by Jeff King
Wearside League – Friday 29th October 2021
Darlington Railway Athletic 1 v 6 Chester-le-Street United
For the third game in a row the Chester management team were able to name an unchanged side. No real surprise as their recent form has been superb and they were looking to follow it up with another three points.
Their opponents, Darlington RA, had actually picked up a point at The Riverside earlier in the season when they earned a 0 – 0 draw in a tough encounter. Since then though RA had found the going tough registering only one win in their last twelve league games.
United on the other hand had won their last three games scoring 16 goals and only conceding one including a very impressive 8 – 1 win over Windscale at home on Tuesday night which had taken them top of the Wearside League.
From the off United pushed the home side onto the back foot as they went in search of the first goal. They went close early on when Jay Gibson brought the best out of RA keeper James Young. Young diving full length to tip Gibson’s low drive around the post.
From the resulting corner the ball fell to United skipper Josh Crews two yards from goal but he blasted the ball well over the bar and into the Brinkburn Road when he really should have scored.
United though continued to press and despite not converting early chances were still well on top. The only surprise came when it took 30 minutes for them to break the deadlock and go into the lead.
Cameron Brewis put a dangerous free kick into the box and when RA couldn’t clear their lines, Ryan Muldoon was on hand to put the ball into the net from close range. It was no more than United deserved and six minutes later it was two-nil.
Gibson was fouled inside the home box and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Up stepped Brewis and he calmly placed his left-footed effort into the bottom corner past Young’s outstretched hand.
It was the striker’s 14th league goal of the season and he’s not only United’s top scorer this season he also leads the league scorers. Add in his two cup goals and he now has sixteen for the season.
Darlington almost grabbed a lifeline back into the game not long after. Connor Holliday’s deep cross to the back post looked as if it was going to drift into the net but Chester keeper Arthur Leblond got up superbly well to palm away in outstanding style.
It was a great save that was made to look even more important as Chester went down the other end and made it three-nil on 38 minutes. Michael Spellman the scorer, finishing well following a layoff from Brewis.
The last action of the half saw RA’s Connor Woodford stand up a cross to the back post but Holliday couldn’t direct it towards goal to get his side back into the game and the sides left the field at half-time with United good value for their goal lead.
However, the second forty-five began with RA looking livelier and they pulled a goal back on 51 minutes. Leblond was unable to deal with Dagnall’s cross and Harry Stansfield was on hand to tap in from a yard out. It proved a temporary reprieve as four minutes later it was 4 – 1.
It was Spellman again who netted with a lovely, controlled finish when Crews nodded the ball from a corner into his path. It was Spellman’s 12th league goal of the season and his 13th in total so far this campaign.
He was inches away from getting his hat-trick not long later when he curled an excellent free-kick from 22 yards past Young but was unlucky to see the ball rebound back into play off the crossbar.
But a fifth goal wasn’t long in coming. With 15 minutes to go, Brewis’s right wing corner was well floated into the area and Jaden Timmis got on the end of it flicking a great header past Young into waiting net.
United weren’t finished there and on 84 minutes made it six. This time an incisive through ball sent substitute Abdullah Alawadhi bursting through the home defence and he smashed the ball home off the underside of the bar to complete another excellent night’s work for the League leaders.
After the game Assistant Coach John Gamble was a happy man.
“It was a great performance from the team against a very hard-working opposing side. We defended well overall with composure and showed a good positive attitude to break forward quickly.”
“Our two wide men, Ebenezer (Addo) and Michael (Spellman), were a constant threat and Jay Gibson gave us a great platform to build attacks with strong receiving and holding skills. Brewis was superb on the night.”
“His technical ability on a tricky surface was outstanding and I even said he was like a magician!”
TEAM : 1. Arthur Leblond 2. Jaden Timmis 3. Elliot Day 4. Louis Watts 5. Josh Crews © 6. Taylor Robinson 7. Ebenezer Addo 8.Ryan Muldoon 9.Jay Gibson 10. Cameron Brewis 11. Michael Spellman
SUBS : Jak McKinley for Robinson, Abdullah Alawadhi for Gibson, Lewis Lembikisa for Addo, Alex Nicholson for Watts, Ricardo Pereira for Muldoon. Aymeric Vidot not used.
SCORERS : Muldoon, Brewis (pen), Spellman 2, Timmis and Alawadhi.