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Controversy at Darlington

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It was an extraordinary start to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North campaign on Saturday with no little controversy!

There was an abandoned game at Darlington 1883, a 7-1 away win for a Droylsden side who could only managed two wins all last season and a 5-5 draw!

Warrington could be charged by the Evo-Stik League for failing to fulfil a fixture after they refused to re-take the field against Darlington for “health and safety reasons”.

The Quakers were 2-0 up with goals by Adam Mitchell and Amar Purewal but on 32 minutes the referee went down in a heap, frantically blew his whistle several times, and waved to the Darlington physio for attention to a calf injury.

An appeal was made for an active official to act as an assistant, and three volunteers came forward. However, Warrington objected to them on the grounds that none were independent and so manager Paul Reid called his starting eleven back into the changing room.

Darlington officials and the match referee contacted the league, and were informed that the game could continue with two officials as per one of the rules.

After a further delay, Reid called his substitutes into the dressing room, and then announced that they were refusing to continue the game on health and safety grounds, claiming that his players could suffer an injury without another warm-up if play was going to restart.

Even though Darlington boss Martin Gray tried to persuade him to change his mind, Reid was adamant and the game was therefore abandoned after a 35-minute delay and to the annoyance of the near 1,000 crowd.

Droylsden finally have something to smile about after an amazing 7-1 win at Irongate against Bamber Bridge.

The relegated Bloods raced into a 2-0 lead with goals from Fernando Moke after 28 minutes and Kevin Leadbetter 11 minutes later, but it was the second half that all hell let loose!

Carlos Meakin on 65 minutes and Moke again 2 minutes later made it 4-0 to the visitors, Luke Atherton pulled one back for Brig a minute later, but then Darren Green on 70 minutes, Moke with his hat-trick 8 minutes later and Ben Deegan 10 minutes from time completed the rout.

At Station View, Harrogate Railway and Mossley AFC shared a ten-goal thriller!

Michael Fish gave the visitors a 19th minute lead that Harry Coates cancelled out 6 minutes later.

Steve Foster restored Mossley`s lead a minute later, only for Nathan Cartman with two – the first a penalty – and Adam Baker to score three in 9 minutes to make it 4-2 at the break.

Two minutes after it Foster pulled a third back for the Lilywhites, only for Baker to notch his second to make it 5-3 on the hour-mark.

But Mossley grabbed an unlikely point with goals from Tom Dean and then Foster with his third, in the final 10 minutes!

Adam Field scored the second and decisive goal after 25 minutes as Brighouse Town, promoted from the Toolstation Northern Counties East League, started their NPL campaign with a 2-1 win over Radcliffe Borough.

Tom Matthews opened the scoring for Town after 15 minutes as Radcliffe scored a late consolation from the penalty spot through Chris Mason.

The division`s other new boys, Spennymoor Town, also started with a win, 2-0 at Padiham with goals from Mike Roberts from the spot after 29 minutes and Liam Henderson 10 minutes later.

Gareth Seddon’s hat-trick proved to be the difference between the sides at Moor Lane as the `Class of ’92` era got off to a flying start at Salford City.

A decent crowd of 330 saw Sam Madeley give the Ammies a 16th minute lead against Scarborough Athletic, only for Jordan Thewlis to level a minute before the break.

Then Seddon took over with goals on the hour-mark, 6 minutes later from the spot and then 70 minutes.

Lancaster City also started well with a comfortable 3-0 win at the Giant Axe against Farsley AFC.

A Tom Kilifin spot-kick started things off after 15 minutes and the same player added number two from open play 3 minutes before half-time.

And 4 minutes after the break Aaron Taylor added the Dolly Blues third.

The John Reed era began well for Ossett Town as they ran out 2-1 winners at Ingfield against Clitheroe with goals from Josh Whiteley after 27 minutes and then Chris Ovington in stoppage time after Liam Hutchinson had pulled the Blues level on 52 minutes.

Town`s close neighbours Ossett Albion shared a goalless draw at Valerie Park against Prescot Cables, while it also ended 0-0 at Flixton between Northwich Victoria and Kendal Town.

And Mark Beesley bagged a brace on 45 and 56 minutes as Burscough won 2-1 at New Mills, whose Danny Grimshaw had given them a 37th minute lead.


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