HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
AFC DARWEN 3 WEST DIDSBURY & CHORLTON 3
Darwen managed to play a game at home for the first time in nearly three months as an entertaining game ended in a draw. Liam Cole was making his first appearance for the home team this season. Seven of tonight’s side have made over 1300 competitive appearances between them for the club, with a range of 140 to 267 games!
The game started quietly with no real moves of note, but on twenty minutes Darwen were awarded a free kick in the opponents half. Ryan Steele swung the kick over the wall, and West keeper James Hodges just saw the ball in time heading for the top corner of the goal to push it away for a corner.
The first goal of the game was scored by the visiting number nine Tom Bailey, who collected a ball and had a pot from twenty five yards out. The ball took a deflection into the net, giving Darwen keeper James Whittingham little chance.
It looked like Darwen were about to get a penalty seven minutes later as Bobby Langford went down in the box, but referee Mark Powell pointed to the corner flag, but from the corner a WD hand got in the way of the ball, and this time Mr Powell pointed to the spot. Ryan Steele put the penalty away with ease to level the score.
A minute later the home side were in front when a Ryan Steele free kick into the WD box caused panic and ended with Matt Eckersley, under pressure from Martin Parker, slipping the ball past his own keeper. Two minutes before the break, another corner into the area by Karl Turner saw Hodges just getting hands on the ball to push it away.
Half Time: AFC Darwen 2 West Didsbury & Chorlton 1
Ten minutes after the restart, a throw into the WD box was initially cleared but pounced on by Bobby Langford, who rounded Hodges and put the ball into the side netting. Chappy Massamba then made a penetrating to the edge of the Darwen box, but James Whittingham managed to smother the ball at the feet of WD forwards.
Two minutes later Jamie Edwards broke through the away defence and struck from the edge of the box, but too near the keeper as Hodges dived to push the ball away. Ryan Steele then put Karl Turner clear but his attempted chip was not high enough, enabling James Hodges to pull the ball down. A WD header went just wide on the hour mark.
With twenty minutes to go, West drew level when a cross from the right arrived to Georgi Whyment unmarked in the area and he volleyed home. Five minutes later a free kick into the Darwen box found Tom Bailey and his shot seemed to be headed into the top corner before James Whittingham pulled off a great save to deny the striker.
In this see-saw game Darwen took the lead once more after seventy five minutes. Pressure in the WD box saw a shot by Ryan Steele blocked, but the ball ran out to Kiel Lonsdale, whose powerful shot hit the back of the net with a deflection that deceived Hodges in goal.
Within the next five minutes both teams were reduced to ten men as Kiel Lonsdale, and then Matt Eckersley received two yellow cards each.
As the game drew to a close, the visitors were increasing pressure on Darwen to get something from the game but the home side held out until injury time, when Paul Parker committed a foul just outside the box. Joe Shaw took an excellent free kick which looped over the wall and into goal giving James Whittingham little chance.
It was a fitting end to an exciting match with honours deservedly shared.
Full Time: AFC Darwen 3 West Didsbury & Chorlton 3
REFEREE: Mark Powell
ASSISTANTS: Lewis Dawson, Jamie Waters
GOALS AND TIMES:
West Didsbury & Chorlton: Bailey (29), Whyment (66), Shaw (90+2)
AFC Darwen: Steele (pen, 39), Own Goal (40), Lonsdale (75)
OPPONENTS CHOICE AS MAN OF THE MATCH:
West Didsbury & Chorlton: Lanre Olapede
AFC Darwen: Bobby Langford
YELLOW CARDS: Bailey, Whyment (West Didsbury & Chorlton), Wood, Hoctor, Parker (AFC Darwen)
RED CARDS: Eckersley (2 Yellows) (West Didsbury & Chorlton), Lonsdale (2 Yellows) (AFC Darwen)
West Didsbury & Chorlton
1 James Hodges
2 Steven Affleck
3 Joshua Tinker (Capt.)
4 Matt Eckersley
5 Lanre Olapede
6 Malachi Slaven
7 Ben Steer
8 John Sergeant
9 Tom Bailey
10 Joe Shaw
11 Omar McKensie
12 Georgi Whyment (replaced McKensie, 76 minutes)
14 Ben Reader
15 Chappy Massamba (replaced Slaven, 54 minutes)
1 James Whittingham
2 Kieran Wood
3 Callum Hoctor
4 Tim Drugan
5 Martin Parker
6 Kiel Lonsdale
7 Jamie Edwards
8 Karl Turner (Capt.)
9 Liam Cole
10 Ryan Steele
11 Bobby Langford
12 Luke Cassidy (replaced Cole, 72 minutes)
14 Mohammed Nabeel (replaced K Turner, 75 minutes)
15 Fenton Brown
16 Lee Turner