Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
It's the late, late show as Darlington pegged back
Final Score: Darlington 2 Bishop Auckland 2
For the second time in 24 hours Darlington suffered injury-time agony as they threw away a two-goal lead to draw against ten-man Bishop Auckland.
And last night it was Quakers who crumbled against opposition who were reduced to ten men since the first half, their 17-match winning ending with Bishops’ Kieran Megran scoring two penalties.
The second came in the 92nd minute and it hands Spennymoor the advantage in the promotion race.
They are 23 points behind, but have eight games in hand and are at Penrith this evening.
Darlington manager Martin Gray was frustrated, but more so with the conditions than the penalities after high winds made a mockery of the second half.
“I couldn’t really see the second penalty from where I was so I couldn’t really comment,” he said. “But the wind got up unbelievably in the second half – you’d think someone had turned a wind machine on. It made it almost impossible to get out of our own half.
“We conceded two penalties but didn’t really have any shots or threaten their keeper. In the ref’s opinion they were penalties so you’ve just got to get on with it.
“We had two or three great chances and had two or three in the first as well – you’ve got to take your chances.”
Quakers had began brightly, scoring after only two minutes through Chris Emms.
He swerved his way past a clutch of bodies, slaloming his way through the middle of the Bishop defence before keeping his composure to prod the ball underneath keeper Peter Jeffries.
In a year of memorable strikes it was another contender for goal of the season, something that Emms has entered more than once.
So too has Terry Galbraith and he marked his return by getting on the scoresheet on 15 minutes with the first penalty of the evening.
It was awarded after David Dowson was hauled down by Jeffries, who received only a yellow card as there were defenders covering the goal-line.
The two-goal lead calmed any Darlington nerves. They’d been below-par against Celtic Nation on Monday and that performance coupled with a third game in five days was enough for some to be mildly concerned.
Quakers did not have it all their own way though, as Bishops had a decent spell when the Darlington defence had to work hard to keep out Bishops’ front three.
But the landlords’ came to a shuddering halt thanks to Adrian Webster and his flying elbow.
With referee David McCallum close by, midfielder Webster, a former Darlington player, left Jonny Davis in a heap when challenging for a high ball and was soon his way to the dressing room, but only after stopping to confront a supporter and having to be hauled away by a Quakers official.
Webster’s exit may have left Bishops at a numerical disadvantage, but they started the second period with a substantial wind at their backs and on top, winning a series of corners.
As Quakers tried to clear one of them, Mark Bell made a fine save to tip over a wonderfully-struck effort from distance by Dion Raitt, the midfielder hitting the ball with pure power from a central area.
Bell had to be alert at Bishops’ corners as the wind was playing havoc. One corner saw Megran spend a good while attempting to position the ball in the quadrant and then a Jeffries kick forced Bell to back-peddle as the ball bounced high and sailed through the air.
The strength of wind increased as the game went on, but that did not excuse the poor pass Dowson made when he should put Emms in on goal as a chance went begging.
A spirited Bishop did not look like they had only ten men and midway through the second half 31-goal striker Andy Johnson looked like he’d won a penalty when he fell after being shoved by Joe Tait.
McCallum waved play on, but with seven minutes to go he pointed to the spot when Stephen Thompson had deemed to have handled while defending a free-kick taken by Johnson.
Megran smashed home the spot-kick and in the second minute of injury-time Bishops’ comeback was complete after Johnson again went to ground after tangling with Stephen Harrison.
“There’ll be other twists and turns yet, but there’s pressure’s not on us anymore. The pressure’s on Spennymoor now to win all of their games,” added Gray.
“There’s not much between us, we’ve just got to focus on Saturday at Shildon now and make sure we win our last three games.”
Goals: Emms (2, 1-0), Galbraith pen (15, 2-0); Megran (83, 2-1), Megran (90, 2-2)
Bookings: Jeffries (15, foul), Salvin (43, foul)
Sendings-off: Webster (39, violent conduct)
Referee: David McCallum (Whitley Bay) 7
Darlington (4-4-2): Bell 7; Harrison 6, BROWN 8, Tait 7, Scott 6; Emms 6, Davis 6 (Gott 56, 5), Galbraith 7, Thompson 6 (Nicholls 90); Dowson 5 (Johnson 77), Purewal 5. Subs (not used): Turns (gk), Richardson
Bishop Auckland (4-3-3): Jeffries 7; Harwood 7, Gilhespie 7, Salvin 6, Lawson 7; Raitt 7, Webster 4, Hodgson 6; MEGRAN 8, Johnson 6, Wearmouth 7. Subs (not used): Swankie, Cleminson, Cummings, Barton, Jardine
Man of the match
KIERAN Megran – Kept his cool to score two late penalties
More Darlington 1883 News
Comments are closed on this article.