Darlo 1 Telford 0

by Chris Mackenzie - 5th November 2011

darlo 1 telford 0

Quakers battled their way to a 1-0 win over AFC Telford on a deceptively chilly afternoon at the Northern Echo Arena. Caretaker boss Craig Liddle made a number of changes to the side who went down to a 3-0 defeat against Hinckey Town during the week with James Gray, John McReady and Exodus Geohaghon all coming back into the starting line up.

Liddle opted to stick with the 4-3-3 system that he had deployed against Hinckely in the F.A Cup despite the fact that Darlo were comfortably beaten by the Conference North side. Quakers did add some height and presence to the heart of their defence as Exodus Geohaghon lined up alongside Graham Lee at the back.

In the middle of the park John McReady was chosen to link up with Jamie Chandler and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson in Darlington’s midfield trio. McReady’s confidence must have boosted as the youngster was selected ahead of a number of more experienced players such as Chris Atkinson, Kris Taylor and Adam Rundle.

Up front John Campbell took the central striking role with Ryan Bowman and James Gray playing just off the former Newcastle Benfield front man. Both Bowman and Gray dropped back into midfield when Telford were in possession to offer more protection for the Darlington back 4 who have been left a little exposed in recent times.

Darlo X1

Russell

Arnison Lee Geohaghon G.Taylor

Bridge-Wilkinson Chandler McReady

Bowman Campbell J.Gray

Subs

Nixon, Hopson, K.Taylor, Atkinson, Walshaw

Neither side created many genuine openings during the opening passages of play. The home side did look bright in attack though with Ryan Bowman and John Campbell looking sharp when around the Telford penalty area. For the visitors the former Chelsea and Portsmouth midfielder Courtney Pitt looked composed on the ball when the Bucks were in possession.

With 20 minutes gone Darlington went into the lead thanks to a Marc Bridge-Wilkinson penalty. Ryan Young in the visitor’s goal almost got enough of a touch on the ball to flick it round the post however Bridge-Wilkinson’s effort was just too precise for the custodian. Quakers were awarded the spot kick after Ryan Bowman was brought down in the box after some nice wing play from full debutant James Gray.

Darlo continued to threaten with James Gray, Ryan Bowman and John Campbell all looking threatening when Craig Liddle’s side went forward. However it was Telford who equlaised on 32 minutes when Sam Russell had to be at his best to turn a free kick from the edge of the area round the post.

As half time approached Quakers could have increased their lead as skipper Jamie Chandler was thwarted by Telford keeper Young when bursting forward from midfield before the linesman’s flag ruled a tired looking Campbell offside when the young forward was one on one with the Bucks goalie.

Darlo opted to make no changes at the interval which was a little surprising as Campbell had looked to be struggling with the pace of the game towards the end of the first 45 minutes. Early in the 2nd half playmaker Marc Bridge-Wilkinson sent a low cross into the visitors area however no Darlo player could get on the end of it and Telford were able to clear the ball to safety.

Quakers were forced to change things round a little just after the hour mark as captain Jamie Chandler had to be replaced after the midfielder picked up a knock. Huddersfield loanee Chris Atkinson came onto replace Chandler with James Walshaw entering the fray withminutes later in the place of Campbell.

Despite the withdrawl of Campbell Darlo continued to threaten the opposition’s goal mainly through James Gray and Ryan Bowman. The latter almost increased Quakers lead when his powerful shot was diverted wide by the head of Telford defender after some nice play down the left wing.

Telford came more into the game late on and Andy Sinton’s side could well have taken a point from the match if it had not been for their wayward finishing and the superb defensive play of Darlo’s experienced centre half Greame Lee.

Player Ratings

Sam Russell 7 solid showing

Paul Arnison 6 not at his best defensively at times

Greg Taylor 7 caught out of position a couple of times but generally gave a good account of himself despite another switch in position

Graham Lee 8 one of his best games in a Darlo shirt, won almost everything in the air

Exodus Geohaghon 7 performed adequately alongside Lee

Jamie Chandler 7 terrier like in the middle of the park until injury curtailed his afternoon

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson 7  well taken penalty and some nice touches

John McReady 6 energetic showing from the youngster

Ryan Bowman 8 gave everything he had, unlucky not to score

John Campbell 7 chased several lost causes in the first half which left him jaded as the game progressed

James Gray 7 promising showing from the young forward on his full Quakers debut

Subs

Chris Atkinson 6 filled in for Chandler

James Walshaw 6 created little in his time on the pitch

Kris Taylor late appearance in the place of Gray

Man of the Match – Ryan Bowman, the former Carlisle United forward created several goal scoring opportunities from his wide forward role and he could have easily found himself on the scoresheet.

Comments

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AndyPark - 6th November 2011 21:33:10

Title says it finished 1-1 :eh:

uncovered - 6th November 2011 21:42:08

not anymore it doesnt :oops: