An Outstanding Second Half Performance Secures Local Derby Win
By Simon Cox
Three assists and two goals from Leon Taylor goes a long way to help Darlaston's winning feeling return
Darlaston returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 6-0 win against local rivals Willenhall Town.
Darlaston opened brightly Leon Taylor, Mark Swann and Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell all having efforts on goal in the first 5 minutes without troubling the visitor’s keeper.
The visitors were forced into an early change in the 13th minute losing Mark Webster to injury to be replaced by Steven Stearn. Both sides were trying to play out from the back, Darlaston having more success, a powerful Mark Swann header was blocked, Danny Mayne having two further efforts on target.
Willenhall’s only effort of the first half came on 19 minutes, centre half Connor Fellows heading wide from a left wing corner.
Whilst Darlaston were on top they were not playing their normal flowing football and the game became a midfield battle with little by way of quality or clear-cut chances.
The pressure eventually paid dividends when the home team took the lead in the 33rd minute with the best move of the game to date. Leon Taylor who had an outstanding afternoon, threaded a through ball to Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell who scored past keeper Shearing from 10 yards.
Darlaston were in charge for the remainder of the half and went into the half time break 1-0 up thanks to an outstanding last-ditch tackle from right back Sammy Causton ending a speedy Willenhall counter attack from a Darlaston corner.
The second half was a different affair as Darlaston raised the pace and overran Willenhall who could not find the answer to contain Taylor who had an outstanding half whilst debutant Danny Turton was superb at the heart of the home defence thwarting rare Willenhall attacks.
On 53 minutes a sweeping move from well inside the Darlaston half ended with Leon Taylor scoring his first of the afternoon after a fine run from Sam Causton down the home sides right hand side.
The pressure on the Willenhall goal continued to mount and the home side were within inches of adding a third goal, a Danny Mayne curling effort narrowly missed the post in the 58th minute. Keeper Shearing was kept busy making further saves from Alex Solomon and Mayne.
The game was put beyond the reach of the visitors on 69 minutes, the industrious Danny Mayne finding the net. Man of the match Leon Taylor once again got behind the static Willenhall line, squaring the ball to Mayne who easily slotted home from 8 yards.
Darlaston were now rampant and in the 74th minute Taylor was at it again with his third assist of the afternoon, laying the ball off to fellow forward Mark Swann to score from 6 yards.
Willenhall’s best effort of the afternoon came on 87 minutes a Damian Wood effort from distance forcing Ryan Pratt into an outstanding fingertip save to keep his goal intact.
Darlaston hadn’t finished scoring yet, adding two goals in the last three minutes of the game. A superb move ending in Ryan Kingdon's first ever goal for the club. Taylor rounded off the scoring with a superb individual goal, fed through by substitute Wilkhoo Taylor beat two players inside the box, turning Richard Wharton before driving home from an acute angle.
Giving Darlaston a 6-0 win and a return to winning ways. Next week Darlaston travel to Telford to play Telford Juniors kick off 3 pm. Further details of the fixture will be released during the week.