Dominic Joynes’ first-half strike turned out to be decisive as Blyth AFC lost 1-0 to bottom of the league Darlington RA at Brinkburn Road, writes Andrew McDonnell.
Sean McRoberts struck the crossbar just after the half hour mark, but the hosts took a deserved lead through James in additional time at the end of the first half.
The Railwaymen were compact and defended well in the second half, and the visitors were left frustrated after a disappointing match.
Blyth were without Lee Middleton and Jake Armitage due to suspension.
There were a couple of half chances early in the game, but the hosts were holding their own, and Daniel Flounders glanced over Glenn Donaldson’s delivery, a real let-off for the Braves.
However, Blyth went within inches of taking the lead three minutes later. McRoberts gathered the ball out on the left, and his effort rattled off the crossbar and Ryan McGorrigan skewed the rebound wide.
Bannon rushed out and closed down Damon Reaks, and denied the defender, while the ball was then gathered by Sam England before the forward struck over.
Stevens tested the ‘keeper in the closing stages of the game, but a quick counter attack a minute later saw the home side take the lead.
The ball was switched out to Reaks and the full-back played the ball back across the six-yard area before Joynes turned the ball home.
England had a glorious chance to double Darlington’s lead, seven minutes after the restart, but squandered the opportunity.
well and were compact and the visitors were struggling to break them down. Darlington had the next chance in the game, eight minutes from time with England hitting the side netting.
Substitute Bobby Taylor was denied by a brilliant save from Pentony, and the Railwaymen held out for the victory.