Soccer

Donawa delighted to make key contributions

  • Key contributions: Justin Donawa has scored goals in three straight games for Darlington (Photograph courtesy of Darlington FC)

Justin Donawa says it is “pleasing to make an impact” after netting his third goal in as many appearances to help Darlington advance to the last qualifying round of the FA Cup at the weekend.

The Bermuda international notched his team’s second to “seal the game off” in a 2-0 win away to Leamington in the FA Cup third qualifying round last Saturday after coming on as a 77th-minute substitute.

“Obviously coming off the bench you want to make an impact; no matter if it’s making a game-saving tackle or winning a game-saving header or scoring a goal,” Donawa said in a club interview.

“I’ve been lucky enough to come in last three appearances and make an impact with goals, so can’t be more pleased.”

The goal was also the former Somerset Trojans forward’s second in the competition having hit the target in a 3-1 victory away to Trafford in the previous round to officially open his account for the Vanarama National League North side.

“I honestly thought it had gotten away from me a little bit,” the son of former top local distance runner Jay Donawa said.

“I thought let me just get it back across as hard as I can. Obviously, it went in my favour and went in the back of the net and made us breath easier on the back end of that game.”

As for his team’s overall display, Donawa added: “I think we were very disciplined.

“We knew that the later we stayed in the game the more it would go in our favour, and it proved just that. Ty [Tyrone O’Neill] had a wonderful finish and I was able to seal it off.”

Darlington will meet the winner of today’s FA Cup third-round qualifying replay between Tamworth and Hereford, who played to a goalless draw at the weekend, in the next round on a date yet to be confirmed.

It is the first time that Darlington are into the last qualifying round of the FA Cup as a fan-owned club.

“We haven’t had much luck in the FA Cup in the past couple of years and for us to make a little bit of a run now is good,” Donawa said.

“We have been slackened off a little bit in the league in this last month or so and for us to get a couple wins on the bounce is just key. And the fact that it’s an FA Cup match on top of that makes it sweeter.”

Donawa praised his team’s fans who have stuck behind he and his team-mates even through the tough times.

“The fans have stuck by us this whole time even through the rough results we’ve had,” he said.

“So for them to come here and really back us they’ve been the twelfth man honestly, when we’ve been 1-0 down or what have you, so just thank you to the fans for coming out and really supporting us.”

Donawa and compatriot Osagi Bascome, who was an unused substitute at the weekend, will miss Darlington’s league match at home to Boston on Saturday as they will be on international duty for Bermuda against Mexico in the Concacaf Nations League.