Darlington secured a playoff place with a comfortable 3-0 victory which included two goals from striker Amar Purewal. Without being at their best the result never looked in doubt for the Quakers against a poor Padiham side.
Darlo reverted to a 4-4-2 formation today which including starts for Jonny Davis, Ian Ward and Purewal. Alan White was on the bench, but there was no place in the squad for Dale Hopson.
We played well in the first half and could have scored more than the one goal we did get, another fantastic solo run and finish from Stephen Thompson. Apart from the goal we also hit the bar and other chances came and went for Ward, Davis and captain Gary Brown. Can’t remember Brown shooting more! Think he had four shots in a ten minute spell.
The second half saw changes as Nathan Fisher, David Dowson and Adam Mitchell were all brought on, however it was Purewal who would break his streak without a goal.
Darlo’s second came from a corner in which Purewal was free to head home from close range. He doubled his tally in the last few minutes as he fired underneath the Padiham keeper, after being set up by Chris Hunter.
Overall today we never reached top gear, but did more than enough to win the game. At the back we looked very comfortably and keeper Mark Bell was never tested.
I was pleased to see us revert to four in defence, as i wouldn’t be comfortable with us playing three at the back against the better sides in the division in the playoffs. Pretty sure we won’t start with Ward and Purewal together in the big games, as both play pretty similar, but i was glad to see Amar given some game time to hopefully regain some confidence against one of the weaker teams.
Tommo as normal had a decent game and unlocked the deadlock with a trademark moment of class in the first half.
It is good to see Chris Hunter back and comfortable in defence for me it’s him +1 at CB for the playoffs.
MOTM – T. Galbraith, never put a foot wrong defensively and got forward to put some fantastic delivers into the box. After Tommo he is the next player who i could see getting picked up by a side in a higher league, very promising player.
Elsewhere in the division Warrington surprisingly won at Curzon Ashton, so we will need another couple of victories to guarantee second place. Next up we host Farsley on Saturday, a side who are now in serious trouble of missing out on a playoff place so hopefully the game should be a good test for us before the playoffs.
Darlo team – Bell, Galbraith, Walker, Tait, Hunter, Brown, Scott, Thompson, Ward, Purewal, Subs, Dowson, Fisher, Mitchell, Unsused – White, Jameson.