Late flash of brilliance gives Darlo all three points
DARLASTON TOWN 2 WRENS NEST FC 1
FOLLOWING last week’s resounding win at Gornal, Parkes manager Andy was forced into making again.
Out went Isaac Cooper after his move to Evo Stik side Hednesford Town, Ryan Mcallister was injured, Daniel Bolzon unavailable and Noah Diallo suspended. Jarrod Grant dropped down to the bench and in came Sammy Causton, Ryan Kingdon and David Richards.
A piece of outrageous skill from Tyrone Clarke O’connell was the difference between the teams as he created a last minute winner to extend Darlo’s winning streak to four games and their unbeaten league run to nine, as they top West Midlands Regional League Division One.
The game started with Darlaston putting Wrens Nest under early pressure. Midfielder Jamie Holder shot wide from distance changes once on 5 minutes, Ryan Kingdon should have given the home side the lead in the 6th minute, and a dangerous cross in the 9th minute from Solomon brought an excellent save.
Wrens Nest started to ease their way into the game and in Connor Lawrence and Callum Parker had two players with pace and quality. As the half wore on Wrens Nest started to push on with some good quality football.
The visitors’ enterprising play was rewarded in the 23rd minute with their first effort on goal. Out on the left Charlie Gregg’s left-footed looping shot from 25 yards deceived home keeper Liam Whittaker to find the back of net.
Darlaston responded superbly and were on level terms 7 minutes later. Ryan Kingdon made progress down the right, cut inside and set up Leon Taylor who slipped the visitors’ defence to net his 21st league goal of the season.
The remainder of the half became a midfield battle, neither side giving any quarter or creating any chances worthy of note.
As the second half progressed home Darlaston full back Ryan Jones had a 30 yard effort just clear the bar whilst the visitors forced four early corners as the home side could not clear their lines.
In an effort to change the pace of the game Taylor made way for Ash Evans on 67 minutes with Clarke O’connell moving into an unaccustomed central attacking role. Evans almost made an immediate impact with a dipping shot over the bar and minutes later having a header saved by keeper Stokes.
Whilst Wrens Nest had the edge on possession it was generally in midfield areas with little threat on goal, a single Parker effort being their only meaningful effort in the second half. As the game entered its final stages a draw was on the cards which would have been a fair result for the impressive visitors.
However there was to be a final last minute twist. Darlaston’s never say die attitude was evident as they were urged on by a crowd of more than 100 to push forward and grab the winning goal.
The players responded superbly and sent the faithful home fans away with a warm glow as a piece of outrageous and sublime skill created the winner in the final minute.
Out on the right flank Tyrone Clarke-o’connell beat his marker, cut inside and from 25 yards produced a Rabona cross to deceive the visiting defence, keeper Stokes came out and could not reach it, leaving Ash Evans to stretch at the far post and slot the ball into an empty net from 3 yards.
This was by no means Darlaston’s most flowing performance of the season. Wrens Nest may feel aggrieved at not returning with a point but Darlaston’s work rate and a sublime piece of skill eventually won the day.
Darlaston are without a game next weekend. They return to league action a week later on Saturday January 19 when last season’s Division One runners up Newport Town are the visitors to Paycare Ground at 2pm.