AFC DARWEN RESERVES MATCH REPORT
LANCASHIRE AMATEUR LEAGUE DIVISION 1
AFC Darwen 3 Chaddertonians 3
AFC Darwen Reserves earned their first home point of the season when they drew with promotion chasing Chaddertonians at the WEC Anchor Ground. Manager Simon Littler introduced new signings Connor Bellamy and Jacob Sauverain into the team but will be disappointed that defensive lapses again cost the team victory which they would have fully deserved.
The first effort of the game came in the second minute when a Chaddertonians free kick was easily gathered by Josh Cosgrove. Play was mainly confined to the mid field, but in the ninth minute another chance for the visitors was cleared off the line. It took until the eleventh minute for the home side to muster an effort but this was wide of the goal. Two minutes later the visitors were ahead through a penalty from David Jackson after a Chaddertonians forward was felled in the box. Worse was to follow for Darwen shortly afterwards when an intended back pass was left woefully short and a Chaddertonians player nipped in and set up Tom Arnold to fire home. Gradually Darwen began to dominate the game and in the twentieth minute an effort from Jack Beech was saved the visitors keeper, this was followed by a scrambling save from their keeper from an effort from Cameron Austin after being set up by Danny Taylor. Two minutes later a Danny Taylor free kick was easily saved by the keeper. However Darwen’s persistence paid off in the twenty seventh minute when an excellent cross from Jack Beech was turned in at the far post by Cameron Austin. Darwen were now well on top with the visitors relying on breakaways to relieve the pressure. The deserved equaliser came in the thirty ninth minute when Scott Walsh headed home from a corner. Two minutes from the break a Jack Beech was again scrambled away by the keeper and from the resulting corner another effort went over the bar. On the stroke of half time the visitors had a chance to edge ahead but Josh Cosgrove saved the effort to leave the sides level at half time.
As in the first half all the early play was confined to mid field with both sides struggling to create any clear cut chances. The first effort of the half came in the fifty first minute to the visitors but a weak shot was easily saved by Josh Cosgrove. The visitors still looked dangerous on the break and a dangerous cross was cut out by Josh Cosgrove, he then pulled off an excellent save in the sixty fourth minute to keep the scores level. Darwen went ahead in the seventy fifth minute with a penalty from Danny Taylor after a goal bound shot from Elliott Welsh was handled in the area despite the protests from the visitors. Almost immediately Darwen had another chance to extend their lead when Danny Taylor was played through by Scott Walsh but Chaddertonians keeper made a brave save at his feet to deny him. With nine minutes remaining the visitors were reduced to ten men when Jay Mehmet was sent off for using foul and abusive language towards the referee. Darwen then had a goal from Danny Taylor disallowed for offside which brought protests from the Darwen players. Chaddertonians equalised in the eighty fifth minute when the ball found its way to Connor Hall in acres of space in the are and he made no mistake. The last chance of the game fell to Darwen but Danny Taylor pulled his effort wide of the post from just inside the area to leave the sides to share the points.
AFC Darwen Reserves team:
1. Josh Cosgrove, 2. Casey McLellan, 3. Matthew Fenton, 4. Elliott Welsh, 5. Fenton Brown, 6. Connor Bellman, 7. Scott Walsh, 8. Jacob Sauverain, 9. Danny Taylor, 10. Cameron Austin, 11. Jack Beech. Subs. 12. Jorge Hayhurst, 14. Chris Mbeka, 15. Matthew Halsall.
Report by David Ainsworth