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Darlington Football Club

Darlington Football Club / 15th October 2014

Darlington Go Back To Top Of The Table

Darlington Go Back To Top Of The Table

Darlington scored a goal in each half to record their sixth successive win against Ossett Albion at Heritage Park and go back to the top of the table.

Alan WhiteWhereas last season only 17 seconds had passed before Amar Purewal opened the scoring against Ossett during a 7-0 win, last night it took a while to break down a hard working side.

Quakers were forced into an early change on 12 minutes when Quakers’ Graeme Armstrong and Lewis Trice clashed heads, and Armstrong went off for treatment for concussion and was replaced by Terry Galbraith.

Ossett keeper Neil Bennett was booked for handball outside the box when Purewal tried to flick the ball back – the resultant free kick came to nothing - then the keeper came quickly off his line to save at Purewal’s feet as the striker again tried to break through on the end of a Stephen Thompson pass.

Quakers nearly took the lead on the half hour when Thompson, playing in a central position following Armstrong’s injury, took three defenders out of the game when he played a reverse pass to Adam Mitchell who crossed into the middle and sub Terry Galbraith, sliding in at the far post, was only inches wide.

Two Darlington defenders combined for the next chance on 35 minutes, a deep cross from the left by Chris Hunter was headed into the keeper’s hands by Gary Brown, who had stayed up for a corner.

Ossett’s main threat had been long clearances into the Darlington penalty area by keeper Bennett until the 38th minute, when Conor McDonagh crossed from the right for Ross Hardaker to rise above Brown at the far post and head just wide.

Another chance came Quakers way just before the break when Mitchell crossed invitingly from the right for Thompson to put a diving header over the top.

They finally broke through in the third minute of stoppage time, when Thompson’s ball into the box from the left was deflected into Brown’s path, and the skipper unselfishly pulled the ball back for Purewal to sidefoot his ninth goal of the season.

Quakers nearly made it 2-0 seven minutes after the interval when Tom Portas found Mitchell in the outside right position, and he fired a shot across the face of goal that had Bennett at full stretch.

But Quakers had an escape on 54 minutes when Hardaker drove the ball into the box from the left, and Conor McDonagh sidefooted wide from six yards.

Quakers went 2-0 up on 61 minutes. Leon Scott and Mitchell cleverly created space on the left for Mitchell to cross into the box where Purewal nodded the ball high towards the far post for Alan White to head his second goal in as many games.

Quakers nearly got a third on 66 minutes when Mitchell’s speed took him away from the Ossett defence on the right, and he pulled the ball back for Portas, whose low shot was blocked by the keeper’s legs.

Bennett pulled off another great save when Purewal headed Thompson’s free kick towards the bottom corner, and White put the rebound wide.

With a big Trophy tie coming up on Saturday, manager Martin Gray felt comfortable enough to take off Thompson and Mitchell, with youngsters Adam Cocks and Lewis Scarr replacing them.

Quakers coasted through the rest of the game , although Peter Jameson caused a scare when he came charging out of his area to make a perfectly-timed tackle.

Manager Martin Gray said; “These sort of games are never easy, because they came with a 4-5-1 formation and they wasted time from the first minute.

“But as soon as we scored the first goal, we took charge and could have scored more. It is so important to tale maximum points against teams near the bottom, we dropped points in similar circumstances last season. That’s six wins out of six now, and four clean sheets.”

Darlington: Jameson, Brown, Watson, White, Hunter, Portas, Mitchell (Scarr 79), Scott, Armstrong (Galbraith 15), Purewal, Thompson (Cocks 76). Subs (not used): Bell (gk), Lovegreen

Ossett Albion: Bennett, Lucas, Hardaker, Nicholson, Milnes, Trice, Thompson (Grech-Brooksbank 75), Reece, McDonagh, Muller, Richardson. Subs (not used): Matthews, Tracey

Referee: Linsey Robinson

Attendance 788