Darlington 2 Warrington Town 0
A goal with his first touch for his new club saw Andy Johnson help Darlington start the season with a 2-0 win over Warrington Town.
The former Bishop Auckland striker came off the bench soon after the restart and within seconds headed home when unmarked from a Terry Galbraith free-kick to double Quakers’ lead in their first game in the Evo-Stik First Division North.
He scored close to 100 goals during his two seasons with Bishop, so netting at Heritage Park was nothing new for the blonde-haired forward.
A year ago, in fact, he netted on the opening day against Darlington when Quakers beat Bishop in front of a sell-out 2,000 crowd, but there was just over half that number in attendance today.
The gate of 1,176 was less than the 1,300 average that the club attracted during 2012-13 and today’s crowd will be concerning to Quakers’ hierachy.
Nonetheless, the majority of those at Heritage Park left in contented mood after a solid start to the season.
Another player to score his first for the club was Jonny Davis. A midfielder who joined midway through Quakers’ Northern League-winning campaign, he lashed home on 25 minutes after a David Dowson pass.
Davis’ goal came just as Martin Gray’s side began to open up the visitors’ defence after what had been a low-key start to the season.
But once ahead, Darlington looked in control, especially after the break when there was only going to be one winner once Johnson had notched.
Warrington were second best and made little headway. Their only shot at goal came from Ben Wharton, saved by Mark Bell inside the last ten minutes.
On Tuesday, Darlington are at Bamber Bridge and then head to Farsley next weekend, before returning to Heritage Park on Bank Holiday Monday to face Kendal Town.
Goals: Davis (25, 1-0), Johnson (54, 2-0)
Bookings: Weldon (19, foul); Dawson (40, foul), McCarten (44, time wasting), C Robinson (52, foul); Hunter (89, foul)
Referee: Danny Markham (Washington)
Darlington (4-4-2): Bell; Hunter, J Robinson, Scott, Weldon; Moore, Davis, Galbraith (Gott 67), Thompson (P Robinson 81); Purewal, Dowson (A Johnson 53). Subs (not used): Turns (gk), Hedley
Warrington Town (4-5-1): Dootson, Davies, Kennedy, Dogan (Greenwood 77), McCarten, Robinson, Kilheeney, Mannix, Wharton, Dawson (Gahgan 59), West (Millington 53). Subs (not used): Mooney, Newby