Groundhopper 2017 -2018
October 28th 2017
Fixture – AFC Darwen v Hanley Town FC
Ground – WEC Anchor Ground
Capacity – 4000
League – The Hallmark Security League Premier Division (NWCL)
Programme – £1.50
Badges – £2.50
Parking – Yes
Snack Bar – Yes Chips Muffin £2
Lager Shandy £4.50
Attendance – 80 ish
From years of watching FC Utd I have never had the opportunity to watch them play at AFC Darwen so when this fixture popped up the time was right. Not as such the two teams that are playing each other but with other teams that I have been to grounds no need to visit them again… Yet!
So looking at the table and looking at Darwen’s form they are going through a patchy spell with only 1 win out of last 5 league matches and Hanley Town are riding high and sitting 4th in the league lost only 1 out of the opening 10 games. So favourites for the match, correct was Hanley Town.
Weather wasn’t great windy and wet. The pitch condition wasn’t the best neither. Game on. To me it kicked off a little before 3 pm not sure how that happened but maybe the Ref Paul Shacklady had plans tonight and needs to get home early.
From the off Hanley Looked up for the match and were rewarded after just 2 minutes. Michael Conlon crossed from the right which was cleared by Darwen but a shot came back from Joshua Bristow from 25 yards which landed to Mackenzie Faulkner who placed a shot in the bottom corner of the net 1-0
Middle of the park action for a moment then came a through ball by Doulas Price to Daniel Cope who rounds the keeper and slots into an empty net 9 minutes gone 2-0 up.
Well the flood gates opened up 8 minutes later and along came number 3. I personally would of said this was an own goal by the Darwen keeper Steven James as he caught the shot but then dropped it over the line but according to Hanley Town, Josuha Thorpe scored.
Route one clearance from Dave Jackson to Daniel Cope and from 15 yards slots the ball past the keeper 4-0 and just about half hour played.
If u think the first 4 were bad the defending for the 5th was Sunday league for kids a mis-kick from the defender and it rolls to Daniel Cope who slots it in from 6 yards… Daniel Cope Hat Trick.
Darwen have been very poor this half and it finished 5-0
Second half in my opinion nothing for Hanley to play for and Darwen well pride and hope that it doesn’t get any worse.
Couple of changes for Darwen a few fresh legs to see the second half through. Most notable Alex Ralph comes on.
So 14 minutes in the second half 5-1 drawn pull one back through sub Luke Cassidy after some scrappy play. Gonna win 6-5 I hear someone shout ( that someone was me). Maybe just maybe Darwen could mirror Hanley. Gotta say no they couldn’t on the 62nd minute sub Alex Ralph had a moment of stupidity after being tackled and lashed out and got himself a straight RED CARD. He had only been on the pitch 17 minutes. He walked past me and he looked frustrated with him self.
So the game went on 11 v 10 and 5-1 up nothing really in the match after the red card for Darwen if they hadn’t lost their heads in first half clearly nothing had changed since. But they did get another one just before the finish in 86th minute when Kiel Lonsdale headed after nice cross from the right wing.
Game finished 5-2 great for the away fans and any neutral but not so much the AFC Darwen faithful.
Nice set up at the ground the bar area is lovely, bit pricey for my liking but its also used for functions such as wedding, birthdays etc etc but a massive thanks to Elaine for the pin badge and the keyring. But from what I got told all is not well at the club some backroom issue are floating about. Anyway this is about football not politics.
Match value for Natural – 6/10
Man of the Match – Daniel Cope
Thanks for reading
Stay Safe People and enjoy the Game.