Monthly Archives: August 2015

Disappointing start for Darlo at Buxton

Buxton 2 -0 Darlington
The 2015/16 league campaign is underway and after promotion last year we have been brought firmly back down to earth.

An early goal followed by another just after half-time were good enough for a Buxton side that finished mid-table last year to gain all the points.

The only surprise in the starting line-up was Adam Nowakowski starting up-front with Nathan Cartman.

Unfortunately, Nowakowski was injured early on with David Dowson replacing him. We will have to wait and see about the extent of Nowakowski injury, but he was down for about five minutes before he was able to leave the pitch.

My honest assessment was that we were very poor for the first 50 minutes of the game.  We didn’t create anything apart from a Terry Galbraith free-kick, which was deflected wide, and a handball penalty appeal. At the other end we looked vulnerable every time the ball was put into our box. One area where we have been very strong in recent years is from set-pieces at both ends of the pitch. However, both goals came from dead balls and they looked like scoring from every corner and dangerous free-kick.

Thankfully, despite this it was far from all negative.  Once we finally got into the game in the final half an hour or so, we started to create chances.

Cartman had one off the line when he should have scored, the Buxton keeper pulled off two very good saves and we had two other good chances with close range headers.

The game reminded me a lot of the Kendal and Farsley away trips last year, where too many players didn’t get going until it was too late.

The two central midfielders Tom Portas and Phil Turnbull were unable to get a hold of the game until we were 2-0 down. Portas, to his credit, did start to take control in the final 30 minutes and we looked a much better side for it.

New signing Lewis Gibbons did ok at right-back. He looked very comfortable on the ball and going forward he should be capable of having a good season.

We can’t blame the referee in the slightest for the defeat, but former Quaker Ricky Ravenhill was a lucky boy to still be on the pitch by full-time.  Having already been booked, he committed two fouls which were border-line in quick succession.

I am always wary of making judgements until a few games have been played, but when the second goal went in I was worried. Despite the defeat though I think there were positive signs in the second half.

Obviously we will have to wait and see, but I suspect we will face a lot harder games then Buxton. They seemed well organised and could have scored more on the break in the second half when we piled people forward at the end.

On another note, a few of the other teams tipped for promotion failed to pick up victories on the opening day, such as Salford City who were held to a 0-0 draw with Marine.

Thankfully two home games this week provides the ideal opportunity to bounce back. Tuesday against Frickley Athletic and Saturday against Barwell.
Darlo team – Jameson, Galbraith, Gibbons, Hunter, Burgess, Turnbull, Mitchell, Portas, Thompson, Nowakowski, Cartman

Attendance : 707

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Darlington season preview

This Saturday Darlington kick-off their new season in the Evo-Stik Premier.

After securing a dramatic promotion, via the play-offs in May, the Quakers go into another season filled with optimism.

Last year I felt the side we had had would do well in the league above and the signings we have made only strengthen that thought further.

We have managed to pick up a couple of really top quality players this summer and if fit they all should be involved in the squad on Saturday.

Phil Turnbull and Kevin Burgess both should slot straight into the side. Burgess looks a natural leader and Turnbull is proven at a much higher level.

There is still a couple of areas which concern me,  back-up goalkeeper, right back and up-front.

Back in the day Provett played many times for our friends at Hartlepool. However, having not played competitively for a while he looked vulnerable when appearing in friendlies. While Jameson is undoubtedly the number one, Provett may be required due to injury or suspension.

The right-back debate has been a hot topic of conversation for all Darlo fans since Gary Brown announced he would be leaving. The problem doesn’t seem to have been solved yet. However, hopefully in the coming weeks someone will make the position their own, either one of the current squad or a player coming in.

I have nothing wrong with any of the four strikers we have on our books. However, it maybe that we only start the season with two fully fit strikers in Nathan Cartman and David Dowson. I’m not suggesting we bring someone in, but I just hope we don’t rush Armstrong back too quickly, the same applies to Purewal.

I keep thinking it’s hard to predict this season, as really, none of the fans have much of a clue about the division we are going into.

However I can’t help, but think we will be in another promotion race.

Even though they came up with us, Salford have to be made clear favourites. As we saw in January they have the power to completely change their squad  if it isn’t working.

Anyway a new season is always exciting and I expect us to take a large travelling section with us to Buxton. Hopefully as we have done in all the last three seasons, we can start with a win.