Darlo 2 Tamworth 0

by Chris Mackenzie - 26th November 2011

darlo 2 tamworth 0

Darlington claimed their 3rd consecutive victory thanks to 2nd half goals from Adam Rundle and teenage sensation Dale Hopson. Caretaker boss Craig Liddle named the same side who had beaten Ebbsfleet 3-1 last weekend this meant that loan signing Adam Reach had to settle for a place on the substitutes bench.

Also on the bench was Quakers top scorer Ryan Bowman after the forward made a swift return to training after a spell out due to a recent injury. Darlo named quite a balanced quintet of possible replacements as defender Sanchez-Munoz, keeper Nixon and central midfielder Atkinson were also chosen in the match day squad.

Dale Hopson was selected to play just off target man Liam Hatch in what was effectively a 4-4-1-1 formation. However Hopson often dropped backed into the middle of the park to help Quakers central midfield duo of Jamie Chandler and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson when the visitors were in possession.

Darlo X1

Russell

Arnison Miller Lee Brown

McReady Chandler Bridge-Wilkinson Rundle

Hopson

Hatch

Subs

Nixon, Sanchez-Munoz, Atkinson, Reach, Bowman

Both sides played some nice football in the opening exchanges of the contest, Dale Hopson showed a number nice touches for the home side while Tamworth forward Kieron St Aimie showed some nice movement up front for the visitors.

Darlo could have taken the lead when Dale Hopson feed a well weighted ball through to Adam Rundle however the former Rochdale left winger’s powerful shot cannoned against the ball and Liam Hatch was unable to make much of a connection with the rebound.

Despite some slick passages of play from Darlo the Lambs were still creating a number of opportunities and Aaron Brown had to be alert to clear an Iyseden Christie shot off his own line when Quakers had been unable to clear their lines after a Tamworth corner.

Neither side opted to make any changes at the interval and Quakers continued to deploy their 4-4-1-1 system in the 2nd half. However Craig Liddle had to make an alteration just 3 minutes into the 2nd period when left ball Aaron Brown picked up a knock. Spanish defender Jonathon Sanchez-Munoz replaced Brown and played the remainder of the contest on the left hand side of defence.

Darlo continued to pass the ball around nicely and the home side went into the lead on 55 minutes when an exquisite ball from Dale Hopson found Adam Rundle just inside the area. Rundle retained his composure and fired past Jonathon Hedge in the visitors goal to record his first goal of the season.

 

Tamworth did not wait long to change things round as The Lambs boss Marcus Law made all 3 of his permitted alterations shortly after Darlo had taken the lead. The introduction of Danny Mills, Kyle Patterson and Ibrahim Farah did seem to invigorate the away side as Tamworth forced Quakers keeper Sam Russell into a number of smart saves.

Quakers made another substitution on 72 minutes when Middlesbrough youngster Adam Reach came on in the place of John McReady. This alteration saw Adam Rundle switch over to the right flank with Reach given a role on the left wing.

The Lambs continued to put the Darlo defence under a great deal of pressure in the dying minutes of the game however Sam Russell was able to thwart all of Tamworth offensive efforts. In desperation the visitors even sent their keeper Hedge forward for a late corner. This tactic gifted Darlo their 2nd goal of the game as Hedge was still trying to get back into position when Quakers swift counter attack caught the Lambs defence out and Dale Hopson found the back of the net from an acute angle to seal another victory for Craig Liddle’s side.

 

Player Ratings

Sam Russell 9- made a string of top class saves in the 2nd half

Paul Arnison 7 – solid in defence and effective when getting forward

Aaron Brown 7 – saved Quakers with a goal line clearance in the 1st half

Graham Lee 7 – steady as ever at the back

Ian Miller 7 – decent display from the skipper

John McReady 7 – played well given right wing is not his natural position

Adam Rundle 8 – sweet finish and one of his best games since re-joining the club

Jamie Chandler 7 – gave everything he had once more

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson 7 – not at his creative best but effective none the less

Dale Hopson 8 – Craig Liddle could have unearthed a gem here, accomplished display capped by a late goal

Liam Hatch 7 – picked up a needless booking but good all round effort

Subs

Jonathon Sanchez- Munoz 7 - filled in well at left back

Adam Reach 8 – looked a genuine threat down the left flank when he came on

Man of the Match – has to be Sam Russell the Darlo custodian made at least 4 top class saves in the 2nd half to keep his side in the lead.

 

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