Darlaston dominate Black Country derby at The Paycare Ground
By Simon Cox
The largest crowd of the season witness Darlaston run out 3-0 winners against a youthful Tipton Town side
A Bank Holiday crowd of 188 saw Darlaston extend their winning start to the season to five games with a comfortable win against local rivals Tipton Town.
Despite missing six first team regulars and turning in a below par performance a brace of goals from Leon Taylor and Josh Tolley's first goal for the club ensured their perfect start to the season continued.
The opening half hour was mediocre with little of note. Neither side were allow each other to play fluent football a Ben Lavin header and a TJ Davies for the visitors and an excellent save by Tipton keeper Holloway from a Taylor header being the only efforts worthy of note. Otherwise the period was littered with silly free kicks by both sides.
The game started to open up and a Ryan Kingdon shot on 33 minutes went wide but seemed to spur the home team to action. The following minute saw the best move of the half resulting in a goal for Darlaston. The recalled Anthony Follows won the ball in midfield , made progress down the right and picked out Taylor with a superb 25 yard pass, Taylor eluded the attentions of his marker Sam Armstrong , chested down the pass and unleashed a vicious 12 yard volley beyond Holloway. Darlaston forced three corners all of which were cleared by former Darlaston man Scott Broadway. Broadway had a shot blocked by Mark Swann and the two teams entered the half time break with Darlaston just about deserving their lead.
Tipton opened the second half brightly and within 2 minutes of the restart had a glorious opportunity to equalise, Davies's pace took him clear of the home defence but lacked composure to finish as his 22 yard shot went wide of keeper Hickman's left hand post. Richard Smith and Sam Hesson both had shots or saved for the visitors whilst a superb run by Danny Mayne saw the home forward shoot wide with an angled shot from 15 yards .
Darlaston started to get the upper hand again and doubled their lead on 59 minutes. A left wing corner from Noah Diallo was met by Josh Tolley at the far post , the youngster heading home unopposed from 6 yards. Less than 60 seconds later Tolley was denied by the post with a 10 yard and a goal line clearance that appeared to have crossed the line, but referee Berridge waived away Darlaston’s appeals. Effort. The chance was created by a classy piece of skill and superb run and cross by Danny Mayne.
Darlaston were now on top and Tipton were limited to rare breaks without creating any clear chances as the home side turned up the pressure on the overworked Tipton defence. Mark Swann's header from another Diallo corner was heading into the net but was cleared by a last-ditch goal line clearance, despite claims that the ball had crossed the line for the second time in the half.
The game was put beyond doubt in the 68th minute when Taylor netted his second goal and 5th in five games. Not for the first time, a Ryan Jones free kick caused havoc in the Tipton defence and Taylor rose higher than keeper Holloway to head home from 10 yards into an empty net.
The final 20 minutes of the game saw Tolley (twice), Kingdon and Swann miss chances whilst for Tipton two long range free kicks by TJ Davies came to nothing.
After a lack lustre opening 30 minutes, Darlaston picked up the pace and despite the odd scare or two from Davies and Broadway, they generally had the upper hand, their quality and fitness more evident in the final 30 minutes as in the end they ran out comfortable winners.
Next Saturday Darlaston take a break from League action, something they probably don’t want to do given the outstanding start to the season. The Paycare Ground will be prepared for the visit of Warstone Wanderers from,Division Two of the West Midlands (Regional) League for a first round J.W. Hunt game. Kick off is 3 pm.