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Wrexham v Dartford

Conference Premier action returns for the Darts as they bid to end a run of four successive league defeats when they visit Wrexham.

After three cup games in a week Dartford face the difficult task of trying to upset the Welsh club unbeaten in four competitive matches. Dartford’s involvement in three cup competitions has left them without a league fixture for just over two weeks. During that time the club have dropped one place in the league leaving them third from bottom and four points from safety.

Over the past two campaigns Tony Burman has managed to conjure up some sort of result at the Racecourse Ground. In the first ever meeting between the two clubs the match ended all square thanks to a last minute Lee Noble free kick. Wrexham came from behind to cancel out Danny Harris’ early effort, Danny Wright and Andy Bishop the scorers for the hosts. With time running out, substitute Noble exquisitely finished from a direct free kick to secure a 2-2 draw.

Last term when a result was needed, the Darts travelled across the border and came back with all three points. After a hammering at Princes Park earlier in the season, Andy Pugh scored after ten minutes following up a free kick goalkeeper Andy Coughlin fumbled. Wrexham were level when Joe Clarke equalised but on the stroke of half time Elliot Bradbrook won the match.

A run of five consecutive away losses in the league has not helped Dartford’s effort to keep above the relegation zone. With the Conference Premier taking a temporary back seat, Burman has watched his side get knocked out of the F.A Cup and Kent Senior Cup recently. Facing two ties against League One opposition, Bradford City won 4-1 before the Darts were eliminated from the County Cup in a 7-3 defeat at Gillingham.

Some confidence may have been restored last weekend as the Darts grabbed a F.A Trophy victory, beating Conference North side Solihull Moors 2-0. In a slow first half goalkeeper Jason Brown kept Dartford in the competition with some decent saves. An improved second half was enough to see the Darts progress, firstly captain Elliot Bradbrook netted from the spot and brother Tom sealed the win with just under twenty minutes to go.

Wrexham beat Dartford on the opening day of the season and under former Nuneaton Town boss Kevin Wilkin they sit in mid table. The Welsh side have managed just one league victory in the last eleven outings, drawing six in the process. Inconsistencies home and away leave Wrexham seven points behind the final playoff spot. Prior their dip in form the Red Dragons reached third spot to finish September just four points behind leaders Barnet.

Since finishing runners up in 2012, Wrexham have won the F.A Trophy and reached a playoff final. A poor campaign last season saw a change in management allowing Wilkin a first full season in charge. Louis Moult, one of Wilkin’s signings from his former club has excelled with ten goals and the Dartford defence should know all about the 22 year old. Whilst at the Boro he scored five against the Darts in two games, including a final day hat trick.

Team News

If selected, Lee Noble will make his 200th start, the midfielder has featured in 279 games for the Darts scoring 37 times. Max Cornhill could make his 50th start for the club. Lee Burns, Harry Crawford and Andy Pugh have all been out of action due to injury and there are no suspension concerns.

Goalkeeper, Andy Coughlin has been suffering with a hand injury for Wrexham. The Red Dragons have also missed Theo Bailey-Jones, Joe Thompson and Dean Keates recently.

Head to Head

Wrexham wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 2 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Wrexham (DWDLLD) Dartford (LLLLDW)
Bristol Rovers  H  0-0 Eastleigh  A  0-2
Aldershot Town  H  3-1 Forest Green Rovers  A  1-2
Kidderminster Harriers  A  1-1 Chester  H  2-4
Altrincham  H  2-3 Lincoln City  A  0-1
Braintree Town  A  0-1 Southport  H  1-1
Woking  A  1-1 Welling United  H  2-1

Last Meeting at the Racecourse Ground

8 February 2014 – Wrexham 1 Dartford 2 – Att: 2645

Goalscorers: Pugh (10), Clarke (21), Bradbrook (45)

