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> Darlington V Chester FC - Match Thread #34 - Vanarama National League
Darlington V Chester FC - Match Thread #34 - Vanarama National League
What Will The Outcome Be?
Darlington Win [ 1 ] ** [33.33%]
Chester FC Win [ 2 ] ** [66.67%]
Draw [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Total Votes: 3
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Rio Doherty
post Dec 6 2019, 08:02 AM
Post #1


Rio Doherty
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Group: DC Members
Posts: 1253
Joined: 11-June 17
From: Newton, Chester
Member No.: 12774



We kick-off a traditionally hectic month tomorrow where we will make the journey to County Durham to play Darlington away in our search for a fourth consecutive win. Given our poor record in these parts we will have to put on a strong performance, but hopefully we will take inspiration from last season’s 1-0 victory which was in fact our last win in the North East. Compared to Darlo we have had a full week to prepare for this clash, as they suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat at Leamington on Tuesday which adds to their recent drop in form. We are putting together a strong run of form just in time for Christmas, so in my opinion we should be winning this game considering the big gap between us and our opponents.

Our last match was last Saturday where we narrowly beat Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC 2-1 at home. It wasn’t pretty, but I thought that we were the better side on the day and were worthy of our win. The first half was quite frustrating as we had plenty of possession, but Bradford were a stubborn side who got men behind the ball. It was Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC who took the lead as Billy Priestley poked in from a corner to make it 1-0. Meanwhile, the second period was much better as we managed to unlock Avenue’s defence by creating dangerous openings. The start of the half was rather frantic as we scored two goals in a handful of minutes to turn the match around. Firstly, Anthony Dudley slotted the ball past Joe Green when one-on-one for us to make it 1-1. Then, Akwasi Asante netted a blockbuster to make it 2-1 to us as his inch-perfect hit dipped over Green on the edge of the box, although it didn’t seem to take a ‘’massive deflection’’ like Mark Bower claimed. Just moments later we almost put the game to bed as Akwasi Asante had another attempt where his shot bounced off the crossbar and onto the line. With moments to spare, Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC were reduced to 10 men as Isaac Marriott was sent off following a rash tackle on Gary Stopforth. Our one man advantage was worth it as we secured another great result.

Darlington have had a very inconsistent season thus far, and one that is below their supporters’ expectations. Darlo currently sit in 15th place, but given the strong squad and manager they have, they are underachieving as many people at the start of the campaign predicted them to be in the top 10. Our opponents landed Alun Armstrong as their new manager during the Summer having done a fantastic job at Blyth Spartans, and with him he has brought the likes of Jarrett Rivers and Michael Liddle from there, and snapped up Will Hatfield from Guiseley who were all deemed as good signings. Darlington got off to a slow start as only 3 wins in their first 11 games saw them languish in the lower reaches of mid table. In recent times their form has shot up as between September and October they notched 6 consecutive wins which saw them fly up the table. Despite that though, Darlo have been underperforming again over the past few weeks as only 1 win in 7 has saw them plummet back down the table. Due to this, Darlington will be desperate to rediscover their brilliant form two months ago, so they will try to cause us problems.

Due to last season’s initial match at Darlington being postponed I was unable to make the rearranged fixture, so this will be my first visit to Blackwell Meadows. It certainly is a far cry from their previous homes at the Darlington Arena and Feethams, and I’m sure that their supporters will be feeling so. For us it is a decent chance to put another three points on the board in our hunt to capitalise on York City’s wobble. Up The Seals!

Score: Darlington 0-2 Chester FC (Ngwatala, Asante)

Attendance: 1,507 (225 Chester FC)

My predicted lineup:
Griffiths
Morgan Livesey Grand Taylor
Jackson Glendon Stopforth Ngwatala
Dudley Asante

COYB!


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Rio Doherty
post Dec 6 2019, 11:16 PM
Post #2


Rio Doherty
******

Group: DC Members
Posts: 1253
Joined: 11-June 17
From: Newton, Chester
Member No.: 12774



My match preview:
https://youtu.be/w2VGdojESK4
Includes what happened last week, an opposing player to watch out for, plus much more.


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Rio Doherty
post Dec 7 2019, 07:23 PM
Post #3


Rio Doherty
******

Group: DC Members
Posts: 1253
Joined: 11-June 17
From: Newton, Chester
Member No.: 12774



If only the game had been abandoned at half time! Compared to previous weeks I thought that it was a decent match in general, but we only really turned up for 30 minutes which is not on at all. We deservedly lost this afternoon as our non-existent first half display played a big role towards our defeat, because we were so sloppy and never got going. The second half was better, but it was our finishing in front of goal that let us down as we missed a handful of sitters. Darlington were much the better side as they were clinical going forward and caused us a variety of problems. We have missed a big opportunity today as York City dropped points once again, but with us not capitalising the gap between us and the top two is getting bigger.

