dartford 2

 

 

Dartford v Macclesfield Town

Dartford hope to keep an unbeaten home record going against Macclesfield Town this weekend at Princes Park.

Since the first meeting between the two sides in 1974 an away team has yet to win in this fixture. Last season the Darts had to come from behind to win 2-1, a story all too familiar with the three victories this term. The Silkmen who led against the run of play through Paul Turnbull’s 25 yard first half strike let their lead slip in the second half. Danny Harris headed Dartford level converting Lee Noble’s corner and with just under ten minutes remaining the Princes Park crowd celebrated as Max Cornhill grabbed a winner.

In the only other meeting at Princes Park, home supporters were treated to a wonder goal by Jon Wallis, who lobbed former Ebbsfleet United goalkeeper Lance Cronin from 40 yards. Substitutes Danny Harris and Lee Noble combined again in this fixture with eight minutes remaining to secure another Dartford victory. The other two home matches were F.A Trophy semi-final ties played at Watling Street in 1974 and 1986, both times ending 0-0.

After a win against Nuneaton Town and two consecutive draws versus Welling United and Grimsby Town, the Darts travelled to the West Country on Tuesday night to take on Bristol Rovers. Relegated from the Football League last term, the Gas started the match seven games unbeaten at home.

Tony Burman was without the suspended Nathan Collier and the injured Lee Noble and Lee Burns, Peter Sweeney was also missing from the squad having limped off at full time last weekend. Adam Green returned to the starting lineup as did striker Harry Crawford. Once more Dartford fell behind but this time couldn’t overturn the deficit. Bristol Rovers striker Adam Cunnington was brought down in the box after 37 minutes and a penalty was awarded. Matthew Taylor just about scored from the spot when the unfortunate effort from Jason Brown almost kept the ball out. The defeat leaves the Darts above the bottom four in 19th position due to a better goal difference.

Macclesfield Town visit Princes Park with two away wins from seven. With the exception of the opening six unbeaten matches the Silkmen are still looking for some consistency and occupy 9th place, three points away from the playoffs. On Tuesday night the Cheshire club hosted league leaders Barnet on the back of three games without victory. The sequence ended as the Silkmen inflicted Barnet’s third defeat of the season.

An early second half strike by Scott Barrow from outside the box gave Macclesfield Town the lead. A second goal followed almost fifteen minutes later when Chris Holroyd doubled the advantage. Barnet cut the deficit in two, former Alfreton Town and Ebbsfleet United striker John Akinde netted a header but the Silkmen held on for a decent result.

With last season’s financial issues, manager John Askey has opted for a tight squad this term with four players featuring in every game. Striker Waide Fairhurst is the side’s top scorer with four, defenders Scott Barrow and George Pilkington as well as goalkeeper Rhys Taylor have been ever present. Three other players have played in all but one fixture showing Askey’s reliance on a settled team.

Team News

Nathan Collier returns from his one match ban for his red card against Grimsby Town. Rory McAuley is one caution away from his fifth of the campaign which will result in a games suspension. Lee Noble and Lee Burns are still recovering from injuries whilst Peter Sweeney missed the mid week match at Bristol Rovers.

The Silkmen’s Danny Whitaker has been sidelined with a back injury and so has Paul Turnbull, who came on just before half time on Tuesday for Will Haining. Andy Halls returns from a one-match suspension for five yellow cards of the season in the 2-2 draw with Forest Green.
Read.