Wrexham Lineup: Coughlin, Livesey, Tomassen, Ashton, Clarke, Carrington, Keates, Hunt, Harris, Bishop, Ogleby (subs used: Thornton, Durrell, Anyinsah)

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

Match Stats

wfc v dfc stats

Previous Meetings

09.08.2014 Dartford 1 Wrexham 2
08.02.2014 Wrexham 1 Dartford 2
19.11.2013 Dartford 1 Wrexham 5
09.03.2013 Dartford 2 Wrexham 1
22.09.2012 Wrexham 2 Dartford 2

Dartford v Wrexham

New and familiar faces will begin their campaigns against Wrexham at Princes Park this weekend.

The Darts finished in the relegation zone last time out but were saved when Hereford United and Salisbury City failed to secure a place in this season’s competition.

Tony Burman had prepared for life in the Conference South until news of the reprieve. The Dartford boss was ‘devastated’ when relegation was confirmed on Easter Monday, however by June those emotions turned to excitement when it was confirmed the Darts will remain in the Conference Premier.

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Crawford is one of many to return to Princes Park this summer

Over the summer the club has signed Tom Bradbrook, bringing the striker back to the club he left six years ago. Brother of captain Elliot, the 27 year old impressed Burman at Leatherhead. Adam Green, Rory McAuley, Andy Pugh and more recently Harry Crawford have also returned to Princes Park. The only players to have not played for the Darts before is goalkeeper Jason Brown and midfielder’s Luke Daley and Peter Sweeney.

Crawford spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk in the build up to the season opener, he said: “I like it here. I’ve had good times here, I like the club, I like the set-up, I know how it works and the fans have been brilliant here. I just feel happy here”.

Sweeney only signed this week and has had no pre season with the club. The 29 year old played in a F.A Cup final with Millwall when the Lions lost to Manchester United. He has also been promoted twice, once with Stoke City and once with Bury.

Wrexham will have fond memories of their last visit to Princes Park when they came from a goal down to win 5-1. Lee Burns opened the scoring after just three minutes when he overlapped onto Lee Noble’s pass. Wrexham then outclassed the Darts hitting four goals before half time. Brett Ormerod scored two, Joe Clarke and Rob Ogleby all found the net all within a twenty minute spell. In the second half, Dartford kept the score down but the visitors still had time to add a fifth when Johnny Hunt netted in the 76th minute.

The Welsh club disappointingly finished the campaign in 17th place and a change of manager at the tail end of the season has seen some player movement this summer. New boss Kevin Wilkin has replaced last season’s top scorer Johnny Hunt with Louis Moult and Connor Jennings.

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Moult enjoying his hat trick against the Darts

Moult scored five against the Darts last term for Wilkin’s former club Nuneaton Town, including a hat trick on the final day of the season. Whilst Jennings is another to watch, the striker scored 16 goals in 16 games on loan at Macclesfield Town last season, including a brace against Dartford in November.

Wilkin also bolstered his squad by linking back up with former Nuenaton Town winger Wes York. Blaine Hudson who spent time in Kent last term at Welling United has been brought in to strengthen the defence.

In preparation for 2014/15, Dartford started pre season against former landlords Thurrock. McAuley celebrated a new deal with the winner against the Isthmian Division One North side. A host of Football League clubs tested Dartford’s fitness levels, Millwall, Leyton Orient and Gillingham all visited Princes Park and won. Another defeat to Isthmian Division One North champions VCD Athletic followed with Tom Bradbrook scoring for the Darts.

Meanwhile, Wrexham started with a win against Swansea under 21’s although defender Neil Ashton suffered a nasty head injury. Colwyn Bay were defeated 2-0 with the two former Nuneaton Town boys York and Moult scoring. A young squad lost to Prestatyn before the Welsh side notched another victory over AFC Flyde and a draw versus Rhyl.

