HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
MAINE ROAD 2 AFC DARWEN 2
Road were forced into making a number of changes for this Friday night game against a Darwen team that had started to turn their season around a little with 2 wins in December.
Jake Howarth came in to replace Ryan Livesey between the sticks, Road were also missing John Mason, Callum Broady
Darwen have started the brighter of the 2 sides and were playing some decent football. On 4 minutes the ball is given away on the edge of the Maine Road penalty area and a good shot from Darwen sees Jake Howarth pull off a fine save and turns the ball away for the first corner of the game.
5 minutes and Road have started to shake Christmas off their legs and Rory Breslin makes a fantastic sliding tackle in midfield. Breslin gets up with the ball and finds Matthew Morgan free just outside of the box, Morgan shoots and the AFC Darwen is tested with a swirling dipping shot from Morgan. He pulls off the first of many saves he was to make tonight.
13 minutes and Road are pressing again, Rory Breslin seems to be at the thick of everything that is good for Road in this first half. Breslin is fouled but the referee plays a good advantage and Tinker tests the keeper with another long range shot that again is swirling but the keeper makes another good save
17 minutes in and Road are awarded a very fortunate free kick just inside the AFC Darwen half. Matthew Morgan steps up and crosses a superb free kick just near the penalty spot. Stevie Mason gets there first and heads the ball past the Darwen keeper
20 minutes and Jake Howarth is called on again. The Road defence was caught napping and the Darwen forward shoots but Howarth makes a fine save, the ball falls at another Darwen forwards feet and he scores into the empty net only to be ruled offside by the assistant referee
22 minutes and this game is really end to end. Some excellent work between Matthew Wilson and Rhys Clooney rips the Darwen defence into two. The ball lands to Morgan whos shot is charged down, the ball spurns into the air and the keeper pulls off another great save from the head of Christy OBrien.
23 minutes and nearly 2 – 0 to Mason and Road but his shot from a Matthew Morgan corner is yet again saved from the keeper.
30 minutes and a well worked short free kick (after Derek shouting for us to take it short) is played from Mason to Matthew Morgan. Matthew Morgan takes the ball forward and shoot from outside the box and yet another great save
32 minutes and Roads pace is causing the Darwen team all sorts of problems, Matthew Wilson is put through and he is one on one with the keeper but some brilliant last minute defending stops a certain goal
37 minutes in and Road are testing the Darwen keeper but he is still keeping the score at 1 – 0 to Road
41 minutes and Rory Breslin wins the ball again in midfield, he passes out wide to Christy OBrien who takes the Darwen left back on Christy goes past him easily and breaks away. Christy crosses brilliantly to Rhys Clooney who pulls his shot just wide. To be fair he hit it first time and wanted to keep it away from the keeper as he had saved everything else that Road had thrown at him
45 minutes and all the hard work pays off. Matthew Morgan releases Matthew Wilson and his pace takes him clear, he is now one on one with the keeper and this time he smashes the ball past the Darwen keeper
MAINE ROAD 2 – 0 AFC DARWEN
AFC Darwen again start the brighter of the 2 teams and are pressing Road back towards the Road area
53 minutes and Matthew Wilson is one on one again with the keeper but he pulls his shot just wide
62 minutes and the lead is halved after the Darwen second half pressure pays off. Darwen had played cross after cross into the Road box for the second half but it was a bit of real quality that paid off for them with a fantastic shot from Declan Cunliffe leaving Jake Howarth with no chance as the ball is fired into the roof of the net
64 minutes and the scores a level, again a real piece of quality from Darwen brings them their equaliser as Conor Gaul fires in
76 minutes and Road find their first half game when Matthew Morgan playing in his new boots bought in the Boxing Day sales crosses brilliantly to Christy OBrien, his shot beats everyone but rattles against the Darwen crossbar
82 minutes Jack Blundell replaces Christy OBrien
85 minutes and Road are appealing for a penalty but the referee waves away their claims
86 minutes and Matthew New Boxing Day Sale Boots Mogan plays another great ball into Matthew Wilson, he beats the keeper but the ball hits the post and rolls across the goal line and hits the other post and lands in the keepers hands
87 minutes and the keeper saves again from Stevie Mason’s header
90th minute Jack Blundell is cautioned
92nd minute and its the keeper again of Darwen keeping the score at 2 – 2
Good comeback from AFC Darwen but Road must be ruing not taking their chances but a lot of credit must go to the AFC Darwen keeper who was on great form tonight