Hallmark Security League First Division North 
22/09/2018, 3:00 pm
Cleator Moor Celtic
7 - 1
AFC Darwen
First Team

Match Report





When Darwen squared the game early in the second half, no-one could have predicted the final score in this match. The Salmoners had increased problems in fielding a side, with thirteen players unavailable for this game, most due to injury, and some players had to take to the field with existing problems. Jamie Gibson was making his Darwen debut.

On thirteen minutes a cross from Stuart Shaw found the head of Callum Birdsall, who headed down but straight at Darwen keeper Jordan Gidley. Fifteen minutes later, Nyle Ellis was unlucky to see his goal bound shot tipped away for a corner by Cleator Moor goal minder Craig Rule. A Darwen header then cleared the ball, and Rule had to be alert to push away an Elliot Pond effort for a corner.

As half time approached and with Darwen looking the most likely to break the deadlock, a swift Cleator Moor attack caused the defence problems, and referee Emmanuel Edet gave the home side a free kick inside the box for a deliberate back pass, hotly disputed by the opposition. Tom Mahone belted the ball through a mass of Darwen defenders and it ricocheted into the net.

Half Time: Cleator Moor Celtic 1 AFC Darwen 0

Darwen started the second half on the offensive and were level after five minutes when Elliot Pond rose highest from a corner to head home.

The game was only level for two minutes when a ball booted out from the Cleator half was chased down by Callum Birdsall. He outpaced central defender Martin Parker, who stopped him inside the box. Mr Edet awarded a penalty and sent the Darwen defender off. Jordan Little scored from the spot. This was the turning point of the game, as the Darwen managers had to rearrange the team on the field to cover the defender’s absence. With both full backs carrying injuries, the extra pressure on them would tell.

The visitors weren’t giving up just yet and a shot from Matt Farnworth from thirty yards out was scrambled away for a corner by Rule. Jordan Gidley then made a similar stop from Birdsall.

Just past the hour mark, another high ball towards Darwen’s penalty area saw two defenders get in each other’s way in trying to clear. The ball fell to Callum Birdsall who had the simple task of finding the net. Tom Mahone then tried a high looping shot from thirty yards out which went over Gidley’s head onto the cross bar. Mahone was put clear a few minutes later, but failed trying to round Jordan Gidley, who made a good save.

It was now one way traffic as the Darwen defence tired and a cross from the right found Mahone in acres of space to fire Cleator into a four-one lead.

With fifteen minutes to go, Nyle Ellis was upended in the Cleator box. Referee Edet awarded a penalty, but Karl Turner’s effort was saved by Rule, who also blocked Turner’s follow-up.

Into the last ten minutes and Birdsall chased down another ball over the top. He caught it and looped a shot in over Jordan Gidley.

With five minutes to go it was six-one when Birdsall set up Josh Charlton to tap home.

The home side completed the scoring against injury ravaged Darwen in stoppage time when Adam Meagan prodded the ball home after a goalmouth scramble.

Full Time: Cleator Moor Celtic7 AFC Darwen 1


REFEREE: Emmanuel Edet

ASSISTANTS: Micky Bradley, Cameron Meagan


Cleator Moor Celtic: Mahone (39), Little (53, pen.), Birdsall (65, 80), Mahone (73), Charlton (84), Meagan (90+2)

AFC Darwen: Pond (51)


Cleator Moor Celtic: Tom Mahone

AFC Darwen: Elliot Pond

YELLOW CARDS: Charlton, Little (Cleator Moor Celtic)

RED CARDS: Parker (AFC Darwen)


Cleator Moor Celtic

1 Craig Rule

2 Josh Char

3 Luke Close

4 Jordan Little

5 Craig Corkhill

6 Bradley Rooney

7 Tom Mahone (Capt.)

8 Aaron Kelly

9 Callum Birdsall

10 Stuart Shaw

11 Adam Meagan

12 Dion Barnes (replaced Shaw, 79 minutes)

14 Jayke Catternach (replaced ??, ?? minutes)

15 Brad Tatton (replaced ??, 83 minutes)

AFC Darwen

1 Jordan Gidley

2 Kieran Wood

3 Anthony Hodges (Capt.)

4 Matt Farnworth

5 Martin Parker

6 Sam Knowles

7 Jamie Gibson

8 Adam Heaney

9 Elliot Pond

10 Jamie Edwards

11 Nyle Ellis

12 Karl Turner (replaced Gibson, 68 minutes)

14 Gary Brown (replaced Wood, 87 minutes)

17 James Brindle