Quakers bounce back from the Leamington defeat
Darlington 2 Chester 0
Holness (28 mins, 1-0), Donawa (45+1 mins 2-0)
Quakers bounced back from their recent poor form with a battling victory against Chester, the first win in five league games -- and what a great win it was.
After losing a two goal lead last week, they were very determined not to let it happen again when they led 2-0 at half time, but the floodlights nearly denied them with a 25 minute delay when they went out at half time. And there was plenty of apprehension as the game went on that the lights wouldn't go out again and force an abandonment.
Despite some enforced changes, they played some great attacking football in the first half and deservedly led 2-0 at half time, and in the second half when third placed Chester piled on the pressure, the players were throwing their bodies in the way of everything, boosted by some great support from the fans.
This is what manager Alun Armstrong had to say about the game:
Quakers gained an early corner that Jarrett Rivers played short to Jack Lambert, but his cross from the left was too high for Louis Laing in the middle, then Rivers’ cross from the left was held by Chester keeper Russ Griffiths on his six yard line.
Then Omar Holness played a great crossfield pass from the left to the right for Justin Donawa, in his stride, to hit just wide.
And Quakers had a great chance on 10 minutes when Ben Hedley crossed left footed from the right for Jack Lambert to head straight at Griffiths from six yards out.
They carved out a great opening on 23 minutes when stand in skipper Michael Liddle found Rivers on the left, and he crossed first time to the far post where Taylor just managed to clear from Rivers.
Quakers took the lead on 28 minutes. A deep free kick from Liam Connell from inside his own half was nodded down by Donawa for Holness to pick up and lob over the advancing keeper into the net his third of the season.
But then it became obvious that there were problems with the floodlights, as on four occasions they went out -- fortunately there was still enough daylight.
Chester tried to reply with a header by Akwasi Asante from a free kick that drifted wide, then George Glendon fired over the top.
But Quakers nearly got a second when Hedley again crossed left footed from the right, and Campbell was inches away from connecting at the far post.
It was deservedly 2-0 just on half time, when Liddle crossed low from the left, the keeper spilled the ball and Donawa was on hand to tap in.
There was a delay to the start of the second half while the floodlights came on, and after a 25 minute delay, Quakers restarted with a shot by Hedley from 25 yards that went over the top.
Rivers was unlucky to see a free kick from way out on the left go across the six yard box and just wide on 50 minutes.
There was a near thing for Quakers when Elton Ngwatala cut in from the right, crossed into the six yard box where Asante headed just wide.
Chester had a goal disallowed as they built up the pressure, but at the other end Campbell had a low shot saved.
Rivers then had a low shot well saved by Griffiths, but Campbell couldn’t turn the ball home under pressure from the keeper.
Chester had another chance when Jackson raced up the left and crossed for sub Matty Hughes to head just over, then Connell deflected Hughes’ shot just wide.
In the last minute, sub Stephen Thompson got away, but Griffiths blocked with his legs -- that 100th goal will have to wait.
Final score: Darlington 2 Chester 0
Darlington: Connell, Hedley, Laing, Storey, Liddle, Wheatley, Holness, Lambert (sub Watson 85), Rivers, Donawa (sub Bascome 90+3), Campbell (sub Thompson 76),
Subs not used: Holliday, Bell,
Chester: Griffiths, T Roberts, Taylor, Livesey, Grand, Stopforth, Jackson, Glendon, Dudley (sub Hughes 62), Asante, Ngwatala (sub Elliott 62),
Subs: Morgan, G Roberts, Waring
Referee: K Silcock