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Darlington make it 13 in a row
Darlington 3 Whitley Bay 1
Darlington made it 13 successive wins by overcoming a tough Whitley Bay side today.
Whitley Bay were one of the better sides Quakers have faced this season, but they became the 11th out of 11 to suffer a defeat at Heritage Park.
The goals came from Stephen Harrison, David Dowson and Amar Purewal to keep Quakers eight points clear in the Ebac Northern League.
The visitors had plenty of chances and would have gone 2-1 ahead had Quakers captain Gary Brown not made a goal-line clearance early in the second half.
Brown also cleared an effort off the line during the first half that ended 1-1 after Darlington had gone ahead on 26 minutes through Stephen Harrison.
The right-back his a sweetly struck shot after being played in by David Dowson following a throw-in.
Darlington then had let off. Keeper Craig Turns, on his debut, was too easily beaten to a free-kick by Bradley Brooking, Paul Chow won the header, but Paul Robinson was offside on the goal line as he tapped the ball home. Had he stood back, Chow would’ve scored.
It did not, however, as ten minutes later Whitley levelled thanks to Chris Fawcett. Paul Robinson, impressive throughout, had a shot from the right that bounced out to Fawcett to force home from eight yards.
The Seahorses then came close to a second. Chow hit the post with a header after an Ashley Davis cross and then Lee Kerr’s follow-up was cleared off the line by Brown.
At half-time Darlington made a change, Adam Clough on for Harrison, but the visitors started strongly and Chow was again denied by Brown, this time after Robinson had driven the ball across goal after turning Darren Richardson inside out.
Richardson was soon subbed, replaced by Dan Smith, while Clark Keltie came on for Leon Scott and soon came Quakers’ second goal.
Craig Gott's forward pass was flicked on by Stephen Thompson into the path of Dowson to execute a smart lob over onrushing keeper Kyle Hayes.
That was on 62 minutes and within 120 seconds it was 3-1, this time Amar Pureal tucking home following another Thompson assist.
Thompson flicked the ball over Lee-Paul Scroggins and shrugged off Chris Reid to play in Purewal to score his tenth goal of the season.
At 3-1 Quakers looked comfortable, but Whitley Bay substitute David Pounder forced the first of two fine saves from Turns, seeing a volley pushed over on 76 minutes.
Referee Stuart Campbell irked the visitors who were unhappy with his performance, but he made an error late on that denied Darlington a penalty when Brooking felled Thompson while he was one-on-one.
Brooking should also have received a red card for the offence, but Campbell, not assisted by his linesman, waved play on.
Turns made another fine save in the dying seconds, tipping the ball over after Chow flicked the ball on and Fawcett looked like scoring until the keeper intervened.
Goals: Harrison (26, 1-0); Fawcett (35, 1-1), Dowson (62, 2-1), Amar Purewal (64, 3-1)
Bookings: Scott (3, foul), Thompson (34, foul), Nicholls (45, foul)
Referee: Stuart Campbell (Middlesbrough
Darlington: Turns; Harrison (Clough 46), Brown, Tait, Richardson (Smith 61); Nicholls, Gott, Scott (Keltie 60), Amar Purewal; Dowson, Thompson. Subs (not used): Norton (gk), Reay
Whitley Bay: Hayes, Brooking, Novak, Anderson (Pounder), Reid, Scroggins, Fawcett, Davis (McMullen 83), Kerr (Fairley 74), Chow, Robinson. Subs (not used): C Smith, B Smith
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