Two years ago, Dartford dented Wrexham’s title hopes at Princes Park in a 2-1 win. After falling behind to Danny Wright’s shot from just inside the box, the Darts left it late to claim three points. On loan Jack Evans equalised and as the game headed to a close Elliot Bradbrook headed a dramatic last minute winner.

Team News

Captain Elliot Bradbrook has struggled with injury during pre season getting limited match time. Last season’s top scorer damaged his ankle in training and has since played just 135 minutes of football.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Wrexham wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Last Five Season Openers

Dartford Wrexham
Alfreton Town H 1-0 Welling United H 2-1
Tamworth H 2-3 Woking H 3-1
Weston Super-Mare A 4-0 Cambridge United H 1-1
Havant & Waterlooville H 2-2 Cambridge United H 1-0
Horsham H 3-2 Eastbourne Borough H 3-0
Hendon A 0-3 Stevenage H 5-0

Last Meeting at Princes Park

19 November 2013 – Dartford 1 Wrexham 5 – Att:816

Goalscorers: Burns (3), Ormerod (15, 34), Clarke (23), Ogleby (31), Hunt (76)

Dartford Lineup: Forecast, Mitchel-King, Fry, Clark, Burns, Martin, Woodyard, Collier, Noble, Birchall, Godden (subs used: Sterling, Cornhill, Harris)

Wrexham Lineup: Coughlin, Wright, Ashton, Artell, Harris, Hunt, Carrington, Clarke, Keates, Ogleby, Ormerod (subs used: Morrell, Cieslewicz, Bailey-Jones)

Match Stats

dfc v wfc match stats
Previous Meetings

08.02.2014 Wrexham 1 Dartford 2
19.11.2013 Dartford 1 Wrexham 5
09.03.2013 Dartford 2 Wrexham 1
22.09.2012 Wrexham 2 Dartford 2

 

Wrexham

Racecourse Ground Founded 1864 The Red Dragons

Wrexham were relegated from the Football League six years ago and since competing in the Conference Premier have finished in the playoffs three times. Owned by the fans, the Red Dragons lost in the playoff final to Welsh rivals Newport County in 2013 and in the same campaign they won the F.A Trophy beating Grimsby Town in a penalty shoot out. The year before Wrexham amassed an impressive 98 points and still only finished runners up. The Welsh club has plenty of history and are currently ranked the fourth highest Welsh club in English football. No Conference Premier club can boast the fact they have represented their nation in Europe in a major competition, the Red Dragons reached the Cup Winners Cup last eight in 1976.

wfcLast Season

Conference Premier: 17th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

FA Trophy: 2nd Round

Top Scorer: Johnny Hunt

Average Attendance: 2993

A complete contrast to the campaign before when the Welsh club reached Wembley twice. This time with expectations high Wrexham were nowhere near the standards they set in the previous three seasons. The Red Dragons failed to win more than two games in a row and the only consistent spell was a six match winless streak after the opening day victory. The third best supported side in the league were left just as disappointed as Morrell and on 24 February he resigned. With the strikers at Wrexham’s disposal it was Johnny Hunt, not your out and out striker that found the net the most. Coupled with the fact the Reds conceded more goals than ever in any of their previous Conference Premier campaigns confirmed why Wrexham finished as lowly as they did. A change in leadership could see a different Wrexham next term and for their fans they certainly hope so.

The Manager – Kevin Wilkin

Appointed in March, Wilkin hasn’t had much time to build a squad and has taken charge of Wrexham in only eight matches, winning two, drawing three and losing three. The 46 year old earned his move after impressing constistently at Nuneaton Town where he took them through the non league divisions. Ending his playing career at the Warwickshire club, Wilkin stayed with Boro and when the club reformed he took to management following Roger Ashby’s departure in 2006. The former Northampton Town player led the Nuneaton Town to three playoff promotions rising from the Southern League Division One Midlands through the Conference North and into the Premier. Nuneaton hadn’t had a club in the Conference Premier for nine years and with loyalty and backing Wilkin made it happened for the town. In the Boro’s second campaign back in the top non league division he took them to top of the table after an unbeaten run of nine matches.

