Team Northumbria 2 Darlington 0

Darlington and Stockton Times: NO WAY THOUGH: Team Northumbria defender Ross Wilkinson, left, keeps Darlington midfielder Leon Scott at bay during Quakers’ 2-0 defeat on Saturday NO WAY THOUGH: Team Northumbria defender Ross Wilkinson, left, keeps Darlington midfielder Leon Scott at bay during Quakers’ 2-0 defeat on Saturday

Darlington endured a hugely disappointing day as they lost 2-0 at lowly Team Northumbria, a team that had won only one of their previous 12 matches.

But Quakers suffered their third league defeat, despite seeing more than enough of the ball as for lengthy periods they pinned the hosts back into their own half.

However, against a team that lots 5-1 to Newton Aycliffe last week, they paid the price for failing to take one of numerous chances.

They found a stubborn and well-organised Team Northumbria difficult to break down and as a result Martin Gray’s men failed to score in a league game for the first time.

Furthermore, Darlington lost keeper Craig Turns with a dislocated shoulder and he is expected be missing for at least a month.

He had to be taken to hospital after suffering the injury when making a save towards the end of the first half from Team North’s Peter Watling, who was on the end of a number of chances.

The striker scored well over 30 goals in Division Two last season and was dangerous from the off, having three opportunities early on.

The first shot was deflected over for a corner, the second rolled just wide after turning sharply and the third a header straight at Turns after meeting a cross by right-back John Jury.

Darlington had chances too. David Dowson had a shot saved by Andrew Jennison after referee Tom Rogers played advantage when centre-back Ross Wilkinson brought down Stephen Thompson.

Winger Amar Purewal should’ve done better when he met Thompson’s pass over the top, but the winger’s touch was too heavy and Jennison collected the ball.

Playing on a well-maintained playing surface, the pitch should have been to Quakers’ advantage.

While they did not lose the ball cheaply, they did not use the width of the wide pitch well enough and they lacked invention and spark during a largely flat first 45 minutes.

They were handed an escape on 26 minutes when Watling had only the keeper to beat, but he fired wide from inside penalty area.

Jennison had three saves to make in a matter of minutes. Saving easily when Leon Scott slipped as he shot after receiving a pass from Stephen Thompson, but Dowson wasted a one-on-one opportunity when released by Thompson and outpacing the home defence.

A minute later Jennison saved a header from Thompson after he had met a Craig Gott cross.

Jack Norton replaced Turns for the final seconds of the first half, but within 60 seconds of the restart he was picking the ball out of the net.

After a succession of passes through Darlington’s midfield, Watling was played in by Ben Sayer to fire low past Norton.

The goal means that Quakers have conceded in 13 consecutive league games. A cause for concern, but one which has been overlooked as they have been capable of scoring chances in most games.

Also a hallmark of Darlington’s season, however, is that the majority of their goals have come in the second half matches. So with 44 minutes to play they were not unduly worried at the prospect of conjuring an equaliser and chances were continually created.

Chris Emms saw a shot deflected wide and Thompson had an effort diverted over the bar, while Dowson missed a great opportunity; after Gary Brown headed the ball into his path, the forward’s volley from 12 yards was way off target.

Gray made a double and decisive change, sendinrg on Clark Keltie and Adam Nicholls for Leon Scott and Emms. With Turns already replaced, Quakers had a scare when Norton went down injured after a collision with Watling.

Thankfully for Darlington, he was able to continue and soon made a sharp save low down to his right when Sayer struck the ball sweetly from outside the area.

Darlington’s pressure continued to mount with Keltie at the hub of the action while hard-working Team North defended in numbers with centre-backs Tom Davies and Ross Wilkinson winning almost everything in the air.

For a spell when Quakers won a series of corners, Norton was the only player not in the home team’s third of the pitch, but the lengthy period of possession came to nothing, despte Jennison being continually called into action.

Thompson saw a shot gathered at the second attempt by Jennison before Nicholls broke into the penalty area by beating Phil Lumsden and Tom Davies, but his shot was straight at Jennison and then Thompson had an effort diverted over the bar for a corner by Davies.

Jennings had to be at full stretch to save from Brown while fellow centre-back Joe Tait turned a shot over the bar when meeting a Nicholls corner.

All of the effort proved in vain as Watling added a killer second in injury time. After TN's Mark Bertram intercepted a Norton clearance, they worked the ball to the striker and he slotted home a low strike to make it 2-0.

The goal completed a dreadful day for Darlington on which they also saw second-placed Spennymoor, still with three games in hand, cut the gap to four points.

