Darlaston’s pre-season campaign got underway on Tuesday evening their first fixture of six pre-season friendlies before the League season starts on the 3rd August. They welcomed Total Motion Midland Premier League and JW Hunt Cup winners Sporting Khalsa to RSA Academy.
A selection of photos can be seen by clicking Sporting Khalsa Photos
The large crowd watching didn’t have to wait long for the first goal a well hit shot from distance forced Khalsa keeper Maydew to parry the ball out to Leon Taylor who beat the central defender with a turn to score Darlaston’s first goal of the new season.
Both teams are enjoying playing on a sound surface moving the ball around very quickly and the game was played at a brisk pace. The visitors were let back into the game after a mistake by Darlaston keeper Whittaker resulting in a penalty which was duly dispatched with ease by a trialist, 1-1, which is where the score remained at the end of the first third.
At the request of the visitors the game was divided into equal thirds, giving the hard-working players a break after every 30 minutes and giving both managers the opportunity to make changes. Darlaston made two, Connor Fellows replacing Lucas Hough in defence and Joe Baker being introduced for Alex Solomon.
In second third Darlaston were nowhere near as effective as the first third, Khalsa scoring two goals. The first a crisp finish from Alex Perry 2-1 to Khalsa. Their third was scored by their second penalty of the evening, after Ricardo Ricketts fouled James McGrady in the box.
Both managers made substitutions during the third keeper Darlaston changing their keepers and giving Andy Heal his Darlaston debut last season's captain Scott Glasby joined the fray in place of Ricardo Ricketts.
As the final third started the last Darlaston player to put on the ship to pull on shirt for the first time Morgan Campbell started the final 30 minutes when the best two goals of the evening were scored first it was Darlaston’s turn in the 61st minute Leon Taylor scored his second of the evening his turn and powerful left-footed shot beat ex-Darlaston keeper Sam Arnold.
Khalsa’s best goal of the evening by far was scored by the prolific Dan Westwood an outstanding 35 yard chip over keeper Andy Heal in the 82nd minute was the final goal of the evening giving Sporting Khalsa a 2-4 win.
The Spectators at the game which numbered round 100 went home royally entertained with a competitive game and was an ideal first outing for both clubs Darlaston manager Andy Parkes said after the game “I was exceptionally pleased with how sharpen fit the players will looking especially after all of the hard work that they have been putting in since the start of the second week in June. There were some real positives come out of the evening especially on how the new signings played, as always there are some negatives too, but we have plenty of time to iron these out before the season’s start on 3rd August."
Darlaston would like to thank Sporting Khalsa and the players and staff for last night’s game and wish them a successful and enjoyable season.
Darlaston’s next pre-season friendly is against Lye town at RSA Academy kick off is 2 p.m. and entrance is once again FREE.