Lincoln City v Dartford

Dartford travel to Sincil Bank on the weekend knowing their first ever win against Lincoln City will move them within a point of the Imps.

Tony Burman has seen improvements in his side who are becoming difficult to beat. Yet failure to turn draws into victories has kept Dartford battling with the bottom half of the table. Now out of the relegation places by a point, the Darts have drawn five of their last eight league matches.

Harry Crawford earned Dartford their latest draw in Ryan Hayes’ 300th start for the club. Up against a Southport side unbeaten under Gary Brabin, the Darts fell behind right on the stroke of half time when John Marsden gave the Sandgrounders a half time advantage. Good work by the tireless Lee Noble set Crawford up four minutes into injury time to score a last minute equaliser. Hayes’ appearance put him on 415 in total for the club moving up to sixth in the all time Dartford list.

Since the loss at Grimsby Town, Burman has led his side to an unbeaten run of three competitive matches starting with the 4-3 F.A Cup first round win at Bromley. A few days later Welling United were defeated thanks to goals from Max Cornhill and Crawford, although the Wings had two players sent off and pulled a goal back, Dartford grabbed the three points.

In April, the Darts picked up their first point against Saturday’s opponents in a goalless draw. On loan midfielder Jim Stevenson came the closest for the Darts as both sides rarely threatened to find the net. The clean sheet was in stark contrast to previous meetings when early goals from the Imps helped them to victory on three occasions.

In the only other visit to Sincil Bank, Dartford were a goal down inside six minutes when Vadaine Oliver scored. The hosts had Jake Sheridan sent off before Lee Noble equalised, however a last minute penalty dispatched by Colin Larkin condemned the Darts to defeat. Lincoln City have also beaten Burman’s side twice at Princes Park taking first half leads in both matches.

Lincoln City, now in their fourth consecutive Conference Premier campaign have managed to hit the headlines thanks to jelly babies and a sauna. During their four game unbeaten start, the Imps travelled to Barnet after their team bus failed to turn up. The players made their way to the Hive minus a tactics board and so former boss Gary Simpson used jelly babies to help get his message across instead.

Simpson himself was relieved of his managerial duties at the start of this month. A run of one win sandwiched between six defeats in August and September didn’t help matters. When Lincoln City threw away a three goal lead to draw 3-3 with Forest Green Rovers, the board reviewed the clubs situation and ended Simpson’s reign.

Similar to Dartford, the Imps are unable to turn draws into wins. With just one triumph in their last eight league games they have drawn five of those fixtures and lost twice. Without a weekend fixture for two weeks, Lincoln City’s last scheduled match was the Conference Premier’s first postponement this term. A sauna in the Hilton Hotel the Imps were staying at caught fire leaving the squad with no kit and  so the away match against Eastleigh was called off.

The Imps’ main threat comes from striker Ben Tomlinson, who scored against the Darts in a 2-1 win at Princes Park last season. Having returned from injury, with a second half appearance at Gateshead in Lincoln City’s last league outing, the 25 year old has netted six times this campaign. Sean Newton is leading scorer in all competitions on eight and is amongst the highest assist makers in the league so far.

Meanwhile, Jordan Burrow played in England C’s 4-2 win on Tuesday night versus Estonia, Jon Nolan was called up to take part after initially being one of the contingency players. Delano Sam-Yorke is another player Burman will be familiar with, the striker played against the Darts for Basingstoke Town in the Conference South during Dartford’s promotion season. Sam-Yorke also had a spell with Cambridge United last term and is in his second loan spell with the Imps.

It’s now up to caretaker managers Chris Moyses and Grant Brown to guide the Imps. Moyses has previous experience in the city with Lincoln Moorlands Railway and Lincoln City. Brown spent 13 years at the club making over 400 appearances between 1989 and 2002 and is now in his fourth spell as caretaker manager.

Team News

Dartford will be without striker Andy Pugh who required an operation after the Welling United game. Lee Burns was unable to finish the mid-week fixture against the Wings and missed the draw versus Southport due to the injury he picked up. Mat Mitchel-King and Collier have also been out with injury and have not featured in last two league games, leaving the Darts short in numbers at the back. Elliot Bradbrook has dropped into defence from midfield in recent games. Callum Driver made his full début last weekend after signing for Dartford prior the Welling United clash. Central defender Rory McAuley remains one caution away from suspension.

Head to Head

Lincoln City wins: 3 / Dartford wins: 0 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Lincoln City (DLDDWD) Dartford (DWLDDL)
Gateshead  A  3-3 Southport  H  1-1
Altrincham  H  1-2 Welling United  H  2-1
Forest Green Rovers  A  3-3 Grimsby Town  A  0-3
Wrexham  H  1-1 Aldershot Town  H  1-1
AFC Telford United  H  2-0 Macclesfield Town  H  1-1
Southport  A  3-3 Bristol Rovers  A  0-1

Last Meeting at Sincil Bank

5 April 2014 – Lincoln City 0 Dartford 0 – Att: 1947

Lincoln City Lineup: Townsend, Newton, Brown, Miller, Foster, Power, Nolan, Adams, Sheridan, Mendy, Brighy (subs used: Arthur, Robinson)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, McAuley, Mitchel-King, Sterling, Bradbrook, Burns, Woodyard, Cornhill, Stevenson, Harris, Suarez (subs used: Collier, Swallow, Dembele)

Match Stats

lcfc v dfc stats


Previous Meetings

05.04.2014 Lincoln City 0 Dartford 0
31.08.2013 Dartford 1 Lincoln City 2
09.02.2013 Lincoln City 2 Dartford 1
08.12.2012 Dartford 2 Lincoln City 4


415 – total number of appearances made by Ryan Hayes. The midfielder has made 300 starts making him the 13th player to do so in a Dartford shirt. During his ten years with the club he has scored 83 times, the ninth highest total.

9 – Lincoln City have been awarded nine penalties this season, the second highest behind Barnet (10). Dartford have conceded six, the most in the division this term.

28 – league games since Dartford won by more than one goal, currently the longest sequence in Conference Premier. The last time the Darts won by more than one goal was on 22 March 2014 against Hyde, Alex Wall’s brace earned Dartford a 2-0 win.

3.45 – the average number of goals involving Lincoln City games this season, the second highest behind AFC Telford United’s 3.50.

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