Rebels make most of chances as Darwen defeated.
On Wednesday Darwen where at home again, and this time they entertained Manchester club, Abbey Hey. ‘The red rebels’ came into the game full of confidence after previously battering Nelson 7 – 0 in Manchester the week earlier. As for Darwen, it seemed as though they had re-found their goal scoring feet after a 3 – 3 draw with Congleton on Saturday.
As per a usual Darwen game the first few minutes where a hectic few, with both teams exploding out the blocks like packs of wild dogs. Drawen looked to have gained control within the first few minutes, having found holes in the midfield but not being able to cut down the stubborn tree that was the Abbey defence.
4 minutes in and the first shot of the game came to Abbey Hey, when defender Samuel Fitton received the ball off a brake and from around 25 yards fired at goal, his shot although sweetly struck sailed wide left of the goal.
5 minutes in and after good spells by both teams, Abbey Hey broke the deadlock. When a move by Abbey was broken down by Darwen, but Darwen’s defence couldn’t find a clearance. When the attempted clearance finally came it was blocked by an Abbey Hey striker, who deflected the ball into the path of his strike partner Johnathan Hardy who could hardly believe his luck when the ball landed at his feet and the slipped the ball under the keeper. 1 – 0 Abbey Hey.
The first 10 minutes had gone all Hey’s way and only 8 minutes in they had another glorious opportunity, after Omar Mckenzie blitzed passed his maker with incredible speed and swung in a cross towards Hardy again who completely missed the ball on what would have surly been a second.
After 15 Darwen looked to have found their way back into the game when a string of opportunities came there way. The first of which fell to Conor Gaul. When a freekick was curled into the area from about 30 yards and landed at the feet of Gaul who had his back to goal, his turn and shot effort went just wide of the right hand post but it was a good chance for Darwen.
The next chance came off a corner when a mass of Darwen bodies lunged for the ball, one of the many heads got a connection, but it wasn’t a good enough connection and the ball fell again just wide of the goal.
27th minute of the match and Darwen again crafted a great opportunity, after a brilliant piece of skill by Bobby Langford took him away from his man and down the left hand side of the area, followed by a low cross to Kallum Banks, who will have hopped that the ball took a bobble on its way, as his first time shot was fired high enough that it would have probably left, even the boundaries of Wembley itself. The game remained 1 – 0
It was Hey who got the last chance of the half and what a chance it was! When a ball over the top looked to be heading for feet of Benjamin Proctor who had rushed out of his area to clear the ball, but his clearance was miss timed and the ball bounced over his foot! Hardy looked to capitalise, running round the keeper and shooting toward the empty goal. But Martyn Hillier got back fast and blocked the shot before it went into the goal. The half ended 1 – 0 to Abbey Hey.
The cliché “a tale of two” halves springs to mind when describing this game where un-clinical finishing from both sides meant a low scoring half turned into clinical finishing off very limited chances.
4 minutes into the second half Abbey Hey doubled their lead with the first chance of the half. When Nico Collins received the ball through on goal and unselfishly squared the ball into the path of Jack tinning who must have panicked when his shot towards the open goal came so close the bar, but alas the ball went into the back of the net. 2 – 0 Abbey Hey
Half an hour passed before another chance presented itself to either team but when it did, Abbey Hey again capitalised. When a clear case of miss communication lead to the Darwen keeper clearing the ball into the feet of Collins, the Abbey number 9, who finished coolly from range into an open net. 3 – 0 Abbey Hey.
But all was not bad for Darwen, as in the 90th minute an attempted punch by the Abbey Hey keeper Wynne, went behind him! Came to Hiller who headed the ball across the box and to the path of now centre half Ryan Mckenna, who showed that he hadn’t forgotten how to finish by putting the ball into the back of the net. But that was how the game ended.
AFC Darwen 1 v Abbey Hey 3.