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Truro City v Dartford

Dartford could climb to fourth in the National League South if they beat Tuesday’s opponents Truro City.

Tony Burman’s side occupy the final playoff spot, with Truro City level on points in fourth place. The Cornwall club have four games in hand and face a fixture backlog this month.

The Darts have turned around their form with seven points from the last three games. The Easter period has got the club’s playoff bid back on track after previously losing four in a row. A comfortable home win against Bishop’s Stortford was followed up by a creditable draw with league leaders and local rivals Ebbsfleet United.

On Saturday, Dartford’s win over fellow playoff chasers leapfrogged them over their opponents Maidenhead United. Two first half goals from Danny Harris and Elliot Bradbrook in the space of six minutes clinched victory. Harris scored just after the half hour mark with a well taken curling effort which finished in the top corner. Andy Pugh won a penalty which Elliot Bradbrook netted, the skipper scoring on his return from a three match ban.

Paul Sawyer took charge in the dugout in the absence of manager Tony Burman, who has missed the last two matches in the dugout through illness. Jack Simmons was missing after turning his ankle in training, Callum McNaughton is out with a fractured metatarsal. Tom Bradbrook was substituted early on against Maidenhead United after pulling up sharply, he was replaced by the returning Pugh. Paul Lorraine is yet to feature since signing for the Darts, the defender is making good progress to get fit. Lee Burns was also named in the squad on the weekend after recovering from a groin strain.

Truro City are eighteen points behind third place Sutton United, but another postponement on the weekend has left them with nine fixtures to cram in by the end of the month.

Since September, Truro City have been one of the most consistent teams in the National South. The first month of the season yielded just five points from a possible 21 and included a 6-0 hammering at home to Oxford City. The defeat had been a wakeup call as the White Tigers went on to lose just once over the next twenty two games. Their last four National South matches have resulted in a win, a draw and two defeats.

The Darts have yet to beat Truro City in all three attempts since their first meeting in 2011. However, Dartford did record their best result against the Cornwall club at Treyew Road, on the final day of the 2011/12 season.

With a playoff place and runners up spot secured, Dartford travelled to the West Country and returned with a 1-1 draw. All the action happened in the final three minutes when veteran striker Barry Hayles gave the home side the lead and in injury time Jacob Erskine levelled for the Darts. The two encounters at Princes Park ended in Truro City wins, most recently in September when the White Tigers won the match with an Isaac Vassell goal three minutes from time.

Head to Head
Truro City wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 0 / Draws 1

Current League Form

Truro City (LDWLWW) Dartford (WDWLLL)
Sutton United H 0-2 Maidenhead United H 2-0
Maidenhead United A 0-0 Ebbsfleet United A 1-1
Bath City H 3-1 Bishop’s Stortford H 3-1
Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-2 Havant & Waterlooville A 0-2
Chelmsford City H 1-0 Maidenhead United A 1-2
Bishop’s Stortford A 3-0 Whitehawk H 2-4

Last Meeting at Treyew Road

28 April 2012 – Truro City 1 Dartford 1 – attendance 751
Goalscorers: Hayles (87), Erskine (90)

The Darts lineup: Louis Wells, Lee Burns, Adam Green, Tom Bonner, Luke Wilkinson, Tom Champion, Lee Noble, James Rogers, Jacob Erskine, Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris (Subs used: Richard Graham, Ryan Hayes, Tony Garrod)

Previous Meetings

19.09.2015 Dartford 0 Truro City 1
28.04.2012 Truro City 1 Dartford 1
22.10.2011 Dartford 1 Truro City 2

Stats
3 – points Dartford have taken from sides above them in the National South, three draws and three defeats. Truro City and Maidstone United are the last of the two the Darts face until the end of the season.

8 – the number of promotions achieved by Dartford and Truro City over the last ten years. The Darts have been promoted three times whilst Truro City five times, both sides have suffered relegation once.

46 – the Darts have conceded 46 times this season and on a per game basis only the top three Ebbsfleet United, Maidstone United and Sutton United have a tighter defence. Truro City have let in 42 but have played four less games.

Only Maidstone United (2.06) and Maidenhead United (2.00) have a better points per game ratio at home than Truro City (1.88).

On This Day
Dartford have won just once in nine attempts on 5 April since reforming. In fact, they had to wait 34 years between a 1-0 Southern Premier League win over Wimbledon in 1977 and a 3-0 victory against Ramsgate, in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final five years ago. In between those years, the Darts drew four and lost six with the most important point earned eight years ago at Potters Bar Town. Battling for the Isthmian Division One North, captain Alex O’Brien saved the match and completed a comeback from two down, Jay May scored the other to keep the Darts marginally ahead of AFC Sudbury at the top of the table.

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