6:30pm Saturday 14th December 2013
By Craig Stoddart
Darlington 1 Bamber Bridge 0
A goal from David Dowson was enough to give Darlington their fifth successive league as they beat Bamber Bridge 1-0.
And for the second weekend in a row they ended the opposition's long unbeaten run.
Bridge came into the game second in the table and on the back of a 15-game undefeated run, but Quakers moved up a place to fourth after winning what was a dour game ruined by a blustery wind at Heritage Park.
The conditions meant chances were few for either side, though Bridge keeper Steven James had to save a first-half free-kick from an otherwise subdued Stephen Thompson.
Darlington’s play-maker, who scored a cracking goal when Darlington won 3-0 at Bamber Bridge in August, was unable to make the difference on a day when the wind it tough for both sides.
Quakers stuck with the same XI that won last weekend 4-1 at Warrington Town, who had not lost in 17 matches, when Dowson scored the first two goals, and it was the former Sunderland striker who broke the deadlock today too.
On the hour, he kept his cool to convert from 18 yards, his only scoring opportunity of the day, when Jonny Davis played a precise pass to put the forward in one-on-one situation.
Bamber Bridge piled on the pressure in the closing stages and there were some anxious moments for Martin Gray’s men, especially during six agonising minutes of injury time during which the visitors twice forced corners.
But once Mark Bell claimed a cross from the second of those set-pieces, Darlington knew the points were in the bag for the fifth successive game.
Their next game is next Saturday at Burscough, though they have a friendly at Heritage Park on Wednesday against a Sunderland XI.
Goal: Dowson (60, 1-0)
Bookings: Mahoney (27, foul), Waddecar (78, foul)
Referee: Shaun Hudson (Houghton-le-Spring)
Darlington (4-3-1-2): Bell; Pilatos, White, Hunter, Galbraith; Robinson, Davis, Scott; Thompson (Hopson 75), Dowson (Fisher 70), Purewal. Subs (not used): Jameson (gk), Weldon, Edwards
Bamber Bridge: James, Mahoney, Hastings, Lawlor, Alexander, Kay, Reid (Bowyer 74), Thompson, Bell (Watt 54), Waddecar, Marlow. Subs (not used): Bonaminio, Williams, Buchan
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