The Lockmen twice came from behind to claim a deserved first point of the season against their Black Country neighbours Darlaston Town (1874), but they had to fight adversity all the way.
With three players sitting on the bench with a variety of injuries, Jamal Jakeman, Ashley Challender-Campbell and Ross Fox were forced onto the pitch and each one grabbed a deserved goal. The Lockmen were up against it from the start when the referee refused to stop play on five minutes for a serious looking injury to Suki Sarai, Darlo played on until a penalty was awarded for a foul. With treatment lasting five minutes before before he was helped off, Ant Follows was nerveless still to fire home. Reece Mann had two long range shots to force danger on the quarter-hour before The Lockmen leveled matters when Jamal Jakeman chased a long ball with home skipper Ryan McAllister and he forced a headed own goal on 32 minutes. Luke Hayward then headed a Blues header off the line on 39 minutes before Hayden Hughes headed home a right wing cross on 42 minutes. The hosts took the lead again two minutes into stoppage-time when Hughes headed home from on the line after The Lockmen had failed to clear a corner from close range.
Ten minutes after the restart Jakeman went on a barn-storming run, skinning three defenders before hammering across the keeper and into the far corner from the tightest of angles. In the aftermath Darlo’s Lucas Hough was given a straight red after a skirmish after The Lockmen attempted to retrieve the ball. Five minutes later, Ashley Challender-Campbell picked the ball up on the edge of the box and fired a first time effort that swerved away from the keeper and into the corner of the goal. Both sides then went hell for leather for another goal, The Blues not playing like a side with a man short and on 71 minutes, Hughes wrestled Jerome Mason to the floor, charged goalwards before rounding the keeper and rolling home a hat-trick goal. Jakeman twice and Mann went close before a superb cross three minutes into stopage-time saw third sub Ross Fox bury from ten yards out.
Our next game is at home versus Gornal Athletic Saturday 26th August, 3pm kick off.
By Chris Burton