Head to Head 

Dartford wins: 3 / Macclesfield Town wins: 3 / Draws: 2

Current Form

Dartford (LDDWLW) Macclesfield Town (WDLLWD)
Bristol Rovers A 0-1 Barnet H 2-1
Grimsby Town H 1-1 Forest Green Rovers H 2-2
Welling United A 2-2 Altrincham A 0-1
Nuneaton Town A 2-1 Lincoln City A 0-2
Forest Green Rovers H 1-2 Southport H 3-0
Dover Athletic H 2-1 Gateshead H 1-1

Last League Meeting at Princes Park

29 March 2014 – Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 1 – Att: 1105

Goalscorer: Turnbull (42), Harris (47), Cornhill (81)

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

Macclesfield Town Lineup: Taylor, Williams, Pilkington, Andrew, Martin, Turnbull, Mackreth, Whitaker, Gnahoua, Holroyd, Boden (subs used: Lewis, Rowe)

Match Stats

dfc v mtfc match stats

Previous Meetings (* F.A Trophy semi finals)

29.03.2014 Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 1
16.11.2013 Macclesfield Town 3 Dartford 1
15.01.2013 Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 0
18.08.2012 Macclesfield Town 2 Dartford 0
15.04.1989* Macclesfield Town 4 Dartford 1
08.04.1989* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
06.04.1974* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
30.03.1974* Macclesfield Town 1 Dartford 2

Stats

12 – games since Dartford and Macclesfield Town recorded a 0-0 draw. The last goalless draw for the Darts came on 23 August 2014 against Torquay United, the same day the Silkmen drew 0-0 with Kidderminster Harriers.

14 – matches since the Silkmen won consecutive matches, the last time they achieved this feat was at the start of this season

15 – since Dartford lost consecutive games, at the end of last season when they lost four in a row

Macclesfield Town

Moss Rose Founded 1874 The Silkmen

Rumours on the terraces last term was that Macclesfield Town were in a spot of financial trouble and their status was in jeopardy. Although it turned out to be Salisbury City and Hereford United, the Silkmen announced at the start of 2013/14 money was needed to keep afloat. The Cheshire club have a fine non league pedigree and when they won a place in the Football League they fully deserved it. Two times Conference Premier and F.A Trophy winners, the Silkmen enjoyed fifteen years in mainly in League Two. They did win promotion to the next level in 1998/99 reaching their highest position yet finishing bottom of the division. Macclesfield Town have now had their debts paid off and with a sustainable club may well be over relegation two years ago.

mtfcLast Season

Conference Premier: 15th

F.A Cup: 3rd Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Semi Final

Top Scorer: Scott Boden

Average Attendance: 1512

It was almost a repeat of the previous season for Macclesfield Town when they grabbed F.A Cup headlines yet again. A third round tie against Sheffield Wednesday was the club’s highlight and they forced the Championship side to a replay. In the league the Cheshire club could thank a pair of decent strikers. Scott Boden may have top scored but it was Connor Jennings impressing the Conference Premier. The pair netted more than half of the goals Macclesfield Town scored with Boden getting 18 and Jennings scoring 14 in just 16 appearances whilst on loan. With no wins in the first nine fixtures, supporters became concerned until Jennings started to find the net  and the Silkmen began climb up the league. Towards the end of the campaign and knowingly safe from any further damage, the Cheshire club slipped back down the standings to complete a tough league season but a fantastic cup season.

The Manager – John Askey

Truly a one club man at senior level, John Askey spent his youth at Port Vale before making his Macclesfield Town debut as a player in 1984. When he began his career at Moss Rose he was just filling in for the club who were short of players, 698 appearances later he hung up his playing boots with legendary status guaranteed. In 1986/87 he won the Northern Premier League and the Conference Premier title was added to his honours in 1994/95. The F.A Trophy success a year later ended in disappointment as Askey was ruled out through injury for the final.  His first spell in charge of the Silkmen came over ten years ago when David Moss was sacked. The former striker started off well but results slipped away and he was replaced by Brian Horton. Last summer Askey returned and this time he managed to survive a full season in charge. At 49 years old the Macclesfield Town boss will get his first summer break to shape a squad that can compete in the Conference Premier.

The Summer

Signings over the summer break came later than expected with debts still owing. Once cleared, Askey was able to bring back striker Waide Fairhurst for his third spell with the club. Adrian Moke has moved from Stockport County up a division to join the Silkmen, he was also part of the York City squad which won promotion back to the Football League in 2011.

