Hyde v Dartford


Dartford will be tested against relegation battlers and Conference North champions Hyde at Ewen Fields on Saturday.

After Tuesday nights postponement the Darts return to action following their scalp of Wrexham. Dartford last faced Hyde back in September when they dramatically turned around a goal deficit at Princes Park.

In a lacklustre first half Hyde edged ahead 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.

James Rogers tussles for possession against Hyde

With Hyde reduced to ten men after Adam Griffin received a second yellow card, 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.

In Dartford’s last match they came from behind for the third time this season to win a league match. The Darts more than matched Wrexham but found themselves a goal down at the break. The Welsh side took the lead after 26 minutes through top scorer Danny Wright who finished off the impressive Kevin Thornton’s through ball.

Often this season Dartford have grown into matches, specifically the second half. This time a well deserved equaliser arrived with fifteen minutes to go. On loan Gillingham youngster Jack Evans came off the bench and his low shot set up and dramatic finish. Recently the Darts have fallen victim to last minute goals and this time it was their turn when midfielder Elliot Bradbrook headed his eighth league goal of the season with a last gasp winner.

The Darts are now unbeaten in four Conference Premier games but have to go back as far as November for their last away triumph in the league. A draw at Southport a fortnight ago has steered the club in the right direction as they search for their first league win on the road in eight.

Saturday’s hosts unexpectedly climbed to ninth by the end of 2012 thanks to an excellent two and a half months from October to the end of the year. Scott McNiven guided Hyde to eight wins in 11 fixtures including a 7-0 smashing of Woking.

Since the New Year the Tigers have rapidly slid down the ladder failing to score in eight of their last 11 league matches. Four defeats in a row, then a brief respite of a draw and a win was followed up by a further six losses. A trip to Kenilworth Road didn’t bode well on Tuesday night as the club started in the bottom four. By the end of the night they had climbed above the danger zone with a 2-1 triumph.

At home, Hyde have scored just once in their last 540 minutes of football picking up a solitary point. Looking for more fire power McNiven signed striker Scott Hogan from Ashton United and to strengthen the midfield Jamie Milligan on loan from League Two side Fleetwood Town. Milligan rejoined the Tigers a decade on from playing for the club.

Bolton Wanderers defender Ben Dennis also returned for another loan spell after he made 12 appearances in his first spell  earlier in the season. Dennis is likely to feature with the usual defensive trio of Josh Brizell, Adam Griffin and Luke Ashworth. Up front Hyde’s top scorers Scott Spencer (11 goals) has England C credentials and former Evertonian Phil Jevons (15 goals) have not featured as frequently recently.

Team News

Harry Crawford has been recalled by League Two side Barnet. The striker managed to add an extra goal to his Dartford tally during his loan spell. Tom Champion is one caution away from suspension having picked up nine yellow cards so far this season.

Head to Head

Hyde wins: 0 / Dartford wins 1 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Hyde (WLLLLL) Dartford (WDDWLL)
Luton Town A 2-1 Wrexham H 2-1
Gateshead A 0-3 Stockport County H 1-1
Newport County H 0-1 Southport A 2-2
Alfreton Town H 1-5 Luton Town H 1-0
Tamworth A 0-2 Lincoln City H 1-2
Mansfield Town A 0-1 Mansfield Town A 0-5

Last Meeting

30 September 2012 – Dartford 2 Hyde 1 – Att: 1338

Goalscorers: Brown (28), Crawford (85), Rose (90)

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

The Tigers Lineup: Carnell, Brizell, Griffin, Dennis, Lomax, Brown, Poole, Byrne, Tomsett, S. Spencer, Jevons (subs used: Cox, Crowther, Williams)

Match Stats


Dartford may have the best home record against sides in the top half (W7 D0 L1) but they have the worst record against teams in the bottom half away from Princes Park (W1 D3 L5).

Along with Hyde and Wrexham, the Darts only other league win this season after conceding the first goal was against Ebbsfleet United.

Hyde’s 7-0 win over Woking is the joint largest winning margin in this season’s Conference Premier campaign, Mansfield Town beat Barrow 8-1.

The Tigers’ six successive defeats is the longest losing streak in the league this season

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