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Darlington draw with Durham
Darlington’s defensive frailties were highlighted as they were held to 3-3 draw at Durham City in their latest pre-season friendly last night.
They are preparing for the season without Gary Brown, due to his ankle injury sustained last weekend, and in the captain’s absence Quakers were off the pace and less than convincing at the back.
Their Northern League opposition led twice before Darlington pegged them back, but with a fortnight to go before the start of the season manager Martin Gray will want to see a swift improvement.
Gray, who was without Jordan Robinson and Terry Galbraith, held a post-match meeting with his players after the game on the pitch, said: “There’s still a lot of work to do. Little bits of the game were alright.
“Andy Johnson got himself a goal and Craig Gott played the 90 minutes, they were the plusses and some little passages of play were okay.
“Durham made it difficult. They were physical and put in a really good show.
“We’re not kidding ourselves, we know that there’s work to do and we know that when the season starts there’ll be a different mentality from the players."
David Dowson gave Quakers the lead inside ten minutes, combining with fellow former Durham forward Amar Purewal who played a pass across goal for Dowson to slide home.
Durham soon levelled, however, when Ian Ward burst unopposed through the middle of Darlington’s defence before driving home.
Quakers, who gave a game to trialist Tom Johnson from Carlisle at centre-back, were thankful for Craig Turns making two fine saves either side of half-time from Ward and Matthew Scott, but there was nothing he could do to stop Scott making it 2-1.
He passed the ball into the net after receiving a pass from Josh Gray, the former Darlington winger.
Then came three goals inside six hectic minutes to leave the scores level.
Kerry Hedley came off the bench to make it 2-2 when he latched onto Gott’s ball, but Durham were ahead for the second time when Craig Ellison’s quick footwork saw him beat Turns.
It was 3-3 when Johnson chased Leon Scott’s ball over the top to coolly finish and Gray then made a number of changes.
Darlington ended the game with four youth team players in the team– Tom Young, Matty Lovegreen, Aiden O’Connor and Lewis Scarr – while Tom Atkinson also came off the bench.
The former Stockton Town striker last night signed a contract with Quakers.
Durham City: Jobling, Harrison, Walker, Gray, Oates, Galloway, Stoker, Hindmarsh, O’Dea, Ellison, Ward.
Darlington: Turns, Hunter (Young 80), Johnson, Gott, Scott (Scarr 80), Moore (O’Connor 80), Davis, P Robinson (Lovegreen 65), Thompson(Hedley 58), Dowson (A Johnson 21), Purewal (Atkinson 58).
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