Main and Carlton fire Quakers to 2-0 victory
Darlington moved up to 12th position in League 2 thanks to a 2-0 victory against Aldershot at the Darlington Arena in front of a crowd of 2,532.
Dave Penney decided to go with a 4-4-2 formation against Aldershot, Franz Burgmeier came back into the side on the wing after a spell out of action while Curtis Main started up front alongside Danny Carlton. Liam Hatch is currently serving a 2 game suspension and with no Abbott or Blundell for the next few games, Main could well get a few starts in the first team to show Dave Penney that he is up to the challenge of League 2 football.
Rob Purdie and Franz Burgmeier were selected as the sides 2 wide midfielders and with the Jason Kennedy and Ricky Ravenhill partnership restored in the centre of the park Darlington`s midfield is looking a quality unit once more. Josh Gray who played on the wing in midweek didn`t even get a place on the bench as David Poole and Adam Griffin were the named midfielders amongst the substitutes for Darlo.
After a clean sheet in midweek against Lincoln City Penney decided to stick with the same defence against the Shots and Darlo will be hopeful that a more settled back four can lead to more disciplined defensive performances for the remainder of the season. Tim Ryan adds experience and balance to the side when he plays at left back while Ryan Valentine is a steadying presence on the right hand side of defence. Being able to call on 2 such players in recent games has made a huge difference to Quakers defensive stability as Darlo looked rather naive at the back when players such as Miller and Fortune were playing in the full back positions.
Valentine Foster White Ryan
Purdie Kennedy Ravenhill Burgmeier
Kazimierczak, Miller, Griffin, Poole, Riley
Quakers started the game slowly and few chances were created early on as neither side were able to impose themselves on the game. Franz Burgmeier misplaced a few passes during the first half and the Liechtenstein international may take a few games to find his feet after a spell out of the side due to injury. Tim Ryan had a powerful shot blocked from the edge of the area while Burgmeier blazed over when well positioned. Andy Oakes made a number of smart saves for Darlo in the opening 45 minutes, Shots midfielder Scott Davies made a number of promising attacking moves for the visitors.
Curtis Main hit the games opening goal on the stroke of half time when the teenage striker finished precisely in bottom corner of the net. Aldershot felt Main was offside but no decision came from the assistant referee so the Quakers found themselves going into half time with a fortunate 1-0 lead.
Darlo looked a better side in the second half and the game was a much better spectacle for the two and half thousand fans who turned out to watch the Quakers. Dave Penney decided to tinker with his team a little 10 minutes after the break when he brought Griffin on for Main. Griffin slotted in on the wing while Franz Burgmeier played just behind Danny Carlton as Darlo went to 4-4-1-1 system. Burgmeier showed a few nice touches in his position but he was clearly not yet match fit and it was no surprise when David Poole came on to replace the dead ball specialist with around 20 minutes of the game to play. Poole played just off Carlton as Darlo looked to restrict Aldershot`s possession of the ball in midfield areas.
Quakers made sure of all 3 points on 72 minutes when the in form Danny Carlton fired home from inside the area on the right after a good piece of play from Ricky Ravenhill. Carlton now has 3 goals in the last 3 games and the Carlisle striker will be keen to add to that tally in the coming games as he will looking to make a name for himself in League 2 as his future with the Cumbrians based looks rather unsure.
The Shots pushed forward till the final whistle but they were unable to find a away past Andy Oakes who put in another good performance for Dave Penney`s side. Quakers will be hoping to make it 3 wins on the bounce on Tuesday night when they take on Accrington Stanley away from home.