Preview and stats pack for Saturday’s home game v Kidderminster
After two Saturdays away from home we return to Blackwell Meadows this weekend to try and continue our recent good form (writes Simon Hahn).
Despite defeat at Brackley last weekend the three wins prior to that have given everybody hope that we will be able to avoid relegation, and we go into Saturday’s game five points above the bottom three.
Stephen Thompson will return to the squad following his one match suspension, as will Reece Styche after a bout of flu.
Kidderminster are one of the form teams in the division. They lost 2-0 at home to Harrogate last week, but this was their first league defeat in 17 matches, a run going back to September.
This run has taken them to fifth in the table, looking set for a playoff place come the end of the season.
Despite this they have only won four games on their travel this season and have only been involved in two games that have had four or more goals in it.
Harriers are in their second season in the National North following relegation from the top level of non-league football and lost in the playoff semi-finals last time around.
Our meeting at Aggborough earlier in the season ended in a 3-3 draw after a fantastic second half display saw us earn a point at the death thanks to Dave Syers.
It is Harriers’ first trip to Blackwell Meadows having played us at Heritage Park last season – they have played us on our three previous grounds. However, they have been part of many big matches in Darlington including our first game at the Arena which they won 2-0.
Elsewhere this weekend those sides still in the FA Trophy take part in the quarter finals while eight league games still take place. Of the sides below us Leamington host Blyth Spartans while Telford face FC United of Manchester.
Kick off on Saturday is 3:00pm, updates on the game will be made from the club’s Facebook, Twitter and Website. Live Commentary will be broadcast from Darlo Fans Radio at 2:50pm.
Quakers last five matches:
17th February Brackley (away) lost 0-3
Pears, Trotman, Heaton, Galbraith, O’Hanlon, Turnbull, Wheatley (sub Glover 78), Gillies, Syers, Mills, Saunders
Subs: Scott, Bancroft, G Brown, Milburn
10th February Bradford PA (away) won 1-0 Syers
Darlington: Pears, Trotman, O’Hanlon, Turnbull, Heaton, Galbraith, Gillies (sub Brown 84), Wheatley, Styche (sub Mills 89) , Syers, Thompson
Subs: Scott, Bancroft, Saunders
3rd February Blyth (home) won 3-0 Thompson pen, Styche, Syers
Pears, Trotman, O’Hanlon, Turnbull, Heaton, Galbraith, Caton (sub Gillies 78), Wheatley, Styche (sub Saunders 82), Syers, Thompson (sub Scott 88)
Subs: Bancroft, Brown
27th January Leamington (away) won 3-2 Thompson 3
Pears, Brown (sub Syers 24), Heaton, Galbraith, O’Hanlon, Trotman, Wheatley, Scott (sub Turnbull 62), Thompson, Styche, Mills (sub Caton 62)
Subs not used, Bancroft, Gillies
20th January Chorley (home) drew 2-2 Styche, Thompson pen
Pears, Trotman, Galbraith, Turnbull, Heaton, Brown, Mills (sub Saunders 62), Scott, Styche, Wheatley (sub Gillies 81), Thompson (sub Syers 81)
Subs: Marrs, Bancroft,
Leading scorer: Reece Styche 9 (inc 2 in Trophy) Stephen Thompson 7
Team news: Dominic Collins is out because of a hamstring injury – maybe one/two weeks away from a return
Stephen Thompson returns from a one match ban
Reece Styche returns after suffering from flu last week.
James Caton will have a fitness test
Tom Portas and Chris Hunter are still out injured
Current league position: 18th (five points above bottom three)
Position in form table of last six games: 8th
Home form: played 15, won 6, drawn 4, lost 5, goals scored 25, against 19
Last five matches:
17th February Harrogate Town (home) lost 0-2
Flatt, Vaughan, Pearson, Croasdale, Horsfall, Austin, Weeks (sub Bradley 53), McQuilkin, ironside (sub Brown 61), Ngwatala, Sonupe (sub Waring 61)
Subs: Truslove, Palmer
5th February Curzon Ashton (away) won 2-1 (Croasdale, Waring)
27th January Southport (home) won 3-0 Sonupe, Horsfall, Ironside
23rd January FC United of Manchester (home) won 4-0 Croasdale, Ironside, Waring, Ngwatala
9th January Chorley (away) drew 0-0
League position: 5th (level with York City, one point ahead of Spennymoor)
Position in form table of last six games: 7th
Away form: Played 14, won 4, drawn 6, lost 4. Goals for 15, against 16
Leading scorer: Joe Ironside 17 (signed from Nuneaton at the start of the season)
Meetings in last two seasons:
This season: Kidderminster 3 Darlington 3 (Galbraith, Taylor og, Syers)
Darlington: Wilczynski, Collins, Brown, Heaton, Galbraith, Portas (sub Gillies 61), Turnbull, Wheatley, Thompson (sub Caton 61), Cartman (sub Syers 79), Saunders
Subs: Marrs, Scott,
Hall, Pearson, Taylor (sub Williams 46), Croasdale, Horsfall, O’Connor, Weeks, McQuilkin, Ironside, Ngwatala (sub Austin 76), A Brown
Subs: Wright, Sonupe, Truslove
Last season: Darlington 0 Kidderminster 1, — see the highlights here
Kidderminster 2 Darlington 1 (Syers)
AFC Telford United v FC United of Manchester, Bradford PA v North Ferriby, Darlington v Kidderminster Harriers, Leamington v Blyth Spartans, Nuneaton v Chorley, Salford City v Tamworth, Southport v Curzon Ashton, York City v Alfreton