Hallmark Security League Premier Division 
15/04/2017, 3:00 pm
AFC Darwen
1 - 1
Hanley Town
WEC Group Anchor Ground
First Team

Match Report





After a poor first half showing Darwen gave a much better second half display and nearly produced a win against eighth placed Hanley Town. Nick Hepple played his first game for Darwen in over three months.

Hanley’s Theo Stair found a way clear on three minutes, but good anticipation and a block by Darwen keeper Ben Proctor kept the scores level, and he had to repeat the move when the visitors got clear again ten minutes later. On twenty five minutes a cross into the Darwen box was met by Martin Stanyer who headed over from a good position. Five minutes later Proctor produced a great reaction to push away a deflected shot in the box, as Hanley missed the the follow up. On thirty eight minutes a Daniel Cope header from a Hanley corner was going in until Ben Proctor made a great save to push the ball over the bar.

As the home side started to make their presence felt in the last ten minutes of the half, they finally created a chance with three minutes to go. Nick Hepple chased a ball over the top and as he pressed Hanley keeper Dane Jackson into mishandling, the ball rolled to Karl Turner, whose shot towards goal managed to find the only defender on the line, who deflected the ball away for a corner.

Half Time: AFC Darwen 0 Hanley Town 0

Ten minutes into the restart, Nick Hepple latched on to a ball over the top, but Hanley keeper Jackson rushed from goal and managed to push the ball away for a corner, and fifteen minutes later the Darwen forward was through again but took too much time to control the ball in front of goal which gave a defender the chance to block. The ball went down the other end but a good cross into the box by Angelo Errico couldn’t find a Hanley head.

Darwen went mighty close again with fifteen minutes to go. A Karl Turner free kick halfway in Hanley territory caused total confusion the the penalty area, with only a last gasp clearance off the line by central defender Joshua Thorpe saving the day. An even better chance came five minutes later when Alex Ralph received a throw in, turned his marker and fired a low cross along the Hanley goal line. Karl Turner was there at the far post unmarked but stabbed the ball wide.

The visitors were increasingly reliant on breakaways but nearly opened the scoring themselves when Angelo Errico was put clear. His well struck shot from outside the box was equally well pushed out by Ben Proctor, with a follow up going wide.

The deadlock was finally broken with five minutes to go. Hanley lost posseion in the Darwen half, and the ball was cleared to Nick Hepple who outpaced his marker, and then rounded the keeper to slot the ball home.

The lead didn’t last long as four minutes later a ball was back headed in the centre circle, catching out the Darwen defence. Errico put the ball over the top and after a scramble in the box, Joshua Thorpe managed to poke the ball into the net.

As the game moved into injury time the visitors had a chance to win as another boot into the Darwen half found Daniel Cope, but with only the keeper to beat, he fired wide.

Full Time: AFC Darwen 1 Hanley Town 1


REFEREE: Alex Gray

ASSISTANTS: David Burton, Tom Elliott


Hanley Town: Thorpe (89)

AFC Darwen: Hepple (85)


Hanley Town: Joshua Thorpe

AFC Darwen: Ben Proctor

YELLOW CARDS: Stanyer (Hanley Town), Lonsdale (AFC Darwen)



Hanley Town

1 Dane Jackson

2 Charlie Goodstraw

3 Jonathon Sheldon

4 Ben Blowers

5 Joshua Thorpe

6 Martin Stanyer (Capt.)

7 Oliver Mellor

8 Jamie Skellern

9 Daniel Cope

10 Theo Stair

11 Angelo Errico

12 Tom Ashton (replaced Skellern, 65 minutes)

14 Joshua Bristow

15 Joe Donaldson

16 Michael Morton

AFC Darwen

1 Ben Proctor

2 Jamie Edwards

3 Kallum Banks

4 Jordan Scott

5 Adam Douglas

6 Keith Wedge

7 Mohammed Nabeel

8 Kiel Lonsdale

9 Nick Hepple

10 Karl Turner

11 Anthony Lynch

12 Daniel Russell (replaced Douglas, 69 minutes)

14 Declan Cunliffe

15 Alex Ralph (replaced Lonsdale, 71 minutes)

16 Reece Malone