Late flash of bril­liance gives Darlo all three points

Black Country Bugle - - YED SCRATCHERS - By NEIL CHAM­BERS

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.

Pace

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.

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