That could be closed even further on Tuesday when Moors travel to Whitley Bay. Darlington’s next game is at home to Guisborough Town on Friday (8pm ko).

Goals: Watling (46, 1-0), Watling (90, 2-0)

Bookings: Brown (58, foul); Bertram (87, time wasting); Dowson (88, encroachment)

Referee: Tom Rogers

Attendance: 482

Team Northumbria: Jennison, Jury, Lumsden, Davies, Wilkinson, Bertram, Critchlow (Fenwick 83), Cavener, Sayer, Watling, Riley (Story 88). Subs (not used): Cairns, Sherlock, Clough

Darlington: Turns (Norton 45); Harrison, Tait, Brown, Smith; Emms (Nicholls 54), Gott, Scott (Keltie 54), Amar Purewal; Dowson, Thompson. Subs (not used): Richardson, Reay

Comments (14)

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9:32pm Sat 24 Nov 12

MSG says...

Just got back from he Northumbria embarrassment.. It is cler to a blind man on a galloping horsea that Darlo need a big hard centre forward to put himself about. Their centre backs had it easy today with our fine passing but lightweight attack causing them no real problems.
Looking like 2nd place for us this season.
Fingers crossed that two teams may go up, if teams in leagues above hit financial problems.
Good Darlo turnout with 90% of the 420 crowd.
Just got back from he Northumbria embarrassment.. It is cler to a blind man on a galloping horsea that Darlo need a big hard centre forward to put himself about. Their centre backs had it easy today with our fine passing but lightweight attack causing them no real problems. Looking like 2nd place for us this season. Fingers crossed that two teams may go up, if teams in leagues above hit financial problems. Good Darlo turnout with 90% of the 420 crowd. MSG
  • Score: 2

5:13am Sun 25 Nov 12

John Justice says...

I did not make it to the game but both Grey and the fans recognise the problems, the two main issues being a leaky defence and forwards who when faced with a good defence cannot break it down and finish the game off. Spennymoor defence have conceded single figure goals, that speaks volumes against a Darlo defence who seem to insist on the opposition scoring. That said many things can happen twixt cup and lip, and there is still a long way to go. We still look good for a top finish.
I did not make it to the game but both Grey and the fans recognise the problems, the two main issues being a leaky defence and forwards who when faced with a good defence cannot break it down and finish the game off. Spennymoor defence have conceded single figure goals, that speaks volumes against a Darlo defence who seem to insist on the opposition scoring. That said many things can happen twixt cup and lip, and there is still a long way to go. We still look good for a top finish. John Justice
  • Score: 0

10:37am Sun 25 Nov 12

stiv says...

We must not ignore the fact that this is a very serious setback, is martin not reading the game as well as he should? I hope those in our top pack have no ambitions of going up because if martin cannot turn this around we will be looking at finishing in the top four.
We must not ignore the fact that this is a very serious setback, is martin not reading the game as well as he should? I hope those in our top pack have no ambitions of going up because if martin cannot turn this around we will be looking at finishing in the top four. stiv
  • Score: 0

11:46am Sun 25 Nov 12

soulie67 says...

Considering we had no ground, no team and no manager a short time ago we still have done well.
Considering we had no ground, no team and no manager a short time ago we still have done well. soulie67
  • Score: 3

12:03pm Sun 25 Nov 12

stiv says...

now have everything we did not have, plusthe best income, we should be flying away with his league.
now have everything we did not have, plusthe best income, we should be flying away with his league. stiv
  • Score: 0

1:51pm Sun 25 Nov 12

60 years a Darlo Fan says...

I was at the game yesterday and today to read in the northern echo that Martin was pleased with the performance I find difficult to understand. I found it to be totaly frustrating and embarrassing to watch, I have been for many years, and will continue to be an avid supporter of Darlo, but yesterdays performance highlighted the cracks and problems which have been evident in recent games. Our style of play seems to have become so predictable, we do not seem to be able to cope with large defenders or have the abilty to deal with them. In our squad we have the option of two other equaly good strikers, one of which is only given short periods at the end of games and the other seems to be a forgotten player. What with our restrictions up front and the increasingly evident ability to give away silly goals at the back I fear that we are in for a torrid time over the next few weeks. I made a 230 mile round trip to watch that game yesterday, and travel a similar distance for every game and I will continue to do so. However based on present performances I am starting to think that the title is for Spennymoor to lose and not for Darlo to win.
I was at the game yesterday and today to read in the northern echo that Martin was pleased with the performance I find difficult to understand. I found it to be totaly frustrating and embarrassing to watch, I have been for many years, and will continue to be an avid supporter of Darlo, but yesterdays performance highlighted the cracks and problems which have been evident in recent games. Our style of play seems to have become so predictable, we do not seem to be able to cope with large defenders or have the abilty to deal with them. In our squad we have the option of two other equaly good strikers, one of which is only given short periods at the end of games and the other seems to be a forgotten player. What with our restrictions up front and the increasingly evident ability to give away silly goals at the back I fear that we are in for a torrid time over the next few weeks. I made a 230 mile round trip to watch that game yesterday, and travel a similar distance for every game and I will continue to do so. However based on present performances I am starting to think that the title is for Spennymoor to lose and not for Darlo to win. 60 years a Darlo Fan
  • Score: 5

