Wrens Nest deservedly take the points after a bad day at the office for Darlo
By Simon Cox
A seasons worst performance by Darlaston sees a third loss
Darlaston Town missed the chance to move into 3rd spot with their worst performance of the season. Wrens nest took full advantage and were worthy winners in this Black Country derby.
The game started in blistery conditions with the wind playing a major part in an unbelievable start to the game. In the opening minute Wrens Nest conceded a right sided corner. Noah Diallo’s delivery caused chaos in the home defence, the ball sliced high into the air, central defender Mark Swann outjumped the home defence to head the ball home, a dream start for the visitors but that turned out to be a rare highlight in a poor performance.
Within a minute of the restart Wrens Nest were on level terms with the visitors not even touching the ball. A mix up between Keeper Liam Whittaker and Swann allowed Ethan Delaney to steal in and poke the ball into an empty net to level of the scores.
The wind was a major factor in the early stages and Darlaston went ahead again in the 6th minute a Ryan Jones free kick from wide on the right was dropped by Wrens Nest’s keeper Stokes, Leon Taylor's shot was cleared off the line, straight to Noah Diallo whose right foot shot found the back of the net giving the visitors a 2-1 lead. That was where Darlaston’s afternoon ended.
Wrens Nest equalised in the 13 minutes, yet another goal from a set piece, a left sided corner was held up in the wind, Darlaston’s defence couldn’t clear the ball. Eventually it found Arnold Chaponda who had the easiest of tasks to slot home from 3 yards.
Delaney, Chaponda and Connor Lawrence were causing a real threat to the home defence with some silky dribbling skills as Darlaston struggled to gain a foothold in the game. With the wind at their backs Wrens Nest took control and an ineffective Darlaston midfield simply could not get to the pace of the game or make good use of the difficult conditions.
Wrens Nest were growing in confidence taking full advantage of every mistake passing the ball around well and looking good going forward. Darlaston were hesitant in defence struggling to cope with the wind and control the lively home forwards. Darlaston were tentative and off the pace Alex Solomon and Luke Charlton in midfield doing their best to blunt the home sides attacks but with little effect.
A speculative ball from right back Bratt-Wytton behind the static Darlaston defence was met by Connor Lawrence who looked 3 yards offside, but he found himself clear of the static visitor’s defence and with just keeper Whittaker to beat, he did so with ease to put the home side in front for the first time.
Darlaston’s situation got worse after 38 minutes right back Sam Causton brought down the lively Chaponda as he was trying to dribble up the by-line towards the goal. Chaponda picked himself up and duly scored with his second of the game from the penalty spot give me the home side a 4-2 lead at the halftime break.
Manager Andy Parkes and his management team had loads of work to do in the halftime break to try and turn the gam around. Parkes sent his team out with two substitutions, Noah Diallo was replaced by Jamie Holder and Danny Mayne by Josh Tolley.
The changes had a temporary affect creating two early second half chances to reduce the arrears and get a foothold in the game. Tolley hesitated as he looked to lob keeper Stokes and the chance was missed and less than 5 minutes later Leon Taylor broke clear, rounded keeper Stokes and delayed his shot allowing the home defence to recover as Hillman cleared Taylor's goal bound effort.
Darlaston produced a slightly better second half performance it was still lack lustre. Wrens Nest were happy to sit deep and hit the visitors on the break, the front three of Delany, Lawrence and Chaponda giving Darlaston all kinds of trouble. The usually reliant Sam Causton and Ryan Jones at full back were given a torrid time, both receiving second half cautions.
Despite having more second half possession Darlaston could not breach the solid Wrens Nest defence well marshalled by skipper Holland and Hillman and rarely troubled keeper Stokes who had very little to do.
Lawrence and Delaney both had chances to extend the lead but shot wide from distance.
The home side saw out the game with ease but Darlaston's afternoon went from bad to worse in the closing minutes. Right back Sammy Causton was shown his second yellow card for a silly challenge on Delaney and was sent off.
A rare bad day at the office for the visitors but take noting away from Wrens Nest who thoroughly deserved the points and in Delaney, Chaponda and Connor have a front three as good as any in the Division on their day.
This Saturday Darlaston look to get back to winning ways when they entertain high riding Midland League side AFC Solihull tin the first ever meeting between the two clubs in the Birmingham County FA Vase. The game will be played at The Paycare Ground, Bentley Leisure Pavilion, Bentley Road North, Bentley WS2 0EA. Kick off is at 3 pm.