Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Darlington march on
Shildon 0 Darlington 2
Darlington are two games away from promotion after today’s 2-0 win at Shildon took them a step closer to the Northern League title.
Goals from Stephen Thompson and Steven Johnson either side from half-time sealed a victory that puts Quakers in a good position to finish first.
Martin Gray’s men are 23 points clear of Spennymoor, who have seven games in hand. They maintained the pressure by winning at Hebburn Town, who had a man sent off early on, but Darlington now have two games at Heritage Park to seal the title.
Next Saturday they face Team Northumbria and the following Wednesday conclude their season against Guisborough Town.
They took the lead after 23 minutes today with Thompson scoring in the 23rd minute.
The striker, playing up front today with Amar Purewal on the left wing, finished calmly after playing a one-two-two with strike-partner David Dowson.
But Shildon had had the first two chances. Keeper Mark Bell came off his line to save from Danny Richmond as the Darlington-born Shildon midfielder prodded the ball at goal, and Bell clawed the ball away for a corner at the second attempt.
From the resulting corner, Quakers’ Stephen Harrison blocked a volley by Luke Gilbert while Bell also saved when tall striker Billy Greulich-Smith headed on a long throw.
Once Quakers were ahead, however, they looked in control.
Five minutes before half-time Shildon captain Mark Hudson cleared a Joe Tait effort off the line after the Darlington defender had met Terry Galbraith’s corner. From the second corner, Craig Gott blasted over when he should’ve left the ball for the nearby Thompson.
Soon after the restart Shildon left-back Ben Christensen threw himself in the way of a Chris Emms shot to block, but that was the last that either side saw of goal for a good while.
The bulk of the second period was played in midfield, with nether keeper tested, though Darlington held more possession.
Shildon went on striker Jamie Owens, who turned down Darlington to sign for Shildon when he left Billingham Town, but he was rarely involved and it was a Quakers substitute who almost netted.
Soon after coming on, Johnson, a former Shildon striker, met Amar Purewal’s right-wing cross, but his effort thundered back off the bar.
Johnson did not have to wait much longer to get his goal though, and h owed to fellow substitute Kerry Hedley.
Gray sent on Hedley on 81 minutes and it was not long before a step-over saw him take the ball beyond Christensen and cross for Johnson to tap home and seal victory.
Goals: Thompson (23, 0-1), Johnson (85, 0-2)
Bookings: Finch (45, handball), Gilbert (48, foul)
Referee: Marc Edwards (Gateshead)
Attendance: 1,300 (estimated)
Shildon (4-4-2): Finch; Hodgeson, Gilbert (Briggs 51), Hunter, Christensen; Tait, Hudson, Hughes (Johnston 46), Richmond; Greulich-Smith (Owens 67), Garvie. Subs (not used): Wood, McCabe
Darlington (4-4-2): Bell; Harrison, Brown, Tait, Scott; Emms (Davis 70), Gott, Galbraith, Purewal; Thompson (Hedley 81), Dowson (Johnson 67). Subs (not used): Turns (gk), Robinson
Comments are closed on this article.