2 - 1Full Time
A second half penalty from Stephen Thompson gave Darlington all three points in a hard fought contest in front of over 2000 fans at Blackwell Meadows.
There was one change from the side who easily beat Bradford (Park Avenue) 3-0 the previous weekend, with Jack Earing making way for the fit again Shane Henry. However, Earing kept a spot in the squad, coming in for Andrew Johnson on the bench.
The home side, buoyed by a raucous crowd, began the brightest and threatened on numerous occasions down the left through the advanced Michael Liddle. His delivery, after just four fast paced minutes, was well cleared as Spennymoor survived an early spell of pressure.
Moors came back into the contest and almost went ahead when Glen Taylor found a yard on the edge of the box before drilling a thunderous shot which Elliott did well to push wide. Ben McKenna then threatened, twisting inside the area before seeing his effort deflect behind.
Adam Campbell, who looked dangerous throughout the opening twenty minutes, scored the afternoon’s opening goal when he waltzed through Moors’ defence before firing into the bottom corner past Matt Gould.
But, a Moors side never lacking in spirit and endeavour, charged back into the contest and were grateful for the excellent trickery of Ben McKenna and the aerial prowess of Taylor.
The winger dazzled two Quakers defenders before delivering a pinpoint cross which found the head of Spennymoor’s top scorer, with his effort clipping the post before nestling in.
Stephen Brogan almost put Moors ahead shortly before the half time whistle, but his free-kick flew inches wide of the post.
A dull opening ten minutes of the second half came to life when the Darlington faithful were adamant that Ryan Hall had brought down Sean Reid in the penalty area, but the referee was unmoved.
Moors responded and almost took the initiative in front of the following Moors fans when Shane Henry was inches away from converting Taylor’s knock down from a free-kick.
Darlington, who rarely posed Moors problems in the first fifteen minutes of the second half, should have retaken the lead when Gould comfortably collected a header from Alex Storey.
With the game hanging in the balance, there was a sense that the game would require a moment of magic or a set-piece to claim a winner, and that arrived twenty minutes from time when Sean Reid went down under a challenge from Nathan Buddle.
Stephen Thompson, so often a thorn in Spennymoor’s side over the years, stepped up and hammered the ball down the middle of the goal.
With the game deep into injury time, there was a feeling that Moors would be presented with one more chance, and that arrived with seconds of the game to go.
A wicked delivery from the right was planted onto the head of substitute Adam Boyes, but he couldn’t get a strong connection, with the ball spinning away into the wide area.
The final whistle was greeted with cheers from the home support, but for Moors, disappointment ahead of the visit of Gateshead on Saturday.
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|26th December 2019||3:00 pm||National League North||2019/20||2204|