“My missus has just had a go at me in the players’ lounge. She said she could have hit it harder with her stilettos on.”
DEAN Windass’ post-match comment just about summed up his last-minute penalty, a woefully tame effort easily saved by the keeper that condemned his side to a 1-0 defeat.
Having spent most of the afternoon on the bench, watching Darlington fail to create any problems for Bury, the 40- year-old came on in the latter stages hoping to inspire an equaliser to Jordan Robertson’s 60th minute header.
After fellow substitute Curtis Main was fouled by keeper Wayne Brown, with only seconds remaining along came Windass’ chance to become an instant hero.
Having taken penalties throughout his career, a memorable way to mark his Darlington home league debut awaited.
What happened next will stay in the memory but, unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons.
Windass rolled the ball gently to the keeper as though he was having a pre-match kickabout with the mascot.
All Brown had to do was fall to his right, collect the ball and with it Bury’s first points of the season, leaving Darlington still looking for theirs.
“The penalty was absolutely pathetic, he’ll say that himself,”
said frustrated manager Colin Todd.
Todd was right. Although Windass added a few more colourful words too.
Asked if he had stubbed his toe when taking the kick, Windass said: “No I didn’t, it was just a crap penalty, that’s all. An awful penalty.
“I haven’t missed many. I don’t know how many I’ve taken, probably 40 or 50, and I must’ve missed no more than two or three.
“When I have missed I have taken the responsibility like I will for this one.
“If I’d scored 1-1 would have been a fair result. In the second half we had a bit more of a go after we’d had a chat at half-time. But in the first half we didn’t play as well as we did against Leeds.”
In truth, Darlington played nowhere as well as they did against Leeds.
Last Monday’s Carling Cup defeat saw Todd’s side push the League One promotionchasers hard and, understandably, Quakers stuck with the same starting XI.
But Saturday’s display was disappointing against a Bury side that was not much better, especially during a drab first half.
David Dowson appeared to be tripped in the penalty area by Efe Sodje but referee Chris Sarginson was not interested, and he was similarly unmoved when Quakers keeper David Knight raced out of his penalty area to pole-axe Michael Jones. To Bury’s surprise Sarginson signalled for a Darlington goal kick.
Strikers Dowson and Lee Thorpe were starved of service as Quakers struggled to make an impact in the opposition’s half, something that Todd was quick to point out.
He said: “Our sharpness in possession wasn’t good enough, we never retained the ball well enough in the opposition’s half.
“We have to learn to move the ball quicker and get in their half quicker. We had some spells of possession where we kept the ball but did not hurt them.
“And the tempo was slow, really slow. We tried to get the tempo up in the second half, but being able to retain the ball and not making the right decisions was disappointing.
“I’m not going to make excuses.
We saw against Leeds that we have something, but we haven’t reached the same level. We have to be better than we have shown on this occasion.”
The sides remained level until the 60th minute when Robertson, who joined on loan from Sheffield United on Friday, headed Bury ahead after meeting a precise David Worrall cross.
Quakers had been caught flat-footed as Robertson was allowed to ghost unnoticed into Darlington’s area, and he would have had another soon afterwards had Steve Foster not made a goal-line clearance.
Todd switched to 4-3-3 with Windass operating behind Main and Thorpe, and Darlington put the visitors under pressure, which appeared set to pay off in the last minute when Brown felled Main.
But Windass had not read the script, meaning Darlington go into tomorrow evening’s home match with Crewe Alexandra still searching for their first points of the season.
COLIN Todd hopes to create competition within his squad after accusing some of his players of being complacent over their starting place.
Having extended the loans of Sunderland’s Jamie Chandler and David Dowson until Christmas, the Quakers boss today aims to conclude a deal for two more loan players.
He hopes their arrival will spur on his current firstchoice XI and said: “Chandler and Dowson staying is a boost for us because we need a squad of players to add competition.
“At the moment I think there’s one or two who take their position for granted so I have to change that.
“I can bring loan players in and am waiting to hear back from clubs about a couple. We’ll probably find out on Monday.”
■ Former Hartlepool goalkeeper Jan Budtz has been on trial with Quakers.
“I have trained for a couple of weeks and it has gone well,’’ Budtz said. “They just have two young keepers at the club and I could certainly add some experience.’’
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■ Darlington have been drawn at home to Lincoln City in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. The tie will be played in week commencing August 31.
Goal: 0-1: Robertson (60mins, deft header after meeting Worrall’s right-wing cross)
Booking: Brown (90mins, foul)
Referee: Chris Sarginson (Staffordshire) - called the penalty correctly and handing Knight a let-off was his only surprising decision 7
5 Knight: Fortunate not to see red after clattering Michael Jones 25 yards from goal;
6 Arnison: Delivered several good crosses, including the one that led to Quakers’ penalty
6 Foster: In the right place at the right time to make a goal-line clearance
6 MILLER: Todd was pleased with his display that meant Lowe saw little of the ball
5 Bower: Found Bury rightwinger David Worrall a difficult opponent;
6 Chandler: Busy in midfield but not as effective as against Leeds, ditto his teammates
5 G Smith: Lost possession too easily and too often
6 Lumsdon: Did not really stamp his authority on proceedings
5 J Smith: Yet to deliver in open play, but a superb free-kick was almost headed in by Foster;
5 Thorpe: A lack of service meant he saw precious little of the ball
5 Dowson: Rarely saw the ball, but denied a penalty early on after being tripped by Sodje
Subs: Convery (for Lumsdon 65mins): Found it difficult to make a major impact 5 Windass (for J Smith 74) Main (for Dowson 81) (not used): Liversedge, Plummer, Groves, Bennett
BURY (4-4-2): Brown 4; Scott 7, Futcher 6, Sodje 7, Buchanan 6; WORRALL 7 (Johnson 83), Dawson 7, Barry-Murphy 6, Jones 6; Lowe 5 (Morrell 73), Robertson 7.
Subs (not used): Cresswell, Baker, Racchi, Belford, Rouse
MAN OF THE MATCH
DAVID Worrall – Bury wide man delivered a steady flow of crosses, including the assist for Robertson’s winner.