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MATCH REPORT | Darlington 4-1 Wealdstone

Updated: Feb 8



Wealdstone crashed out of the FA Trophy with a whimper as they fell to a 4-1 defeat to National League North side Darlington and Blackwell Meadows.


An own goal from Michee Efete and a Jarrett Rivers strike put the hosts ahead early on, Moses Emmanuel smashed a penalty in just before half time but Luke Charman put the tie to bed by the hour mark before Erico Sousa grabbed an injury time goal.


Stuart Maynard put new loan signings Harry Isted and George Langston into the side as Connor Stevens and Danny Parish also made their return to the squad on the bench.


The game was Maynard's first as caretaker manager and his side produced a less than ideal start when a ricocheted Will Hatfield cross bounced off Efete and in from close range just three minutes in.


Ten minutes later the hosts doubled their lead when Rivers converted a Sousa cross from close range into the roof of the net.


The Stones had a good chance half hour in when Michael Phillips' effort was blocked by Nicky Hunt only to fall to Alex Dyer on the edge of the box, who produced a good save from Johnny Saltmer.


Isted had to do well to deny Darlington forward Dan Maguire on 35 minutes as the forward towered a header toward goal from close range, but the keeper held well.


Stones were given a lifeline before half time when Hunt handled in his own area. Top scorer Emmanuel stepped up and smashed an effort down the middle of the goal to give the visitors all to play for in the second half.


Efete atoned for his early own goal on 57 minutes, when he denied Rivers whose effort had beaten Isted, only for the Stones right back to head over his goal on the line.


On 63 minutes the hosts put the tie to bed, when Charman smashed in a low effort from 25 yards past Isted into the bottom corner.


A 50/50 challenge from Efete and Charman saw them both come off badly, Efete hobbling off himself with aide from his teammates but Charman needing extended treatment and eventually off on a stretcher 10 minutes later.


Fifteen minutes of added time was announced but it was the hosts who took advantage during that period when Sousa wriggled into the box on the left and smashed in from a tight angle to put Darlington into the quarter-finals.


Danny Green almost grabbed a consolation for the Stones after being played in by Dennon Lewis, but Saltmer saved well with his leg.


A tough test awaits the Stones on Tuesday evening as they travel to Devon to face National League leaders Torquay United.


WEALDSTONE: Isted, Efete (Parish 73), Langston, Okimo (c), Mendy, Smith, Phillips, Dyer, Green, Lewis, Emmanuel (Hughes 89).


Subs not used: Negraru, Stevens, Wishart, Dalling, Cawley.


DARLINGTON: Saltmer, McMahon (Hedley 23), Hunt, Storey, Liddle, Wheatley, Hatfield (c), Rivers, Sousa, Charman (Campbell 81), Maguire (Holness 70).


Subs not used: Watson, Hudson, Armstrong, Reid.


Report by Chris Woods

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