The Summer

Wilkin has focused on attack this summer and gone with what he knows bringing two in from his former club. However, the most exciting deal is capturing the services of ex Scunthorpe United striker Connor Jennings. The 22 year old had a fantastic loan spell at Macclesfield Town last term scoring 16 goals in as many games. Nuneaton Town top scorer from last season, Louis Moult will pair up with Jennings having netted 17 league goals in 36 appearances. Also arriving from Liberty Way is winger Wes York who featured in every Conference Premier game last season. Having spent time out on loan with Welling United, Blaine Hudson has moved from newly promoted Cambridge United, the defender comes in and going the other way is Johnny Hunt who will be a U’s player for the 2014/15 season. Robert Ogleby, Kyle Parle, David Artell, Jay Colback and Joe Anyinsah were released and Kevin Thornton moved to Tamworth.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Wrexham 1 Dartford 2 – Conference Premier – 8 February 2014

After the hammering at Princes Park, the Darts recorded a tremendous away win to go with the 2-2 draw from the previous season. On loan striker, Andy Pugh scored after ten minutes for Dartford following up a free kick goalkeeper Andy Coughlin fumbled. Wrexham were level when Joe Clarke equalised but on the stroke of half time Elliot Bradbrook won the match for the Darts.

Dartford 1 Wrexham 5 – Conference Premier – 19 November 2013

A third minute goal by Lee Burns cheekily put Dartford in front but that is as good as the evening got. Wrexham hit back with five of their own including four in twenty first half minutes. Brett Ormerod bagged a brace, Joe Clarke and Rob Ogleby had the Welsh side 4-1 up at the break. Johnny Hunt added the final goal on a fine Tuesday night for the Red dragons.

Next Meetings

Saturday 9 August 2014 at Princes Park

Saturday 20 December 2014 at the Racecourse Ground

League Performance Last Ten Years

wrexham last ten years

Best Performances

15th Old Division Two (1978/79) F.A Cup Quarter Final (1973/74, 1977/78 & 1996/97) F.A Trophy Winners (2012/13)

Wrexham v Dartford

Dartford travel to Wrexham on the weekend hoping to repeat last season’s effort and come home with some points.

The Darts travelled across to Wales last term and against the odds came back with a draw. Danny Harris scored an early goal at the Racecourse Ground, his shot from the edge of the box four minutes into the match gave the visitors an unexpected lead. Wrexham hit back and by half time with goals from Danny Wright and Andy Bishop. In the final minute Dartford earned a free kick which substitute Lee Noble scored to make it 2-2.

Earlier this season, the Darts took another early lead against the Welsh side when Lee Burns finished well when he overlapped onto Lee Noble’s pass. However, Wrexham outclassed their hosts levelling on 12 minutes courtesy of former Premier League striker Brett Ormerod.  Joe Clarke added a second for the visitors and by half time it was 4-1 as Rob Ogleby and Ormerod added more. In the second half a quick free kick caught the Dartford defence out once more, Johnny Hunt sealed a 5-1 win for the Welshmen.

Tony Burman’s side haven’t played since 25 January when they drew 3-3 with Cambridge United which followed up the 2-1 win at Kidderminster Harriers. Hoping his squad has turned a corner, mid week results helped out the Darts who are five points from safety. Towards the January transfer window, Burman has extended the services of Jim Stevenson and Rory McAuley and signed former Tonbridge Angel striker Mikkel Suarez. The 27 year old hit the headlines in 2012 when a clash of heads with team mate Lee Browning left him in intensive care for a week.

Wrexham’s slow start to their campaign is in contrast to last season’s F.A Trophy triumph and Playoff final defeat. At the beginning of October the Welshmen were one place off the relegation places. Six wins from their last eight home matches have pushed the club up the table to twelfth and eight points from the top five.

