Darlington 3 v 1 New Mills
Martin Gray chose to rest the majority of his first team squad for the Quakers final league fixture of the season ahead of the crunch play-off tie with Spennymoor Town on Wednesday.
Winger Nelson Mota gave Darlo an early lead, before the visitors equalised minutes later.
Second half goals from striker Matty Pennal and substitute Lewis Walton made sure the Quakers would reach 90 point’s for the third season in a row.
Gray only used four of his senior players, Mark Bell, Mota and Ian Watson started, with Pete Jameson on the bench. Also in the team were Pennal and Matthew Lovegreen, who both have had first team experience this season.
Second bottom New Mills only named one substitute and had a midfielder in goal with none of their regular goalkeepers available.
The youngsters showed hunger from the word go, on a afternoon which could have so easily been a drab affair.
Mota has been a substitute in the majority of games over recent months, however, he opened the scoring with a solo effort. Playing on the right wing , he ran at the full-back, cut inside and hit a great strike in off the near post.
Unfortunately for Darlington the lead lasted less than ten minutes when Brandon Windsor was able to hold off Lovegreen and bury his finish past Bell in to the roof of the net.
Ryu Williamson nearly regained the lead for Darlo when he got in behind the defence, following good work from Watson, but the post denied the youngster what would have been a deserved goal.
The Quakers regained the lead early in the second half, again after great work from Watson. He raced down the touchline before crossing for Pennal to head into the net.
Pennal then nearly grabbed his second, as he hit the post with a well hit shot from outside the box.
Watson and Mota were subbed as the side looked towards Wednesday and it was sub Walton who scored the goal of the game, as the young side sealed a memorable win. The ball broke nicely for him on the edge of area and he smashed it in to the net, giving the stand in keeper no chance.
Gray watched from the stands and he must have been impressed with those on the pitch. The future of the club is in safe hands if these are the players who hopefully can break in to the first team in the next few years.
With talk of a reserve team for next season, it appears the players will have a great platform to develop and get competitive game time for the club.
Attention turns back to the serious matter of Spennymoor on Wednesday. Everyone in the club knows the heartache that play-offs can cause. However, at some point we will break our run of failure in play-offs, hopefully it is this week.