Five second half goals help secure record win at The Paycare Ground
By Simon Cox
A Tyrone Clarke O'Connell hat trick helps keep Darlaston's tenure as League leaders
A Tyrone Clarke O'Connell hat trick, his first for the club, saw Darlaston record their biggest home win since re-forming in 2014. The 7-0 win equalled their previous record win on 15 November 2014 away at Red Star Alma. The win keeps them top of West Midlands Regional League Division One following a superb 10 game unbeaten league run taking 28 points from a possible 30.
Darlaston made a bright start and were in control from the start forcing impressive Newport keeper Andy Heal into several saves in the opening few minutes. Daniel Bolzon and Noah Diallo (twice) forcing Heal into action whilst Leon Taylor was thwarted on four occasions by some superb blocking tackles by an over worked Newport defence in which George Hill and Hayden Fincher were superb.
On 10 minutes Bolzon thought he had opened the scoring, eluding his marker cutting in from the right flank and unleashing a vicious 18-yard shot which thudded against the cross bar and rebounded to safety. As the half wore on Newport brought the best out of Darlaston’s keeper Whittaker, full stretch saves from Rai and Latham after 15 and 18 minutes respectfully as the supporters of both teams were being well entertained.
Despite their impressive start Darlaston were not able to breach the Newport defence and they became frustrated, forcing their passes which saw them give the ball away too frequently allowing the visitors to compose themselves and relieve the pressure on their goal.
Darlaston were having the majority of possession and had the ball in the net in the 28th minute, Noah Diallo’s "goal" was disallowed for a foul on Newport’s keeper Heal.
The home fans didn’t have to wait too much longer for the first goal of the afternoon and what a scorcher it was. On 31 minutes Leon Taylor laid the ball off to Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell, who struck a crisp 15-yard strike giving keeper Heal no chance.
Twelve attempts on goal had wielded just the single goal but another superb goal on 42 minutes saw the home team double their advantage. For the umpteenth time the energetic Alex Solomon broke clear in midfield, beat his marker and crossed from the by-line, cutting the ball back for Daniel Bolzon to volley home at the near post.
As both teams left the field for half-time team talk the management duo of Andy Parkes and Scott Moore demanded more from their team looking to turn their possession into more goals, which may well be important at the end of the season as four teams continue to battle it at out at the top of the Division.
The team talk worked as the home side upped the pace of their game Ash Evans having the first chance of the half on 48 minutes his effort just drifting wide. Evans and Taylor brought fine saves from Heal as the home side looked to press home their advantage. Newport were hard working and resilient, but they were pressed back into their own half for long periods with only rare ventures into the Darlaston half.
A superbly worked goal on 58 minutes saw Clarke O'Connell net his second goal of the game to wrap up the points. A clearance from keeper Heal was picked up by Jamie Holder inside his own half, his precision 30-yard pass through the heart of the visitor’s midfield and defence sent Clarke O'Connell clear to strike a crisp shot beyond a stranded Heal in the Newport goal. A minute later Heal was again in action with yet another save at full stretch to temporarily deny Clarke O'Connell his hat-trick.
Darlaston’s fourth was created and converted by top scorer Leon Taylor. Taylor's work rate and hold up play was superb all afternoon and the top scorer was not to be denied as he chased a lost cause, putting keeper Heal under intense pressure resulting in Taylor nipping in to steal the ball and side foot into the net to score his 22nd league goal of the season.
The opening 3 goals were all superb in their own way and Taylor's work rate ensured he deserved his goal but arguably the best but certainly cheekiest goal came from Ash Evans on 64 minutes. Sam Causton and Alex Solomon combined at a short corner, Solomon’s cross was met by an outrageous Evans flick 12 yards out, which wrong footed everyone and found the back of the net.
Darlaston were now playing some excellent football and the sixth goal came on 72 minutes captain Scott Glasby scoring his first goal for the club with a near post header from an Ash Evans corner.
Clarke-O’Connell completed his hat-trick on 84 minutes with another finely crafted goal. Some excellent approach work from substitute Jarrod Grant saw him pass to Taylor on the edge of the box, Taylor's well placed lay off was met by the left foot of Clarke-O’Connell his clinical finish finding the top corner.
On Saturday Darlaston visit local rivals Willenhall Town in another Division One fixture. Kick off 3pm at the Cottage Ground Amos Lane Wednesfield.