Key players have departed and out goes top scorer from last season Scott Boden, he will replace Lee Gregory at FC Halifax Town. Newly promoted to League One, Fleetwood Town have signed Danny Andrew for an undisclosed fee, the ever present full back last season picked up the Players Of the Year award at the Moss Rose. Winger Jack Mackreth made over 90 appearances for the Silkmen and joins Grimsby Town,

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 1 – Conference Premier – 29 March 2014

For a successive season the Darts beat Macclesfield Town at Princes Park and showed character to come from behind. Paul Turnbull’s stunning volley put the visitors in front and at half time Tony Burman had a few stern words. Whatever the boss said worked because Danny Harris equalised two minutes after the restart and Max Cornhill scored the winner.

Macclesfield Town 3 Dartford 1 – Conference Premier – 16 November 2013

Where Dartford capitulated Macclesfield Town took full advantage. With just of an hour played the Darts held a one goal lead thanks to Matthew Godden first half penalty. Then within the space of four minutes the Silkmen were 3-1 up all starting with Scott Boden’s 66th minute equaliser. Connor Jennings grabbed a brace to continue his goalscoring form and win the match for the hosts.

Next Meetings

Saturday 11 October 2014 at Princes Park

Saturday 18 April 2015 at Moss Rose

League Performance Last Ten Years

macclesfield last ten years

Best Performances

24th League One (1998/99) F.A Cup 4th Round (2012/13) F.A Trophy Winners (1969/70 & 1995/96)

Dartford v Macclesfield Town

Victory this weekend against mid table Macclesfield Town will keep Dartford within touching distance of escaping the bottom four.

With results going the way of the Darts a week ago the gap to safety reduced to three points. Tony Burman’s side picked up a valuable draw at Cambridge United before a crucial win at Hyde. Alex Wall’s brace took Hyde’s goals conceded tally past a century but it took until the second half for the Darts to get in front. Just before the hour the on loan striker headed his first from six yards out. Wall made sure the points came back to Princes Park with ten minutes remaining when he finished Danny Harris’s cross.

Wall has now scored six times in ten league appearances including three in the last two matches. His last minute equaliser at Cambridge United has given the club more hope after a disappointing run against sides struggling at the bottom. Hereford United, Aldershot Town, Chester and Tamworth all lost last weekend and Southport dropped two points. Tony Burman believes that the impact Wall has had on the team as certainly helped with the clubs survival chances.

Results on Tuesday night have left Dartford five points from safety with a game in hand. Chester’s win over Tamworth gives the Darts a cushion over the Lambs whilst remaining close enough to Chester. Tony Burman’s side have now got to eye up Aldershot Town and the plummeting Hereford United to climb out of the bottom four.

Dartford know a repeat of last season’s result against Macclesfield Town will be crucial. The Darts last recorded a fine 2-0 win against this weekends opponents. On a freezing cold Tuesday night, the crowd were warmed up by Jon Wallis’s extraordinary 40 yard lob over former Ebbsfleet United goalkeeper Lance Cronin. Dartford worked hard to restrict the Silkmen and were rewarded when substitutes Danny Harris and Lee Noble combined with eight minutes remaining to secure a much needed triumph.

In this season’s reverse fixture Dartford took the lead when home keeper Rhys Taylor fouled Adam Birchall and Matt Godden scored the resulting penalty. After the break the Silkmen took control scoring three goals in four second-half minutes. Scott Boden headed home a 66th-minute equaliser then on loan Connor Jennings scored a quick brace.

The Silkmen still have an outside chance of reaching the playoffs as they sit in thirteenth place. John Askey’s side have won their last two fixtures, doing a favour for the Darts by beating Tamworth 2-1. Danny Andrew netted a free kick early on before Kevin Thornton levelled for the Lambs. Scott Boden grabbed Macclesfield Town’s winner and his 17th goal in all competitions this season. The Silkmen’s second win in a row followed a 2-0 triumph over Barnet thanks to goals from Paul Turnbull and Chris Holroyd.

