2 - 2Full Time
|18 (pen)'||Stephen Thompson|
Rivals Spennymoor Town and Darlington played out a blood-and-thunder 2-2 draw at The Brewery Field on Tuesday evening.
A stoppage time Glen Taylor header earned Moors a share of the spoils after Darlington looked to have done enough to take three points home thanks to a Reece Styche strike and a Stephen Thompson penalty.
Mark Anderson capped his man-of-the-match performance with a peach of a goal for the first of Moors’ equalisers.
Jason Ainsley named an unchanged starting 11 following the 0-0 draw at Chester the previous Saturday, hoping for a repeat of the defensive solidity the Moors showed at Swansway.
Spennymoor were straight on the front foot as soon as the second minute when Mark Anderson set the tone for his performance, twisting and turning before pulling a shot inches wide.
Those who deny the fixture’s derby status certainly haven’t spoken much with the players. Tempers flared throughout, but never more so than in the 13thminute when a late Wheatley challenge on Taylor sparked a bout of pushing and shoving, mainly involving Ramshaw and Styche, who renewed hostilities throughout the game.
The resulting free kick almost resulted in brilliance as the busy Anderson whipped a right-footed strike onto the face of the crossbar from 30 yards.
But the game was too open for either manager’s liking and the breakthrough came three minutes later when Stephen Thompson’s sumptuous pass into the right hand channel carved the Moors defence open and played Styche through on goal. He elected to dribble around Matt Gould, who brought him down to give Darlington the chance to open the scoring from the spot.
Thompson made no mistake, classily tucking the ball home in front of the erupting Darlington fans.
Darlington were happy for the game to stop and start with niggling fouls and slow set pieces. Their fans even joined in by throwing a red flare into Gould’s goalmouth, slowing progress further.
The pace seemed to be slowing, but the ever-dangerous Anderson had other ideas, dribbling across the face of the box and looping a seemingly impossible shot into the far right corner completely out the blue. It was an early goal-of-the-season contender which will take some topping.
Moors were enjoying themselves and went hunting for a second. A Ramshaw foray down the right found Anderson again with the pull-back, whose shot was creeping inside the near post but for an excellent right hand from Maddison.
Another great ball down Moors’ right saw the speedy Trotman reach the byline on 39 minutes and, after sending Johnson the wrong way, he found Styche. The broad-shouldered frontman dummied a shot, before tucking home from 14 yards.
A flurry of yellow cards followed, including one apiece for Ainge and Curtis as they wrestled on the floor on the edge of Moors’ penalty area. Ultimately, Moors walked into the half time dressing room feeling a little hard done by to be behind.
The second half had slightly less incident than the first as Darlington managed their way through the game effectively.
Foley’s early mazy dribble earned him a shooting opportunity, but he couldn’t cause Jonathan Maddison a real problem in the Darlington goal.
The Quakers were pleased to sit deep and keep the ball for the most part, causing the odd threat through the lively Thompson and their dangerous front two.
A cross-field move saw Darlington work the ball into a shooting position for Henshall, but he fired over from the left side of the area on 50 minutes.
Shortly afterwards a mistake from Williams on the right of the Moors penalty area saw Curtis sucked into a 50-50, where the ball squirmed out to substitute Nicholson, but he couldn’t convert and failed to hit the target from inside the area.
Wave after wave of Spennymoor attacks failed to create a clear cut opportunity and the hosts looked to be out of ideas as the tireless pairing of Robert Ramshaw and Jamie Chandler both snatched at chances from 18 yards.
It wasn’t until the third minute of injury time that Moors finally found the breakthrough and it was last season’s top scorer Glen Taylor who opened his account at the perfect moment.
Brogan’s deep delivery saw Taylor dominate at the back post and direct an inch-perfect looping header into the top left corner.
It was the least Spennymoor deserved after having the lion’s share of the attempts on goal and a breath of relief as they earned what could prove an invaluable point this season.
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|