Quaker Women go top of the league

By Ray Simpson

Quaker Women go top of the league

Great win over previously unbeaten Amazons

Darlington Women are now top of the table after ending the unbeaten record of Chester-le-Street Amazons on Saturday.

Quakers came from an early goal down to win 3-1 to go top on goal difference with six games remaining, so an exciting finish to the season is in prospect.

Manager Shaun Mackenzie said; “I was absolutely delighted for the girls to get the three points. We knew how important it was to beat Amazons who were top of the league and unbeaten all season. We have really hit form over the past few weeks and played some great stuff. I was confident going into the game and knew we could get the result if we turned up and played our game. The lasses have been working really hard in training and their efforts are paying off on a Sunday.

“I thought we reacted brilliantly to going one behind early on which is never ideal and then controlled the majority of the game. We defended well and looked dangerous going forward every time. On another day, we probably would have scored more. Great desire on display and determination to make sure we got the win.

“That does put us top of the league table for now which is a great feeling. However we know it won’t be for too long. With Hartlepool withdrawing from the league it means that all results will be expunged and that we will lose six points, which is a blow. However, we are still in a good position and have six games left to play. We’ve just got to take each game at a time, do our job and hope that both Chester teams drop points somewhere in the run in.

“We can only focus on ourselves and myself and the coaching team are very happy with Sunday’s performance."

Match Report from Chris Barrett: 

It was a nightmare start for Darlington who were behind after three minutes when Darlington lost the ball and Amazons played the ball to the left hand side and then clipped the ball back across to the edge of the box for the striker to latch on to and lift the ball over Whitaker for the lead.

Darlington responded and put the pressure on but Amazons were well drilled and were resolute in their defence. After 14 minutes Darlington won a corner from the right hand side. Hattie Raine drove the ball in to a dangerous area and it couldn’t be kept out by the keeper who tried to punch it out but miscalculated and it dropped in over the defender’s head.

A short time after Darlington had a free kick just into the Amazons half. Raine drove the ball deep into the back post to be met by Aimee Dagnall who hit a first time volley, which she struck well but it thundered off the crossbar and over. The half continued with both sides battling to taken control of the play with efforts from Raine and Nicole Graham going close and Amazons also creating chances with a follow up strike from a corner being their best effort of the half.

The second half was played in similar fashion to the first with Darlington relying on an alert Evie Whitaker who was required to come out a number of times clearing away the long through balls. On the 65th minute Darlington came close to going ahead with Lily Wilkinson superbly taking the ball down and under her control to turn and feel the ball into Chloe Ryan who ran through but struck it low and hard but it was well saved by the keeper. Ryan also had the ball in the net after a lovely ball from Dagnall, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

On 72 minutes pressure from Wilkinson high up the pitch after a good counter and ball from Sara Waites forced a clearance from the keeper but there wasn’t a full connection and it was sliced high up which was met by Raine who remained composed and from distance placed her shot just past the retreating defender into the side netting to give Darlington the lead.

Four minutes later Darlington were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box for a foul on Chloe Ryan. She recovered to take it herself and it was a delightful whipped effort past the wall and into the inside netting, out of the reach of the reach of the keeper. A fitting finish for the decisive goal.

Darlington remained in control and maintained their composure until the final whistle to gain a valuable win over one of the best teams in the league.

There were a number of strong performances in the game throughout the team but player of the match was awarded to Hattie Raine who remained calm to claim the vital goal to get Darlington ahead and ultimately get the win. Darlington will need to maintain their form through until the end of the season if they are to keep their chances of promotion alive.

They are back at home next Sunday 18th February when they welcome Boldon CA Ladies to Eastbourne Sports Complex.

Here's the league table



Thanks to our kit sponsors:

We'd like to thank the following kit sponsors:

Evie Whittaker: 

Home: Steve Halliday

Away: Vacant 


Emma Carter:

Home: Direct Flooring 



Lou Brown:

Home: Saddington Taylor LTD

Away: vacant


Millie Garnett:

Home: Eco Hair Salon

Away: Phil's Fine Finishes


Lily Large:

Home: The Unknown Creative

Away: Lineside Fencing


Millie Soderman: 

Home: Corporate Personal Well Being 

Away: Kia


Chloe Tinkler: 

Home: Steve Halliday

Away: Brinkburn Pub


Chloe Bright: 

Home: Jordan Hanratty Personal Training 

Away: SR Entertainments 



Emily Taylor 

Home: Northern Renewables 

Away: Northern Renewables 


Aimee Dagnall 

Home: Durham Blinds

Away: Andrew Scullion


Hattie Raine: 

Home: CNA Electronics

Away: CNA Electronics 


Katie Sheridan: 

Home: Darl Knight

Away: Vacant 


Lacey Baldwin: 

Home: Lineside Fencing NE Ltd 

Away: Vacant 


Chloe Ryan: 

Home: Sign Lead

Away: vacant


Sara Waites: 

Home: Teesside University 

Away: Teesside University  


Nicole Graham

Home: Stuart Shanks Painting and Decorating

Away: Stuart Shanks Painting and Decorating


Leanne Clennett:

Home: Stockton Town Rugby Club

Away: Stockton Town Rugby Club 


Lucy Hart:

Home: Top Spec Boots

Away: D&G Trophies 


Lily Wilkinson:

Home: The Tuns at Sadberge 

Away: The Tuns at Sadberge 


Lucy Charlton

Home and away vacant


Management team:

Shaun Mackenzie training kit: John Vickerman


Stu Burkin training kit:Vacant 


Dan Lupu training kit: Vacant


Chris Barrett training kit: Vacant