Donnelly delighted with Croft Park debut

NEW signing Darryll Donnelly made his home debut for Spartans in the draw with Rushall Olympic and walked away with the man of the match award.

But he was just happy to have experienced the Croft Park atmosphere for the first time.

The former Whitley Bay centre back was impressive at the heart of the Spartans defence and played through the pain barrier after a collision with visiting striker Hekeem Islam during the first half, but he was happy with his performance over the whole.

He said: “I really enjoyed it, I’m gelling in well with the lads and just getting used to the club.

“I didn’t know about the man of the match award until I got into the office after the game, but I’m delighted to have got it.”

He went on to praise the Spartans fans: “The fans were brilliant today and created a great atmosphere, you really notice it on the pitch and they were really loud.”

Playing alongside skipper Wayne Buchanan has proved a useful tool for Donnelly and he was quick to praise his more experienced defensive partner.

“He’s really good and he helps me a lot,” he said.

“He communicates all the way through the game and that’s something that will help a young defender like myself. I can learn from him a lot.”

Whilst Donnelly was happy with Buchahan, the opposite could be said of his opinion of the penalty decision that saw Spartans go one behind in the first half.

He said: “It was never a penalty and the lad has gone down very easily and I think he knows it.

“It’s not easy for the referee when he is under pressure like that and he has given it.

“Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t, but everyone knew it wasn’t a penalty.”