HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
FIRST DIVISION NORTH
SHELLEY 1 AFC DARWEN 3
Luke Evans’ first competitive match as AFC Darwen’s joint manager alongside Kenny Langford resulted in a deserved victory on the outskirts of Huddersfield against newly promoted Shelley Football Club.
There were competitive debuts for several Darwen players, Adam Heaney, Harrison Green, Yahya Saeed, and Matt Cain. There was also experience in depth for the side, as Karl Turner, Kiel Lonsdale, Kieran Wood, and Anthony Hodges had amassed over 800 AFC Darwen appearances between them.
The first chance came to Shelden Rodgers of Shelley, when the ball found him unmarked outside the box, but he fired wide. Darwen had the first shot on target four minutes later when a Kiel Lonsdale effort was scrambled round the post by keeper Matt Glennon.
The visitor’s opener as slightly fortuitous. Karl Turner’s free kick halfway into the Shelley half was mishit and went into a ruck of players inside the box. It came out at the feet of Adam Heaney who side footed home. Two minutes later a miscue by a Shelley defender set up Karl Turner on the edge of the area. His drive was well parried by Glennon. A minute later, a skied ball from the home half bounced awkwardly on the dry ground outside the Darwen box, but was cleared after a bit of panic defending.
Darwen increased their lead on the half hour when a throw-in near the corner flag was hooked into the Shelley box, where Jamie Edwards volleyed in. Six minutes later, Danny Taylor broke through, his scuffed shot being partially blocked by Glennon, with the follow up from Karl Turner sailing over the bar.
With five minutes of the half to go, a Shelley free kick floated into the Darwen box, Craig Billington rose highest, but the ball skimmed off his head and went wide. A minute later the home side were awarded a penalty. James Whittingham pushed a header away, and there was a subsequent infringement for the loose ball in the box. Defender DannyLockwood scored to reduce the deficit.
Half Time: Shelley 1 AFC Darwen 2
Within three minutes of the restart, Darwen restored their two goal lead. A corner was only partially cleared to Kieran Wood, whose cross found Danny Taylor at the far post. The Darwen striker laid the ball back for Adam Heaney to bury in the back of the net.
The visitors were inches off increasing the lead five minutes later when a Yahya Saeed header beat the keeper, but a defender cleared off the line. On the hour, Corey Harrison was put through on the wing. He cut inside but fired wide with only the keeper to beat. An Anthony Hodges chip beat the keeper but again was headed off the line again.
On 73 minutes. Adam Heaney came close to a hat trick as his long range effort beat no.1 but whistled just wide of the post. Two minutes later Matt Glennon did well to push Danny Taylor’s drive away for a corner. Three minutes later, the Darwen striker was through again but put his drive wide. Another Taylor effort produced a great save from Glennon as he palmed the ball away for a corner. Danny Taylor broke through the defence yet again with less than ten minutes to go, but delayed too long in trying to beat the defender and lost the ball as Jamie Edwards waited unmarked to the side of him. Matt Glennon was having a busy day and with three minutes to go made another great save to tip away a header from Jamie Edwards.
Darwen had dominated most of the game, especially the second half, but it was Shelley who had the last chance in injury time when a rare break brought them within goal range, but the shot was put wide.
Full Time: Shelley 1 AFC Darwen 3
REFEREE: Craig Kershaw
ASSISTANTS: Peter Binks, Lewis Elliott
GOALS AND TIMES:
Shelley: Lockwood (42, pen.)
AFC Darwen: Heaney (14, 48), Edwards (31)
OPPONENTS CHOICE AS MAN OF THE MATCH:
Shelley: Israel Johnson
AFC Darwen: Yahya Saeed
YELLOW CARDS: Taylor (AFC Darwen)
1 Matt Glennon
2 Allen Greenwood
3 Danny Lockwood
4 Jack Davies
5 Antony Leech
6 Nathan Addy
7 James Bootland
8 Israel Johnson
9 Craig Billington
10 Shelden Rodgers
11 Makensie Longley
12 Brice Pouamoun (replaced ??, 73 minutes)
14 Josimar Bradshaw (replaced ??, 55 minutes)
15 Richardo Ianzito (replaced ??, 58 minutes)
16 Donae Lawrence
17 Liam Berry
1 James Whittingham
2 Kieran Wood
3 Anthony Hodges
4 Adam Heaney
5 Harrison Green
6 Kiel Lonsdale (Capt.)
7 Jamie Edwards
8 Karl Turner
9 Danny Taylor
10 Yahya Saeed
11 Corey Harrison
12 Gary Brown
14 Matt Cain (replaced Turner, 74 minutes)
15 Liam Cole (replaced Harrison, 62 minutes)
16 Sam Knowles
17 James Brindle