HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
FIRST DIVISION NORTH
AFC DARWEN 2 SHELLEY 0
Darwen moved up to sixth place in the League with this win over Huddersfield side Shelley. The home side were still short of several defensive squad members, so Luke Evans had to juggle around positions again to fill gaps and it is a credit to the team that they finished the game with a clean sheet.
In the second minute, Darwen created a chance with a cross. The bouncing ball was difficult to judge, with Jamie Edwards headed wide. There was an even better chance for Shelley the next minute as a misplaced pass fell at the feet of Emerson Bradshaw. His powerful drive was excellently pushed away for a corner by Darwen keeper Jordan Gidley.
The game proceeded without much action, until with five minutes to go, Darwen broke the deadlock. Kallum Banks made a determined run down the right wing, bursting through tackles, and put a low cross into the box. The ball went through a defender’s legs to Danny Taylor, who had made his way in unnoticed, and he drove home to give Darwen a half time lead.
Half Time: AFC Darwen 1 Shelley 0
Ten minutes into the restart, a ball back to Shelley keeper Paul Day was intercepted by Elliot Pond. Day had to chase the Darwen striker away from goal, which left the net unguarded. Pond hooked the ball back, but after several seconds of panic the Shelley defence managed to clear the danger.
With twenty minutes to go, Shelley were awarded a free kick near their own corner flag, and as full back Alan Greenwood was about to take it Elliot Pond jogged past and was upended by Greenwood. This incident caused players from both sides to rush to the scene and some pushing and jostling occurred. When things calmed down, referee Kieran Shell cautioned both players, and as this was Greenwood’s second yellow he was sent off.
A minute after the incident, Shelley had the ball in the net, but the goal was disallowed for offside. Two minutes later the visitors had a free kick ten yards out from the penalty area. The kick beat the wall but Jordan Gidley threw himself across goal to push the ball away for a corner.
At the other end Paul Day also made a great save to stop a Leon Creech effort. Two minutes later a pass along the edge of the box landed at the feet of the onrushing Jack Prince, but under defender pressure he skied the ball over the bar. Darwen were looking more and more dangerous as the game was coming to a close, as Jack Prince put a Danny Taylor cross wide.
With five minutes to go, a free kick was floated into the visitor penalty area, and a defender hauled Elliot Pond back. Referee Shell immediately pointed to the spot, and Pond put away the penalty with assurance to make the points safe for Darwen.
Full Time: AFC Darwen 2 Shelley 0
REFEREE: Kieran Shell
ASSISTANTS: Sam Sutton, Dale Markham
GOALS AND TIMES:
AFC Darwen: Taylor (40), Pond (86, pen)
OPPONENTS CHOICE AS MAN OF THE MATCH:
Shelley: Carlton Pownall
AFC Darwen: Elliot Pond
YELLOW CARDS: Cain, Pond (AFC Darwen)
RED CARDS: Greenwood (2 yellows) (Shelley)
1 Paul Day
2 Alan Greenwood
3 Israel Johnson
4 Anthony Leech (Capt.)
5 Liam Smith
6 Jack Davies
7 Carlton Pownall
8 Daniel Keane
9 Craig Billington
10 Emerson Bradshaw
12 Jacob Buchanan (replaced Ianzito, 62 minutes)
14 Adam Daffern
15 Joseph Hodgkiss
1 Jordan Gidley
2 Kallum Banks
3 Henry Eadie
4 Matt Farnworth (Capt.)
5 Karl Turner
6 Karl Turner
7 Leon Creech
8 Matt Cain
9 Elliot Pond
10 Danny Taylor
11 Jamie Edwards
12 Jack Prince (replaced Eadie, 45+2 minutes)
13 Matthew Wright
14 Fenton Brown
15 Aspen Feathers (replaced Taylor, 80 minutes)