Unbeaten in four league matches, Andy Morrell’s side have beaten three of Dartford’s relegation rivals in that time. In an attempt to close the gap and reach the playoffs, Morrell has brought in defender Danny Livesey from Carlisle United. The 29 year old will be on loan until the end of the season and was instrumental in Carlisle United’s rise to League One. At the other end of the pitch, prolific Elliott Durrell makes the step up from the Conference North. Durrell won the leagues Player of the Season last year and scored 58 goals in 98 appearances during his time with Hednesford Town.

Head to Head

Wrexham wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Wrexham (WWDWLW) Dartford (DLLLLL)
Tamworth H 2-0 Cambridge United H 3-3
Southport A 2-1 Kidderminster Harriers A 2-1
FC Halifax Town H 0-0 Salisbury City A 0-1
Aldershot Town H 2-1 Welling United A 1-1
Alfreton Town A 0-1 Welling United H 1-2
Hyde A 5-2 Alfreton Town A 1-2

Last Meeting at the Racecourse Ground

22 September 2012 – Wrexham 2 Dartford 2 – Att: 3772

Goalscorers: Harris (4), Wright (16), Bishop (42), Noble (90)

The Dragons Lineup: Mayebi, Walker, S. Wright, Riley, Ashton, Harris, Keates, Hunt, Cieslewicz, D. Wright, Bishop (subs used: Ormerod, Morrell)

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

Match Stats

wrexfc v dfc stats
Previous Meetings

19.11.2013 Dartford 1 Wrexham 2
09.03.2013 Dartford 2 Wrexham 1
22.09.2012 Wrexham 2 Dartford 2

League Stats

The meeting between the two sides was Dartford’s heaviest defeat this term and Wrexham’s biggest league win

Wrexham have lost just once in their last nine home games in the Conference Premier

Dartford have had the fewest attempts at goal this season (222) and the fewest shots off target (122). Wrexham on the other hand have scored 17% of their shots at goal, only Luton Town (18%) have a better strike rate

The Darts are looking for their first back to back away wins in the Conference Premier since the end of last season

3241 – Wrexham have the third largest average crowd this season behind Luton Town and Grimsby Town

Between the two sides, top scorers Andy Bishop and Johnny Hunt have netted just six times. Dartford’s top goal getters are Matthew Godden, now back at Scunthrope United and Elliot Bradbrook on five.

 

Dartford v Wrexham

Dartford will be pleased to return home this week to face Wrexham after a run of four straight away defeats.

The Darts will be boosted by the news that former favourite Dave Martin has returned to Princes Park on a months loan. The winger left Dartford six years ago after impressing Crystal Palace when he was playing at Isthmian Division One level. He moved to rivals Millwall where he enjoyed a successful spell with the Lions. Martin has also had loan spells at Derby County, Notts County and Walsall before joining Southend United.  In January, Martin moved to Luton Town where his made 22 league appearances, scoring three times.

Dave_Martin_action

Dave Martin in action during his previous spell 

Tony Burman will be desperate for his side to repeat the Princes Park victory against the Welsh club last term. In the second ever meeting between the two sides Dartford came from behind to shock the Dragons. Scheduled for a Friday night televised fixture, the match was rearranged to the following day due to poor weather conditions.

Wrexham’s Kevin Thornton set up Danny Wright for the opener giving the visitors a half time lead. The game turned late on when substitute Jack Evans equalised and a last minute Elliot Bradbrook header completed the upset.

In the only other meeting between the two sides, the match ended 2-2 at the Racecourse Ground. Danny Harris scored early on before Wrexham turned the match around with goals from Wright and Andy Bishop. Lee Noble rescued a point for the Darts with a superb last minute free kick.