On the road, Macclesfield Town have been beaten in their last three attempts. The most recent was a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Southport which followed losses at Kidderminster Harriers and Welling United. The Cheshire club have won once and lost five in their last six away games, only three other teams have a worse record in the last six games. Against teams below them, Macclesfield Town have dominated at their own ground but only beaten Hereford United and Hyde on their travels.

Other Key Games This Weekend

Aldershot Town v Hyde
Hereford United v Grimsby Town
Tamworth v Lincoln City
Welling United v Chester

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Macclesfield Town wins: 3 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WDLLDW) Macclesfield Town (WWLLDL)
Hyde A 2-0 Tamworth H 2-1
Cambridge United A 1-1 Barnet H 2-0
Chester H 0-1 Southport A 1-4
Southport A 0-3 Kidderminster Harriers A 1-2
Aldershot Town H 1-1 Grimsby Town H 1-1
Hereford United H 2-0 Welling United A 0-1

Last Meeting at Princes Park

15 January 2013 – Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 0 – Att: 821

Goalscorers: Wallis (14), Noble (82)

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

The Silkmen Lineup: Cronin, N.Brown, Braham-Barrett, Mills, Mackreth, Murtagh, Wedgbury, Henry, Morgan-Smith, Winn, Fairhurst (subs used: Diagne, Payne)

Match Stats

dfc v mtfc stats

Previous Meetings (* F.A Trophy semi finals)

16.11.2013 Macclesfield Town 3 Dartford 1
15.01.2013 Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 0
18.08.2012 Macclesfield Town 2 Dartford 0
15.04.1989* Macclesfield Town 4 Dartford 1
08.04.1989* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
06.04.1974* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
30.03.1974* Macclesfield Town 1 Dartford 2

Macclesfield Town v Dartford

Dartford play their fourth away game in a row on Saturday when they travel north west to face Macclesfield Town.

Having picked up one point in the last seven away games, the Darts are finding life on the road tough. Adding to the league defeat at Forest Green Rovers and the cup loss at Salisbury City, Woking were the latest club to inflict misery on the Darts. Tuesday night’s defeat meant Dartford finished the evening in the relegation zone.

Tony Burman watched on as his side were overcome at the Kingfield Stadium conceding three times in a fifteen minute second half spell. The match was lost in the final half hour as the Darts failed to go the distance, Burman told BBC Radio Kent after the game: “For 60 minutes it was fairly even, but a bit of tiredness crept in and because you go a goal down, it doesn’t mean you need to go tally-ho for the next five minutes”.

Ipswich Town loanee Jack Marriott guided in the opener for the Cards on his début and set up Scott Rendell for the second. Two minutes later Joe McNerney added gloss to the scoreline dragging Dartford down to twentieth in the Conference Premier table. Dartford have now gone two league games without scoring and on their travels are amongst the lowest scorers.

The Darts boss is looking for more composure and belief from his players, he commented: “You’ve got to be patient and I felt we did keep organised. We tried to rush to win the game back to quickly. You’ve got to be more composed than we were”, he added: “You’ve got to believe you can get back in the game and that belief is not there at the moment”.

Saturday’s opponents are looking in better shape compared to a couple of months ago. Macclesfield Town were winless in their opening nine games and only Hyde had a worse record. Since then, the Silkmen have lost once picking up six wins in the process.

Part of their success has come about thanks to the goalscoring feats of Connor Jennings. The 21 year old will be familiar with Dartford striker Matthew Godden who is also under contract to parent club Scunthorpe United. Jennings has made 11 league starts and 2 substitute appearances in the Conference Premier this season netting 11 times, including a hat trick at Wrexham. The striker also scored four in 13 appearances on loan at Stockport County last term.

