Dartford v Grimsby Town

Dartford and Grimsby Town meet for the sixth time since the Darts return to the Conference Premier with both sides needing points for different reasons.

The Darts pulled within a point of safety on the weekend after a clean sheet and goalless draw up at Lincoln City’s Sincil Bank. Whether the point is vital enough at the end of the season remains to be seen. Jim Stevenson came the closest for the Darts as they looked comfortable. In the second half their opponents improved without really troubling Dartford’s defence who managed an eighth clean sheet in the league this season. Mid week fixtures without Dartford’s involvement has left Tony Burman’s side four points adrift.

A well earned away draw comes off the back of a spirited home performance against league leaders and title certainties Luton Town, and back to back wins against north west sides Hyde and Macclesfield Town. Hosting third place Grimsby Town will be Dartford’s first of five remaining games over the next 16 days. Tony Burman’s small squad has been further reduced with the suspension of Kenny Clark, the absence of Ryan Hayes and with Elliot Bradbrook substituted through injury on Saturday.

A mixture of successful cup runs and postponements leave Grimsby Town playing catch up, having played the fewest league fixtures so far. The Mariners look destined to reach the playoffs for a successive year, however they are still glancing over their shoulders as they hold a four point advantage.

After Dartford’s surprise scalp of Grimsby Town last term, where they won 2-0 at Blundell Park thanks to goals from Tom Champion and Adam Birchall, the Mariners have got the better of Tony Burman’s men in recent fixtures.  The Darts suffered a 3-0 aggregate defeat at the F.A Trophy semi final stage last season, followed by a 2-1 loss at Princes Park in the league and a 5-2 thrashing at Blundell Park this campaign.

Last time Grimsby Town visited Princes Park, Jack Evans scored the Darts only goal in the 26th minute following up Nathan Collier’s rebound. Despite working hard, the Darts conceded two late goals. Andy Cook equalised with fifteen minutes to go and full back Aswad Thomas secured an away win, which earned Grimsby Town a playoff birth. The Mariners failed to return to Wembley losing to Newport County in the semi-final, adding to their disappointment of becoming F.A Trophy runners up.

The Mariners boasted the best defence last season conceding just 38 times, a trend which has continued under boss Paul Hurst. This time out Grimsby Town are ranked fourth in defence, letting in the fewest in the league on their travels. In fact, the Lincolnshire club are on a roll away from Blundell Park having recorded four 1-0 wins in a row versus Nuneaton Town, Hereford United, Wrexham and Kidderminster Harriers. Victory against the Harriers made it Grimsby Town’s third straight triumph in the Conference Premier.

On Tuesday, they hosted in form Woking, who themselves had won their last six fixtures. Incredibly the match featured three stoppage time goals as the two sides drew 2-2. Kevin Betsy looked to have given the Cards victory six minutes from time but Oumare Tounkara struck a last minute equaliser. Woking went back in front through Kieran Murtagh which was eventually cancelled out by Lenell John-Lewis’s stoppage time penalty.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Grimsby Town wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (DLWWDL) Grimsby Town (DWDDLW)
Lincoln City A 0-0 Woking H 2-2
Luton Town H 1-2 Kidderminster Harriers A 1-0
Macclesfield Town H 2-1 Wrexham A 1-0
Hyde A 2-0 Hereford United A 1-0
Cambridge United A 1-1 Luton Town H 1-2
Chester H 0-1 Nuneaton Town A 1-0

Last League Meeting At Princes Park

9 April  2013 – Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 2 – Att: 1201

Goalscorers: Evans (26), Cook (79), Thomas (88)

The Darts Lineup: Somogyi, Green, Arber, Bonner, Burns, Wallis, Bradbrook, Evans, Rogers, Collier, Sheringham (Subs used: Noble, Harris, Prior)

The Mariners Lineup: McKeown, Hatton, Miller, Naylor, Niven, Colbeck, Disley, Wood, Taylor, Cook, John-Lewis (Subs used: Thomas, Artus, Southwell)

Match Stats

dfc v gtfc

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy semi-final / ** – Friendly)

25.09.2013 Grimsby Town 5 Dartford 2
09.04.2013 Dartford 1 Grimsby Town 2
23.02.2013* Dartford 0 Grimsby Town 0
16.02.2013* Grimsby Town 3 Dartford 0
06.10.2012 Grimsby Town 0 Dartford 2
17.04.1897** Dartford 2 Grimsby Town 3


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