The Darts slipped to third from bottom on the weekend with defeat at Macclesfield Town. Taking a rare lead on their travels, Dartford threw away the points in the space of just three minutes. Adam Birchall won a penalty which fellow loanee Matthew Godden scored after 13 minutes. The Scunthorpe United striker made sure the Darts led at the break. Macclesfield Town’s Scott Boden levelled the match on 66 minutes. Three minutes later Godden was upstaged by Scunthorpe United team mate Connor Jennings. The 22 year old notched a brace to take his tally to 13 goals in 14 league games.

Having lost by three goals at Woking, all scored in the last half hour, Burman realises more work is required to go the distance, he told BBC Radio Kent: “I felt we deserved something in the first half. We got the penalty and second half we should have kept the ball better and there wasn’t too much in the game up until then”, he added: “You’ve got to do it for 90 minutes, not 65”.

Wrexham finished 5th last season losing an all Welsh playoff final to Newport County. The F.A Trophy holders have started slower than expected occupying 16th position.

Away from home, the Dragons have not won in the Conference Premier in their last five attempts. With just one triumph on the road and two draws, Andy Morrell’s side have picked up the same number of points as Dartford on their travels.

Wrexham tasted another away day defeat on the weekend at Kidderminster Harriers. Joe Lolley’s brace put the hosts two up only for the lead to half by Adrian Cieslewicz’s goal. The ball appeared to have gone through a hole in the net causing lengthy discussions between the match officials. Chey Dunkley made sure the hosts regained a two goal advantage. Hope was lost when Wrexham’s top striker Andy Bishop was sent off.

Player-manager Andy Morrell was disappointed with the standard of officiating, he told BBC Radio Wales: “You just ask pretty much for a fair playing field and somebody decent to officiate it. I thought she (referee Amy Fearn) got a fair few decisions wrong.”

When referring to Wrexham’s goal, he commented: “We all saw it, their manager knew it was a goal but the ref’s not given it”, he continued: “The decision was right, but obviously the linesman should check the net before the game. They always run over and look like they’re doing something, so I don’t know exactly what they do do”.

Team News
Ryan Hayes missed Saturday’s trip to Macclesfield Town as he was having a knee scan. Elliot Bradbrook is still recovering from cracked ribs. Reserve goalkeeper Tommy Forecast made his Dartford debut, replacing Alan Julian at half time. Julian suffered from a leg strain which ended a run of 18 full league appearances for the club. If fit Lee Noble will return from his one match suspension for picking up five cautions. The midfielder was substituted in his last appearance for the Darts with an ankle injury.

Andy Bishop will be missing through suspension, the Wrexham striker was sent off for violent conduct on the weekend. The Dragons also have concerns about their goalkeeper Andy Coughlin. The 20 year old missed the last two league games with a throat problem. Joslain Mayebi has been called upon recently completing his 14th start of the campaign on Saturday.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Wrexham wins: 0 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

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

Last Meeting At Princes Park

9 March 2013 – Dartford 2 Wrexham 1 – Att: 815

Goalscorers: Wright (26), Evans (74), Bradbrook (90)

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

The Dragons Lineup: Maxwell, S.Wright, Ashton, Westwood, Artell, Keates, Clarke, Thornton, D. Wright, Ormerod, Adebola (subs used: Ogleby, Cieslewicz)

Match Stats

dfc v wfc stats

League Stats (taken from bbc.co.uk)

5 – Only Chester have had more red cards than Wrexham who have had five dismissals this season

8 – Goals conceded by the Darts between 61st and 75th minutes, the joint worst with bottom club Hyde

15 – Different players have scored for Wrexham, the highest in the division

131 – Number of attempts Dartford have had on goal this season, the fewest by any club

 

Dartford v Wrexham – rescheduled to Sat 09/03/13 – 1pm

 

Dartford were prevented from playing in front of the cameras on Friday night against table toppers and F.A Trophy finalists Wrexham.

A waterlogged Princes Park pitch has led to the rescheduling of the Conference Premier fixture. Called off after an inspection, officials and the authorities have agreed to try again on Saturday at 1pm.

