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Four-midable Quakers enjoy gr-eight win
Newcastle Benfield 0 Darlington 4
Darlington reached 100 goals for the season as the Northern League leaders recorded an eighth successive win with a comfortable 4-0 victory at Newcastle Benfield.
Amar Purewal got the landmark strike when he put Quakers ahead in the 22nd minute.
He kept his cool to finish from 12 yards after collecting David Dowson’s flick on following a punt down the middle.
Benfield had started reasonably well and the signs had been that Darlington would have to work hard against the lowly opponents on what was a poor pitch.
But Purewal’s goal changed the dynamic of the game and soon it was 3-0.
First, Stephen Thompson stabbed home on 32 minutes after Dowson had robbed keeper Jake Cunningham of the ball, and then Dowson himself slotted home his 14th goal of the season.
He ran on to a ball from Quakers’ midfield and executed a calm finish to put Darlington firmly in the driving seat.
The second half amounted to nothing more than a training exercise as Darlington retained possession and keeper Mark Bell was rarely tested.
He had only occasional catching practice as the Darlington defence held firm while completing their seventh clean sheets in ten games.
Manager Martin Gray was able to bring off Joe Tait and Purewal, while Thompson was withdrawn at the break. Gray later reported that none were injured and he was merely giving game time to players on the bench.
Among the subs was Kerry Hedley, a Darlington-born teenager who has joined on loan from Hartlepool United.
Adam Nicholls was among those who came off the bench and came close to adding a fourth, seeing a shot go wide, but the fourth finally came in injury-time.
Half-time substitute Steven Johnson got it, deftly lobbing the keeper from the edge of the penalty area after receiving a Stephen Harrison long-ball from the back.
His eighth goal of the season was a fitting way to complete Darlington’s eighth successive win.
Darlington are in action again on Wednesday against Heritage Park against Norton.
Goals: Purewal (22, 0-1), Thompson (32, 0-2), Dowson (34, 0-3), Johnson (90, 0-4)
Bookings: Brown (21, foul), Bowey (36, foul); Richardson (69, dissent)
Referee: Danny Markham
Newcastle Benfield: Cunningham, Turnbull, Patterson, Ormston, Balmain, Leighton, Norris (English 46), Brown (Williams 73), Young (Day 60), Bowey, Graham. Subs (not used): Snowdon, Talbot
Darlington: Bell; Harrison, Brown, Tait (Richardson 60), Scott; Emms, Davis, Galbraith, Thompson (Johnson 46); Dowson, Purewal (Nicholls 57). Subs (not used): Turns (gk), Hedley