HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
CONGLETON TOWN 6 AFC DARWEN 2
Darwen suffered a heavy defeat in their first league game of the season against a good Congleton Town side. The Salmoners were without a number of key individuals for this fixture, forcing manager Mark Patterson to play several people out of position.
The home side took the lead after eight minutes when a ball over the top found Matthew Farnworth in the clear. From twenty five yards out he lobbed the ball over Darwen keeper James Whittingham into the net, but they were only in front for four minutes as Mohammed Nabeel was pushed to the ground inside the Congleton box, and Mark McKay comfortably converted the penalty.
Congleton upped the pressure and on twenty minutes Whittingham made a great save to push out an Adegbenro effort, only to see Jason Carey pick up the loose ball and put it into the net. Another ball over the top five minutes later saw Declan Fletcher easily get the better of his defender to slot the ball past the helpless Whittingham.
On the half hour a free kick was floated into the Darwen box from the sidelines. Two defenders went up to head the ball away and both missed. Fletcher was waiting behind and had the easiest tap in to make it four.
Half Time: Congleton Town 4 AFC Darwen 1
Errors by the Darwen defence continued into the second half with Oliver Ford being let through in the first minute, forcing James Whittingham into a good save to push the ball away for a corner, but they were caught napping again with twenty minutes to go when Fletcher robbed Matthew Allen of the ball and fired past the helpless Whittingham for his hat-trick and the home side’s fifth goal.
Adegbenro scored the sixth Congleton goal when a loose ball fell at his feet and he was clear to advance on goal and slot home. Darwen has a great chance to pull a goal back when Mark McKay put Alex Ralph in the clear, but he took too much time to set himself up and a Congleton defender got back to block the shot.
The final goal of the game went to Darwen as Mark McKay deservedly scored his second when he found a hole in the home defence to fire past Andrew Jones in goal. He was close to a hat-trick but just missed getting a foot to a low cross into the Congleton goal area in the dying seconds.
Full Time: Congleton Town 6 AFC Darwen 2
REFEREE: Ian Jackson
GOALS AND TIMES:
Congleton Town: Farnworth (8), Carey (20), Fletcher (25, 30, 69), Adegbenro (73)
AFC Darwen: McKay (12p, 87)
OPPONENTS CHOICE AS MAN OF THE MATCH:
Congleton Town: Declan Fletcher
AFC Darwen: Alex Ralph
YELLOW CARDS: Lonsdale, Banks (AFC Darwen)
1 Andrew Jones
2 Martin Hill
3 Richard Peters
4 Mark Groom
5 Dimitrios Christou
6 Neil Chappell (Capt.)
7 Matthew Farnworth
8 Oliver Ford
9 Emini Adegbenro
10 Jason Carey
11 Declan Fletcher
12 George Mannion (replaced Embowe, 84 minutes)
14 Omar Embowe (replaced Christou, 28 minutes)
15 David Sherlock
16 Michael Gunn (replaced Carey, 75 minutes)
17 Corey Mason
1 James Whittingham
2 Jordan Scott
3 Scott Patterson
4 Danny Banks
5 Matthew Allen
6 Kiel Lonsdale (Capt.)
7 Mohammed Nabeel
8 Sam Crook
9 Mark McKay
10 Gary Brown
11 Alex Ralph
12 Jack Burke (replaced Brown, 34 minutes)
14 Declan Cunliffe (replaced Nabeel, 84 minutes)
15 Corey Harrison (replaced Scott, 78 minutes)
16 Karl Turner