After months of financial concerns, Macclesfield Town set their sights on another cup run last weekend by shocking League One side Swindon Town for a second year in a row. Jennings hit a brace for the Silkmen with Scott Boden and Peter Winn adding to the 4-0 scoreline. Macclesfield Town reached the fourth round last time beating Cardiff City, before being knocked out by the eventual winners Wigan Athletic.

On Tuesday, John Askey’s men followed up cup glory with a last minute draw at home to last season’s runners up Kidderminster Harriers. Paul Turnbull’s late leveller grabbed a point for the Silkmen who trailed since the twenty seventh minute. Callum Gittings put Harriers ahead with a powerful header.

The Darts played the Silkmen early in last season’s Conference Premier and a lack of non league top tier experience showed. Although Dartford looked bright for the first half hour, a Tom Champion own goal shortly after put the hosts in front before the interval. Macclesfield Town created chances, dominated possession and were rewarded when Mark Arber handled in his own box. Charlie Henry stepped up in the final minute to seal three points for the Cheshire club as the Darts lost 2-0.

Team News

Lee Noble’s fifth yellow card means the midfielder is ruled out of the trip to Macclesfield. Both Jason Prior and Tyrone Sterling made substitute appearances at Woking, the duo are returning after spells out with injury. Captain Elliot Bradbrook missed a third consecutive Conference Premier. The Dartford midfielder is still recovering from cracked ribs picked up in the F.A Cup tie against Ebbsfleet United. Matt Fry and Kenny Clark still remain one caution away from a match ban.

Goalkeeper, Rhys Taylor returned on Tuesday night after missing the F.A Cup win at Swindon Town with injury. Efetobore Sodje last featured a month ago and is one caution from suspension, as well as Daniel Whitaker, Andrew Halls and Jennings.

Head to Head

Macclesfield Town wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 2 / Draws 2

Current League Form

Macclesfield Town (DWDWWL) Dartford (LLWDDL)
Kidderminster Harriers H 1-1 Woking A 0-3
Wrexham H 3-2 Forest Green Rovers A 0-1
Southport H 2-2 Hyde H 4-3
Forest Green Rovers A 3-2 Hereford United A 2-2
Hereford United H 1-0 Salisbury City H 1-1
Tamworth A 0-1 Gateshead A 0-2

Last League Meeting at The Moss Rose

18 August 2012 – Macclesfield Town 2 Dartford 0 – Att: 1420

Goalscorers: Champion (34 o.g), Henry (89 pen)

The Silkmen Lineup: Cronin, Jackson, N.Brown, Charnock, Braham-Barrett, Henry, Wedgbury, Murtagh, Kissock, Barnes-Homer, Fairhurst (subs used: Edmans, Mackreth, Mendy)

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

Match Stats

mtfc v dfc stats

Previous Meetings (* F.A Trophy semi finals)

15.01.2013 Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 0
18.08.2012 Macclesfield Town 2 Dartford 0
15.04.1989* Macclesfield Town 4 Dartford 1
08.04.1989* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
06.04.1974* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
30.03.1974* Macclesfield Town 1 Dartford 2

League Stats (taken from bbc.co.uk)

70% of away games in the league have resulted in Dartford not scoring. In the three games in which they have scored they have netted twice on each occasion.

The 15 minutes before half time could be a crucial period for both clubs. Macclesfield Town have the second best scoring record in this period (7 goals) and the best defence (conceded 0). Dartford have shipped in the most goals leading up to the interval out of all the Conference Premier teams this season.

mtfc v dfc stats2

Dartford v Macclesfield Town

 

Dartford are back in Conference Premier action on Tuesday night with a home match against Macclesfield Town.

The Darts were beaten by the Silkmen earlier in the season which at the time left Dartford pointless in their opening three fixtures. At the Moss Rose ground the Darts were in the game for the first half hour. The hosts took the lead when Tom Champion headed an own goal and from then on Macclesfield Town dominated the proceedings. In the final minute Mark Arber’s handball conceded a penalty which was scored by Charlie Henry. Since then Tony Burman’s side have climbed the table and sit one place and two points above Macclesfield Town.

