Colliers cruise to comfortable win at Darlington RA
Easington Colliery collected a comfortable three points with a 4-1 win at Darlington RA on Saturday afternoon.
Shaun Smith collected a brace, while there was also goals for James Talbot and Jack Pounder.
Mark Sims had pulled one back for Darlington RA to make it 1-3, but Pounder’s 20th of the season ensured there would be no come back.
With several key players such as Ethan Wood, Brennan Ball and Michael Cooke missing, a rather depleted squad travelled to Darlington RA but they got the job done.
Smith and Ryan Lincoln Barrow both returned to the side while Ian Redman and Shane O’Brien formed a solid centre-back partnership.
Kyle Donaldson captained the side.
The Colliers asserted their authority straight from kick-off.
Redman headed a Talbot free-kick into the hands of Paul Griffith, before the Colliers took the lead in only the fifth minute. After David Vincent’s fine work played the ball out wide, the Darlington RA defence failed to deal with a cross and Smith was on hand to smash home from six yards.
Slack defending from the Colliers gifted Chris Tarn a chance in the seventh minute, but he could only drag well wide of Donaldson’s goal.
Pounder blazed over before numerous wide free-kicks for the Colliers came to nothing.
Talbot was seeing plenty of joy down the right wing, and he whipping some perfect crosses into the penalty area. Had the Colliers connected with his crosses, they could have been out of sight within the opening 20 minutes.
In the 34th minute, a great turn saw Smith find himself in on goal. However, not realising how much time he had, the tricky winger drilled an effort from an acute angle and Griffith saved.
Vincent then had a couple of efforts blocked, as did Lewis Green.
Having missed plenty of chances, Easington’s second in the 40th minute was thoroughly deserved. Vincent slotted a perfect ball into Smith, and he kept his cool to slot home for his brace.
The Colliers started the second half where they had left off in the first.
After Griffith had prevented Pounder, the Colliers added a third in the 48th minute. Talbot took responsibility of a 30-yard free-kick which he whipped into the penalty area. It bypassed everyone and picked out the far corner with Griffith unsighted.
Further saves from Griffith prevented Vincent and Smith, before the hosts pulled one back in the 55th minute. Jordan Hanratty beat the offside trap to burst down the wing and play a low ball across the face of goal. Sims latched onto it to fire behind Donaldson and give the RA a glimmer of hope.
However, three minutes later, the Colliers regained their three goal cushion. Poor defending from the hosts saw Aidan Goodey steal possession in a wide area. His low ball found Smith who helped it onto Pounder. Having been given half an inch of room, Pounder turned and curled an unstoppable effort into the far corner.
Knowing the points were secured, the Colliers seemed content to knock the ball about.
They were still creating chances though. Pounder forced another save from Griffith, before Smith had an effort blocked.
In the 82nd minute, Liam Adamson was played in and rounded the ‘keeper. But, he cut back and Griffith was able to push the ball behind for a corner.
Pounder and Talbot both went close to a fifth, but it counted for little as the Green Army ran out comfortable winners.
Full-time: Darlington RA 1-4 Easington Colliery
Next up for me is Durham Women vs Leicester City Women tomorrow.
Easington Colliery: Donaldson (c), Lincoln Barrow, Goundry, O’Brien, Redman, Vincent (Adamson, 67′), Talbot, Green, Shaun Smith, Pounder, Goodey
Unused subs: Appleby, Pearson, Brian Smith
Darlington RA: Griffith, Joynes (Hind, 63′), McLachlan, Harrison (Connor, 63′), Flounders, Guthrie (Hughes, 50’), Peel, Donaldson, Hanratty, Sims, Tarn
Unused subs: Lansdell, Duggan
Referee: Matthew Cain