North West Counties First Division North: AFC Darwen 4-3 Chadderton
A frantic game almost saw Chadderton FC grab a draw against AFC Darwen but they came up just short as it ended 4-3.
Darwen started the quicker of the two sides and did not have to wait long to reap their reward as Sidi Sonogo Fofana volleyed the hosts into the lead.
Chadderton grew into the game following the goal and made their pressure count in the 12th minute as they struck back courtesy of Oumar Camara after some nice work on the wing and a good cross from Dion Battes.
The goal seemed to wake Darwen up and they were back to being the dominant side, having most of the ball for the remainder of the first half. They would take the lead in the 26th minute as a corner seemed to hit a Chadderton player and find its way into the back of the net.
The hosts would double their advantage not long before half time as Arron Scholes’ mistimed tackle in the box led to a penalty for the hosts. Jamie Edwards had his penalty saved but he was on hand to poke in the rebound and Darwen went in at half time 3-1 up.
The second half was a much more laboured affair as neither team really had any chances.
But in the 88th minute, the game exploded into life. Leon Iluobe had been brought on early in the second half as a right-back but was put upfront as Chadderton chased the goals they needed. It paid off as he was on hand to direct a corner into the net to make it 3-2.
Unfortunately, Darwen answered straight back as on the 89th minute, Ben Langford scored to restore his sides two-goal advantage.
But Chadderton did not give up and a weak back pass was pounced upon by Camara who then calmly rounded the keeper, only to put the ball wide with an open goal gaping. It was a good representation of how it hadn’t quite gone Chadderton’s way all game.
But Iluobe popped up again in the 92nd minute, nicely finishing a one on one to reduce the deficit to one again.
Shenton looked to be clean through near the but was tackled before he could apply the finish and equalise and that’s how the game ended.
A crazy end to the game see’s Chadderton in 13th place in the table.
Report by Reece Ingham.