|Harriers out of cup after dismal performance.
The Harriers went crashing out of this seasons FA Cup to a single goal but to be honest we never looked to be in it anyway.
We knew there would be some changes to the side from recent weeks with the absence of half our forward line.
Larkin was not being allowed to play in this game by Dave Jones, the Wolves manager, and Ian Foster was out through suspension.
We didn't bank on Drewe Broughton to be missing though.
From the talk in the Arms before the game the rumour was that he had been sent back home with flu.
But the loss of those three doesn't explain the poor performance from midfield.
Blake seemed to be half asleep and Sall was having a howler.
Danny Williams and Dean Bennett were trying their best but it wasn't enough.
The service to new loan signing Henriksen just wasn't there.
Add to all this the below par showings from Stamps, Hinton and Brock then it was going to be a long fruitless afternoon.
Darlington started strongly putting Stamps and Brockie under pressure in the first few minutes and then they came close to opening the scoring when Neil Wainwright, who yesterday had twisted his ankle??, sent the ball just wide with Brockie stood rooted to the spot.
It took 10 minutes for the Harriers to see a bit of the action but our first chance came when a shot by Henriksen from Danny Williams free kick was deflected out for a corner.
Harriers then had the ball in the net after twenty minutes but Birdies shot was disallowed for offside.
We came very close to scoring though when Bird met a cross from our best player, Bennett, but his header was amazingly scooped over the bar by a Darlington player with their keeper Collett beaten.
The Reds were starting to see more of the action now and Darlington had faded away after their positive start.
Darlington were looking a poor side but sad to say we didn't look much better.
Bird missed another chance to open the scoring and then Bomber forced Collett into a diving save.
That was our last shot on target for the rest of the first half.
Darlington started with a substitution when they took off Reed and bought on McGurk.
Again Darlington started the stronger and it wasn't long before their goal arrived.
The ball had gone out for a throw in but with the Harriers players protesting that it should be in our favour the ref awarded it to Darlington.
With the players still arguing with the ref the throw was made and from the resulting cross Campbell headed the ball past Brockie with out a defender in sight.
Stamps found his name in the book before the ref re-started the game.
After the goal came the Harriers best spell when they bombarded the Darlo goal but could not find a way through.
The best chance of this spell falling to Bo Henriksen whose split second overhead kick went well over the crossbar.
Bo had another chance to grab the equaliser minutes later but his powerful shot went inches wide of the target.
Andy Ducros came on for the disappointing Blake in the 70th minute but the difference he made was minimal. The decisive passes into the box for Henriksen were still not there, instead Ducros made more square balls than Bazza Horne on a good day.
Then came the moment when half of the North Stand thought we had scored.
Ian Clarkson crossed the ball into the area and there was Scott Stamps to connect with a powerful header that beat the keeper, hit the inside of the post and came out to be booted away by a Darlo defender.
We could not believe that the ball had not gone in.
Danny Williams found his name in the book for a stupid two footed challenge just after and now finds himself on 5 bookings and a one match ban looming.
Jan bought on Sam Shilton for Appleby after that but apart from Sam's 25yd effort it was too late.
I'm sorry if this report reads as a negative one but this was one game that we should have, and needed, to win.
Lionel says we need the money and that was £20,000 thrown away.
The biggest question is reserved for Jan. Where was the logic in replacing Broughton with the lightweight Bird when we had a straight replacement in Stewart Hadley.
Hadley may not be flavour of the month at the moment but he knows what to do as a centre forward, something that sadly Birdie didn't.
At the end of the day though you can't blame one man for not being capable of doing the job he was given. This was a day when far too many players under achieved and they should be asking themselves why.
Harriers-Online Man of the Match is
The only member of the midfield who seemed to know what to do.
Brock, Clarkson, Hinton, Sall, Stamps, Bennett, Williams, Blake, Bird, Appleby, Henriksen.
Subs; Smith, Shilton, Murphy, Ducros, Corbett.
Collett, Betts, Reed, Brightwell, Heckingbottom, Wainwright, Campbell, Brumwell, Healy, Hodgson, Jackson.
Subs; Ford, Convery, Van der Geest, Sheeran, McGurk.
Yellow. Harriers 2. Stamps, Williams.
Yellow. Darlington 1. Jackson.
Red. Harriers 0.
Red. Darlington 0.
Referee;Mr A Butler (Sutton-in-Ashfield).
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