Hat trick of setpieces put Quakers through in FA Cup

Darlington 3 West Auckland 1.

A hat trick of setpieces helped Darlington to come back from a goal down and give them their first FA Cup win since November 2010.

Just as it seemed that West were going to claim another Evo-Stik scalp in the FA Cup, Quakers’ expertise at setpieces got them back into the game after a disappointing first half and set up a home tie against Blyth in the next round.

Most of the early pressure belonged to Quakers, but they didn’t create a chance until the 10th minute, when Terry Galbraith moved forward and hit a deflected 30 yarder into the hands of keeper Dan Lowson.

West then had a penalty shout for handball turned down when Dennis Knight’s left foot shot from just inside the box was blocked by a defender.

Quakers went close on 16 minutes when David Dowson burst forward and hit a low shot that Lowson could only hold at the second attempt, then Adam Mitchell, with hardly any backlift, struck a dipping right foot shot just over the bar. A Galbraith corner also almost dropped in at the far post.

But at the other end Robbie Briggs opened up the home defence with a good run through the middle, but from his lay off Steve Richardson sidefooted tamely at Peter Jameson, then Alex Francis forced Jameson to his knees with a low shot from an acute angle.

Lowson pulled off a good save on 38 minutes when Stephen Thompson, who had switched wings, pulled the ball back from the right for Mitchell to hit first time right footed, but the former Darlington keeper saved low down.

West were awarded a penalty on 39 minutes when Knight turned quickly inside the Darlington box and was tripped by Galbraith, and the former Newcastle youngster tucked the spot kick into the bottom left hand corner.

The game became fractious again at the start of the second half, and Knight was booked for deliberate handball as was Quakers’ Gary Brown for a foul as the game was punctuated with stoppages.

West nearly went 2-0 up from a quickly taken free kick that ended with Jameson fumbling a Ward cross, and Brown somehow cleared Richardson’s follow up shot off the line. That was a turning point, because Quakers levelled on the hour.

Lowson, who had just received lengthy treatment, pushed a low shot from Dowson around the post. Galbraith curled a teasing corner into the six yard and West defender Darryl Hall turned the ball past his own keeper.

Lowson pulled off a superb save a minute later, when Thompson crossed for Dowson to head towards the top corner, but Lowson went full length to tip the ball over the bar.

Quakers took the lead on 69 minutes from another setpiece, this time from the opposite side. Adam Mitchell curled the ball to the corner of the six yard box, to where Armstrong timed his run perfectly and headed past Lowson off the inside of the post.

Quakers then became guilty several times of being caught in possession, and on one occasion Knight dispossessed Brown and played a 1-2 with Richardson, but fired over.

Quakers made sure five minutes from the end, when Mitchell swung a corner over to the far post, where Liam Hatch, who had only been on the field for a few seconds, headed into the top corner and gave Darlington their first FA Cup replay win in 17 years.

Manager Martin Gray said; “My half time team talk was a big factor, because West controlled the first half. I said a few words at half time because I wasn’t happy. It was good to score from setpieces, we’ve done well from those so far this season.”

Darlington: Jameson, Brown, Galbraith, White, Hunter, Portas, Mitchell (sub Fisher 88), Scott (sub Robinson 70), Armstrong, Dowson, Thompson (sub Hatch 83).

Subs not used: Bell, Reed, Purewal, Young.

West Auckland Lowson, Gibson, Galpin, Close, Wilkinson, Hall, Richardson, Francis, Ward, Knight, Briggs.

Subs not used: Vipond, Byrne, Ayers.

Referee: Gareth Rhodes (Selby).

Attendance 932.

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