Darlington RA 1-1 Alnwick Town
Darlington were out to avenge their 6-2 defeat at Alnwick earlier in the season. Darlington had won four of their last five games so this was always going to be a difficult game for the Northumberland side.
Town started at a fast pace and nearly took an early lead when in the fifth minute a move involving Jake Lowes and Sam Walton put Josh Hay through but his shot was blocked a few yards out.
Darlington had their first real chance after ten minutes when Andrew Lonsdale created space on the left to cut in but Tom McPherson was alert and cut across to block Lonsdale’s progress.
Darlington had a slight edge on possession but the Town defence held firm.
Darlington broke the deadlock after 20 minutes when a clearance fell to David Hartson, a defender who had pushed up, and with space some 20 yards out on the right he volleyed a thunderbolt which shot into the top corner of the net.
Alnwick went straight on the attack and forced a corner and from the corner the home keeper was nearly caught out as the ball dipped and was about to drop in behind him, but a terrific backward save saw him tip the ball over.
On the half hour Darlington had their next good chance with an attack down their right but Town keeper Luc Glasper was up to the challenge to block the danger.
Just before halftime Alnwick had the ball in the net when Sammy Walton scored with a cross shot from the left only for the linesman to controversially flag offside.
In the second half Alnwick were more dominant with the lion’s share of possession and the home defence had to throw everything at Alnwick to keep them out.
This was successful until the half hour when Alnwick forced a few corners. From one, the keeper saved from Hay, but the ball fell for Lowes just outside the penalty area and he hit a sweet volley for a deserved equaliser.
The pace of the Alnwick forwards created all sorts of problems for Darlington , but the home side were themselves able to mount quick attacks on the counter.
Alnwick continued to camp in the Darling half, restricting them to the occasional foray into the Alnwick area.
In the closing 15 minutes Alnwick had three good chances which fell their way, but they were unable to convert any of them.
Darlington rallied towards the end, but they too were unable to add to their tally and both sides had to settle for a point.
Next home game is on Saturday (April 1) against Billingham Town with a kickoff time of 3pm.