Match Report by David Ainsworth

AFC Darwen Reserves 2-4 Accrington Amateurs Saturday 22.09.18 ko 2.30 pm

AFC Darwen Reserves slipped to another defeat at the hands of a very physical Accrington Amateurs outfit at the Anchor Ground. As with other games this season Darwen missed a hatful of chances which should have seen them come away with a deserved victory, however the game changed just before half time when Darwen keeper Josh Cosgrove was carried from the field with what looked like a serious leg injury and with no substitute keeper on the bench Chris Mbeka had to take over between the sticks.

Darwen had all the early pressure and the first chance came in second minute but from a corner the chance was headed over. Almost immediately Darwen were back on the attack and this time the ball cannoned back into play from the inside of the post. Darwen eventually took the lead in the seventh minute when Luke Williams was on hand to slot home. Accrington began to come into the game and maybe should have had a penalty in the fifteenth minute but the referee ignored their appeals, Darwen then broke clear through Luke Williams but he shot wide from a good position. Josh Cosgrove then pulled off a good save to deny Accrington but from the resulting corner Chris Grimshaw equalised for the visitors. Darwen the went ahead again in the twenty second minute with a well worked goal from Elliott Welsh. Accrington were catching Darwen on the break and it was Josh Cosgrove to the rescue again on the half hour after a mistake in the defence had presented the visitors an opening. It was then Darwen’s turn to go close but a good chance was wasted when the ball was put wide of the post. With the game now swinging form end to end it was Accrington who came close again when they hit the bar and from the rebound Josh Cosgrove pulled off another fine save. The game changing moment came in the forty second minute when an Accrington forward broke clear and Josh Cosgrove dived bravely at his feet to save the day but it appeared to suffer a serious leg injury and was carried from the field with Chris Mbeka taking over in goal. There was still time for Darwen to create another chance but this one went over the ball to leave Darwen with a 2-1 half time advantage.

Darwen had an early chance to extend their lead but the Accrington keeper pulled off a good save. Accrington were level in the forty seventh minute when Mike Berry found himself in the clear to fire home. Darwen still pressed forward but chances again were wasted especially in the fifty eigth minuet when it seemed easier to score than shoot wide. The visitors went ahead when Mike Berry again found himself in space and from just outside the area he shot powerfully into the roof of the net. All the good football was being played by Darwen and chances still came and went and when they did hit the target they found the Accrington keeper in good form has he pulled off a number of good saves. The game was now nearly all being played in the Accrington half as the visitors tired but as before numerous chances to draw level were squandered. Then in the eighty sixth minute a defensive mistake allowed Mike Berry to complete his hat trick to give the visitors a two goal advantage. On the stroke of full time Accrington’s keeper pulled off another great save when a tipped an effort onto the bar and from the resulting corner he tipped another goal bound header onto the bar to leave the visitors with a 4-2 victory.

AFC Darwen team: 1. Josh Cosgrove, 2. Borislav Petkov, 3. Matthew Fenton, 4. Jack Beech, 5. Jorge Hayhurst, 6. Fenton Brown, 7. Elliott Welsh 8. James Brindle, 9. Scott Walsh, 10. Luke Williams, 11. Chris Mbeka. Subs. 12. Marvin Martin, 14. Tom Fox