Darlington V Walsall a fans thoughts
Having lost our regular match reporter to a slight mishap we give you a belated look at saturdays events. At least he didn't get lost on the horrendous journey which was the A1.
Well first impressions were positive on our surrounds on our first visit to Darlingtons new ground. Nice friendly supporters pleasent bars, nice ground. It is a shame that some seats in the Arena are still virginal, and are still to have a bottom placed upon them.
I suppose the result of saturdays game has to be taken in context of the other results. Hartlepool struggled to find three points against Hereford, Mk Dons needed two late goals to see off Boston whilst Lincoln came unstuck against Mansfield and Swindon got thumped at Stockport who have forced there way into the automatic promotion fight. An away point against a team unbeaten in eleven now can't be too bad at this stage of the season.
It leaves us five points behind Hartlepool in second placews four clear of the MK Dons and Swindon who both have a game in hand, Lincoln drop a further point behind....all still to play for.
The performance wasn't great we didn't hit the heights we know we can. If we did we would have most likely come away with three points. But in truth we are coming out of a rough spell where confidence has been knocked and needs rebuilding. The good news is according to DD's post match coments confidence is getting better.
As for the match, neither goalkeeper was really extended and both teams could claim 'only if's' and we would have got three points. Darlington came close with Pead clearing one off the line and the woodwork coming to the rescue once. At the other end Martin Butler and Kevin Cooper had chances that on another day they might have done better with. The first half was fairly even and Walsall as the away side would have gone in fairly happy hoping to push on in the second half.
As it turned out Darlington made the running for most of the second half as Walsall relied on there organisation and refound fight and determination to keep Darlington at arms lenght despite the increase in possession for the home side.
So the 500 or so Saddlers fans left for another nightmere on the A1, satisfied if not completly happy. I am sure many would have took the point if given it before the game. The real positive was a return to clean sheets which was the key to our early season success. This was achieved with noticable absences, two of which (Dobson and Westwood) stand a chance of been back for saturday.Other positives include a better performance by the returning Wrack, and Keates worked hard and look more comfortable in a more defensive midfield role. Negatives well lets not dwell on those eh.
So what does the future hold. Hartlepool host Lincoln on friday night. A draw would be nice, but I can see a home win which if we beat Chester on saturday would leave Lincoln 10 points behind with 9 to play. Virtually out of it. MK Dons go to Peterborough who have won the last 3 a tough one for the Dons but you can never tell with both those teams. Swindon and Stockport should both pick up wins at home to Accrington and away at Barnet. All in all meaning Chester at home is a must win game if we are to keep our noses in front.
Let's keep the faith