Darlington 0, Chesterfield 0

DARLINGTON’S winless run stretched to eight games in frustrating fashion.

DARLINGTON’S winless run stretched to eight games in frustrating fashion.

They dominated possession but struggled to break down a resolute Chesterfield defence. On the few times they did, their finishing was wayward.

The Quakers handed 16-year-old striker Curtis Main his first start while Pawel Abbott returned after injury for his first game of the season.

But neither youth nor experience could find a way through.

Main set up the best chance of the game on 50 minutes when he picked out Jason Kennedy with a lofted pass. But the midfielder, unmarked and with only keeper Tommy Lee to beat, fired tamely at the keeper. Lee made another smart save on 73 minutes, keeping out Billy Clarke’s low shot.

But Clarke should have broken the deadlock two minutes from time when he raced on to a cross from winger Seb Carole but couldn’t get a clean connection on the ball.

Chesterfield had their moments, notably just before half-time when Jamie Winter and James Lowry had goal-bound shots blocked in quick succession.

But for the most part Chesterfield, playing their third game of the week, were content to soak up Darlington pressure – and they did it well.

When Abbott, who has been out all season with knee and ankle trouble, came off the bench to a standing ovation on 74 minutes, Darlington posed more of a threat.

Twice he had the defence at full stretch to deal with balls into the penalty area. But the breakthrough wouldn’t come as Darlington’s promotion bid continued to falter.

“We’ve drawn four in a row but need to start winning,” said manager Dave Penney.

“It was a bit of a flat game. We didn’t make the most of the chances we created and it’s important that the players keep believing in themselves.”

Meanwhile, Darlington have extended the loan of striker Liam Hatch – who missed the game through injury – until the end of the season.

DARLINGTON: Brown, Austin (Abbott 74), White, Foster, Valentine, Purdie, Flynn, Kennedy, Burgmeier (Carole 54), Foran, Main (Clarke 61). Subs (not used): Oakes, Ryan.

Booked: Foran.

CHESTERFIELD: Lee, Picken, Downes, Hall, Austin, Lowry, Kerry, Winter, Robertson, Ward, Boden. Subs (not used): Carson, Currie, Bowery, Askham, Moller.

Booked: Robertson.

Attendance: 3,352.

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer