A good day all round for the Quakers on Saturday despite the score line against their north east rivals.
A sell out crowd at Heritage Park witnessed a comfortable victory for Sunderland, however Darlington came away without any embarrassment against a side full of Premier League stars.
The game had been arranged as both a pre season friendly and also a fundraiser for darlo and the game served both purposes well.
Darlo had near enough a full squad available for their third pre season game, with only David Dowson and Jordan Robinson being unavailable due to personal commitments. Leon Scott remains out with injury from last season.
Darlo starting 11 – Jameson, Brown, Hunter, Hatch, Walker, Galbraith, Portas, Mitchell, Purewal, Thompson, Armstrong.
Sunderland started with stars including, Fletcher, O’Shea, Larsson and as expected dominated the first half in torrential rain. It was 2-0 at the break with two well worked moves both ending with Steven Fletcher tapping home.
Darlo were able to create a couple of good opportunities themselves with Thompson and Purewal both wasting chances in the box.
At half time Sunderland changed their entire side, changes which saw, Pantilimon, Brown, Cattermole, Gomez and Wickham all enter the fray. Darlo also made changes with Bell, White and Fisher starting the second half.
As somewhat expected the second half was mainly one way traffic with Giaccherini, Wickham and Gomez all scoring, the final goal from Gomez being the pick of the bunch from the edge of the box.
In between the fourth and fifth goals Gary Brown was able to pull one back from a corner for the Quakers, a memorable moment for the captain and Newcastle fan.
The only concern for Darlington will be the withdrawal of Tez Galbraith early in the second half through injury, hopefully it was just a pre caution.
Most of our attacking players struggled to have an impact in the game, but that would be expected against opposition seven leagues higher than ourselves. Jameson once again showed he is a more than capable back up in between the sticks with a strong first half display and Adam Mitchell ran himself into the ground against his former club.
There is still areas for concern and numerous question will need to be answered in the coming weeks including.
Where will Liam Hatch play?
Will we bring in a new full back ?
What will be the striking partnership to start the first game?
From here we have further friendly games with Billingham Synthonia, Whitby and Bishop Auckland before the league gets underway at home to Warrington on the 16th of August.
Highlights of the game from the official dfc website – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYGabPVVXJI