Colliers extend unbeaten run to six with victory at Darlington RA
Easington Colliery extended their unbeaten run to six by dumping Darlington RA out of the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup on Wednesday night.
The Colliers won 2-1 with goals coming from Liam Adamson and debutant Jay Martin.
Adamson fired the Green Army into a 15th minute lead and Martin added comfort to the Colliers’ lead seven minutes from time. Mark Sims pulled one back for the hosts but the Green Army held firm to progress in the competition.
Craig Hughes took charge of his first game as joint manager and was forced into one change from Saturday’s win over Alnwick Town. With club captain Chris Pearson missing, Brennan Ball came into the starting XI. Martin started on the bench having signed from Bedlington Terriers and there was also a place on the bench for Shane O’Brien.
The Colliers started well and could have created a chance within the opening 100 seconds when good football found David Vincent but his delicate chipped ball was slightly too heavy for Jay Redman.
Easington had the majority of possession in the early exchanges but failed to create any real chances.
In the 12th minute, the Colliers had a big penalty shout turned down. James Talbot was played in and took it around the goalkeeper who brought him down in the process. But, referee Matthew Carroll waved the appeals away.
However, the Colliers wouldn’t be left to rue on missed opportunities as Adamson fired the Green Army into a 15th minute lead. Numerous shots were either blocked or saved before the ball eventually fell to Adamson on the penalty spot and the 18-year-old picked out the bottom corner.
With the lead, the Colliers were playing some good football and in the 17th minute, the ball was worked to Redman but his effort was blocked.
Darlington RA’s first real attack saw the hosts win a corner in the 20th minute but the Colliers cleared.
Darlington RA’s first shot came three minutes before the half hour mark. Phillip Caley picked up possession and spotted Kyle Donaldson off his line but his 30-yard effort sailed wide.
A couple of Easington corners mounted pressure on the hosts but they held firm before Jim Wilson had a half chance at the other end which was quickly charged down.
The Colliers were forced into a substitution late in the first half as Ball picked up an injury and was replaced by O’Brien.
Talbot fired not too far over with five minutes of the first half still to play before Adamson stabbed just wide of the far post after Ethan Wood had played him in.
The Collier went into the break with a one goal lead, but it could have been more in truth.
Fine football created a chance for the Colliers four minutes into the second period. Chris Freeman’s superb ball picked out Adamson and his equally good touch helped him lay the ball off to Redman who curled a matter of inches wide.
A lengthy delay in play followed as Andrew Lonsdale fell awkwardly for the hosts. After 10 minutes of treatment, Lonsdale was helped off the pitch by Martin Mulcaster and Tom Goodey with what Goodey suspected to be a dislocated hip.
The injury disjoined the second half but the Colliers could have doubled their lead five minutes after the restart. Redman’s defence-splitting ball picked out Adamson and his perfect control gave him an opportunity but he could only drag wide.
A minute later, at the other end, the Colliers had Donaldson to thank for keeping them ahead. Matty Hughes tried his luck from 30 yards and his rasping effort was bound for the top corner until a fine save from Donaldson diverted it behind for a corner.
Redman and Wood both had further half chances that came to nothing before the Colliers added comfort to their lead in the 83rd minute. Martin, seven minutes into his second debut for the club, was played in by Wood and made no mistake in drilling the ball into the far bottom corner from the corner of the penalty area.
Looking for a goal himself, Wood fired just wide in the 88th minute but the RA pulled one back in the 89th minute. The Colliers failed to deal with an attack down the left wing and the ball eventually found a way to Sims who made no mistake from six yards.
Twelve minutes of added time was played but the Colliers managed it well and comfortably saw it out to progress in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup.
Full-time: Darlington RA 1-2 Easington Colliery
Next up for me is a game in a Scottish league on Saturday.
Easington Colliery: Donaldson (c), Freeman, Metcalf, Ball (O’Brien, 39′), Appleby, Vincent, Wood, Lincoln Barrow (Martin, 76′), Adamson, Redman (Connor, 90+1′), Talbot
Unused sub: Bulmer
Darlington RA: Pentony, Bennett (Tarn, 76′), Joynes, McLachlan, Flounders, Hughes, Duggan, Lonsdale (Donaldson, 61′), Wilson, Caley (Sims, 86′), Peel (c)
Unused subs: Guthrie, Reaks
Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions
Attendance: About 50
Referee: Matthew Carroll