DARLINGTON shot themselves in the foot, snatching a draw from the jaws of victory against Luton Town last night.
Ahead in the 86th minute courtesy of a Ryan Bowman penalty, they let the Hatters back in to pinch a late equaliser.
The Quakers were then presented with a golden opportunity to claim all three points in the dying seconds, but Bowman saw his second penalty saved by Mark Tyler.
The Quakers remain in administration, remain, after 11 games without victory, in the relegation zone.
What is more, what doesn’t help, is that while share sales have stalled, so too, on the evidence of yesterday, has the town’s appetite for turning up to watch.
Craig Liddle could name only three on the bench last night. There weren’t many more in the stands, Neasham Road’s smallest crowd of the season by some way.
So where are you all, while ‘your’ club fights to survive?
Fights well, too. Jack Watson, four times caretaker manager, scout extraordinaire, who died on Saturday, aged 90, and was afforded a minute’s applause, would have been proud, as his former team stood firm while Luton huffed and wheezed.
Inside four minutes Craig McAllister headed Robbie Wilmott’s corner – the first of many – over, and four minutes later thumped an angled shot at Jordan Pickford. Lofting an effort well over at the other end, Adam Rundle briefly interrupted the prevailing flow of traffic.
But the Hatters were swiftly back on top. Alex Lawless and ex-Quaker Greg Taylor saw strikes blocked by Paul Arnison, Janos Kovacs’ header was deflected behind and from the resultant corner, McAllister headed over, again.
Yet for all Luton’s superior share of opportunities, they were far from dominant. Third against third-bottom? Really?
Indeed, midway through the first half Darlington fashioned their best chances thus far.
First, Aaron Brown’s 20-yard free-kick looked to be nestling in the bottom corner of the net, low to Tyler’s right, but the Luton goalkeeper dropped to palm around the post.
From the ensuing corner, Neil Wainwright’s close-range, goalbound shot was blocked by a combination of Ed Asafu-Adjaye and Kovacs.