AFC Darwen 3-1 Chadderton FC

Having come off the back of a heavy defeat away to newly formed Bury AFC, the Salmoner's were back at home to a young Chadderton side. Kenny started the game with the same side that started the previous game. He still had belief as the score line at Bury did flatter them a little. It was individual errors that cost the game.  Darwen began the game on the front foot and took it to Chadderton. Ben Langford was pushing forward at every opportunity to link up with the front two of Leon Creech and Rio Wilson-Heyes. This was not a day for perfect passing as it was wet, windy and very dark day.  Darwen should have taken the lead after just 8 minutes. Beautiful play down the right by Creech, who took on three players, managed to cross to an unmarked Wilson-Heyes just 6 yards out. Instead of hitting the ball first time which would have surely nestled into the back of the net, he took a touch and then another, this allowed the Chadderton defence to make a tackle and clear their lines. Just 4 minutes later, Darwen did take the lead. Wilson-Heyes made a run into the area to beat the offside trap. He picked the ball up on the byline and waited for runners into the box. That runner was Sam Knowles. WH then chipped over a sublime cross onto the head of Knowles who powered the ball into the bottom corner with ease.  Darwen again pushed forward and it was now like the leash had been released. The midfield were working in synch with each other and the movement from the forwards was unplayable. Good work down the left by Creech who played the ball back to Langford on the edge of the area. He took a shot but it was a tame one and it fell into the keepers arms. It was WH on 20 minutes who had the next chance. A free kick on the edge of the area had the keeper scrambling to his left but the ball went narrowly wide of the upright.  Just minutes later WH did get his chance and finished it with precision. Great work again down the right hand side saw a cross into the box. WH just 7 yards out and with his back to goal took the ball down, swivelled and volleyed into the back of the net to make it 2-0. Definitely the reaction Kenny and Alex were looking forward and a well-deserved lead. Moments later and Chadderton were back in the game. Lyndon picked up the ball to the left of the area, he was running away from goal and managed to get a shot off across goal and it nestled into the bottom right corner. Chadderton had a lifeline. 2-1 This did not stop the power train that Darwen where on and they pushed forward again. Kiel Lonsdale almost got on the end of cross at the back post, reminiscent of Gazza 96 at Wembley. Chadderton tried pushing forward but could not penetrate the Darwen defence and resorted to Long shots which went over the bar. HALF TIME 2-1 Darwen were now kicking to their favourite Darwen end for the second half. WH had another attempt from a free kick on the edge of the area but this went narrowly over the bar. Chadderton had made a couple of changes and began to get more of a foot on the ball. Again, great defending from the back three of Luke Jarrold, Danny Ashburner and Matthew Johnson was preventing any clear cut chances for Chadderton. Darwen were still pushing for their 2 goal advantage and came close on numerous occasions. A free kick into the box from WH caused havoc and a goalmouth scramble ensued but Ashburner failed to get the ball over the line and Chadderton cleared. The Darwen midfield were in complete control of the game and the movement from WH was devastating. It took until the 82nd minute before Darwen restored the 2 goal lead. Again it was great work down the right hand side and a ball was pulled back to the edge of the area. Sprinting towards the ball was Kiel Lonsdale who hit it first time and the ball was smashed into the top right corner (with a slight deflection from the defender). Chadderton had no answer to this and the game finished at a steady pace. Creech had one last effort. A few twists and turns saw him put the ball just wide of the post. His hard work deserved a goal but it was not to be. Man of the Match: Rio Wilson-Heyes 1) Stefan Holden 2) Daniel Ashburner 3) Matthew Johnson 4) Luke Jarrold 5) Jamie Gibson 6) Kiel Lonsdale © 7) Ben Langford 8) Sam Knowles 9) Leon Creech 10) Rio Wilson-Heyes 11) Jamie Edwards Subs 12) Mackenzie Rosbotham 14) Lewis Cumpsty 15) Leighton Jones 16) Sidi Fofana 17) Matthew Wright (GK) ATT: 129

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