Express & Star

Darlaston Town snare bragging rights in derby day thriller with Dudley Town

A stoppage-time penalty winner from Darlaston Town’s James Rowland edged a thrilling Black Country derby against plucky Dudley Town.


Darlo were 3-2 winners in front of a buzzing crowd of 220 and are now fifth in the Midland Premier. The visitors remain second-bottom with just one win from 13 attempts but earned admiration for their performance against the odds.

It appeared the Robins would claim an unlikely point having twice equalised through Connor Archer and a Harry Crook penalty 15 minutes from time after former Shrewsbury Town youngster Rowland opened the scoring early on and Aaron Bishop netted the hosts’ other goal.

But Lewis Mitchell was issued a second yellow card for a handball in stoppage time, allowing Rowland the chance to fire a winner.

“It’s been another mad busy week, and it was nice to finish it with three points – massive credit to Dudley they could easily have taken a point yesterday, they never give in against my sides, they are horrible games that I’m glad to see the back of,” said Darlaston boss Dean Gill, whose side host an Albion XI in Birmingham Senior Cup action tomorrow night.

“It feels like I have 20 or 30 moving parts every week currently and that’s definitely double what I will have in a normal busy week. I’ve never worked so hard to try and keep us moving forward.”

High-flying Lichfield City leapt a place to second thanks to Lewi Burnside’s last-gasp effort to earn a draw against Stourport Swifts.

Both goals arrived in the second period as Ben Tilbury had the seventh-placed hosts – who had striker Goodluck Eke sent off for two cautions following an off-ball incident on 30 minutes – ahead on the hour.

But Burnside’s equaliser took City above Highgate United into second. Lichfield have lost just once from 14 league games.

Stone Old Alleynians, in 11th, were 4-2 winners at Studley with Sam Wilson, twice, Luke Askey and David Ablewhite on target.

Fellow mid-table outfit AFC Wulfrunians were beaten 1-0 at Uttoxeter Town after Tom Thorley’s late winner.

Tividale’s home clash with Northwich Victoria and Wolverhampton Casuals’ trip to Bewdley fell to waterlogged pitches.

Wednesfield enjoyed a 4-2 win at Nuneaton Griff in Division One, with Smethwick Rangers and Bilston Town losing 4-1 and 2-1 at Allscott and Ingles respectively. Other games fell to the weather.

Brocton crashed out of the FA Vase second round in spectacular style, losing 5-3 at Ashby Ivanhoe. Regan Smith scored twice for the Badgers.

Stafford Town lost in North West Counties League’s Macron Cup, 2-1 at Cheadle. In First Division South, Eccleshall claimed a useful point, drawing 1-1 at Cammell Laird.