Brackley Town 2-4  Darlington      11/8/18

Styche treble earns the points

A six minute blitz of three goals midway through the first half won this game for Darlington as The Quakers recorded a first win of the season on a day for the strikers at St James Park.

Reece Styche notched a hat-trick, his first coming in only the second minute of the game, a long range effort that found the top corner. Brackley were level within minutes as Jimmy Armson headed in unmarked from Shane Byrne’s corner.

Brackley enjoyed a good spell twice going agonisingly close to taking the lead. Byrne’s free-kick was inches wide and Armson’s break set up Shep Murombedzi before Darlington scrambled the ball away.

But Styche completed his hat-trick with goals in the 21st and 23rd minutes, finishing clinically to take advantage of lapses in defending after long balls.  Simon Ainge scored the fourth goal in the 26th minute finding a sharp finish from the edge of the penalty area to leave Saints shell-shocked.

Lee Ndlovu reduced the deficit with a 47th minute header from Armson’s cross and Brackley strained every sinew to get a third goal.  If they had, then in this goal spree you would believe a fourth would follow but it was not to be.  Darlington restricted Brackley’s goal scoring opportunities and ran the clock down in a quieter second period in which Saints enjoyed the better of things without forcing that further break-through.  The closest Saints came was Matt Lowe’s fierce effort on the hour beaten away by Jonny Maddison in The Quakers’ goal.

“Our defending in the first 20 minutes gifted them the game,” Kevin Wilkin said. “You can’t make the mistakes we’ve made and give teams such easy chances.  We need to make teams work harder to score goals against us.  Their front players used their physicality and it has paid real dividends for them.  We gave ourselves a chance scoring after the break but we haven’t built on it.  In both penalty areas we’ve been poor today, that is the reality of it.”


Brackley Town:   Lewis, Lowe, Franklin, Byrne, Hall (Nti 84), Dean, G.Walker (Fairlamb 60), Armson, Ndlovu, Murombedzi (Myles 67), A.Walker.   Subs unused: Graham, Smith.

Darlington:   Maddison, Trotman, Galbraith, Elliot, Collins, Burn, Henshall (Nicholson 67), Wheatley, Styche (Hughes 79), Ainge, Thompson (Saunders 85).   Subs unused: Syers, Vaulks.


Referee: Amy Fearn        Assistants: Gareth Davis and Jacob Lehane

Attendance:   570