No sparkle, fizz or bang from Darlo this weekend, just a poor whimper
By Simon Cox
Darlaston's indifferent form continues causing another loss at The Paycare Ground
Darlaston's indifferent form continues as they failed to take advantage and close the gap on League leaders Droitwich Spa at the top of the table. Despite it being bonfire night there were very few fireworks from the home side, lots of fizz and bang at the start but any spark quickly fizzled out. Despite plenty of promise any fizz was quickly dampened by a well organised Allscott team with Jay Evans and Dan Walne dominant at the heart of the defence and Jon Scragg and Jorge Gomez a handful upfront.
The game started well enough for the home side forcing a corner in the opening minute. The short corner was met at the near post by Scott Glasby, who’s effort was drifting wide until Leon Taylor scored at the far post. As soon as the ball hit the net, the Assistant Referee's flag was raised for offside. Little did the home contingent know that this was to be a rare highlight of the 90 minutes.
After the initial explosive start by Darlaston, the visitors dealt with the tricky windy conditions far better than Darlaston by keeping the ball on the floor playing attractive attacking football at pace creating chances for Jay Evans and John Scragg. The home side responded with Tyrone Clarke waltzing past three players on the way into the Allscott penalty area only for his tame effort to be easily cleared.
Allscott took the lead on 13 minutes. A corner from Darlaston’s left found was only partially cleared to the edge of the box, Scragg's low left foot drive finding the net from 18 yards.
Darlaston fell to a sucker punch five minutes later with some dreadful marking in the penalty area resulting in Allscott doubling their lead. A long throw by Jay Evans eluded everyone except Scragg who had the time and space to score with a spectacular overhead kick from just inside the area.
The confidence visibly drained from the home side but they still forced seven corners in a 17 minute spell all coming to nothing , tame efforts from Luke Charlton and Scott Glasby were comfortably saved by the impressive Dan Pilkington in the visitors goal.
Allscott were comfortable playing at their pace and generally controlling the game without creating any further chances of note.
Following a stern half time team talk Darlaston had their best spell of the game early in the second half Ryan McAllister, Leon Taylor and Luke Charlton all having half chances forcing visiting keeper Pilkington into three straight forward saves. Darlaston had a penalty appeal waived away in the 53rd minute after Leon Taylor was sent crashing to the floor by the dominate visitors defence.
The home side gave themselves a glimmer of hope with a scrappy goal on 72 minutes. Leon Taylor set up Alex Solomon inside the penalty area and his deflected shot from 12 yards beat keeper Pilkington to halve the arrears.
The glimmer of hope lasted less than 60 seconds, Allscott scoring virtually from the kick off. A speculative shot from Brad Hamblin wide on Allscott’ s left rebounded off the foot of the post back into keepers Whittaker’s arms, but Darlaston’s keeper dropped the ball at the feet of onrushing Ryan McLean who had the easiest finish of the afternoon to restore the visitors two goal advantage.
Things got even worse for Darlaston, as a minute later Allscott scored their fourth. Ryan McLean was the architect of the goal with a fine run down the right-hand side crossing the ball to the far post to Brad Hamblin who was unmarked to head the ball home, to give Allscott a 4-1 win.
Despite introducing three substitutes none made any real impression and the home side could not breach the resolute visitors defence.
Darlaston never got going and their impressive football from early in the season was nowhere to be seen. Take nothing away from Allscott, their performance was impressive, attacking at pace, resolute in defence and the result never looked in doubt after Scragg scored the opening goal of the game.
The home supporters’ players and management team will be looking for a much improved performance this Saturday when they entertain Bustleholme. the game is at The Paycare Ground, Bentley Leisure Pavilion, Bentley Road North, Bentley WS2 0EA KO 2.00pm.