Sutton Coldfield Town 1 Darlington 0

DARLINGTON crashed out of the FA Trophy in deeply disappointing circumstances.

They put in their worst performance of the season in the second qualifying round tie and lost 1-0 at Sutton Coldfield Town, ending the match with ten men after yet another red card for Alan White.

His second dismissal of the season came ten minutes from time, when Darlington were already 1-0 down, and there are now huge question marks over his Quakers career.

Despite playing against a team that had lost their last five league games, Darlington were poor from the off and found striker Luke Rodgers to be a tricky customer.

The stocky former Shrewsbury forward had his first glimpse of goal on seven minutes, a volley on the turn after a throw-in dropping just over the bar and soon manager Martin Gray left his seat in the stand and headed to the touchline.

He began the match watching from the main stand, but soon after he reached the dugout Sutton took the lead with a goal Quakers gave away.

Adam Mitchell’s loose pass in midfield was intercepted, Sutton went on the attack up the right, Rogers crossed and Jordan Goddard finished.

Until the goal the game had been even, but Sutton went on to create a number of chances during the remainder of the half with former Crewe striker Rogers proving to be a menace.

He had two efforts at goal in quick succession, the first saved by Peter Jameson, the second headed wide, and then Zak Lilley shot wide after a stray pass by Alan White was intercepted by the Sutton striker.

Darlington had started with new signing Wilson Kneeshaw behind the front two strikers and with a narrow midfield - Mitchell, Leon Scott and Tom Portas - but switched to 4-4-2.

Kneeshaw moved to the right and soon he created Darlington’s first chance, breaking into the penalty area and passing to Nathan Cartman, but he poked it wide.

During an improved spell for the visitors came another chance, Mitchell’s free-kick being headed over by Cartman, but soon Sutton were on the attack again.

Ramone Stephens volleyed wide from 20 yards after a Sutton corner, and then Jameson denied Rogers again, pawing away a vicious high blast toward the near post after the striker had taken the ball past Mitchell.

Sutton continued to carve open Quakers. Danny O’Callaghan headed wide from 12 yards after good work up the right by Goddard who beaten Leon Scott.

The half finished, however, with Darlington’s Lee Gaskell going close to a leveller. His close-range header hit the bar and went over after a Cartman cross, but after the restart it was the hosts first to impress themselves in proceedings.

Only a shocking miss by Joel Kettle, who lashed wide from six yards after a corner dropped to him, meant it stayed 1-0, and then Jameson did well to smother Kyle Bryant’s volley after the winger met Rogers’ raking crossfield pass.

Gray took decisive action, making a triple substitution. Lewis Gibbons, Adam Nowakowski and Stephenn Thompson were all sent on and almost immediately left-back Anthony Callaghan broke into penalty area and saw a shot beaten away by goalkeeper James Wren.

Callaghan played due to a calf injury sustained by Terry Galbraith, and his absence was evident at least at set-pieces where Darlington were lacking. They were also lacking up front, Gaskell winning little in the air.

As the game reached its conclusion Sutton focused primarily on defending, but from a corner Kettle headed into Jameson’s hands and within 60 seconds Darlington made a right mess of things at the back, but Sutton allowed them to escape by not taking the chance and firing over.

Then came White’s moment of madness. With the ball high in the air and heading for the Darlington penalty area, he swung an elbow at Josh McKenzie and clearly deserved the dismissal – his fourth of 2015.

Referee Chris Husband awarded a penalty and showed White a yellow card, thus sending him off for a second bookable offence - he had already beeen booked for dissent - but the foul merited a straight red.

The veteran defender is about to serve a four-match ban incurred for violent conduct – pushing a linesman after the home defeat to Marine last month – an incident after which the club said White was on a final warning. They must now decide whether the Darlington-born defender has played his final game for his hometown club.

Rogers’ penalty was saved by Jameson, and Rogers heads the rebound wide, and in the dying seconds Darlington’s ten men muster could not muster a last hurrah other than a Gary Brown header over after a Thompson corner.

Goals: Goddard (14, 1-0)

Bookings: O’Callaghan (24, foul); Brown (51, dissent), White (52, foul), Gibbons (79, handball)

Sending-off: White (80, two bookable offences)

Referee: Chris Husband

Sutton Coldfield Town (4-4-2): Wren; Beresford O’Callaghan, Kettle, Gonzales; Bryant, Forde, Goddard, Stephens (McKenzie 73); Rogers, Lilly (Palmer 85). Subs (not used): Brooks, W-Hales, Harrison

Darlington (4-3-1-2): Jameson, Brown, White, Hunter, Callaghan, Mitchell (Thompson 63), Portas, Scott (Gibbons 63), Kneeshaw, Gaskell (Nowakowski 63), Cartman. Subs (not used): Dowson, Armstrong