Back in September Dartford achieved one of their results of the season in Wales when the left it late to bring home a point. A trip to the Racecourse Ground five and half months ago ended in a well earned 2-2 draw.

Winger Danny Harris gave the Darts a shock lead inside the first five minutes when he slotted past goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi. Wrexham took control and by the break turned the match around. First, top scorer Danny Wright levelled following up from a blocked effort. Just before the interval on loan Bury striker Andy Bishop dinked a chip over the on rushing Marcus Bettinelli. In the second half committed Dartford players dug in and were rewarded in style. Lee Noble struck home a delightful 25 yard free kick in the final minute to grab a deserved point.

The Darts have fond memories of their last showing on the box beating Mansfield Town 2-0. This time they build up to Friday’s fixture on the back of a draw against Stockport County. A low turn out witnessed the visitors take the lead against the run of play when a dipping shot was parried into the path of Mark Cullen for the on loan striker to score with eleven minutes played. The Hatters settled into the match and went into the dressing room at half time a goal to the good.

After an hour Tony Burman changed to a more attacking formation throwing on Jacob Erskine and Jack Evans. The game came to life and Princes Park had something to cheer with twenty minutes remaining thanks to Danny Harris bundling the ball over the line for the equaliser. The result means Dartford are now five league games unbeaten at home.

Wrexham spent Tuesday night ten miles from Princes Park when they visited our local rivals Ebbsfleet United. Manager Andy Morrell had captured the loan signing of Dele Adebola from Rochdale signalling his intent to clinch promotion. On Tuesday night the former established Championship striker scored three minutes into his second Wrexham appearance. A second goal by former Premier League striker Brett Ormerod arrived just eight minutes later doubling the advantage for the visitors.

Morrell’s men were three up just before the half hour mark when Kevin Thornton scored his third league goal for the club. On the stroke of half time Robert Ogleby scored a fourth in an excellent first half for Wrexham. Nathan Elder grabbed a consolation late in the second half but the Red Devils stretched their lead at the top to three.

The Reds are on a thirteen match unbeaten run in which time they have only scored more than two in a match on three occasions. The ability to grind out results prior Tuesday’s mauling of Fleet has left the Welsh club with the chance to push for the non league double, winning the league and F.A Trophy which was last achieved in 1993 by Martin O’Neill’s Wycombe Wanderers.

Team News

Lee Noble serves his final game suspension following his second red card of the season almost three weeks ago. Mark Arber returned to the bench on Tuesday as an unused substitute after recovering from a virus. Tom Champion is one caution away from a suspension after picking up nine yellow cards so far this season.

Joslain Mayebi is out for the long term with an achilles injury he picked up against Southport. The first choice goalkeeper was due to join up with Cameroon for their friendly with Tanzania.

Head to Head

Dartford Wins 0 / Wrexham Wins: 0 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (DDWLLW) Wrexham (WDWWWW)
Stockport County H 1-1 Ebbsfleet United A 4-1
Southport A 2-2 Alfreton Town H 1-1
Luton Town H 1-0 Barrow A 1-0
Lincoln City A 1-2 Gateshead A 1-0
Mansfield Town A 0-5 Hereford United A 1-0
Macclesfield Town H 2-0 Stockport County H 3-1

Last Meeting

2 September 2012 – Wrexham 2 Dartford 2 – Att: 3772

Goalscorers: D. Harris (4), D. Wright (16), Bishop (42), Noble (90)

Wrexham Lineup: Mayebi, Walker, S. Wright, Riley, Ashton, J. Harris, Keates, Hunt, Cieselwicz, D. Wright, Bishop (sub used: Little, Ormerod, Morrell)

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

Match Stats

 

Wrexham v Dartford

 

The top two form teams go head to head when the Darts travel to Wrexham in the Conference Premier on Saturday.

