DARLO DEAL WULFS A WHIPPING TO GO TOP
OLD WULFS 1 DARLASTON TOWN 2
DARLASTON went top of the West Midlands Regional League Division One following a hard earned three points against an impressive and resilient Old Wulfs.
Following last week’s excellent win at then-leaders Droitwich Spa, Darlaston faced a confident Old Wulfs team with one draw and five wins in an unbeaten run of six League games.
On a superb playing surface Darlaston opened brightly and in the opening 30 seconds Leon Taylor was within inches of creating an opportunity for himself but keeper Bostock denied the striker, beating him to the ball by inches. The opening 15 minutes saw the visitors prise open the home defence at will, but Old Wulfs gradually eased themselves into the game with the influential Scott Stevenson at the heart of most of the Old Wulfs attacking work.
Wulfs had their first real chance of the game in the 22nd minute after Scott Glasby brought down Owen-salmon with a late challenge, earning him a yellow card. Stevenson’s 20 yard free kick forced Liam Whittaker into a flying save, plucking the ball out from the top righthand corner.
This gave the home side confidence and the game became a frenzied affair with Daniel Bolzon, Isaac Cooper and Taylor keeping the home defenders busy whilst Stevenson continued to pull the strings for Wulfs.
Just before half time Darlaston missed a great chance. After an interchange of play in midfield Taylor burst through the heart of the defence on a 40 yard run, but his tame effort was blocked by the keeper.
The second half started slowly for both sides, but the visitors soon built up a head of steam, playing with the advantage of a slight slope. In the 54th minute the impressive Luke Charlton was about to pull the trigger inside the penalty area before being sent tumbling by a defender but the referee waved away Darlaston’s penalty claims.
Darlaston were now on top and following a spell of pressure they eventually broke the deadlock on 59th minutes. Isaac Cooper cut in from the left, out-muscled two Wulfs defenders before sending in a fine near post cross, which Leon Taylor volleyed into the net.
A minute later the lead was doubled. Virtually straight from the kick off, Darlaston were at the home defence in a flash, Cooper tried his luck from 20 yards, his blocked effort went behind the flatfooted defence, Taylor finding himself in the clear to score easily.
Darlaston were on top and managing the game well but they just could not convert a series of chances. It was the home side who against the run of play pulled a goal back to give the visiting supporters a finger-biting final 20 minutes. In the 69th minute Luke Charlton handled the ball in the box to concede a penalty. Nathan Lodge stepped up and dispatched the spot kick hard and low.
Darlaston continued to manage the game well, substitutes Noah Diallo and Tyrone Clarke O’connell injected pace down the left flank and whilst both sides had efforts on goal in the final quarter, neither side created any clear chances of note.
Old Wulfrunians worked hard and tried everything to beat the resolute Darlaston defence, but they held firm and strong to give their team the three points needed to go top of the Division.
Old Wulfs were impressive and played their part in a good match, both sides looking to play football in a competitive but friendly spirit.
This Saturday the tough games continue as Darlaston are away yet again in the League, this time the return fixture at Sikh Hunters who are unbeaten in their last five league and cup games.
Kick-off is 3pm at their new home on Long Lane, Essington.