Darlington 1 Barnet 2
Darlington 1 Barnet 2 THE MANNER of defeat in Steve Staunton's final match in charge could not have been more apt. A home defeat against Barnet was down to slack defending and an inability to finish chances both factors which littered Staunton's disastrous reign. It was a similar tale under Colin Todd at the start of the season and Quakers only marginally improved during the former Ireland manager's 23- game tenure. There were occasional highlights such as the two wins over Rotherham and the draw a fortnight ago at promotionchasing Bury. But Saturday was not one of those days. It was a low-quality affair contested by two poor sides a game as bad as the respective league positions of each side suggested it would be. In a dismal opening 45 minutes there were five chances in all; Quakers squandered their three while the Bees scored through Dave Livermore and Albert Adomah. Livermore was quickest to react to a loose ball following a corner on 23 minutes, the midfielder slamming home a volley. It was 2-0 nine minutes later when Albert Jarrett forced Simon Madden to back-pedal on the wing before a pass inside teed up Adomah to hit a powerful effort from 18 yards past Shane Redmond. Near silence greeted both goals with hardly a moan from the home support. Maybe the regularity of seeing their team concede goals has anaesthetised Darlington fans they're used to the pain by now. Noel Whelan was a surprise inclusion after recovering from a hamstring injury but he volleyed over at 0-0 and Tadhg Purcell headed wide at 1-0. Then in first half injurytime Purcell, Staunton's best signing, played an immaculate through-ball to put Gareth Waite one-on-one with the keeper but the midfielder's shot was too weak to trouble Jake Cole. It was Whelan's first appearance since a return in January was aborted after just two minutes due to injury. He lasted 58 minutes on Saturday, but looked far from happy to be substituted just seconds after Quakers had pulled a goal back. It came via an own goal from Gary Breen a former Republic of Ireland international colleague of Staunton's diverting the ball past Cole while attempting to block a cross from speedy rightwinger Chris Moore. Breen, however, could not be accused of trying to do his former team-mate a favour. The Barnet defender retired from international football when Staunton dropped him shortly after becoming the Republic's manager. Soon after the goal Moore fired over a cross that handed Josh Gray a superb chance but his tame effort was blocked on the line by defender Clovis Kamdjo. Thereafter it was a flat second half with little of note occurring and no sense of urgency, although in the dying seconds Purcell headed narrowly wide. In the second half when we scored early I thought this is it, we're going to turn the corner here', said Staunton. Especially with how we were playing, getting the ball into good areas and the number of chances we had. The stats are there. We've had ten clear chances, they had two in the first half, one at the start of the second half and that was that. In the first half there hadn't been much between the teams but we dominated totally in the second half. Clearly chairman Raj Singh had heard that hard luck story once too often. Match facts Goals: 0-1: Livermore (23, sweetly struck volley from eight yards following a corner) 0-2: Adomah (32, 18-yard strike from a central position after receiving a pass from the left) 1-2: Breen og (57, diverted ball into his own net when attempting to stop a Moore cross) Bookings: Miller (79, foul); J Hyde (90, foul) Referee: Chris Sarginson (Stoke) Neither team gave him any problems and the only bookings were justified 8 Attendance: 1,463 Entertainment: DARLINGTON (4-4-2): 5 Redmond: Not at fault for either goal and hardly little else to keep him occupied; 4 Madden: Got forward regularly but his crossing was woeful 5 White: Minimised O'Flynn's impact but under-hit backpass almost proved costly 5 Miller: Rarely in trouble but might have closed down Adomah before his goal 5 Milne: Despite Staunton's insistence he doesn't look comfortable at left-back; 6 MOORE: Pace and direct attacking adds something Darlington have lacked 6 G Smith: Always looking to get on the ball. Has benefited from a rest 5 Waite: Let himself down with a wasteful finish in first half injury time 4 Chisholm: One of Staunton's mystery signings. Made little impact and subbed at the break 5 Purcell: Not as effective as in recent weeks and missed a first-half headed chance 5 Whelan: Will be disappointed to miss first half chance but held the ball up well Subs Gray (for Chisholm 45): Wasted a superb chance for his first goal for the club which would have made it 2-2 5 Diop (for Whelan 58): Linked the midfield with the attack before leaving the field following a below-the-belt' tackle 5 Main (for Diop 90) (not used): Liversedge (gk), Main, Groves, Mulligan, McReady BARNET (4-5-1): Cole 6; Devera 6, Breen 5, Kamdjo 6, Lockwood 4; ADOMAH 7, M Hyde 6, Hughes 6, Livermore 7, Jarrett 7 (Gillett 73); O'Flynn 5 (J Hyde 90). Subs (not used): Carpenter (gk), Deverdics, O'Neill, Wright, Upson MAN OF THE MATCH ALBERT Adomah Displayed swift pace and a sweet touch that brought about the winning goal.
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