Hereford United v Dartford


It will be a case of third time lucky if the rescheduled fixture at Hereford United goes ahead on Tuesday night.

Due to meet in January, the match at Edgar Street was called off due to snowy conditions. Two months on and the relentless Winter conditions has invaded Spring yet there is hope this weeks match will go ahead.

When the two clubs met in mid September it was the start of Dartford’s best run since returning to the Conference Premier. At Princes Park, the Darts recorded one of their most convincing victories of the season running out 4-0 winners.

Ryan Hayes opened the scoring early on with a tidy finish and James Rogers headed in just after the break. Substitutes Danny Harris and Jon Wallis emphatically increased the scoreline with Harris’s goal the pick of the match. The Darts remained unbeaten for a further four matches up until 6 October when they recorded their last back to back league win.

Hayes also made the headlines on the weekend after his substitute appearance turned the home match against Gateshead. In an relatively even and uneventful first half the two sides went in goalless at the break stretching Dartford’s run to 225 minutes without a goal.

The Darts only had to wait a further 21 minutes when a blocked effort was followed up by Hayes who struck home the opener. Hayes had only been on the pitch for three minutes and he made a significant impact. Six minutes later, the winger found space on the right and cut inside onto his left foot, with only one thing in his mind Hayes curled in a superb trademark finish. Tony Burman told BBC Radio Kent after the game: “The game opened up a little bit in the second half and when you’ve got someone of Ryan Hayes’s quality you put him on to exploit that and he did”.

Saturday afternoon got even better for the Darts when the return of Charlie Sheringham finished off the visitors in style. Hayes broke away and picked out the striker with a delightful cross. Sheringham’s first touch set himself up for another curling effort which went beyond Adam Bartlett. The 25 year old marked his first start of his loan spell with a decent performance and a goal to show.

Burman is delighted with reaching the target of fifty points, he commented: “I’m very pleased, it’s taken a bit of time, but we’ve got over that points tally, and hearing some of the other results below us, we needed it”. Dartford remain in twelfth place and take on a Hereford United side a point better off.

The Bulls slipped up after taking the lead on the weekend through Josh O’Keefe’s deflected 25 yard strike. Hyde hit back just passed the hour when Louis Almond’s cross was met by Alex Brown’s head, who equalised for the visitors. A second goal arrived ten minutes later as the provider for the leveller netted in the winner from close range.

Tenth place Hereford United have tasted defeat in their last two Conference Premier fixtures and have fluctuated around mid-table for the majority of the season. Martin Foyle can count on his summer signing Ryan Bowman for goals as the 21 year old has scored 14 in the league this campaign, nine on the road. Midfielder, O’Keefe has chipped in with eight so far with half of those coming from the penalty spot.

The Bulls finished 91st in the football league last year and six years on from their last spell in non league has proven to be tough off the field. Only a month ago chairman David Keyte confirmed the importance of player sales and cup runs for the club. The chairman also announced, before the clubs Annual General Meeting they were losing £30,000 a month, and in November the Bulls reached a tax bill agreement which threatened administration.

Team News

Louis Wells has returned from his loan spell and will start between the sticks. Wells has played just four times for the Darts this season, twice in the league and twice in the F.A Cup. Marcus Bettinelli has been recalled by Fulham after his impressive performances in a Dartford shirt. Bettinelli has made 42 appearances whilst on loan keeping 11 clean sheets.

Ryan Hayes suffered a virus last week but managed an excellent half hour from off the substitutes bench on Saturday. Lee Noble made his first start since his dismissal at Grimsby Town. Danny Harris was replaced on the weekend after 54 minutes with a tight hamstring leading to Jason Prior and Charlie Sheringham pairing up for the first time. Tom Champion remains one caution away from a suspension.

Hereford United’s James McQuilken was released from Edgar Street on Friday, the midfielder made eight appearances for the Bulls starting half those matches. Martin Foyle has re-signed Craig Jones from Westfields until the end of the season.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 11 / Hereford United wins: 20 / Draws: 10 / Dartford Goals: 59/ Hereford United Goals: 69

Current League Form

Hereford United (LLWDLD) Dartford (WLLWDD)
Hyde H 1-2 Gateshead H 3-0
Gateshead A 2-3 Barrow H 0-1
Barrow H 2-1 Hyde A 0-3
Luton Town A 1-1 Wrexham H 2-1
Newport County H 2-3 Stockport County H 1-1
Nuneaton Town H 0-0 Southport A 2-2

Last Meeting

15 September 2012 – Dartford 4 Hereford United 0 – Att: 1601

Goalscorers: Hayes (6), Rogers (47), Harris (76), Wallis (89)

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

The Bulls Lineup: Hanford, Gallinagh, Anthony, Graham, Heath, Watkins, Carruthers, Pell, Clist, Clucas, Bowman (subs used: Sammons, Nichols, Evans)

Match Stats

Previous Meetings (FAT = F.A Trophy)

15.09.2012 Dartford 4 Hereford United 0
14.03.1972 Dartford 0 Hereford United 1
26.02.1972 (FAT) Hereford United 0 Dartford 1
09.10.1971 Hereford United 3 Dartford 0
14.04.1971 Dartford 1 Hereford United 1
05.09.1970 Hereford United 4 Dartford 3

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