Dartford’s last home fixture against the Silkmen was a 0-0 draw in the 1989 F.A Trophy semi-final first leg, the competition the Darts progressed in on the weekend. New loan signing Dominic Green took no time at all to score on his début when slack defending cost Bromley. Green chased down Liam Harwood’s back pass and took advantage slotting the ball into an empty net.

The lead didn’t last long and on 13 minutes Pierre Joseph-Dubois hit a decent strike past Marcus Bettinelli. A clever counter attack ensured the Darts restored the goal lead when Green netted a second, the Dagenham and Redbridge loanee finished from close range.

In the second half, Lee Burns netted his thirtieth goal for the club after Ryan Hayes’ delightful back heel set up the full back. Dartford’s top goalscorer Harry Crawford continued his excellent form in front of goal with his fifteenth of the season. The striker notched up his fourteenth goal at Princes Park, including six goals in the last four home games. There was time for consolation when Joseph-Dubois scored again for Bromley, but the Darts marched into the Quarter Finals for the first time in twenty four years.

League form for the Darts has been ropey of late with three wins in fourteen, the run consists of four draws and after a busy December and a small squad it’s been tough for the squad. Tuesday will see no let up as Macclesfield Town will be buzzing from a cup run of their own and two straight victories.

The Silkmen reached the fourth round of the F.A Cup for the first time in their history with a famous win over Championship leaders Cardiff City. A goal down to Nat Jarvis’s second half opener, the Silkmen rallied to equalise five minutes from time when top scorer Matthew Barnes-Homer slid in from close range after good work from Jack Mackreth. Steve King’s team pushed for a winner and were rewarded three minutes later with a penalty, Barnes-Homer scored the winner to cause a cup upset.

Macclesfield Town followed up their achievement with a comfortable 3-0 win over Braintree Town last Tuesday. Amari Morgan-Smith gave the visitors the lead and Waide Fairhurst added two more.

King has made plenty of changes following Macclesfield Town’s relegation from the Football League last season, none better than bringing in Barnes-Homer. The much travelled striker is having his most productive season yet sitting just two goals behind leader Aaron O’Connor in the Conference Premier scoring charts. The 26 year old has fifteen goals from twenty four league appearances and is the player to watch.

Dartford will be familiar with midfielder Kieran Murtagh, who played on loan for the Conference South champions Woking last season. Craig Braham-Barrett also played against the Darts for Farnborough, the full back was with Steve King at the Hampshire club. The pair have started in all but one league fixture for King, only former Ebbsfleet United goalkeeper Lance Cronin has played every game.

Team News

Dartford’s bench was fuller than the previous match at Alfreton Town with the return of some senior players including Jacob Erskine, Lee Noble and Danny harris. Captain Elliot Bradbrook missed the F.A Trophy win on the weekend. Goalkeeper Louis Wells was on standby to cover Marcus Bettinelli and Dominic Green is in contention to make his league début.

On Saturday longest serving Dartford Ryan Hayes received recognition for his 250th start, the midfielder reached the milestone against Cambridge United.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Macclesfield Town wins: 2 / Draws: 2 / Dartford Goals: 3/ Macclesfield Town Goals: 7

Current League Form

Dartford (LDDWLL) Macclesfield Town (WDWWDW)
Alfreton Town A 2-3 Braintree Town A 3-0
Ebbsfleet United A 2-2 Southport H 2-2
Cambridge United H 1-1 Southport A 2-3
Ebbsfleet United H 3-1 Nuneaton Town H 0-0
Kidderminster Harriers A 1-5 Forest Green Rovers A 1-1
Lincoln City H 2-4 Hyde H 3-2

Last Meeting

18 August 2012 – Macclesfield Town 2 Dartford 0 – Att: 1420

Goalscorers: Champion (34 o.g), Henry (89 pen)

