Home league match played on 24 March 2018.
Kicked off at 3:00 PM

Today saw a Dalton team turn up very relaxed and seeming very focused on the game ahead of them. There was a buzz in the changing rooms prematch which hadn’t been seen for a long time. After last weeks performance it was a surprise to see the players seeming confident even more so that they were about to face unbeaten Leyland away from home which rarely provides a strong hold for the bullets. All prematch prep sorted and total focus ahead of the fixture. Craig won the toss for the first time this season and chose to play uphill. The hard work lasted all of 90 seconds when a half hearted overhead cross/ hit and hope was turned in by the home side. This didn’t seem to faze Dalton who grew in confidence throughout the half. A couple of good saves from stand in keeper Robbie Baker and a dubious offside against Robbie McMurdo who’s shot rifled past the keeper into the net meant the score line at half time stayed 1-0 to the home team.

I expressed how much upset had been caused in the first half, although not really testing their keeper we had created some decent half chances and showed in periods that we were a equal match for the opposition. A reminder of personal jobs and collective battles seemed to raise the team as they left the dressing room.

In the 2nd half Dalton seemed to pin the home side back, this caused Leyland who had been very solid seemed to look very panicked in possession, rushing and making basic errors. In the mist of all the pressure Leyland were very unfortunate not to extend the lead when a couple of clear chances went begging. 67 minutes in and Dalton dragged a club legend Ian Callison out of retirement. His presence on the pitch instantly lifted the boys in Red & Black. Minutes after his arrival he linked up neatly with long time team mate and good friend Gareth Jones who very calmly rounded the keeper and slotted in his 15th of the campaign. This caused big upset with the home side who started to leave an elbow, feet and anything else possible into most challenges which resulted in them being reduced to 10 men. Suddenly with a upper hand Dalton went from strength to strength and pinned Leyland in their own half. A long throw-in saw Ian Callison challenge for a ball in the air which bounced down and a shot fired to only hit the arm of a defender. When the referee blew for a penalty all the travelling players, staff and dedicated traveling supporters just knew their would only be one outcome. Sure enough Gareth Jones again slotted in calmly to give the travelling team a 2-1 lead. Every single Dalton seemed very focused and driven to succeed. When the referee mentioned we’d have 6 minutes of injury time we knew it would be a backs to the wall kind of finish. Little did we expect for a stray elbow to be laced onto the head of Jack Hurst on the edge of the home sides technical area or for him to then get kicked whilst on the floor by a member of the coaching team which forced the game to end in a very unpleasant manor. All in all the boys dug deep and ground out a brilliant result, showing true character and a willingness to win.

Special mentions to Ian Callison for his appearance & Robbie Baker for his game between the sticks

3 Points George Akred 2 Points Gareth Jones 1 Point Robbie Baker

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