HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
FIRST DIVISION NORTH
AFC DARWEN 2 STEETON 4
Darwen were well into this game until Steeton equalised for the second time, at which point they seemed to lose their momentum, and when the visitors scored their third goal, the visitors held on comfortably as the home side ran out of ideas. Due to work commitments, Darwen had no specialist full backs to call on and had to fill the defence with players from other positions.
After a quiet start, Darwen took the lead on seventeen minutes as Nicky McNally ran on to a through pass to smash the ball past helpless keeper Alfie Stevens-Neale.
The lead only lasted four minutes when Angus Maney cut in from the left to fire past Jordan Gidley.
On the half hour Elliot Pond got through the Steeton defence to put the ball past the keeper but wide of the post. Pond was close again towards the end of the half as a cross-cum-shot from an acute angle whistled over the bar.
Half Time: AFC Darwen 1 Steeton 1
The second half was a minute old when a pass found Danny Taylor on the edge of the box and clear, but his touch let him down with the ball, which rolled into the arms of Stevens-Neale. It was Steeton who had the next chance when Aaron Davis beat Gidley but also the post. Then a throw in the Darwen half found Steeton winger Maney unmarked in the area. He should have done better than push the ball past the post.
A minute after the Steeton chance it was Darwen who took the lead. Elliot Pond fed Danny Taylor, who cut in from the right and drove the ball past the Steeton keeper.
Two minutes later, a cross found Nicky McNally on his own in the box, but skied his effort over the bar with only the goal minder to beat. On fifty seven minutes the home side had another great chance when a ball from the wing was controlled by Elliot Pond to set up Leon Creech at the far post, but he also hooked the ball over the bar.
Darwen were made to pay for the missed chances after the hour. A Steeton free kick was floated into the penalty area, and after a mad scramble, Aaron Davis stuck out a foot to find the back of net and level the match.
With twenty minute to go, Jordan Gidley had to push away a Steeton effort from twenty five yards and from the resultant corner, Steeton centre half Sam Rooke powered in to head home and give the visitors the lead for the first time in the match.
The goal seemed to deflate Darwen as they ran out of ideas on how to get back into the game. As Steeton comfortably controlled the remainder of the match, they scored another well into injury time when a throw in was pounced on by Ben Clarkson, who rounded Jordan Gidley to score Steeton’s fourth.
Full Time: AFC Darwen 2 Steeton 4
REFEREE: Matt Archibold
ASSISTANTS: Joe Cunningham, David Chant
GOALS AND TIMES:
Steeton: Maney (21), Davis (62), Rooke (70), Clarkson (90+6)
AFC Darwen: McNally (17), Taylor (51)
OPPONENTS CHOICE AS MAN OF THE MATCH:
Steeton: Tobias Jeffrey
AFC Darwen: Danny Taylor
YELLOW CARDS: Hird (Steeton), Holt, Parker (AFC Darwen)
1 Alfie Stevens-Neale
2 Joseph Mason
3 Elliot Scott
4 Alastair Morgan
5 Sam Rooke
6 Timothy Hird
7 Tobias Jeffrey
8 James Grogan
9 Aaron Davis
10 Andrew Briggs
11 Angus Maney
12 Aaron Hollindrake (replaced Briggs, 90+2 minutes)
14 Ben Clarkson (replaced Davis, 71 minutes)
15 Ben Cox (replaced Maney, 90+5 minutes)
1 Jordan Gidley
2 Karl Turner
3 Nyle Ellis
4 Matt Farnworth (Capt.)
5 Martin Parker
6 Sam Holt
7 Leon Creech
8 Jamie Edwards
9 Elliot Pond
10 Danny Taylor
11 Nicholas McNally
14 Gary Brown (replaced Pond, 90+4 minutes)
15Jack Prince(replaced Turner, 76 minutes)
17 Jim Brindle