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Mansfield Town v Dartford

 

Dartford will hope to stay ahead of Mansfield Town by avoiding defeat at Field Mill on the weekend.

The Darts have fond memories of the last meeting between the two sides when television cameras turned up at Princes Park for the first time. Tony Burman led Dartford to a historic 2-0 win against the Stags in an excellent display under the lights.

As the match approached half time the Darts hit a quick fire double when a well worked move was rolled home from the edge of the box by captain Elliot Bradbrook. Straight from the resulting kick off, winger Ryan Hayes intercepted a stray pass on the half way line, dribbled towards the edge of the box and curled a stunning shot into the top corner for a second goal in a minute.

Dartford have been preoccupied with postponements and cup matches of late, the last of which against FC Halifax Town. At the third attempt the Darts faced the Conference North side in the F.A Trophy Fourth round and forced a replay. The Shaymen took the lead with a Lee Gregory goal on 27 minutes having already been reduced to ten men. Burman made an inspired substitution by introducing Danny Harris who equalised with just over twenty minutes remaining.

Field Mill: Mansfield Town's home since 1919

Back in the Conference Premier, Dartford are six points shy of the playoffs in seventh spot and face their first league match without top striker Harry Crawford who joined Barnet in the transfer window. The Darts have lost one of their last five league fixtures picking eight points in the process. However, Burman’s men have failed to record an away victory in the Conference Premier league for two months. Since beating F.A Cup giant killers Luton Town at Kenilworth Road, the Darts have drawn one and lost four in their league games on the road.

Mansfield Town have enjoyed the limelight since losing to Dartford in October winning six of their last nine league matches. Paul Cox also led the Stags to the F.A Cup third round and admirably went out to Liverpool. In a controversial tie, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez handled the ball which led to the eventual winning goal for the Premiership club.

Although the Stags have lost their last two at Field Mill, the club were back to winning ways with wins at Stockport County and Southport recently. Cox’s side have played the fewest league games this season and with games in hand are in with a shout of the top five. The Mansfield Town boss is not fazed by the fixture pile up and relishes the challenge to an exciting stretch of the season.

Team News

Elliot Bradbrook has still been out for the Darts, the midfielder last featured against in Dartford 3-2 defeat at Alfreton Town.

Mansfield Town striker Jake Speight is expected to be out for the rest of the season . The 27 year old suffered a torn cartilage. Gary Roberts has gone out on loan to Maltese club Floriana and Paul Cox has signed James Jennings from Cambridge United. Jennings made 22 appearances for The U’s starting all but one of those matches.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Mansfield Town (WWLWLW) Dartford (WLDDWL)
Southport A 2-1 Macclesfield Town H 2-0
Stockport County A 3-1 Alfreton Town A 2-3
Kidderminster Harriers H 0-2 Ebbsfleet United A 2-2
Alfreton Town A 3-0 Cambridge United H 1-1
Alfreton Town H 1-2 Ebbsfleet United H 3-1
Ebbsfleet United H 4-1 Kidderminster Harriers A 1-5

Dartford top the league table versus sides in the top half of the Conference Premier. Mansfield Town top the current form guide with four wins and two defeats.

Last Meeting

12 October 2012 – Dartford 2 Mansfield Town 0 – Att: 1737

Goalscorers: Bradbrook (45) Hayes (45)

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

The Stags Lineup: Mitchell, Dempster, Tafazolli, Geohagon, Howell, Roberts, Todd, Daniel, Speight, Green, Rhead (subs used: Meikle, Briscoe, Sutton)

Match Stats

 

Dartford v Mansfield Town

 

Dartford’s busy schedule continues on Friday night when they play Mansfield Town in front of the television cameras.

The Darts have taken part in two cup ties since their last Conference Premier match away to Barrow which ended 0-0. A run of two successive draws was ended in a replay on Tuesday night as Dartford missed out on a F.A Cup first round tie against League Two side Port Vale.

Harry Crawford headed in his seventh competitive goal at Princes Park on 27 minutes but the lead did not last long for the Darts. Forest Green had a goal chalked off as Rovers were awarded a free kick, however Yan Klukowski expertly scored from the dead ball situation to level the replay.

Klukowski gave the visitors the lead in the second half with a drilled effort from long range, the midfielder’s sixth of the season set Rovers on their way. England C international Matthew Taylor punished Dartford with a third goal, Forest Green’s top scorer took advantage of a second Louis Wells mistake and former Ebbsfleet United player Magno Vieira netted a fourth to secure a place in the first round.

Mansfield Town have had a mixed season so far after showing so much promise in the second half of the 2011/12 campaign. The Stags finished third despite racking up an impressive 89 points and winning 16 of their final 20 league games. Perhaps Mansfield Town have not recovered from the play off disappointed and so far they occupy tenth place in the Conference Premier.

On Saturday the Stags safely negotiated a passage to the F.A Cup first round beating Conference North side Workington 2-1. Jake Speight scored a brace to add to his six league goals before a late strike from the spot by Workington’s Garth Arnison. Victory was the clubs second in succession following a last minute 1-0 win against Forest Green Rovers.

Form wise the Stags have fared better at home boasting the third best record. However, they have struggled on their travels in the Conference Premier with a solitary win, a draw and four defeats, only Hyde have a worse record away from home. Manager Paul Cox has struggled to find a settled side but remain six points from the top five.

Princes Park will host a live fixture for the first time thanks to coverage by Premier Sports.

Team News

Dartford will be without midfielder Tom Champion who picked his fifth yellow of the season in the F.A Cup replay on Tuesday night.

Exodus Geohaghon missed out on playing Dartford when he was at Kidderminster Harriers back in August. The defender moved to the Stags that week and he missed Saturday’s cup tie against Workington. Ryan Tafazolli and striker Nick Wright were also left off the Mansfield Town team sheet. Striker Jake Speight and former Port Vale midfielder Gary Roberts both face suspensions if they pick up another caution.

Current League Form

Dartford (DLWWWW) Mansfield Town
Barrow A 0-0 Forest Green Rovers H 1-0
AFC Telford United H 1-4 Lincoln City H 0-0
Grimsby Town A 2-0 Cambridge United A 1-4
Hyde H 2-1 Hereford United H 1-1
Braintree Town A 2-0 AFC Telford United A 2-2
Wrexham A 2-2 Braintree Town H 2-0

Dartford lost their last home match which was their first time the side dropped points at Princes Park since the opening day of the season.

Mansfield Town have picked up one point out of the last 12 available on the road.

Stats

0 – The Darts are one of six clubs yet to concede a goal in the first 15 minutes of league matches this season

4 – Like last season Mansfield Town are okay in the goals for column, however defensively they have conceded four times in four of their last five defeats.

29 – Mansfield Town have used 29 different players more than any other Conference Premier team this season

33 – Dartford have scored in every home game this season. In their last 33 league matches at Princes Park only Chelmsford City have kept the Darts strike force at bay.