In Dartford’s first ever visit to the Racecourse Ground both sides will be confident having put together decent runs in the league.

Wrexham have tasted defeat just once this season, at second place Macclesfield Town, and are seven matches unbeaten. On top of the form guide for the last half dozen games are Dartford who have won five and lost once.

The Darts have managed an astonishing record against former football league clubs this season having seen off Kidderminster Harriers, Cambridge United and Newport County. The latest scalp came on Saturday when Princes Park was sent into raptures after an excellent 4-0 victory versus Hereford United.

On Tuesday, Tony Burman’s side warmed up with a Kent Senior Cup tie against Faversham Town in which they won 2-1. A brace from PURE DFC’s man of the match Nathan Collier put the Darts two up before experienced striker Danny Hockton lashed in a consolation. First team débuts were handed out to goalkeeper Steve Sutton and striker Jay Porter. Whilst George Monger and Lee Martin also made their first appearances coming on as substitutes.

Racecourse Ground: Home of Wrexham

Wrexham may sit in fourth place but are just a point behind league leaders Newport County. The Welsh club’s tight defence has enabled the team to pick up victories despite scoring just 13 so far. The Reds have conceded a meagre five goals boasting the stingiest defence in the league, currently going 294 minutes without conceding at home. The only time their defence has been breached at the Racecourse Ground came in their opening day 3-1 win against Woking.

Last season’s runners up missed out on promotion losing to Luton Town in the playoff semi-finals despite recording a massive 98 points in the campaign. On the weekend the Reds faced the Hatters again where the second biggest Conference Premier crowd of the season witnessed a 0-0 draw.

Over the summer player manager Andy Morrell recruited the high profile signing of Brett Ormerod, the former Southampton and Blackpool striker has featured in every game but has yet to get off the mark. The 35 year old has now been joined by Andy Bishop who made his début in Saturday’s goalless draw.

Bishop’s on-off loan move to the Racecourse Ground was finally resolved when the Bury striker gained international clearance, as well as having his registration accepted by the Football Conference. The 29 year old is in his seventh year with Bury having experienced the Conference Premier before with York City.

Team News

Adam Green returned to action in the week and managed a full ninety minutes. The full back had not featured since the injury he picked up against Kidderminster Harriers almost a month ago. Louis Wells is not quite ready to return and so Marcus Bettenelli will continue between the sticks. Tom Champion is one caution away from a one match suspension after picking up four yellow cards this campaign.

Danny Devine has agreed to join Wrexham on loan from Fleetwood as manager Andy Morrell looks to strengthen an already tight defence.

Current Form

Dartford (WLWWWW) Wrexham (DWWWWD)
Hereford United H 4-0 Luton Town A 0-0
Gateshead A 0-2 Cambridge United A 4-1
Newport County H 2-1 Hyde H 2-0
Alfreton Town H 5-1 Newport County H 2-0
Cambridge United A 2-1 Tamworth A 1-0
Kidderminster Harriers H 1-0 Grimsby Town H 0-0

Did you know…

After Hereford United escaped non league football in 1972 they returned for seven years between 1997 and 2004.

The Bulls were the last English club competing in an English League to have won the Welsh Cup back in 1990. The Bulls defeated Wrexham 2-1 at Cardiff Arms Park.

Stats
The first goal has been important for both sides this season. In games featuring Dartford the side who scores first has gone on to win the match. Wrexham have yet to lose after going ahead in each of their league fixtures.

10 – Dartford and Wrexham have had ten different league scorers each this season. Harry Crawford tops the Darts scoring chart with 5 (all at home) whilst Danny Wright leads for Wrexham with 3 goals (all away).

66 – The Darts have conceded the fewest fouls in the Conference Premier this season.

109 – Wrexham have won the most number of fouls in the division.

3553 – Wrexham’s average home support, only bettered by Luton Town (6357).

* Stats taken from bbc.co.uk and skysports.com