Dartford v Altrincham

Dartford welcome opponents Altrincham to Princes Park for the first time ever this weekend having last played hosts twenty six years ago.

Watling Street was the venue last time these two sides met with the clubs a division apart. The F.A Trophy Quarter Final tie ended with the Darts upsetting their visitors in a 1-0 victory, thanks to Dartford’s record appearance maker Steve Robinson’s goal.

This season it was Altrincham who ran out winners on Non League Day with top goalscorer Damian Reeves netting a brace either side of half time. Reeves followed up a rebound just before the interval and added a second three minutes into the second half. Elliot Bradbrook gave Dartford some hope with seven minutes remaining but Alty deservedly took the three points.

With Dartford edging closer to Conference South football next season, manager Tony Burman has witnessed his side’s mixed fortunes over the last fortnight. The busy and crucial period of the campaign has seen plenty of six pointers which started at home to Alfreton Town. The last minute defeat was disheartening for the team. Hope was restored a few days later with a 2-1 away win at Chester only for a disappointing 2-0 loss at Southport.

On Tuesday night Alfreton Town were on the schedule again with the Darts desperate for victory they could only manage a 0-0 draw. Andy Pugh and Harry Crawford went close early on and Elliot Bradbrook had his shot tipped away. Peter Sweeney’s long range free kick went wide in an improved Dartford performance. Crawford failed to take advantage of a one on one early in the second half and Danny Harris tested Jason Mooney in the Alfreton Town goal. Late on Harris almost grabbed a vital three points for the Darts only for his shot to be cleared off the line.  he result leaves Dartford ten points behind with seven games to play.

Altrincham may have taken to adapt to their new surroundings but Lee Sinnott’s side have settled well back in the Conference Premier. Alty spent three season’s away in the Conference North and won the playoffs last term. Up until the start of November it looked as though Altrincham would be battling at the bottom with Dartford. However, the Greater Manchester club began to pick up wins ending 2014 strongly and starting this year equally so.

Currently Altrincham are going through a blip with just one win from their last eight games. Without a match in midweek, Alty ended a two match losing streak with a 0-0 draw at home to FC Halifax Town. Donning a pink kit for Cancer Awareness, Altrincham picked up their 50th point of the campaign and will certainly be playing Conference Premier football next term.

Team News

Deren Ibrahim continued his run in goal over the last week with Jason Brown out injured (hamstring). Tom Bradbrook has been out injured but is still hopeful of a return before the end of the season. Midfield duo Lee Noble and Elliot Bradbrook have both received nine cautions this term and are one more away from suspension.

Last weekend Altrincham welcomed back goalkeeper Stuart Coburn, full back Adam Griffin and midfielder Simon Richman to the starting eleven whilst skipper, Shaun Densmore was out injured. Peter Cavanagh is one caution away from a match suspension.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Altrincham wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (DLWLDL) Altrincham (DLLWLL)
Alfreton Town  A  0-0 FC Halifax Town  H  0-0
Southport  A  0-2 Dover Athletic  A  1-2
Chester  A  2-1 Wrexham  H  1-4
Alfreton Town  H  0-1 Welling United  A  1-0
FC Halifax Town  A  0-0 Barnet  H  1-3
Woking  H  1-3 Bristol Rovers  A  0-1

Last Meeting at Watling Street

11 March 1989 – Dartford 1 Altrincham 0 – F.A Trophy Quarter Final

Goalscorers: Robinson (55)

Club favourite Steve Robinson scored the winner to put the Darts into the F.A Trophy semi final. Dartford were unable to reach Wembley in a two legged defeat against eventual runners up Macclesfield Town. The Darts playing a league below Altrincham ended the season as runners up in the Southern League whilst Alty finished 14th in the Conference Premier.

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

06.09.2014 Altrincham 2 Dartford 1
11.03.1989* Dartford 1 Altrincham 0
01.02.1986 Dartford 3 Altrincham 2
21.09.1985 Altrincham 0 Dartford 0
27.04.1985 Altrincham 2 Dartford 1
29.09.1984 Dartford 1 Altrincham 0
13.03.1982 Dartford 0 Altrincham 1
24.10.1981 Altrincham 2 Dartford 0
14.03.1981* Dartford 3 Altrincham 1

Stats (up to 21 March 2015)

0:25 – Ryan Hayes still holds the record for the quickest Conference Premier goal this term, his strike after 25 seconds against Kidderminster Harriers.

37 – number of shots Altrincham’s Jake Moult has gone without scoring, the current longest sequence of any Conference Premier player

45 – Dartford’s 2-0 defeat at Southport means they have gone 45 games without back to back wins.

96:17 – Alty’s Kyle Perry left it late against AFC Telford United recording the latest goal of this season’s Conference Premier campaign

223 – Alty are top of the mis-hitters with 223 shots off target this campaign

On This Day

Since Dartford reformed the club are unbeaten in four games on 28 March. The Darts beat Bashley 1-0 back in 1992 and six years later drew 0-0 with Havant Town, now Havant and Waterlooville. In 2005 and 2009 a pair of 2-2 draws against Wingate and Finchley and Tonbridge Angles has kept the run going.

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