Chester v Dartford

Dartford make the mid-week trip to Chester just three days after their survival chances took a major blow.

Fortunes of the two clubs have contrasted over the last twelve months. The two sides were both reprieved at the end of last season having finished in the bottom four. Chester have grabbed the second chance with both hands whilst Dartford’s grip on the Conference Premier is loosening.

A last minute weekend defeat at the hands of Alfreton Town has made the Darts task very difficult. From the remaining ten games Tony Burman’s side have to recover an eleven point gap from Saturday’s opponents.

Chances went begging in the first half with Elliot Bradbrook and Andy Pugh missing opportunities. Pugh came close a few more times but the Reds goalkeeper Jason Mooney was equal to his efforts. Alfreton Town completed a third consecutive win without conceding a minute from time when Tom Shaw scored the winner.

In their last campaign, Chester finished in heartbreaking fashion. Steve Burr’s side were ‘relegated’ on the final minute of the final matchday on goal difference. With Hereford United and Salisbury City losing their Conference Premier status, the Blues like Dartford were given a second chance. Burr has now guided Chester to tenth spot in a much improved season.

On the weekend, the Blues came from two goals down to dent the title hopes of Grimsby Town. Ollie Palmer and John-Paul Pittman put the Mariners ahead but the comeback began with fifteen minutes to go. Ben Heneghan cut the deficit in half and John Rooney penalty six minutes from time levelled the match.

It’s not the first time Chester have come from a goal down, as Dartford know from their home game four months ago. Lee Noble volleyed home a Ryan Hayes cross to give the Darts a lead. Two minutes into the second half top scorer and captain Elliot Bradbrook increased the advantage. Within three minutes Chester began to turn the match around, Craig Mahon scored two in four minutes before Matty Hughes made it 3-2. A fourth arrived in the closing stages, Barnsley loanee Rhys Oates completed the comeback. The last meeting at the Deva Stadium ended 0-0 back in September 2013.

Dartford’s form has improved over the last six matches in comparison to the previous ten when they lost nine. Although the Darts have won once in the last six fixtures they have picked up points against Bristol Rovers, Aldershot Town and FC Halifax Town. Meanwhile, Chester have lost just twice from their last nine games, winning five and drawing twice.

Head to Head

Chester wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 0 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Chester (DWLLWW) Dartford (LDLDWD)
Grimsby Town  H  2-2 Alfreton Town  H  0-1
Torquay United  A  1-0 FC Halifax Town  A  0-0
Wrexham  A  0-1 Woking  H  1-3
Eastleigh  H  0-1 Aldershot Town  A  1-1
Lincoln City  A  1-0 AFC Telford United  A  3-2
Welling United  A  3-1 Bristol Rovers  H  2-2

Last League Meeting at the Deva Stadium

7 September 2013 – Chester 0 Dartford 0 – Att: 2587

Chester Lineup: Danby, Kay, Linwood, McIntyre, Higginbotham, Harrison, L Turner, N Turner, Mills, Titchiner, Chippendale (subs used: Seddon, Lindfield, Reed)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Clark, Collier, Fry, Burns, Hayes, Noble, Bradbrook, Woodyard, Harris, Birchall (subs used: Rogers)

Match Stats

cfc v dfc

Previous Meetings

25.11.2014 Chester 2 Dartford 4
07.03.2014 Dartford 0 Chester 1
07.09.2013 Chester 0 Dartford 0

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