3 - 1Full Time
Late goals from Ben McKenna and Adam Boyes sealed a dramatic victory for Spennymoor over neighbours Darlington in front of over 2000 fans inside The Brewery Field.
McKenna finished off a superb individual run five minutes from time before Boyes tapped in with a minute remaining, this after Justin Donawa had cancelled out James Roberts’ opener.
Jason Ainsley opted to make four changes from the side who were beaten by Gateshead the previous Saturday, with Carl Magnay, Nathan Buddle, Shane Henry and Ben McKenna replacing quartet of Jake Hibbs, Chris Mason, Jack Earing and Mark Anderson.
The teams emerged from the tunnel to a heated atmosphere, and the game was lively from the first whistle, with Glen Taylor going close when he dragged a shot wide of the post after a quick throw-in from Rob Ramshaw.
A dogged and scrappy opening, which saw Moors create several half chances, erupted when James Roberts scored the opening goal of the contest after 18 minutes.
Matt Gould’s long punt upfield was flicked on twice before finding Roberts, and he showed fantastic composure to round outrushing goalkeeper Chris Elliott and pass into an empty net.
Darlington were keen to respond quickly and came within inches of equalising after a poor goal-kick from Matt Gould was headed forward to the dangerous Adam Campbell, but his attempted lob bobbled inches wide of the post.
The Quakers looked a threat on the counter attack through Campbell and Stephen Thompson, and the pair combined to great effect midway through the half, with the latter’s shot being blocked superbly by the covering Stephen Brogan.
As the half powered towards its conclusion it was evident that the away side were increasingly in the ascendancy, and they found the equaliser eight minutes before the break when a cross into the six yard box found the head of Justin Donawa, who powered the ball past Gould.
That goal triggered a frantic end to the first 45 minutes as Darlington ramped up the pressure on a Spennymoor side looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat, and only the heroics of Gould denied The Quakers.
First, he rushed out to block Sean Reid’s goal bound effort after a surging run from goal scorer Donawa, before tipping Josef Wheatley’s long range pile-driver onto the top of the crossbar.
Those two opportunities signalled the end of the half, but, the action on the pitch would take a back seat as there were unsavoury scenes in the away end which caused a fifteen minute delay for the start of the second 45 minutes.
The extended interval didn’t effect Moors’ mentality as they raced out of the dressing room and immediately went on the front foot, seeing efforts from Roberts and McKenna blocked inside the area, before Taylor came close with two headers.
Those misses at the start of the second half were reminiscent of the same period of play in the defeat to Gateshead, but, this time Gould was on hand to deny Darlington a second at a key time in the contest.
The ball found it’s way to the onside Donawa who suddenly found himself one-on-one with Moors’ shot stopper, with Gould once again coming out on top.
That save proved a turning point in the game as Moors regained their composure and drove forward again through the tireless Ramshaw, but Taylor couldn’t convert his deep cross, before Roberts struck the side netting with ten minutes remaining.
There was always a sense that there was another goal in the match, and, with five minutes of normal time remaining, that moment arrived in front of hundreds of jubilant Spennymoor supporters.
McKenna, who always posed a threat down the left flank, juggled the ball before exchanging passes with Taylor. The Brewery Field then held it’s collective breath as the winger found the back of the net via the post, sparking wild celebrations with the full Moors squad.
Darlington, in search of a late equaliser, lost their shape and gifted Moors another opening when Ramshaw broke from midfield, but he saw his effort well saved by Elliott.
However, the ball rebounded Kindly to the midfielder, and he slid the ball across the six yard box, allowing late substitute Boyes to tap in.
The result moves Spennymoor up to fifth in the table. League leaders King’s Lynn are up next on Saturday afternoon.
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|1st January 2020||3:00 pm||National League North||2019/20||2260|