Half term report- Darlington
I like so many Darlington fans expected more this season, a ground which seemed capable of a higher level of football and some good signings . If fact odds of 14/1 pre season probably tempted many to an outside flutter. So what went wrong. There are many theories about board room going on`s but the first public signs of cracks appearing was the signing of Julian Joachim from Boston. A player that seemed to be the purchase of the board rather than the then manager. All this after he had taken Darlington apart at Boston. After that it seems from the outside that team selection was influenced by the board either directly or indirectly. Then the manager left under a cloud with questions of sharp practise, Attempt s to clear his name mean that his shadow still haunts the corridors of Darlington. The new man Dave Penny a man of proven track record at Doncaster comes in, and results seem to pick up. Six straight wins seemed to herald a new dawn but this has been followed by six straight defeats. If a team ever was at a turning point in the season this Christmas could be it for Darlington.
It is true they have not been helped by injuries and the fact manager Dave Penny is still trying to stamp his mark on the team. So I can`t see a relegation struggle they have too many good players and there are a number of teams who are worse than Darlington. The flip side is that if things don`t turn around soon then this season might just have to be written off. My pre season prediction of a play off berth seems wide of the mark as they sit in mid table at the half way mark.