Black Country Bugle - - SPORT - By NEIL CHAM­BERS


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.

Leon Tay­lor

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