9:55pm Sun 25 Nov 12

bishopman says...

I haven't seen Darlo play yet (was on holiday when they played Bishop) but was talking to someone who has seen them play and he thought they weren't much better than the top four or five teams in the NL which must be worrying for Darlo fans who really need promotion this season.
I haven't seen Darlo play yet (was on holiday when they played Bishop) but was talking to someone who has seen them play and he thought they weren't much better than the top four or five teams in the NL which must be worrying for Darlo fans who really need promotion this season. bishopman
  • Score: 0

1:03am Mon 26 Nov 12

doonhamer says...

stiv wrote:
now have everything we did not have, plusthe best income, we should be flying away with his league.
Why ??? Soulie 67 is right. We have no divine right to win games. Fans must remember we do not have the status of a couple of years ago. We are, like it or lump it, new starters in every way. To finish in the top three would be excellent and to say we really need promotion this season as the above comment states, is way off beam. We must walk before we run and respect our opponents. If you think away games at Spennymoor, Whitley Bay, Ashington, Bedlington and Shildon will be easy you will be in for a massive culture shock. I, for one, am really pleased with the progress so far, so come on everyone, lets be sensible and give credit where credit is due and stop moaning about the odd defeat against teams who were better on the day.
[quote][p][bold]stiv[/bold] wrote: now have everything we did not have, plusthe best income, we should be flying away with his league.[/p][/quote]Why ??? Soulie 67 is right. We have no divine right to win games. Fans must remember we do not have the status of a couple of years ago. We are, like it or lump it, new starters in every way. To finish in the top three would be excellent and to say we really need promotion this season as the above comment states, is way off beam. We must walk before we run and respect our opponents. If you think away games at Spennymoor, Whitley Bay, Ashington, Bedlington and Shildon will be easy you will be in for a massive culture shock. I, for one, am really pleased with the progress so far, so come on everyone, lets be sensible and give credit where credit is due and stop moaning about the odd defeat against teams who were better on the day. doonhamer
  • Score: 0

1:03am Mon 26 Nov 12

doonhamer says...

stiv wrote:
now have everything we did not have, plusthe best income, we should be flying away with his league.
Why ??? Soulie 67 is right. We have no divine right to win games. Fans must remember we do not have the status of a couple of years ago. We are, like it or lump it, new starters in every way. To finish in the top three would be excellent and to say we really need promotion this season as the above comment states, is way off beam. We must walk before we run and respect our opponents. If you think away games at Spennymoor, Whitley Bay, Ashington, Bedlington and Shildon will be easy you will be in for a massive culture shock. I, for one, am really pleased with the progress so far, so come on everyone, lets be sensible and give credit where credit is due and stop moaning about the odd defeat against teams who were better on the day.
[quote][p][bold]stiv[/bold] wrote: now have everything we did not have, plusthe best income, we should be flying away with his league.[/p][/quote]Why ??? Soulie 67 is right. We have no divine right to win games. Fans must remember we do not have the status of a couple of years ago. We are, like it or lump it, new starters in every way. To finish in the top three would be excellent and to say we really need promotion this season as the above comment states, is way off beam. We must walk before we run and respect our opponents. If you think away games at Spennymoor, Whitley Bay, Ashington, Bedlington and Shildon will be easy you will be in for a massive culture shock. I, for one, am really pleased with the progress so far, so come on everyone, lets be sensible and give credit where credit is due and stop moaning about the odd defeat against teams who were better on the day. doonhamer
  • Score: 0

7:20am Mon 26 Nov 12

stiv says...

maybe we should concentrate on consolodating our position in the league and push for promotion next year?
maybe we should concentrate on consolodating our position in the league and push for promotion next year? stiv
  • Score: 0

8:49am Mon 26 Nov 12

mensamoo says...

