Darlaston welcomed the second Total Motion Midland Premier Division team to RSA Academy inside five days. Andy Parkes and his management team don’t believe in having easy starts to pre-season, two top ten teams from the next level above, definitely a hard test.
After Tuesdays 4-2 loss to Sporting Khalsa where to be honest three mistakes were punished, Parkes juggled his pack making five changes to his match day squad, rested were Joe Baker, Morgan Campbell, Luke Charlton, Andy Heal and Ezekiel “Zico” Agyemang who picked up a slight knock. In came Aiden Blackham, Daniel Bolzon, Isaac Cooper, Noah Diallo and trialist Liam “Chopper” Matthews.
Lye who have been training nearly as long as Darlaston selecting 16 players including ex Darlaston player Adam Skeldon and Aaron Grewal who was at Bilston last season.
Lye started the match at a seriously quick pace Left back Whittingham had a shot saved, and the visitors forced four corners and captain Adam Meacham headed just wide, this was all in the opening eight minutes, Darlaston were struggling to get out of their own half.
Having to work hard to quell the attacks, Lye controlled the game, passing and moving, their interchange of play, movement off the ball, and willingness to work for each other was a joy to see. Despite efforts from Bishop and Prince, it was no surprise when Lye went in front in the 20th minute.
As on Tuesday evening Darlaston contributed to their own downfall, with a series of poor choices of pass, and positioning leaving Wolverhampton Casuals top scorer last season Keiron Miller to pick his spot and give keeper Whittaker no chance from 17 yards, for a deserved lead.
The lead was doubled six minutes later, Miller blasting a right foot shot from a tight angle past the flat-footed Whittaker. Lye were in total charge, playing attractive football. A third was added in the 34th minute, an outstanding Ryan Jones tackle on the advancing overlapping right back, fed a loose ball inside, despite attempts by Jamie Holder and Aiden Blackham who has just come on as a substitute, the ball reached Sammy Prince who from 20 yards beat Whittaker with ease firing low across him.
Darlaston’s only effort on goal in the first 34 minutes was an Alex Solomon right foot shot which forced Lye keeper Sidaway into a diving stop. Parkes made further changes, bring on T.J. Davies and Connor Fellows, as half time approached Darlaston were getting more into the game.
During half-time Parkes introduced the remainder of his substitutes Noah Diallo, Alex Solomon, and Isaac Cooper, to try and get his team back into the game.
Everyone has heard the expression a game of two halves today was a perfect example. Darlaston grew into the second half, their fitness telling at the end.
Lye had two chances in the opening three minutes of the second half, both fell to Keiron Mille, Liam Whittaker being alert to his first effort and the second hit the side netting.
The game changed when Lye withdrew Miller and Ganderton in the 55th minute. All of a sudden Darlaston were in the ascendancy. An error by the Lye defence and their keeper allowed Noah Diallo in to score on of the easiest goals he will ever score in the 59th minute.
Darlaston were awarded a penalty by Referee Lewis Mountain in the 71st minute, for a foul on T.J. Davies by Lye’s right back, Isaac Cooper stepped up to give the keeper no chance with a well driven finish. Darlaston were level nine minutes later, Noah Diallo took advantage of a poor clearance to square the ball to Davies, who’s finish across the keeper levelled the scores.
Which team would try and take the win in the last 10 minutes of the game, both teams made substitutions in an effort to take the win, but all they did was disjoint the game. The only effort on goal came from Lye, Adam Skeldon cut in from Lye’s left flank, his crisp right footed shot was clawed to safety by Darlaston’s keeper Whittaker
The match ended in a 3-3 draw, both clubs will be happy with a 45-minute performance, but both managers have loads of work to do to get to more of a completed performance.
A selection of club photographer Jayne Cartwright can been seen by clicking this link Lye Town 13 July 2019
Dalsanto’s next game is TUESDAY evening against Willenhall Town kick off 7.15 pm.
Updated 10:54 - 14 Jul 2019 by Simon Cox