It was all one way traffic in the first half as Darlington dominated us with their dangerous attacks. We just weren’t in it at all as we constantly made misplaced passes, backed away, and some of the clearances we made went all over the place. Early on Justin Donawa very nearly made it 1-0 to Darlo, but his shot went the wrong side of the post. Donawa was involved once again just moments later as his cross found Jack Lambert who forced an easy save out of Russ Griffiths. Our first chance of the half fell to Danny Livesey, but it was a very slender one as he headed wide. Just before the half hour mark Darlington’s pressure resulted in the inevitable happening, as Omar Holness lifted the ball over Griffiths from a tight angle to make it 1-0. I’d say for the final 10 minutes of this half we did start to come into the game as we had a couple of spells at the other end. Joel Taylor probably put in his worst performance for us today, but he was involved in a half chance for us as his delivery was met by Akwasi Asante who missed the target. Two minutes later Simon Grand headed wide too, as he was unable to turn in a Taylor free kick. George Glendon was the next to try and find an equaliser, but his curling shot was unable to find the net. Right on the stroke of half time things got from bad to worse as Joel Taylor scored an own goal which made it 2-0 to Darlington, although from where I was stood it looked like a Darlo player got the last touch. Griffiths made a dreadful mistake by spilling the corner, and we were unable to clear our lines which resulted in the ball being bundled in. Seconds later the whistle blew to signal the end of a terrible half.

During half time there was a lot of drama as the match was actually in doubt due to floodlight problems. As soon as half time came around all of the floodlights went out for 10 minutes. Then, one by one they all came back on but as soon as the last one lit up, they all cut out again. Eventually, 7 of the 8 floodlights came back on again and the ref deemed the pitch clear enough, because if the 8th floodlight had came back on then all of them would go back off due to a fault. For us, we wouldn’t have minded an abandonment as a rearranged game would at least offer us the chance to put things right. It wasn’t to be though, as some 45 minutes after the half time whistle went, the second half got underway. It was better than the first period as I’d say that we were the better side after a lacklustre first 45. We created more with the ball, but our downside was our inability to convert chances when it mattered. Our first opportunity of the half fell to Akwasi Asante whose tame header forced a simple save out of Liam Connell. Once again, the Jackson-Asante partnership was in use as Connell was called into action to pull off a decent save from another Akwasi header. Halfway through the period Danny Livesey had the ball in the net for us, but his header was agonisingly disallowed for offside. Our plethora of chances kept on coming, and Joel Taylor went close for us as a strong shot at the far post landed into the side netting. At the other end, Darlington had a decent attempt to bury us as Simon Grand was on hand to clear an Adam Campbell chance off the line following a Jarrett Rivers effort that forced Russ Griffiths to parry out. Brad Jackson was our sole hope as he did most of the work for us, and was involved in another move shortly after as his cross found Matty Hughes who headed over. Hughes did really well to thread a ball through to substitute Danny Elliott, but even he was denied by Connell who did well to come off his line. Our best chance of the game (in my opinion) fell to Hughes yet again as he really should have buried his opportunity. From just six yards out he was unable to find the goal as his effort resulted in a brilliant block from an opposing player. Elliott went close for us again with not long on the clock as he shot wide with the outside of his foot, whilst at the other end Griffiths made an impressive save with his leg to prevent Stephen Thompson who was clean through. The final attempt of the game fell to the hosts again, but Justin Donawa failed to add a third as he scuffed wide. Despite our handful of chances, we were unable to muster a single goal let alone an equaliser, which saw us deservedly lose.

Many of our team underperformed this afternoon, but my man of the match must go to Brad Jackson who was our only hope at times. Just like he does week in week out, he ran really well with the ball and made some inch-perfect crosses. If it wasn’t for our inept finishing then we could have possible salvaged a result thanks to his great work. Elton Ngwatala was one of our better performers because he tried to make things tricky for Darlington, but sadly it came to no avail. Other than that I can’t really pick out any other positive displays as we failed to deliver. On the negative side, Russ Griffiths had a bad game which comes to a shame as in recent weeks he has improved a lot. For the first goal he came way off his line which was unnecessary, and for the second one he made a poor error by fumbling the ball. Defensively we were just as bad as we were carved open on a number of occasions which left loads of gaps for Darlington to find space. They did that to great effect, and as well as that they also capitalised on our dismal clearances that went all over the place. Apart from our wingers who did make some promising runs, our central midfielders were non-existent as they barely received any of the ball, and even when they did they just gave it away.

Our attentions now turn to the Buildbase FA Trophy 1st Round as we make the away trip to Hednesford Town next Saturday. We cannot just turn up expecting to walk Hednesford over as they are flying in their league and will be no pushovers. Apart from today our recent form has been much better, so let’s hope that today’s result is just a minor bump and we can put things right next week. This will be my second visit to Hednesford in as many months so I’m looking forward to it.


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Rio Doherty
post Dec 8 2019, 06:03 PM
Post #4


Rio Doherty
******

Group: DC Members
Posts: 1253
Joined: 11-June 17
From: Newton, Chester
Member No.: 12774



My match vlog:
https://youtu.be/zWdjMdtMKeA


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