Vanarama National League North
Aggborough / 18th Aug 2018 / 3:00pm
Kidderminster 5 Darlington 2
Goals: Ironside (29 mins, 1-0, 38 mins 2-0), Ainge (52 mins, 2-1), Williams (62 mins, 3-1), Nicholson (69 mins, 3-2), Horsfall (72 mins, 4-2), Weeks (5-2 90+2 mins)
Attendance 1522 (194 away fans)
Quakers fought hard but couldn’t overcome the handicap of an early red card at Aggborough, and couldn’t extend their unbeaten run to four matches.
Joe Wheatley’s dismissal was in some ways debatable, but the referee deemed that his tackle on a Kidderminster player was over-zealous and showed him a red card, which will probably rule him out for three matches.
Quakers started the game at a fast pace, but it was Kiddie who had the first opening, when Ed Williams found Lee Vaughan out on the right with a good diagonal ball, and the full back’s cross was headed away by Jonny Burn.
Joe Wheatley then made a good run through the middle past two men, but his pass intended for Ainge on the edge of the box was intercepted.
Kiddie had the first real attempt at goal on 7 minutes, a 25 yarder by Weeks that Maddison pushed over the bar.
And there was another chance on 9 minutes when Chambers laid a through ball off for Williams to hit just over the top.
Quakers had an opportunity on 13 minutes when Galbraith floated a free kick in from the left for Ainge at a tight angle , to head straight at the keeper.
But Quakers had Wheatley sent off for a foul on Weeks on 17 minutes, although the players were clearly unhappy with the decision. Tommy’s immediate response was to withdraw Alex Henshall and put Liam Hughes on, and put Reece Styche on the left of a four man midfield.
However, they nearly took the lead on 22 minutes when Ainge was fouled just outside the box, and Stephen Thompson curled the free kick just wide.
Quakers then won a corner on the left that Thompson swung in, and Kidderminster keeper Cameron Hall punched the ball away on his goalline.
Kiddie went close again on 27 minutes when Williams crossed from the right for Ashley Chambers to head wide at the far post, then Chambers had another effort deflected wide off Collins.
The game turned against Quakers on 29 minutes when Kiddie were awarded a penalty, the ref saying that Dominic Collins pushed Horsfall as they went for a right wing corner and pointed to the spot, from where Ironside sent Maddison the wrong way.
Maddison then pulled off a good one handed save from an Ironside header, but it was 2-0 though on 38 minutes when Taylor crossed from the left for Ironside to head past Maddison.
Quakers’ response was to take off Collins, and replace him with O’Hanlon with Galbraith moving to centre back.
Half time 2-0
Quakers started the second half well, and O’Hanlon got away up the left and put a good cross into the middle, but nobody could get there, then Galbraith headed a right wing Thompson corner straight at Hall.
Thompson then had a right foot shot deflected out for a corner as Quakers looked for an early breakthrough.
Quakers got a goal back from the following corner on 52 minutes. Thompson drove the ball over to the far post, where Galbraith headed it back for Ainge to head over the line.
But Chambers nearly made it 3-1 at the other end when he turned quickly on the edge of the box and curled a right foot shot just wide of the right hand post.
But Kiddie restored their two goal cushion on 63 minutes when Williams won the ball in midfield, ran at the Darlington defence, and sidefooted the ball into the bottom right hand corner.
However Quakers were back in it again on 67 minutes, when Styche charged forward and threaded the ball through for sub Jordan Nicholson to instantly control, round Hall and tap in his first goal for the club.
But Kiddie went up the other end within a couple of minutes and made it 4-2, with a deep free kick over to the far post where Horsfall volleyed home.
Quakers kept battling away though, and when O’Hanlon was fouled just outside the box, Thompson drove the ball over the bar.
Then with four minutes left, sub Liam Hughes was just off target with a header from a Thompson corner.
It was 5-2 on the whistle, when Weeks controlled a right wing cross, then chipped the ball over Maddison into the net.
Darlington manager Tommy Wright keeps the team that started Wednesday night’s home game with Blyth, when we somehow drew 1-1 after creating a hatful of chances.
Maddison, Trotman, Collins (sub O’Hanlon 38), Burn, Galbraith, Henshall (sub Hughes 17), Wheatley, Elliott, Thompson; Styche, Ainge (sub Nicholson 65)
Subs: Saunders, Syers
Sending off: Wheatley
Kidderminster: Hall, Vaughan, Taylor (sub Austin 67), O’Connor, Horsfall, Johnson, Weeks, Daniels (sub Baxendale 75), Ironside, Chambers (sub Richards 75), Williams.
Subs: Richards, Truslove, Baxendale, Austin, Digie