Football: Old pals' act fires Darcy's to Sentinel Cup victory
GOAL gluttons Darcy's were back to their juggernaut best as they came from behind to beat Milton Wanderers 3-1.
Two teams seen as potential powerhouses in Potteries Sunday football attracted a crowd of more than 250 spectators when they were thrown together in the first round of the Sentinel Sunday Cup.
Potteries League Division Two high-fliers Milton, managed by Kidderminster Harriers striker Ant Malbon, took the lead in the first half through Mark Groom.
Darcy's had lost for the first time since forming in the summer when they came up against Werrington Windmill in the Staffs FA TB Williamson Cup seven days earlier.
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But no-one was writing off a team who had won all their previous 15 games, and Matt Cooke's corner was deflected home to make it 1-1 early after the break.
Captain Chris Coleman then put Darcy's ahead, but the game continued to swing back and forth until Steve Brannan bagged their third goal – and his 28th in 15 games this campaign.
"What a game of football it was," said Darcy's secretary Darren Shenton, who has now seen his side score 108 goals in all this term.
"Milton were excellent – very well organised – and it was quite cagey. They scored first, but it was always very even. It took a great corner from Matt to bring us level.
"Chris stepped up to put us ahead, but they were still pushing us hard before Steve got our third.
"The league is our priority, but the League Cup and the Sentinel Cup are also great to judge where we are in terms of the bigger picture."
Darcy's were founded in June after a group of friends including Brannan, Liam Shotton and Jimmy Dunn sounded out Shenton, who had helped run the Fenton Town junior side for the past two decades, about forming a new side.
"These lads have all played for some good teams over the years, but they had always wanted to play together as mates," Shenton explained.
"They liked the principles we had with Fenton Town, to encourage rather than criticise and make sure everyone could get a game each week, regardless of results.
"We have stuck to that ethos and we've got a very tight-knit group who are playing expansive football and scoring for fun.
"It has been a brilliant experience. Before this season my teams had won 11 matches in 22 years. They have to bring me back down to earth each Sunday."
In Coors League action, AFC Clayton moved up to second in Division Three with a hard earned 3-1 win against Silver Birch after being a goal down at the break.
Birch went ahead with an own goal and hit the post before Clayton stepped up a gear in the second half.
Jim Hillman beat the offside trap to break clear and lay it off for substitutes Rich Taylor and Ryan Allcock to combine before the latter took the chance to equalise.
Skipper Ben Davies buried an Andrew Tainton corner to make it 2-1 before Hillman added a third to seal the victory after a period of pressure.