HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
AFC DARWEN 3 CONGLETON TOWN 3
This was an entertaining match with twists and turns but probably the right result in the end. Kieran Wood surpassed 150 appearances for the club, whilst Jamie Edwards reached 50.
The first real action was after ten minutes when a free kick by Congleton’s Dave Short from twenty five yards out dipped onto the crossbar.
Darwen took the lead on twenty five minutes as a ball into the away penalty area reached Ryan McKenna. His first shot was blocked but as he lay on the floor, the rebound came back to him and he stuck out a boot to poke it past keeper Danny Eccles.
The visitor’s equaliser came out of the blue. Billy Hasler-Cregg received the ball in midfield, and as he advanced he decided to take a low pot shot which scuttled through several players and into the corner of the net. Darwen keeper Tom Scott may have been unsighted and failed to react in time to get across and stop it.
Congleton took the lead with two minutes of the half left. A free kick on the side of the area was initially dealt with, but put back in again. Striker Liam Moran got a toe to the ball, which was cleared off the line but hit Darwen keeper Scott and rebounded into the net.
Half Time: AFC Darwen 1 Congleton Town 2
Four minutes after the restart, two Congleton players, looking offside got behind the Darwen back line. As the defenders stopped, waiting for a whistle, Liam Moran took a shot, but straight at keeper Tom Scott who fisted the ball away. Moran came close again as he latched on to a great through ball by Dave Short, but Tom Scott was out quickly to thwart the player again.
Just after the hour, Darwen squared the match. A Ryan Steele free kick wasn’t cleared properly and substitute Liam Cole, who had only been on the field for a minute, struck home. A defending foot got to the ball which hit keeper Danny Eccles and rebounded into the net, similar to the first half goal, but it was thought that the ball had already crossed the line and the goal was claimed by the Darwen player.
Darwen came close five minutes later as a back header by Ryan McKenna put Karl Turner through. Keeper Danny Eccles did just enough to put Turner off. The ball was picked up by Liam Cole, who saw his looping shot curl over Eccles but just wide of the post. Another five minutes and a quick kick upfield by Congleton found substitute Declan Fletcher, whose drive was punched away one handed by Tom Scott. Scott managed to gather another effort from Mark Groom ten minutes before the end.
With four minutes to go, a quick break from the back by the visitors saw Luke Edwards through. His pass found Declan Fletcher whose strong finish put Congleton back in front.
With the game going into injury time, Karl Turner was bundled over in the Congleton box as he tried to chase a cross from Ryan McKenna. Ryan Steele stepped up to take the penalty with a strike into the top of the net giving Danny Eccles no chance.
Tom Scott then stopped a Congleton shot with his feet in injury time just before referee Conor Brown blew for full time.
Full Time: AFC Darwen 3 Congleton Town 3.
REFEREE: Conor Brown
ASSISTANTS: Ian Claridge, Janzib Rigby
GOALS AND TIMES:
Congleton Town: Hasler-Cregg (37), Own Goal (43), Fletcher (86)
AFC Darwen: McKenna (25), Cole (63), Steele (90+1, pen,)
OPPONENTS CHOICE AS MAN OF THE MATCH:
Congleton Town: Luke Edwards
AFC Darwen: Tom Scott
YELLOW CARDS: Eccles (Congleton Town), Wood, Parker, Steele (AFC Darwen)
1 Danny Eccles
2 Tom Stephens
3 Jack Disney
4 Mark Groom
5 Tom Morris
6 Anthony Griffiths (Capt.)
7 Billy Hasler-Cregg
8 Luke Edwards
9 Liam Moran
10 Dave Short
11 Emini Adegbenro
12 Declan Fletcher (replaced Moran, 60 minutes)
14 Ryan Hibbert (replaced Short, 81 minutes)
15 Richard Peters (replaced Disney, 63 minutes)
16 Bradley Hargreaves
17 Robert Cook
1 Tom Scott
2 Tim Drugan
3 Kieran Wood
4 Jamie Edwards
5 Adam Douglas (Capt.)
6 Martin Parker
7 Jordan Scott
8 Ryan Steele
9 Ryan McKenna
10 Karl Turner
11 Sidi Fofana
12 Liam Cole (replaced J Scott, 62 minutes)
14 Luke Cassidy
15 Mahamadou Diallo
16 Fenton Brown(replaced Wood,85 minutes)