Second half substitute Abraham Odoh capped off an impressive afternoon in Town colours by registering his first goal and assist for the club in this afternoon’s trip to Darlington.
The number 9, who joined from Rochdale in the summer transfer window, scored a spectacular curling effort from 20 yards before providing an inch perfect pass to Luke Armstrong who helped secure our second victory of pre-season.
Following on from last week’s trip to Huddersfield, Town elected for wholesale changes at half-time with defender Kayne Ramsay hitting the 60 minute mark. Elsewhere, there was a first appearance for Dean Cornelius who also joined the club in the summer.
The opening 10 minutes of the encounter failed to provide much in the way of clear cut chances. However, the home side did find some success in the middle of the pitch but the resulting forward passes were dealt with by the Town backline.
As the match passed the 15th minute mark, winger Brad Williams picked out Emmanuel Ilesanmi from a free kick deep inside the Darlington half but the striker’s effort was met by a strong save to keep the scores level.
With a quarter of the match played, Town’s number 33 raced into the Darlington penalty area with only the ‘keeper to beat. As the striker picked out the bottom corner, the ‘keeper again produced a top save and the scoreline remained level.
Despite Town’s quality play, it would be the home side who would end the first half on a stronger footing.
A well-executed counter attack found luck on the left hand side of the Town box. Mark Oxley and Joe Mattock were in-turn forced into putting their bodies on the line to ensure the score remained level going into the half-time interval.
After an almost full change over at half time, the new look 11 began to assert their dominance over Darlington around the hour mark.
With 55 minutes on the clock, Abraham Odoh picked up the ball on the edge of the box with eyes for goal and space to shoot. He curled his powerful effort into the back of the net to break the deadlock.
Finn O’Boyle was the next Town attacker to go close to adding to the lead. However, despite his 25 yard low drive causing the goalkeeper issues, he was able to gather at the second attempt.
Moments later, a defensive mix-up between Will Smith & Lewis Thomas presented a golden opportunity to equalise for Darlington but the attacker was judged to be offside.
As Town searched for that all important second goal, Odoh this time turned provider as he slid in Luke Armstrong with space in the area. While the ‘keeper saved his first effort, Town’s number 29 was on hand to bundle the ball over the line at the second attempt.
Darlington could have pulled one back with two minutes to go as a wayward clearance fell to the feet of Hedley but his chipped effort was over.
We continue our pre-season preparation with a trip to face South Shields on Saturday.
Town (first-half): Oxley, Mattock, Falkingham, M.Daly, J.Daly, O’Connor, Ramsay, Horbury, Gibson, Ilesanmi, Williams
Subs: Thomas (GK), Burrell, Sutton, Wilson, O’Boyle
Town (second-half): Thomas, Smith, Burrell, Cornelius, Odoh, Sutton, Muldoon, Ramsay (Wilson, 62’), Foulds, Armstrong, O’Boyle
Darlington: Martin, Hedley, Sukar, Lees, Liddle, Moke, Curry, Rivers, Mustoe, Salkeld, Griffiths
Subs: Kelly (GK), Lawlor, Hazel, Nelson, Emery, Harker, Viera, Raper