Macclesfield Town v Dartford

Dartford have pride to play for now relegation to the Conference South has been confirmed, starting with their final away game of the season at Macclesfield Town this weekend.

The Darts were relegated on Tuesday night when Kent rivals Welling United beat Wrexham. Tony Burman’s side may be down and out but they still have some say in Macclesfield Town’s fate. The Silkmen have dropped out of the playoff places and trail Forest Green Rovers in fifth spot by a point with two matches left.

The unlikely scenario of survival has failed to materialise, however Dartford will be targeting consecutive wins in the league for the first time since March last year. On Saturday, the Darts completed a double over Nuneaton Town who were also relegated on Tuesday night. For the fifth league game this campaign, Dartford had to come from a goal down to secure three points. A fortunate free kick was awarded to Boro mid way through the first half and from it Andy Brown gave the visitors a lead, the striker headed from close range.

Burman’s half time words had a positive impact as his side looked more attacking and were rewarded with a penalty. Gareth Dean was adjudged to be holding Harry Crawford and captain Elliot Bradbrook dispatched the spot kick. Tom Bradbrook scored his first goal since returning from injury heading his seventh of the campaign in all competitions. Harry Crawford wrapped things up from close range to secure a 3-1 win for the Darts.

Dartford have only beaten their opponents at Moss Rose once in four attempts, claiming their only victory 41 years ago in a F.A Trophy semi-final. Ending the campaign as Southern League champions, the Darts beat the Silkmen 2-1 in the first leg. Dave Cunningham and Alan Payne scored that day and with a goalless second leg, Ernie Morgan’s side reached Wembley

The Silkmen have dominated meetings on their own patch ever since with three straight wins. The first of a trio of triumphs avenged the 1974 semi-final loss, the Cheshire club knocked Peter Taylor’s Dartford out in the same round 15 years later. This time the first leg ended 0-0 but Macclesfield Town ran out 4-1 winners in their home leg to reach the F.A Trophy final.

With Dartford returning to the top flight of non league football the two sides met for the first time in the league just two and a half years ago. Macclesfield Town won the first league meeting comfortably recording a 2-0 victory thanks to a Tom Champion own goal and a last minute Charlie Henry penalty. Last term the Silkmen triumphed 3-1 despite falling a goal behind when Matthew Godden scored from the spot. In the space of four minutes Scott Boden and a Connor Jennings brace handed Macclesfield Town the three points.

Macclesfield Town have failed to win any of their last six fixtures and are joint bottom of the form guide. The Silkmen do have an exemplary home record this term tasting defeat only twice boasting the best home defence. Sporadically, John Askey’s side have flirted with second spot thanks to some excellent form throughout October to early March.

On the weekend, the Silkmen suffered what may be a costly defeat when they went down 3-1 to Forest Green Rovers. Their opponents jumped above them into the final playoff spot making the last two games crucial. Losses to Gateshead and Nuneaton Town then draws against Bristol Rovers, FC Halifax Town and Wrexham prior Saturday has left the Silkmen vulnerable.

Matthew Barnes-Homer is one to watch, the striker is joint top scorer is Macclesfield Town’s top scorer in the Conference Premier this term. In a second spell with the club, Barnes-Homer returned after playing for Forest Green Rovers, Cambridge United, Tamworth and Whitehawk. The 29 year old hit headlines with the club during an F.A Cup run two years ago, his brace knocked out Premier League side Cardiff City.

Earlier this season the two sides could not be separated in a 1-1 draw despite Ryan Hayes giving Dartford the lead with five minutes remaining. The Darts managed to stay ahead for only two minutes when Barnes-Homer grabbed a late equaliser.

Head to Head

Macclesfield Town wins: 3 / Dartford wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Macclesfield Town (LDDDLL) Dartford (WLDDLD)
Forest Green Rovers  A  1-3 Nuneaton Town  H  3-1
Wrexham  H  2-2 Barnet  H  0-1
FC Halifax Town  A  2-2 Torquay United  A  1-1
Bristol Rovers  H  0-0 Gateshead  A  1-1
Nuneaton Town  H  0-1 Altrincham  H  1-2
Gateshead  A  1-2 Alfreton Town  A  0-0

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

11.10.2014 Dartford 1 Macclesfield Town 1
29.03.2014 Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 1
16.11.2013 Macclesfield Town 3 Dartford 1
15.01.2013 Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 0
18.08.2012 Macclesfield Town 2 Dartford 0
15.04.1989* Macclesfield Town 4 Dartford 1
08.04.1989* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
06.04.1974* Dartford 0 Macclesfield Town 0
30.03.1974* Macclesfield Town 1 Dartford 2



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