Great Harwood Town 3 Darwen 2
COURTESY OF OUR VERY GOOD FRIENDS AT THE ACCRINGTON OBSERVER
Three sent off as Town win incident-packed derby!
Three players were sent off-two from Darwen and one from Harwood-in an incident-packed derby which Harwood won thanks to two goals from Eric Geldard and a penalty by Harold Martin.
Harwood’s midfielder Steve Benko-a former Darwen player-and the Anchor side’s Jepson were sent off for fighting 10 minutes from time and shortly afterwards, Darwen’s Barnes got his marching orders for committing a second bookable offence. By the time those incidents occurred, Harwood were 3-1 up and in manager Malcolm Darling’s words, ‘cruising’ to victory, with their form very impressive and in total contrast to the disappointing show they gave in going down 2-1 to Ashton United on Saturday.
Darwen scored a second goal through Shaun Smith just before the final whistle, but Harwood certainly played well enough to earn maximum points and complete the double over their arch rivals, who were managed by Mr. Darling for a brief period in 1983. Geldard, who hit the winner from the penalty spot when the sides met at the Anchor Ground in October, gave Harwood the lead after seven minutes of Wednesday’s match, heading home at the far post from a right wing cross. Harwood maintained command throughout the first half but could not add to their tally. Ten minutes into the second half however, they went 2-0 up when Paul Goldsborough-another former Darwen player now with Harwood—was brought down in the box by Glen Dickinson and Martin slotted home the resulting spot kick. Five minutes later though, Darwen pulled a goal back when a poor back pass by Mark Jones allowed Smith to score, although Dave Mottershaead in the Harwood goal got his hand to his shot but couldn’t prevent it from going into the net.
Darwen then threw everything they could at Harwood in a bid to get an equaliser and Mottershead made a couple of good saves. It was Harwood in fact who scored next, as Geldard scored his second and Harwood’s third after good work by Mark Bennett and Goldsborough who were both in very impressive form.
Then came ‘the fireworks’, with Benko and Jepson’s double dismissal followed by Barnes.
Harwood’s line-up: Mottershead, Vercoe, Astin, Martin, Callen, Moran, Geldard, Jones, Benko, Bennett, Gouldborough,. Sub. P.A. Brown