FREE-scoring AFC Darwen made it 13 goals in two games with another excellent performance on the artificial pitch of Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club.

Despite missing a host of players from the first team squad, Darwen carried on from where the left off against Oldham Boro who they beat 9-0 on Wednesday night.


Darwen opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Paul Coote fired the visitors ahead after good work from captain Adam Douglas and Karl Turner.

Darwen should have doubled their lead with eight minutes of the half left when Conor Gaul crossed from left but Turner blasted over the cross bar from close range after Ryan Steele had touched the ball back in to his path.

But the visitors did increase their lead just before half time as Steele and Coote combined to set up Turner in the box, who made no mistake second time around in sliding the ball home.

It was a quiet start to the second half with few incidents of note until the 74th minute when Coote worked his way into the box and set up Kiel Lonsdale to score his first league goal of the season, and third in total. Darwen’s Kyle Smith announced his arrival on the pitch two minutes later with a 30 yard effort which screamed just over the bar.

With 10 minutes remaining, Gaul cut in from the left to set up Steele - who scored fourtimes against Oldham in midweek - who beat the offside trap and David Nevitt in the Widnes goal to score Darwen’s fourth.

Darwen, who are now up to sixth place, looked for a fifth as the game wound down.

After the Widnes defence cleared two efforts, Gaul unleashed a wonderful strike from the edge of the area that Nevitt stopped brilliantly by diving across his goal to push the shot wide.

And in the closing stages, the home defence managed to clear another Darwen effort from the corner off the line.