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Quakers win after second-half comeback
Billingham Synthonia 1 Darlington 4
A second-half fight-back saw Darlington claim a 12th successive win today and take their goal tally for the season to 60 at Billingham Synthonia.
They trailed 1-0 at the break after an unconvincing 45 minutes, but a much-improved second half saw four goals from Gary Brown, Chris Emms, Stephen Thompson and Leon Scott earned a 4-1 win.
An early Scott effort, saved easily by keeper Josh Moody, was Darlington’s only effort of note before Synners took the lead on the half-hour with a spectacular goal, although it was clearly intended as a cross.
After Thompson had conceded possession in the opponents’ half, Danny Johnson dribbled down the length of Quakers’ left touchline before firing the ball into the penalty area, but his high delivery sailed over keeper Jack Norton and into the far side of the goal.
Darlington have now failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their past eight games.
The goal also meant Darlington had fallen behind for the third successive game, having fought back to claim three points in games against Ashington and Bedlington.
But there was little sign of a Quakers comeback during the first period when Synners enjoyed plenty of possession. They played a good quality of football, keen to keep the ball on the floor when possible.
However, they could not add to Johnson’s effort and, after a half-time inquest, Martin Gray's side wee much better after the break.
Both Joe Tait hit Thomson hit the woodwork before 12 minutes in Brown drew Darlington level after a free-kick.
It was headed on to Brown who struck his first goal for the club from close-range and then Emms, playing against the club he was with last season, put Darlington ahead with his first touch.
The substitute, on for Adam Nicholls, tapped into an empty net after a Thompson run had ended on the edge of Synners’ penalty area and the third and fourth goals soon followed.
Thompson netted after good work down the left by full-back Darren Richardson, and then Scott beat Moody from 16 yards to record his eighth goal in eight games.
With Spennymoor winning 6-0 at Norton, just two miles away from Billingham Synthonia, Quakers remain eight points clear at the top of the Ebac Northern League.
Goals: Johnson (30, 1-0); Brown (57, 1-1), Emms (68, 2-1), Thompson (76, 3-1), Scott (80, 4-1)
Bookings: McWilliams (56, foul)
Referee: Paul Brown (Newcastle)
Billingham Synthonia: Moody, Burton, McWilliams, Robinson, Abel, Wilson, Huggins (Cattermole 75), Liddle, Jameson, Johnson (Jennings 77), Okosieme (Crossen 69). Subs (not used): Blyth, Newby
Darlington: Norton; Harrison, Brown, Tait, Richardson; Nicholls (Emms 67), Scott, Clough (Keltie 61), Amar Purewal; Dowson (Reay 75), Thompson. Subs (not used): Turns (gk), Smith