Grimsby Town v Dartford

Dartford hit the road after a morale boosting win on the weekend and hope to carry the momentum up to Grimsby Town on Tuesday night.

The Darts take on the Mariners for the fifth time in less than a year with one of the meetings ending in a memorable away win for Tony Burman’s side. Back in October, the now departed midfielder Tom Champion gave the Darts a second half lead. With the home side pressing to salvage a point, Adam Birchall scored to seal the match in his first loan spell at the club. Dartford’s form eleven months ago propelled them to fifth place, a far cry from their current eighteenth place standing.

In a two legged F.A Trophy semi-final, the Mariners gained the upper hand in the first match on home soil. Craig Disley’s superb volley gave the hosts a half time lead which was only extended in the final five minutes. Disley netted a second following Marcus Bettinelli’s rare mistake and Anthony Cook put the tie beyond Dartford, who managed a 0-0 draw in the second leg. Grimsby Town also edged out the Darts at Princes Park with two late goals after falling behind.

Dartford enter Tuesday night’s fixture in good spirit, having gone four games without a win and netting just five times all season, Saturday’s expectations against last season’s runners up were low. Hosting an in form Kidderminster Harriers side ended in one of the weekend’s surprise results.

Jason Prior opened his account for 2013/14 when his close range effort came off Harriers defender Lee Vaughan. The strikers second Dartford goal of his career gave the Darts enough hope to complete a victory, Tony Burman told BBC Radio Kent: “You need something to give you a boost. When you score a goal you get a boost, but full credit to Jason (Prior), he took his chance well and that gives you the belief”.

Dartford’s captain then notched his third goal in five games, Elliot Bradbrook slotted the ball home six minutes after the interval. A third arrived when Danny Harris

finished from twelve yard, his second goal for the campaign.Victory lifted the Darts out of the bottom four to give them confidence going into Tuesday’s game. Burman was delighted with his team’s work ethic who bounced back from a difficult spell, he commented: “The guys have come out from the off and they’ve worked hard, closed Kidderminster down, they deserved the win today”, he added: “It probably could have been more, we had a few chances that could have been put in, but it’s nice, it’s given us a lift for a few days. You can’t beat working hard as a team, I’m really pleased for the players”.

Grimsby Town have had a mixed start and with a tight defence from last term are strong candidates to reach the playoffs this time. Despite the long awaited return of Liam Hearn, goals have been hard to find as the Mariners have recorded just one more than Dartford so far. Hearn top scored for his club two years ago but long term injury’s have prevented his progress. Off the pitch the striker had to refute rumours of a bust up with the now departed joint boss Rob Scott, who was sacked for “gross misconduct” after defeat at Nuneaton Town.

Now with only Paul Hurst managing the side, the Mariners go into the mid week clash on the back of one win in five. Scoring just once in 364 minutes of football the Lincolnshire club have picked up five points from the last 15 available. The last of those points were earned in a goalless draw up at Chester.

Hurst’s first fixture in sole charge was pleasing enough for the 38 year old, he told BBC Radio Humberside: “I’m pleased with a point because of how the game went, with the sending off so early in the second half”, he continued: “I thought just towards the end of the first half, we finally looked like we were getting into our stride and playing a bit better so obviously I would have liked to keep 11 on the pitch”. Like Burman, the Grimsby Town boss was also impressed with his players efforts, he added: “I thought we coped extremely well with it, and it’s credit to the players work rate and commitment”.

Team News

James Rogers has left the Darts to rejoin former club and Kent rivals Dover Athletic. The midfielder has been a reliable player but has found first team football limited. Max Cornhill and latest Dartford signing Josh Hill returned to the substitutes bench on the weekend but Mat Mitchel-King was still out with injury. Adam Birchall was dropped to the bench before replacing Prior and Uche Ibemere made his second substitute appearance for the Darts.

Joe Colbeck will be suspended after his red card versus Chester. Hearn featured for first time this month in that 0-0 draw at Chester. Ritchie Jones made his first start for the club after getting iternational clearance just over a week ago, having previously signed for San Jose Earthquakes where he didn’t feature in a first team match.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Grimsby Town wins: 3 / Draws 1

Current Form

Grimsby Town (DLWDLW) Dartford (WLLDLW)
Chester A 0-0 Kidderminster Harriers H 3-0
FC Halifax Town A 0-4 Luton Town A 0-3
Braintree Town H 1-0 Nuneaton Town H 1-2
Luton Town A 0-0 Chester A 0-0
Nuneaton Town H 1-2 Lincoln City H 1-2
Hyde A 1-0 Tamworth A 2-0

Last League Meeting at Blundell Park

6 October 2012 –  Grimsby Town 0 Dartford 2 – Att: 4009

Goalscorers: Champion (52), Birchall (84)

The Mariners Lineup: McKeown, Wood, Pearson, Pond, Thomas, Colbeck, Disley, Niven, Neilson, Cook, Hannah (subs used: Elding, Artus, Southwell)

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

Match Stats

gtfc v dfc stats

Last Five Meetings (FAT = F.A Trophy / Fr = Friendly)

09.04.2013 Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 2
23.02.2013 (FAT) Dartford 0 Grimsby Town 0
16.02.2013 (FAT) Grimsby Town 3 Dartford 0
06.10.2012 Grimsby Town 0 Dartford 2
17.04.1897 (Fr) Dartford 3 Grimsby Town 2


With every point Dartford have picked up they have kept a clean sheet. The first goal is important in Dartford games, with the side going on to score first winning on each occasion.

At home Grimsby Town have scored in every league match this season

3 – the number of clean sheets and blanks recorded by Grimsby Town in the last four matches

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