Christie spot kick sinks Quakers
20 August 2011
Marcus Law made wholescale changes to the starting eleven after four points from the opening two games with three players - Smith, Thomas and Christie taking a place on the bench and Kanyuka unavailable through injury.
In their place Francino Francis, Mills, McDonald and Shariff were all handed starts.
In the other dugout, ex-manager Mark Cooper returned to The Lamb after lifting the FA Trophy with The Quakers in the last campaign.
With the manager of Tuesday night's opponents Wrexham, Dean Saunders, watching from the stands after their Friday night victory over Lincoln City put them top of the table after three games.
Tamworth kicked off proceedings towards the Meadow Street end and the play generally spent most of the time at that end ini the opening 5 minutes although chances were limited.
Cain sent a teasing cross from the right in and it evaded the stretch of keeper Russell but was also too long for Mills and Shariff at the far post.
Darlo won the first corner of the game on 8 on the left but it was headed was off target by Hatch and the visitors enjoyed a spell of possession in the Lambs half.
Tait won a corner on the right on 12 with a deflected cross but McDonald put it too long for Mills at the far post.
Shariff then found space on the right of the area and crossed deep for Mills but he was unable to direct it towards the target.
On 17 Taylor turned the ball across the box and Bowman side footed it goalward. Hedge found himself wrong-footed but in exactly the right place to block the shot with his feet, had it been placed anywhere else, would have given the visitors the lead. Barrow was on hand to clear the danger and in the next move the ball zipped around the Darlington area but was cleared.
Walshaw whipped the ball low across from the left on 21 and Hedge was unable to divert it, but it was too long for anyone to latch onto.
Patterson played a superb cross field ball for Bradley to burst on to but it wouldn't sit for him and although Mills did manage to get a cross in Darlo cleared.
Green the played a ball over the visitors defence to Patterson and it was only the fingertips of Russell that prevented his lifted shot from creeping into the net.
Two corners came and both times Francis was on hand to power a shot into the danger area but both times defenders got in the way.
Shariff made space in the area on 31 and saw a right footed shot deflected onto the back of the cross bar on 32. From Cain's corner Russell punched the ball clear and Tait's cross from the right wing was too long to reach.
On 38, as Barrow recovered from a knock from Hatch, Cooper made his first change of the game and Mills forced a corner on the left on 40.
Russell pushed the ball behind for another flag kick on the opposite side but it went too long.
Lee was booked for a foul on Bradley on 42 and Russell put it behind for a left sided corner which Cain put into the danger area but it was cleared and a foul gave Darlo possession.
Shariff tried to thread the ball to Patterson on the stroke of half time but again, it was just too long and Russell collected quickly at the strikers incoming feet.
Inside the two minutes of added time good Lambs play ended with a scuffed Bradley strike won another corner and Francis got a touch but couldn't direct it at the target before the whistle blew.
The Quakers kicked off the second half and on 47 a crunching challenge on Tait by Walshaw earned the visitor a booking and left the Lambs defender needing a visit from physio Huseyin Torgut.
Taylor curled a rare effort wide of the mark from the left of the box and prompted a vociferous warning from the Lambs dugout.
Tamworth survived a penalty appeal when Walshaw ran over the back of the Lambs defence on 54 and play quickly switched to the other end, but Mills shot straight at Russell.
Christie replace Shariff just short of the hour in a straight swap up frontm but it was Patterson who should have tested Russell more on 63 when his low shot from the edge of the box lacked power but did force the keeper to dive and stop the ball.
Tait saw his shot blocked and cleared and Walshaw sprinted on to it but a great piece of defending from Francis halted his progress just inside the penalty area.
A corner was won on the right on 66 but it was headed away and Russell collected the cross back in at height.
McDonald floated a deep cross over the bar on 69 and on 70 Bradley cut past his man, switched the ball back for Christie and unfortunately for The Lambs Patterson was unavoidably in the way of his goalbound effort and Darlington escaped.
Cain turned his marker sweetly on the half way line on 79 and pushed the ball to Patterson who in turn took it into the box and looked for a team mate at the far post, but his ball was too long.
Green was booked for a tackle on the left of defence on Walshaw and then on 82 Purkiss brought Patterson down as the ball entered the area and Christie stepped up to take the spot kick and gave The Lambs the lead with a low shot into the bottom right hand corner. (1-0, 82 mins)
Four minutes added time was shown at the end of the game and Christie hit the post after a strong run from Bradley set him up with a close range finish which he threaded past Russell only to be denied by the woodwork shortly before the whistle blew on another three points.
Hedge, Tait, F. Francis, Cain (Smith 85), Mills (Thomas 65), McDonald, Patterson, Green, Bradley, Barrow, Shariff (Christie 58)
Subs: St. Aimie, Collister
Yellow Cards: Green 81
Darlington 1833 Team:
Russell, Chandler (McReady 61), Taylor, Miller, Hatch (Smith 70), Taylor, Walshaw, Bowman (Bridge-Wilkinson 38), Atkinson, Lee, Purkiss
Subs: Pocklington, Campbell
Yellow Cards: Lee 42, Walshaw 47, Purkiss 82
Man of the Match: Match Sponsors Snowdome chose Ashley Cain
Referee: Mr. J. Simpson