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Darlington put four past Gateshead youngsters
8:00am Thursday 9th August 2012 in Match Reports
Darlington 4 Gateshead 0
DARLINGTON crowned their first performance at their new temporary home, Heritage Park, with a convincing 4-0 victory over a youthful Gateshead side.
All the goals came in the first half as Shaun Reay continued his impressive pre-season form with a brace alongside goals from skipper Gary Brown and Chris Emms.
Quakers boss Martin Gray fielded a strong XI which could give some hints to his preferred side with ten days until the season opener.
The strength of the home side showed from the first whistle as they flew out of the traps and tested a shaky visiting defence.
Emms tested former Darlington keeper Jordan Nixon with a low left foot shot after a clever back-heel from David Dowson.
Quakers fans were not made to wait long for their first goal at their new home though, with Dowson again the provider. He caught Gateshead defender Michael Roberts napping in possession and unselfishly squared to Reay for the easiest of tap ins after 12 minutes.
Reay's second came less than ten minutes later. Adam Nicholls' pinpoint ball from the left split the visiting defence and Reay coolly slotted past Nixon.
Nixon wasn't having the best of returns to his old club and he was at fault for the hosts' third on 25 minutes. His failure to claim an inswinging Emms corner caused havoc in the Gateshead area with Brown eventually able to scramble the ball home.
Peter Ravenhill provided the greatest threat for the visitors but his inability to convert Callum Patton's cross cost them their best chance.
Emms rounded off the scoring. He seized upon an under-hit backpass to round the hapless Nixon and grab Quakers' fourth on half time.
Gateshead enjoyed better possession in the second half. However, bar Ryan McGoragan sending a point-blank effort over the bar and Jack Norton's acrobatics denying Ravenhill, it was a comfortable night for Gray's men.
Darlington (4-4-2) : Norton; Harrison, Arjun Purewal, Brown, Smith; Emms (Lowe 86), Clough (Scott 73), Ellison (Richardson 73), Nicholls (Amar Purewal 62); Reay (Clarke 62) Dowson (Johnson 62). Sub (not used): Connor (gk)
Gateshead (4-4-2) : Nixon; McGlen, Lilley, Mole (Graham 66), Roberts; Luke, Carr, Ramshaw, Patton, McGoragan, Ravenhill (Barton 69). Subs (not used): Sweet, Sharp
Attendance : 532
- Darlington have been drawn away to Hebburn in the preliminary round of the Durham Challenge Cup, to be played on or before September 22.