PSV De Jong 3 Darlington 1Quakers did themselves proud with a battling performance against PSV...
PSV De Jong 3 Darlington 1
Quakers did themselves proud with a battling performance against PSV Eindhoven's under 23 side at De Herdgang, the training HQ of Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven.
Quakers never stopped battling against their full time hosts, and in the last 20 minutes almost reduced the deficit on a day that will long be remembered.
There was a huge cheer from the 300 Darlo fans at the start of the game when the teams came on the field, with over a dozen flags adorning the fence behind one goal. Considering the 80 degree heat, some fans had walked the 5 kilometres from the city centre to the ground! What a terrific show of support, which truly added to the sense of Darlo playing in Europe.
While Quakers adjusted to the heat, the 4G conditions, and their full time opponents, PSV quickly got into their stride, and were awarded a penalty on 7 minutes when keeper Jonny Maddison tripped Bertalan Kun, but the keeper pulled off a fantastic save from Laursen's penalty, throwing himself to his left to keep the ball out, to the great cheers of the Darlington supporters at that end.
Quakers recovered and got more to grips with the game, but PSV had another chance on 13 minutes, when Lonwijk forced Maddison into a good save from the edge of the box.
There were one or two promising Darlo moves that broke down before Laursen broke and forced Maddison into a good stop.
At this stage, Quakers could be very pleased with their efforts against a full time side in 80 degree heat.
And we had our first chance on 25 minutes when Reece Styche was fouled 30 yards out, and Terry Galbraith's left footed free kick was well held by Rouleaux.
While David Syers was off the field receiving treatment, PSV scored on 28 minutes. Lonwijk played a one-two down the right, ran into the box, and curled a left foot shot that took a slight deflection beyond Maddison.
But Quakers replied within a minute, to everyone's delight. Styche dribbled past three men and his shot was deflected over the bar for a corner.
Quakers scored from the setpiece and prompted great cheers from the travelling fans.
Wheatley curled the corner over from the right, and Collins - just like Harry Maguire in the World Cup - rose above everyone and headed the ball over the line. Rouleaux claimed it hadn't but Styche made sure anyway.
PSV replied with an attempted chip by Aboukhlal, and Maddison palmed the ball past the post, but Wheatley broke up the right at the other end and set up Thompson, who pulled his effort wide.
But just on half time, PSV went in front again, when Theunissen curled the ball past Maddison from the edge of the area, although Quakers claimed that there was a handball in the build up, and a free kick given against them when it should have been the other way.
Half time, PSV De Jong 2 Darlington 1
There was nearly an equaliser on 50 minutes when Trotman got away and forced Rouleaux into a flying save, and Syers, following up, couldn't keep his header down and the ball went over the top .
But PSV went 3-1 up when sub Robin Schoonbrood picked the ball up on the 18 yard line, sidestepped a challenge, and curled the ball into the bottom corner.
And Maddison came to Darlo's rescue when Aboukhlal raced through, but the keeper timed his run perfectly and saved at the PSV man's feet.
Quakers made some subs, and one of them, Alex Henshall, nearly pulled one back when he played a short corner with Styche on the right, ran into the box, and whipped a left foot shot just over the bar.
And another chance came along when Henshall released Saunders, but the striker dragged his left shot across the advancing keeper but wide.
Then the dangerous Henshall cut in from the right again and fired in a low shot that the keeper just managed to pusha round the post.
Quakers kept going right to the end and did themselves a huge amount of credit in the eyes of their hosts and travelling fans, and they deserved the loud applause when they went across to thank the travelling fans on the final whistle.
Here are the highlights of the match, courtesy of Kev
and here are Tommy's after-match thoughts:
PSV De Jong 3 Darlington 1
Everyone from Darlington would like to thank PSV, and the city of Eindhoven, for the warm welcome and great hospitality that they showed us over the weekend.
Maddison (Bancroft (80) Trotman, O'Hanlon, Glover (sub Saunders 60), Collins (sub Vaulks 68), Galbraith ( sub Burn 46), Syers , Wheatley, Styche, Ainge (sub Henshall 68) , Thompson
PSV De Jong
Rouleaux, Hattu, Abels, Soulas , Theunissen , Lonwijk , Aboukhlal , Ledezma , Laursen, Kun , Daneels ,
Van Ooijen , Catic , Schoonbrood , Wallenburg , De Meulenhof