HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
NEW MILLS 0 AFC DARWEN 1
New Mills missed several opportunities to score early in the game, and ultimately paid the price of those misses, as Darwen grew into the match and scored the only goal to come away with a vital win against one of their relegation rivals.
Due to lack of central defenders, manager Adam Douglas had to play from the start.
The game was only two minutes old when a cross found New Mills striker Jordan Erdmann in the clear, but he fired well over the bar. Six minutes later, an angled drive by Ryan Hibbert beat Darwen keeper Ben Proctor but went wide of the opposite post. A few seconds later, Proctor managed to gather an effort by Daniel Douglas-Pringle at the second attempt.
It was Darwen who came closest to opening the scoring on the tenth minute. Anthony Lynch set up Conor Gaul on the wing and his low cross found Bobby Langford, whose drive smashed against the post with Oliver Martin in goal well beaten. Four minutes later Ben Proctor had to push away a Tunde Owolabi effort for a corner.
The visitors took the lead in the twentieth minute. Anthony Lynch broke through the middle and released Conor Gaul down the wing. He cut in to the edge of the box and fired a unstoppable shot past Martin into the corner.
On the half hour, Oliver Martin just beat Conor Gaul to the ball as the forward chased a through pass from Bobby Langford. From the corner, two players went up for the ball, which broke to Anthony Lynch, who saw his drive whistle by the wrong side of the upright.
The visitors should have increased their lead with ten minutes to go when Gaul burst through the middle to set up Bobby Langford just inside the box with only the keeper to beat, but the Darwen striker put his effort wide. Three minutes later a Darwen corner caused a mad scramble in the New Mills penalty area but the defenders managed to clear the danger.
Darwen were in the ascendancy by now, but a breakdown in another attacking move left them short at the back. Tunde Owolabi picked up the clearance and with defenders in his wake, fired over Ben Proctor but also the bar. In injury time, Samuel Marshall fired in a low cross a few yards away from the Darwen goal line but nobody was there to poke the ball home.
Half Time: New Mills 0 AFC Darwen 1
Ten minutes after the restart, the home side should have been level when a mistake in the Darwen defence left Douglas-Pringle with an open goal, but he blasted wide. Five minutes later, a Bobby Langford header from a corner was cleared off the New Mills line.
On sixty seven minutes a well struck drive from twenty yards by Ryan Eiselt was seen late by Ben Proctor, but he made a great diving save to push the ball away. With ten minutes to go another decent New Mills chance was skied over the cross bar by Callum Collinson.
With seven minutes to go, Darwen went very close to another goal. Bobby Langford worked his way into the box and both he and a defender went down,but the Darwen man recovered quickly, side stepped another defender only to see his subsequent strike beat the keeper but again cannon off the upright. A minute later it was the turn of home keeper Martin to make a good save to push away a Conor Gaul free kick from twenty yards out.
Full Time: New Mills 0 AFC Darwen 1
REFEREE: Jon Kenny
ASSISTANTS: Nigel Freelove, Tim Hammond
GOALS AND TIMES:
AFC Darwen: Gaul (20)
OPPONENTS CHOICE AS MAN OF THE MATCH:
New Mills: Daniel Douglas-Pringle
AFC Darwen: Conor Gaul
YELLOW CARDS: None
RED CARDS: None
1 Oliver Martin
2 Deven Golden
3 Jack Taylor
4 Ryan Eiselt
5 Daniel Johnson (Capt.)
6 Michael Jones
7 Samuel Marshall
8 Martin Stanyer
9 Jordan Erdmann
10 Daniel Douglas-Pringle
11 Tunde Owolabi
12 Ryan Hopper
14 Callum Collinson (replaced ??, ?? minutes)
15 Dylan Stringer-Moth
16 Dominic Welsby (replaced Jones, 66 minutes)
18 Bradley McDonagh
1 Ben Proctor
2 Keith Wedge
3 Jonathan McDonald
4 Jordan Scott
5 Adam Douglas
6 Oliver Birchall
7 Alex Ralph
8 Anthony Lynch
9 Bobby Langford
10 Mohammed Nabeel
11 Conor Gaul
12 Karl Turner
14 Declan Cunliffe
15 Jordyn Fitton
16 Liam Cole
18 Jamie Edwards
(No substitutes used by Darwen)