First Team



Darlington FC

Sat 26 Jan 2019 | National League North | Home


Tamside Stadium




Steven Copeland



Darlington got straight into the game and showed their intent when they recorded the first chance of the game after Josef Wheatley made some space outside the box and hit his effort into the side netting.


 After a shaky start Curzon soon settled and started to put pressure onto Darlington and showed some great link up play especially between Lewis Reilly and Oliver Crankshaw, the two linked up on 12 minutes when Crankshaw going down the left rolled in Reilly with a defence splitting ball, Reilly hit his shot past keeper Maddison but the ball just clipped the far post.


On 20 minutes Darlington showed their ability to break with pace after defending a corner the launched a break which saw Harvey Saunders hit a shot from the right which rolled across the Curzon goal.


A minute later Cameron Mason had to be alert from a long range shot which he tipped over the bar, from the resulting corner Oliver Thornley did well, twice, to thwart a Darlington shot on goal as the ball bounced around. 


Although Curzon were having their fair share of possession, On 26 minutes Mason had to again be alert to save a shot from Jordan Nicholson, at the other end a minute later, Crankshaw rose to head the ball down to Reilly inside the box and with only the keeper to beat, Reilly failed to connect.


On 31 minutes Luke Wall found some space on the edge of the box but his shot was deflected away for a corner, from the resulting corner Curzon came inches away from taking the lead after good work from Thornley.


The best chance of the half came on 33 minutes when Mohamud Ali meet a cross from Wall, he flicked it onto the far post where Ryan Brooke was, with an empty net in front of him he failed to convert.


Five minutes later it was the turn of Saunders to threaten after he did well beating two Curzon defenders but only winning a corner for his efforts. 


As both sides went in at half time pleased with their contribution as both sides attacked with purpose and created some good chances as well as defending well when they had to.


It only took two minutes into the second half for Curzon to take the lead, Crankshaw not giving up on loose ball played down the right, he then sent his marker the wrong way before putting in a cross, keeper Maddison managed to get a hand to the ball but could only put it in to the path of Reilly who side footed the ball home.


On 58 minutes Crankshaw again down the right delivers  a great cross which Reilly misses but it hits a defender and somehow clips the bar and out for a corner for Curzon.


A mad minute occurred on 62 minutes after a Darlington corner saw a mass scramble for the ball inside Curzon’s box, seeing two players going to ground and a shout for a penalty which the referee Simon Copeland ignored, then as Curzon broke through Crankshaw he was hacked down by Nicholson who was lucky to only receive a yellow card.


On 70 minutes Darling got the equaliser and it was a thunder bolt, following a Darlington corner the ball fell to Tom Elliott who connected to the shot with both power and accuracy giving Mason no chance in the Curzon goal.


Darlington now the side looking for the second came close on 74 minutes after they broke down the right with Saunders but his cross from the left went straight across the Curzon goal without anyone getting close to tapping it home. 


As the rain came down at the Tameside Stadium both side went looking for the winner, Curzon substitute John McAtee was unlucky with his effort on 77 minutes which was blocked, at the other end another cross from the left was hit straight across the Curzon box without anyone able to get onto the end of it.


On 83 minutes Curzon’s captain Jonathon Hunt did superbly when he rose to flick away a dangerous cross from the right, then a minute later Saunders again in a great position dragged his shot wide of Mason’s far post when he should have done better.


In the final few minutes with the game in the balance, both sides defended strongly as not to give anything away and with 3 minutes additional neither side did not want to give up their hard earned point.


The final action of the game saw Darlington win a corner but Curzon held firm and defended solidly, both sides fully deserved the applause as they came off after the final whistle as they gave everything in some awful weather.

Match Report by David Jones


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