Monthly Archives: December 2014

Darlo Radcliffe Preview

Hopefully the weather will be kind to us this weekend and we will get to play our first home game in nearly a month. Tomorrow’s opposition are Radcliffe Borough, as we look to build on our victory at Bamber Bridge last week.  We again could go top of the table with a win if current leaders Northwich Victoria slip up.

A busy week lies ahead with three games in the next nine days. A spell which could play a big part in shaping the final table come April/May. After tomorrow we face two promotion contenders in Scarborough Athletic and Farsley, however Radcliffe Borough should not be regarded as pushovers.

We have already faced Radcliffe twice this season, in the league and  the FA Trophy. The league game finished 1-1, although we were in the middle of our poor run of form in September.

The visitors currently lie in 17th place in the league, despite this, they did pick up an impressive victory over Droylsden recently.

As for Darlo, we still have two players out with suspension. Liam Hatch and Gary Brown are both getting a extended Christmas break and will both miss tomorrows game as well as the Boxing Day fixture.

We do though welcome Chris Hunter back to the squad after serving his one game ban last week and he will surely slot straight back into centre defence alongside Alan White.

Jordan Robinson made his return from injury last week and would be my pick to start at right back.

Mota should once again be on the bench for us and he may come on for his appearance for the club.

Including our games there is a host of huge fixtures at some point this week, as a lot of the sides in the promotion shake meet.

  • Farsley v Droylsden
  • Northwich v Salford
  • Darlo v Scarborough
  • Northwich v Droylsden
  • Farsley v Darlo

It is crucial we pick up a victory tomorrow in a fixture that on paper no disrespect to Radcliffe we should be winning.

Prediction

Darlo 3 – 1 Radcliffe

Attendance : 945

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Fans Forum December 2014

Main Points

  • Ground plans submitted
  • New money raising scheme will be launched in Feb/March
  • Will play at Bishop if stadium not ready for 15/16 season
  • Club want big push for homecoming

Just thought I would do a quick recap for those who didn’t go last night. Martin Jesper, as always, delivered a great presentation to the large number in attendance.

If any of what I have put isn’t 100%  correct or I have missed things out, please let me know and I can update the post.

The main issue which obviously fans are concerned about at the moment is the move to Blackwell Meadows.The club hopes this will be given the go ahead soon and they don’t expect any further problems, as they have been working close to the council with the plans. For anyone who hasn’t read it yet, here is the official statement from the club.   http://www.darlington1883.co.uk/?p=7870

Once this is done, both  the football and rugby clubs can apply for grants from the relevant bodies, how much we need to raise depends on the size of the grants we get. Martin was clear to state though that any grants must be matched by ourselves 50/50. So say to get a grant which would give us £50000, we would have to have £50000 to match it..

In terms of the work itself, when asked by a fan, Martin stated it would unlikely that fans would be able to help in the actual construction side itself due to health and safety issues. The biggest issue in the development would be the pitch, which currently would not be able to cope with both Rugby and Football.  The pitch will be relaid once the Rugby season has finished in May, however it takes eight weeks to be ready.

A possible 3G was mentioned, however the costs would be a lot greater.

On the plus side, the rest of the ground work, railings, stands etc could be put in before.

A new fundraising scheme will be announced in February/March around the time everything with the ground is given the go ahead.  Depending on how the fundraising goes, we are aiming for a grade C ground to start with, but if we raise more this could be improved.

If unfortunately we are unable to move in for the start of next season, Bishop have agreed to let us carry on as per this season, paying per game.

Along with the fundraising, the club are wanting a massive push for fans and the town as a whole to raise awareness of the move back into the town, in an attempt to push up attendances next season.

Away from the ground, Martin also went through the latest financial figures from over the the last two and a half years. They showed that on a couple of occasions we were on the verge of being out of business. However, thanks to individuals, Dan Burn and the fundraising we have survived.

On the plus side we are now for the first time since the demotion, in a position where we have money in the bank, if needed.

Other points which came up last night, were a huge thank you given to Laura Drew who is stepping down from the board, having put a lot of time and effort into the club.

On this note positions and roles are needed to be filled if any fans would like to get involved. As well as this anyone who would be willing to commit the time and bring something to the table, as a possible director is being asked to come forward.

All in all a lot of positives to take from the night, despite as always concerns and caution needed. All we can do as fans and a club is be positive.

Come August we could be playing our first game of the new season in the Evo-Stik Premier Division back in our own town.   Me being the eternal optimist.

New Mills v Darlington Preview

Unfortunately our game last week at home to Lancaster City was called off due to a waterlogged pitch which means it has been two weeks since our last fixture, the 1-1 draw with Clitheroe.

Heritage Park has struggled to cope with two teams playing on it at times since our move in 2012 and despite not seeing huge amounts of rainfall, last weekends game was our first causality of the season. They will surely be further games called off over the Christmas period, however we can just make the best of the current situation.

One plus from last weekend was that Tom Portas, who was one yellow card away from suspension, has had his cards so far this season wiped out now that we are in December.

Most of our promotion rivals were able to win last weekend, with the exception of Northwich Victoria. Northwich lost 2-1 away to Harrogate, a result which saw us stay top of the table for the time being. The league is already looking very tough and multiple teams have put themselves in a position to challenge for the title in the new year.

My personal opinion is it will boil down to us and Salford. Salford will surely have the option to strengthen if needed, but I like to think we would be able to as well. For this weekend anyway Salford will not be playing, due to their game at Ossett Town already being postponed.

Our opposition, New Mills, are second bottom of the table and struggling. The travelling Darlington fans will go their surely expecting a victory, however any of them can think of many occasions when we expected to win a game and did not. New Mills have lost three out of their last four league games, however these have all come against teams at the top of the table.

In terms of our team, the suspensions from last weekend are carried over, which means no Gary Brown, Chris Hunter or Liam Hatch. Two players are expected to join the squad tomorrow after being present in training on Thursday night. New signing Nelson Mota will make his debut for the club and it will be exciting to see how he gets on.

Possibly more importantly though is Jordan Robinson making his return. The defender/midfielder has been out for months following a fractured cheek bone. however he trained wearing a mask this week. Sometimes I haven’t given Robinson too much praise, but it is good to see a versatile player return to the squad, especially at a time when we are struggling for numbers defensively.

 

Away from the pitch it is good to see the club launch the Christmas mini season ticket package. For anyone who does not have a season ticket it is a great idea. A ticket for the rest of the season along with a replica top and another t-shirt. Here is the link for the full details.

http://www.darlington1883.co.uk/?p=7823

 

Unfortunately for myself I am missing yet another game, away games this season have been few and far between for myself. Instead I am at  Seaham to watch them take on North Shields in the FA Vase, which will be a great game itself.

Hopefully though when I check at 5pm tomorrow we will have another three points in the bag.

Prediction

New Mills 1 -3 Darlington