Darlington won their second pre-season friendly with a goal in each half at Harrogate RA tonight.
The RA were nearly the first to score on 4 minutes from the second corner of the game, when the ball was half cleared back to the taker, Chris Ovington, and he hit a low right foot shot that triallist keeper Chris Elliott, who has played for several Northern League clubs, pushed around the post.
With six other players starting their first pre-season game, Quakers lacked Saturday’s fluency and passing accuracy until the 17th minute when Lee Gaskell laid the ball off with a clever flick for Lewis Nightingale to run into the box, but he pulled his right foot shot wide.
Nightingale then popped up at the other end when Harrogate sprang the offside trap and Harry Brown ran through, but the midfielder ran back well and got in a saving tackle when the Harrogate man only had Elliott to beat.
Quakers almost took the lead when Nathan Cartman, playing against his old club, tried his luck with a left foot shot from 25 yards that was held up on the wind and dropped just wide.
And Quakers were lucky not to go behind when Dan Barrett broke away for Harrogate, and fortunately his right foot chip over Elliott drifted a foot wide of the left hand post.
Quakers took the lead from their first corner just on half time. Nightingale’s driven low corner was cleared back to him by a defender. He cleverly beat his man, and attempted to cross to the far post, but the ball took a deflection and looped into the net.
Half Time: Harrogate RA 0-1 Darlington
Darlington manager Martin Gray made seven changes for the second half, but it was one of the quartet who stayed on, skipper Kevin Burgess, who put Quakers 2-0 up five minutes into the second half, when sub Liam Hardy, with his back to goal, laid the ball off for him to score from six yards out.
Amar Purewal nearly got another when he got away in the inside left position, but he fired over the top.
Burgess was then subbed for teenager James Marley, and as Quakers re-organised at the back, Izzy Mbire missed an easy chance to score from six yards.
Quakers looked sharper in the second half, and took control of the game, with Purewal going close again,and Ryan Winder having two shots blocked.
Full Time: Harrogate RA 0-2 Darlington
Darlington: Elliott (sub Dawson 45), Marrs (sub Scott 45), Watson (sub Lovegreen 45), Portas, Burgess, Galbraith, Winder, L Scott (sub Hardy 45), Cartman (sub Turnbull 45), Gaskell (sub Purewal 45), Nightingale (sub Mitchell 45). Subs not used: Marley