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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).

 

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