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Couldn't beat nine men so it's all change.

DARLINGTON will be wielding the axe when they play their next game at home to Forest Green on Saturday.

The Quakers have had some low moments in recent years but Saturday's inability to beat nine men who had an outfield player in goal for more than half the game ranks among the most disappointing.

Quakers seemingly had the points in their grasp at halftime after part-time Eastbourne had full-back Neil Jenkins and 'keeper Rikki Banks red carded in the space of two minutes.

The home side showed more passion and commitment than their more illustrious opponents, though, and it didn't come as much of a surprise when little Jamie Taylor found space among Darlington's tall defenders to head a 69th minute equaliser.

This cancelled out Chris Senior's opening goal for Quakers just before half-time.

There has been an angry response from Darlington fans since the debacle on Saturday, and assistant manager Richard Dryden said: "If I was a Darlington fan, I'd be very disappointed if we fielded the same 11 for the next game.

"We were unprofessional. At half-time, when we were 1-0 up, we said plenty to reinforce the fact that we hadn't won the game.

"But we started sloppy in the second half and when a team does that against either nine or ten men, you give them encouragement and a little bit of belief that they can hold on.

"Eastbourne kept the ball better with nine men than they did with 11. We got what we deserved.

"We put enough balls into the box in the first and second halves to seal the game.

"But if people don't want to get in the box and stick their head on them, then we'll pull them out and get somebody in who is prepared to."

Quakers had a handful of chances to win the game in the second half, the best of them falling to Michael Smith whose effort was pushed around the post by stand-in 'keeper Matt Smart.

The only consolation is that Quakers are still unbeaten away from home in the league and have lost just once in seven league games.

On this evidence, however, the promotion campaign looks in serious danger of coming off the rails - if it hasn't done so already.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 6, 2010
Words:376
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