The Silkmen Lineup: Cronin, Jackson, Brown, Charnock, Braham-Barrett, Henry, Wedgbury, Murtagh, Kissock, Barnes-Homer, Fairhurst (subs used: Edmans, Mackreth, Mendy)

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

Match Stats


Previous Meetings (FAT = F.A Trophy Semi Finals)

18.08.2012 Macclesfield Town 2 Dartford 0
15.04.1989 (FAT) Macclesfield Town 4 Dartford 1
08.04.1989 (FAT) Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
06.04.1974 (FAT) Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
30.03.1974 (FAT) Macclesfield Town 1 Dartford 2

Stats

Marcus Bettinelli made his Dartford début versus Macclesfield Town back in August. Bettinelli has played 28 competitive matches and has kept eight clean sheets and conceded 34 goals.

Harry Crawford has opened the Dartford scoring in the last three league matches at home.

71% of Dartford players used this season have scored in the league, only Wrexham have a better contribution rate of 75%. Half of the Macclesfield Town squad have scored for their team.

Macclesfield Town are formidable in the last fifteen minutes of matches. The Silkmen have scored the most goals out of all Conference Premier teams during this period.

Since Dartford’s last league clean sheet at Kenilworth Road, they have conceded almost half their goals in the final five minutes of the first or second half (10 out of 22 goals).

 

Macclesfield Town v Dartford

 

Dartford will participate in their first ever league match against Macclesfield Town on Saturday.

The Darts last played the Silkmen in their F.A Trophy run to the semi finals back in 1989. After a goaless draw at Watling Street the second leg ended 4-1 to Macclesfield Town, who went on to lose to Telford United in the final.

Fifteen years earlier the two clubs met at exactly the same stage in the same competition and it was Dartford who went on to reach Wembley. Dartford took a 2-1 lead into the return home leg and held the Cheshire club to a goaless draw to triumph on aggregate. The Darts went on to finish runners up losing out to Morecambe.

Dartford will travel to the Moss Rose Ground after a 3-2 opening day defeat to Tamworth and a 1-0 reverse at Woking. Defensive errors were punished in the opener but the back four tightened up on Tuesday night losing out to an unfortunate penalty decision.

After a disastrous 2012, Macclesfield Town are in the process of rebuilding. Steve King has taken over the reigns and a new squad including Matthew Barnes-Homer, Charlie Henry, Craig Braham-Barrett and Kieran Murtagh has been reconstructed. Over a squad worth of players were released in the summer as the Silkmen start afresh.

The former league club were relegated last season finishing at the bottom of the football league and without a win in 2012. An opening day defeat continued the trend against fellow relegated side Hereford United. The first television match of the season ended with the Silkmen unable to take a point in a 2-1 defeat. In the first half Chris Carruthers put the Bulls in front but a second half penalty scored by Barnes-Homer levelled the match. Hereford United went on to win when Marlon Johnson grabbed the decisive goal.

On Tuesday night the Cheshire club completed their first three point haul since New Years Eve by beating Wrexham. Goals from Waide Fairhurst and Arnaud Mendy as well as a clean sheet earned the Silkmen a 2-0 victory.

Team News

Dartford’s play-off hero Lee Noble was dismissed for a second caution against Woking and will be suspended. Louis Wells picked up a groin strain despite his outstanding performance and so his fitness will be tested.

Steve King should have a full squad to choose from after new signings Jack Mackreth and Junior Yiadom-Konadu returned to training.

Did you know…

The Darts are one of four clubs in the Conference Premier without a point so far. New boys Nuneaton Town, Mansfield Town and Dartford’s next opponents at home Kidderminster Harriers are the other three teams.

During Macclesfield Town’s football league years their 24 game streak without a league victory was their worst run.

14 years ago the Silkmen were up against last season’s champions of England, Manchester City in the third tier of English football. Over the last five years, whilst Dartford have progressed Macclesfield Town have stagnated.