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Kidderminster Harriers v Dartford

The Darts look for their first league win in three months on Tuesday night when they travel to playoff chasers and F.A Cup up-setters Kidderminster Harriers.

Dartford have now gone a dozen league matches without victory picking up a solitary point. In contrast, Harriers are fresh from their F.A Cup third round win against League One side Peterborough United. The Darts will be the last side to take on Kidderminster Harriers before their fourth round clash with Premier League club Sunderland.

Whilst Tony Burman has guided Dartford to two home victories against the Worcestershire club, the Darts will want to erase last season’s reverse at Aggborough from the memory bank. On a wet December weekend, Kidderminster Harriers brushed aside the visitors taking the lead inside four minutes. Cheyenne Dunkley finished like a striker hitting a shot into the corner of Marcus Bettinelli’s net. The lead lasted five minutes when Jacob Erskine’s firm header levelled the match but Jamille Matt, now of Fleetwood Town put the Harriers back in front from close range past the half hour mark. Matt added a further goal in the second half with 20 minutes to go, substitute defender Mike Williams was only on the pitch for a couple of minutes when he made it 4-1 and a last minute strike by Lee Vaughan made it five.

Dartford struggled to create chances on Saturday as they went down to a solitary goal against Salisbury City. The Darts failed to register a shot on target and fell behind after quarter of an hour. A short corner caught out the Darts defence when Elliott Frear crossed low to James White who flicked the ball past Alan Julian. The defeat leaves Dartford second from bottom and seven points adrift from safety.

In attempt to increase the fire power up front, Burman has brought in a third loanee from Luton Town. Alex Wall, who scored against the Darts for Maidenhead United in March 2012 netted ten that season for a struggling side. A year later he signed for Luton Town where he has made 18 league appearances scoring three goals, the majority of those appearances have been off the bench. Wall joins Dave Martin and Jim Stevenson amongst the trio of Luton Town loanees.

The latest signing captured by Burman is winger Ben Swallow. The 24 year old was part of the  Newport County squad that won the playoffs last season to reach the Football League. Swallow scored twice in 23 appearances before being released in the summer by the Exiles and joining Bromley this campaign.

It hasn’t been all plain sailing for Kidderminster Harriers as last season’s runners up are sitting in sixth spot. A combination of being off the automatic promotion pace and interest from Forest Green Rovers in November ended the reign of Steve Burr, who earned his first win as Chester boss on the weekend. On the pitch, top scorer Joe Lolley has left Aggborough for Championship football with Huddersfield Town, the striker scored nine Conference Premier goals in 21 appearances.

Under Steve Burr, Harriers started inconsistently until a productive September through to November yielded 30 points in 14 games moving the club from 12th to 3rd in the table. During that last successful month Forest Green Rovers approached Burr and although he rejected a move December started with three straight losses. Respite came with a 2-1 win against Hereford United but what followed was a 6-0 drubbing to fellow promotion chasers Luton Town.

To remedy the situation Mark Serrell, Harriers chairman has turned to ex Coventry City boss Andy Thorn. The former Crystal Palace and Wimbledon centre half has won both his matches in charge beating Salisbury City 3-0 and Peterborough United 3-2. The 47 year old has also added Adrian Cieslewicz from Wrexham, the 23 year old forward scored twice in 18 league games for the Welsh club this term. Thorn has searched internationally too by recruiting Santiago Aloi, the 26 year old Argentine begun his career at River Plate, spent a year on loan at Watford before moving back to South America.

Team News

Kenny Clark missed the draw at Welling United and the defeat on the weekend at Salisbury City with a groin injury. Ryan Hayes remains sidelined for the Darts. Lee Noble and Danny Harris are both suspended for the red cards they have picked up recently. Noble will serve the last of his four match ban.  Alex Wall will be available for selection, an administration error meant he was kept out of Saturday’s loss.

Head to Head

Kidderminster Harriers wins: 12 / Dartford wins: 12 / Draws: 7

Current League Form

Kidderminster Harriers (WLWLLL) Dartford (LDLLLL)
Salisbury City H 3-0 Salisbury City A 0-1
Luton Town A 0-6 Welling United A 1-1
Hereford United H 2-1 Welling United H 1-2
Grimsby Town A 1-3 Alfreton Town A 1-2
Alfreton Town H 1-3 FC Halifax Town H 1-2
Woking A 0-1 Barnet A 0-1

Last Meeting at Aggborough

22 December 2012 – Kidderminster Harriers 5 Dartford 1 – Att: 1779

Goalscorers: Dunkley(4), Erskine (9), Matt (32), Matt (69), Williams (76), L Vaughan (89)

Harriers Lineup: Lewis, L Vaughan, Demetriou, Dunkley, Gowling, Storer, Vincent, Shakes, Briggs, Malbon, Matt (subs used: Rowe, Williams, Clancy)

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

Match Stats

khfc v dfc 1
Last Five Meetings

21.09.2013 Dartford 3 Kidderminster Harriers 0
22.12.2012 Kidderminster Harriers 5 Dartford 1
25.08.2012 Dartford 1 Kidderminster Harriers 0
29.03.1986 Kidderminster Harriers 4 Dartford 1
05.10.1985 Dartford 5 Kidderminster Harriers 1

League Stats

Kidderminster Harriers have won six of their last seven home matches, the Harriers have gained 26 out of the last 30 points available at Aggborough

53% – Harriers have scored three or more at home in over half of their games. Only FC Halifax have scored three or more at home on more occasions but they have played 16 matches at home, making the Harriers return of 53% the most prolific in the league

Dartford have suffered 11 defeats in their last 12 Conference Premier, on their travels they have drawn three and lost nine in their last 12.

The Darts last kept a clean sheet in the league on 28 September 2013 when they beat Southport 1-0. A run of 16 matches without a clean sheet is the longest current sequence in the league.

Against teams in the bottom half Kidderminster Harriers have the best record winning 10, drawing 2 and losing 2.

 

 

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