Darlaston show real steel and togetherness to bring the points home
By Simon Cox
A different kind of Darlaston performance ensures the unbeaten run continues
Darlaston maintained their 100% start to the season with a hard fought win in Shropshire.
Manager Parkes once again made changes to last weeks winning side at Bustleholme, David Richards, was out with injury, Conner Asbury was relegated to the bench and replaced by Danny Mayne. Several players were also unavailable because of holidays and commitments, but at least Parkes was able to welcome back the exciting all-action midfielder Jarrod Grant, who made the bench.
Darlaston opened the game full of confidence, Daniel Bolzon failing to convert with a 15 yard shot. The tone of the game was set in the opening 10 minutes, the home side conceding 7 free kicks in a scrappy opening, neither side able to assert any authority.
The visitors were denied a penalty on 15 minutes when Bolzon burst into the box but the referee was the only person in the ground who saw Adam Vernon's tackle as fair. As the pressure mounted on the home goal the visitors took the lead in the 17th minute following an excellent four man move. Overlapping full back Sam Causton and Noah Diallo combined down the right flank, Diallo passed inside to Leon Taylor who turned his marker and laid the ball off to Bolzon who scored his first goal for the club driving the ball under keeper Scott Hoof from 12 yards.
Neither side were particularly fluent and passes were going astray.
Wellington centre half Justin Worthington was causing a threat at set pieces and on 26 minutes set up Jake Challoner, heading across goal from a free kick but Challoner was denied a shot at goal by the offside flag. The home side were getting more of a foothold in the game with some impressive long raking pin point passes from Justin Worthington and the influential Jaton Vernon finding Stephen Faux and Tom Worthington beyond the Darlaston defence, fortunately for the visitors neither could capitalise and convert difficult chances.
Faux hit the bar on 38 minutes with keeper Liam Whittaker stranded. Darlaston's response was immediate Danny Mayne forcing keeper Hoof into a smart save and on the stroke of half time Mayne's snap shot from 15 yards grazed the foot of the post.
Darlaston just had the edge in the opening 45 minutes and started the 2nd half in similar fashion, Danny Mayne going on a mazy run before bringing off another fine save by Hoof.
As the half progressed, the home side pushed forward and were impressive with Justin Worthington and Vernon putting the visitors under pressure with several pin point 40 yard passes putting the visitors defence under pressure forcing them to concede several free kicks but they stood resolute under some intense pressure.
Darlaston had a great chance to double their lead in the 63rd minute. Leon Taylor pounced on a stray back pass before rounding keeper hoof who forced Taylor wide, the striker shot from an acute angle but the ball went wide missing the far post by inches.
On 75 minutes some superb skill by substitute Jarrod Grant saw him turn Dale Meredith inside out before finding Antony Follows who set up Taylor. Unfortunately for the large travelling contingent of Darlo supporters Taylor found keeper Hoof in fine form with a smart save.
Wellington should've equalised two minutes later , the impressive Steve Faux guilty of a glaring miss. Keeper Liam Whittaker parried away a George Lees shot into the path of Faux who blasted against the bar from 3 yards when it looked easier to score.
Darlaston striker Daniel Bolzon was the subject of several heavy challenges and finally on 87 minutes the referee lost patience sending off Faux for two late challenges in the space of two minutes, forcing Bolzon to be substituted with a nasty knee injury.
The visitors comfortably saw out the final few minutes.
Overall Darlaston just about edged the game and were worthy of the 3 points. Wellington were a big strong physical team with plenty of skill and will undoubtedly finish in the top six this season.
Darlaston now embark on two difficult home games in the space of 3 days. This Saturday they entertain League newcomers Droitwich Spa who are the only other team in the Division to boast a 100% start to the season and on Bank Holiday Monday they have a local derby against Tipton Town. Both games are at The Paycare Ground, Bentley Road North, Bentley Walsall WS2 0EA KO 3.00pm