Darlo 0 Sunderland 4
by Scott Thornberry - 16th July 2009
Darlington entertained Premiership Sunderland at the Northern Echo Arena in the first home pre season fixture. Colin Todd played his near first choice team with Captain Steve Foster being the only noticable absentee. Curtis Main also did not feature, it is not know as yet whether this is down to injury or potential transfer.
The game itself took place 15 minutes later than scheduled due to traffic problems. Chaotic scenes at the A19 due to a chemical spill earlier in the day meant that travel for the 4,000 Black Cats fans was worse than usual.
After the game started it was a slice of good fortune which lead to the opening goal.
photo by Les Hodge (top man!)
The strangely shaped Andy Reid sent over a cross to which Centre half Matty Plummer was unfortunate to give a huge deflection and send the ball into his own net.
Minutes later Kieran Richardson doubled the lead after David Knight fumbled a simple ball. Hopefully he will be getting these out of his system before season start.
The black cats certainly gave Darlo a tough time and enjoyed the majority of posession and in the second half Paul McShane, Hi De Hi!!, netted the third. But minutes later McShane had to leave the field through injury, after Steve Bruce made a host a changes at half time Sunderland had to play out the rest of the game with just ten men.
But the personnel advantage did not improve Darlingtons chances and with just minutes left on the clock Roy O' Donovan slotted in the fourth. This time it was Craig James who gifted them the goal, his back pass was too short and O'Donovan eagerly snapped up the chance.
The game itself was always going to be a toughy, and with Newcastle and Middlesbrough visiting the Arena over the next few days the matches will only be getting harder. The club arranged the matches to really raise some funds and in reality it has been job done, even if the queues for the food and drink were astronomical.
Darlington fans will have left the Arena disappointed and concerned, but these are 'friendlies' and we really do not learn a great deal from the matches against Premiership opposition.
Knight,Starosta,James, G Smith, Plummer, Miller (c), Covery, Lumsdon, Thorpe, Windass, J Smith
Subs: Arnison, Liversedge, Donninger, Groves, Riley, Gray, Bennett
Carson, Bardsley, McCartney, Ferdinand, Collins, Malbranque, Leadbitter, Reid, Richardson, Healy
Subs: Stokes, Misiewicz, Waghorn, McShane, Colback, Anderson, Meyler, O'Donovan, Edwards, Nosworthy