Darlington 1883 A-A Warrington Town
WARRINGTON Town's season got off to a false start as their opening day fixture at Darlington was abandoned after 30 minutes.
Shaun Reid's men were 2-0 down when referee Danny Markham went down injured, and was subsequently carried off. Despite efforts to find a replacement in the crowd, the game was abandoned following a half hour stoppage.
It brought back memories of a game last November, when Town's match with Curzon Ashton was abandoned due to floodlight failure, when the home side were 2-0 in front.
On this occasion, Town were trailing to two goals in three minutes that occurred shortly before the game was brought to an abrupt end.
A foul by Tom Hardwick on the edge of the box gave Adam Mitchell the chance to curl in a lovely free kick for the opening goal on 25 minutes, after a period of pressure by the hosts.
Their lead was doubled shortly after when a swirling Mitchell cross was flicked home from close range by Amar Purewal.
Town had rode their luck before then, with debutant goalkeeper Karl Wills struggling with a leg injury picked up in a challenge in the opening minutes.
A blustery wind was causing the visitors trouble from set pieces, and James McCarten, playing at right back, hooked a Mitchell corner off the line on seven minutes after it had beaten everybody in the box.
Darlington striker Graeme Armstrong should perhaps have done better with a back post header some 10 minutes later off Gary Brown's cross, before a superb tackle by Craig Robinson denied the same player a one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper.
The quickfire double put Darlington well in control but a resolution from the abandonment is to be decided by the league.
Warrington's focus now turns to Tuesday night's home match against big-spending Salford City, now owned by the 'Class of 92'.
Darlington: Jameson, Brown, Galbraith, White, Hunter, Portas, Mitchell, Scott, Armstrong, Dowson, Purewal. Subs: Fisher, Bell, Hatch, Hopson, Reed.
Warrington: Wills, McCarten, Doughty, Parle, Hardwick, Robinson, Roberts, Corrigan, Wharton, Simm, Metcalfe. Subs: Hickey, Mooney, Gahgan, Davies, Jones.