Spennymoor Town FCDarlington
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A defensive mix-up gave Darlington all three points in a hotly contested North-East clash as Moors finally made their return to The Brewery Field.
Moors were returning home after a three-game hiatus at Harrogate Town’s CNG Stadium due to persistent pitch trouble.
It was a glorious evening at the Brewery Field and the match had a fittingly red-hot start.
Andrew Johnson had a shot blocked in the box before the ball fell to former Darlington FA Trophy winner Jamie Chandler who slotted home after just 74 seconds to give Jason Ainsley’s men the lead.
The visitors got themselves back into the game midway through the half with their first forage into the Moors area.
Darlington skipper Reece Styche turned away from Chris Chantler before powering past James Curtis into the box and slotting past Dan Lowson.
That goal arrived largely against the run of play, as Darlington keeper Aynsley Pears had previously made three saves in the space of two minutes from Tait, Johnson and Glen Taylor from successive corners.
There were few chances of note in the remainder of the half, but a scuffle broke out shortly before the interval after a strong challenge from Josh Wheatley that saw the Darlington midfielder pick up the game’s first yellow card.
Rob Ramshaw and Styche quickly followed Wheatley into the referee’s notebook as a result of the ensuing exchanges following the original foul.
The start of the second half was a relatively cagey affair with the majority of the action in the middle of the park.
However, that all changed a minute before the hour after a mix up between Tait and Lowson.
Stephen Thompson’s lofted ball into the area was headed backwards by Tait, with Lowson being his target, but the Moors defender was unaware that his keeper had already charged of his goalline.
The large part of a massive crowd of 1,661 were subdued for a period after the goal as Tommy Wright’s side defended a cluster of balls into the box.
Lowson kept the margin at one goal after the dangerous Thompson robbed Shane Henry of the ball and sent in a rasping 25-yard drive which the Moors keeper was equal too.
Substitute Bradley Fewster headed the ball into the hands of a grateful Pears with seconds remaining, and that proved to be the last opportunity for a frustrated Moors outfit.
Moors will be hoping to bounce back quickly as they travel to Curzon Ashton on Saturday before hosting Telford on Tuesday night.
Attendance 1,661 (776 Darlington)
Spennymoor : Lowson, Grifiths, Chantler, Chandler, Tait (C), Curtis, Ramshaw, Henry, Taylor, Johnson, Anderson
Darlington: Pears, Portas, O’Hanlon, Turnbull, Heaton, Galbraith, Gillies, Wheatley, Styche (C), Syers, Thompson
|19th April 2018||7:45 pm||National League North||2017/18|
|The Brewery Field|
|156 Wood Vue, Spennymoor DL16 6RH, UK|