We last played the Quakers in 2012 but since then a Creditors Voluntary Agreement (CVA) saw them drop four divisions into the Northern League Division One and an enforced change of name to Darlington 1883 because they were no longer allowed to play under their original name. Their troubles actually go back many years previous to that when former owner George Reynolds built them the 25,000 seater Reynolds Arena which soon put them into administration due to the costs and Reynolds criminal activities. Memorably it was us that inflicted a 2-0 defeat on them on the day that the stadium opened.
Now, thanks to dedicated fans and a few changes of home, the club are finally making their way back and so far with this, their first season at this level, they are sitting just above us in fourth place with their most recent score being an excellent one at FC Utd of Manchester last Monday when they won 3-2 at the heavily bankrolled club. A few days previous they had a less memorable result losing 4-3 at home to Alfreton.
Most of their squad are made up players that have been in and around this level for years with possibly the most notable being Josh Gillies from Gatesheads side of last season as did Phil Turnbull who had been with the Heed since 2008. The only injury they appear to have is to two of their keepers - Mark Bell and Peter Jameson but they have still been playing the latter in their games and prepared to risk it. Alfreton didn't seem to mind so hopefully we won't either.
We'll go into this game on the back of another squeaky bum game last Monday when we beat Altrincham 1-0 but made hard work of it just as we did at Boston two days previous when we let slip another 1-0 lead to end up with a drawn game. Both games we played so well that we should have won both easily but again it was down to a wealth of missed chances from our strikers. Something that really does need to be sorted out soon.
One bit of good news today was the issuing of a year long contract to Ryan Croasdale (left) following some stellar showings from him since Ashley Carters three match suspension kicked in. It will be Carters last game out at Darlington and it'll be interesting to see if he just steps back into the starting eleven at Telford this coming Tuesday or if he has to fight his way back. In my view Carters performance previous tohis red card were nowhere good enough anyway and he should remain a fringe player.
We were also almost without James McQuilkin for the Darlington game too after he picked up his fifth booking of the season (out of just seven games??) but that won't kick in until Telford under this weird seven day ruling they have down here in this division. Our only injury is with Jared Hodgkiss but he could be on the bench tomorrow evening. Earlier today we let Academy graduate James Hancocks go out on loan to Halesowen.
This is going to be a tough old game up there and we need to be testing either of their two dodgy keepers out for the full ninety minutes. If we can do that we should return with something.
Photo © KHFC
Hornby, Hodgkiss, Lowe, Digie, Williams, Thomas, Tunnicliffe, Clarke, Francis-Angol, Croasdale, Stambolziev, Gnahoua, Truslove, Austin, A Brown, Sweeney, N'Gwatala, Dieseruvwe, Waite, Taylor.
Darlington FC from:
McLaren, Bell, Jameson, Portas, Mitchell, Nowakowski, Purewal, Wearmouth, Hunter, G Brown, Saunders, Watson, Gillies, Burgess, Gaskell, Scott, Hardy, Marrs, Beck, Lovegreen, Cartman, Turnbull, Thompson, Galbraith.
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