Darlo 1-2 Burscough
Darlo ended the regular season with a home defeat to Burscough after fielding a side which included fringe and youth players.
Martin Gray rested the majority of his first team ahead of the playoffs this coming week. Thompson, Dowson, Purewal, Scott, Galbraith, Hunter and Tait all were not involved and watched from the main stand.
It gave the opportunity for fringe players such as Fisher and Hopson a run out against a Burscough side who only named two substitutes.
The game had an end to season feel about it, but the first half was full of incident if not much quality. The female referee was at the centre of three key decisions, as she awarded two penalties and a red card.
Inside the opening minutes Burscough took the lead from the penalty spot when young keeper Pete Jameson brought down the away sides striker. Jameson was down for five minutes following the incident, but was able to carry on.
Burscough were then reduced to ten man after an awful tackle on young left back O’Connor who made his first start for the club.
Darlo levelled from the penalty spot following a shirt pull on striker Ian Ward. Dale Hopson stepped up and confidently levelled.
The second half in contrast was not a great watch, with neither team doing a lot going forward. The ten men though were able to give the away supporters behind the goal something to cheer about, as they scored the winner mid way through the second half.
Following a cross hitting the woodwork striker Mark Beesley scored his second at the second attempt as Burscough won the game 2-1.
They were two injury concerns for the Quakers as captain Gary Brown, in his more natural centre back role, overstretched and was down for a few minutes, but he should be ok for Wednesday. Sadly Dale Hopson was taken off near the end of the game with rumours of a potential break, which if true would rule him out of the playoffs.
Overall it was a good run out for the youngsters in front of a decent crowd, however a few of the fringe players struggled to make an impact on the game. Walker at right back had another solid game and looks a good find by manager Martin Gray. Adam Mitchell again looked good in midfield and he could play a key role in the playoffs, looked like the only player today capable of doing something out of the ordinary going forward.
Both strikers Ward and Fisher will be disappointed with their displays as neither looked like scoring today, I am guessing Gray plans to start with Dowson and Purewal on Wednesday.
Jordan Robinson got some crucial game time in his recovery from injury and he will keep his place in the starting line up in midweek.
MOTM- Mitchell – Always looked threatening no matter which flank he was operating on.
Team – Jameson, Walker, O’Connor, Robinson, White, Brown, Hopson, Cocks, Fisher, Ward, Mitchell
So onto the playoffs and after Ramsbottom drew with Bamber Bridge today the playoff line up is complete and we will host Ramsbottom on Wednesday at Heritage Park. Ticket sales are already flying and the game is likely to be a sell out. Bring it on!