Quite right. We have no right to walk this league, we must earn it. No doubting our record is exceptional in any other league, we cannot be happy with it in this one; one team has a better record than us and one team goes up. We can score freely against poor defences and also when we are winning. We struggle big time when we need to get back into a game. 10 corners and many lofted balls did not work Saturday. Plan B Martin!
Quite right. We have no right to walk this league, we must earn it. No doubting our record is exceptional in any other league, we cannot be happy with it in this one; one team has a better record than us and one team goes up. We can score freely against poor defences and also when we are winning. We struggle big time when we need to get back into a game. 10 corners and many lofted balls did not work Saturday. Plan B Martin! mensamoo
  • Score: 0

8:54am Mon 26 Nov 12

mensamoo says...

60 years a Darlo Fan wrote:
I was at the game yesterday and today to read in the northern echo that Martin was pleased with the performance I find difficult to understand. I found it to be totaly frustrating and embarrassing to watch, I have been for many years, and will continue to be an avid supporter of Darlo, but yesterdays performance highlighted the cracks and problems which have been evident in recent games. Our style of play seems to have become so predictable, we do not seem to be able to cope with large defenders or have the abilty to deal with them. In our squad we have the option of two other equaly good strikers, one of which is only given short periods at the end of games and the other seems to be a forgotten player. What with our restrictions up front and the increasingly evident ability to give away silly goals at the back I fear that we are in for a torrid time over the next few weeks. I made a 230 mile round trip to watch that game yesterday, and travel a similar distance for every game and I will continue to do so. However based on present performances I am starting to think that the title is for Spennymoor to lose and not for Darlo to win.
Spot on. We need a new game plan for being behind, and against big defences.
[quote][p][bold]60 years a Darlo Fan[/bold] wrote: I was at the game yesterday and today to read in the northern echo that Martin was pleased with the performance I find difficult to understand. I found it to be totaly frustrating and embarrassing to watch, I have been for many years, and will continue to be an avid supporter of Darlo, but yesterdays performance highlighted the cracks and problems which have been evident in recent games. Our style of play seems to have become so predictable, we do not seem to be able to cope with large defenders or have the abilty to deal with them. In our squad we have the option of two other equaly good strikers, one of which is only given short periods at the end of games and the other seems to be a forgotten player. What with our restrictions up front and the increasingly evident ability to give away silly goals at the back I fear that we are in for a torrid time over the next few weeks. I made a 230 mile round trip to watch that game yesterday, and travel a similar distance for every game and I will continue to do so. However based on present performances I am starting to think that the title is for Spennymoor to lose and not for Darlo to win.[/p][/quote]Spot on. We need a new game plan for being behind, and against big defences. mensamoo
  • Score: 2

9:12am Tue 27 Nov 12

Quakerz says...

stiv wrote:
now have everything we did not have, plusthe best income, we should be flying away with his league.
Stiv we might have the best gates but certainly Spenny and Celtic Nation have more money than us, and the likes of West Auckland, Bedlington and Shildon can at least match us for wages.

Therefore there is no real reason at all why we SHOULD finish top 5, but the fact that we WILL is an achievement in itself considering where we were 4-5 months ago.

You need some perspective!
[quote][p][bold]stiv[/bold] wrote: now have everything we did not have, plusthe best income, we should be flying away with his league.[/p][/quote]Stiv we might have the best gates but certainly Spenny and Celtic Nation have more money than us, and the likes of West Auckland, Bedlington and Shildon can at least match us for wages. Therefore there is no real reason at all why we SHOULD finish top 5, but the fact that we WILL is an achievement in itself considering where we were 4-5 months ago. You need some perspective! Quakerz
  • Score: 0

9:15am Tue 27 Nov 12

Quakerz says...

bishopman wrote:
I haven't seen Darlo play yet (was on holiday when they played Bishop) but was talking to someone who has seen them play and he thought they weren't much better than the top four or five teams in the NL which must be worrying for Darlo fans who really need promotion this season.
There is always "someone" who says that, because plenty of people are gagging for us to fail, and think if they repeat it enough that it will come true.

However the table so far proves that (Spennymoor excepted) we ARE better than the rest of the top 4/5 and considerably so. 19-0-3.
[quote][p][bold]bishopman[/bold] wrote: I haven't seen Darlo play yet (was on holiday when they played Bishop) but was talking to someone who has seen them play and he thought they weren't much better than the top four or five teams in the NL which must be worrying for Darlo fans who really need promotion this season.[/p][/quote]There is always "someone" who says that, because plenty of people are gagging for us to fail, and think if they repeat it enough that it will come true. However the table so far proves that (Spennymoor excepted) we ARE better than the rest of the top 4/5 and considerably so. 19-0-3. Quakerz
  • Score: 0

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