Darlington hope Penrith game gets the go-ahead

Darlington are hoping today's game with Penrith gets the go-ahead as they bid to build on Wednesday's encouraging performance against Spennymoor Town.

Although no pitch inspection has been announced, torrential rain has left the game at Heritage Park in doubt and Quakers will work on draining the playing surface this morning.

Should the game get the thumbs-up, they will be bidding to continue from where they left off in midweek.

Top-of-the-table Darlington drew 0-0 with second-placed Moors, but they shaded the play and manager Martin Gray believed only a failure to take chances cost Quakers victory.

Terry Galbraith was among the team's stand-out performers in his third game for the club, all of them ending in a different outcome.

His debut was a defeat at Newton Aycliffe, when he played left-back, and he moved into midfield for the win at Durham City last Saturday.

The former Dunston player joined last month when Gray said he was signed to be used at left-back, but the manager believes Galbraith is capable of holding his own in the centre of the pitch

"I'm a bit of a utility man, but I like to play in centre-midfield or even wide-left," said Galbraith, who played as a left-winger against Quakers earlier in the season.

"Ideally I prefer to play further up the pitch, but I can drop in at left-back. I like to be a bit more involved in the game than I am at left-back.

"As a youngster I was a centre-midfielder. As a student I was a Gateshead College and represented the England Colleges team then went to Dunston.

"I'd seen the ambition of Darlington and it matched my own. Hopefully I can go up the leagues with this club.

"Martin talked about the ambition of the club and how he sees it going and I see my future going the same way."

Gateshead-based Galbraith has wasted little time in making a good impression, impressing in each of his three games and scoring a penalty against Durham.

"I'm on the set-plays and the pens already!" he said.

"In the first game I played in we got a penalty and it was saved, so in the second game at Durham when we got another penalty Martin shouted 'Terry, get on it' and I'm happy to take them.

"I used to take them for Dunston as well. I think I scored three this season.

"I played for Dunston against Spennymoor at their place and they beat us 2-0. But it was the same again - it could've gone the other way if we'd taken our chances.

"Spennymoor are a good team. They're very strong defensively and they score a lot of goals too. When I played against Darlington they were the same, very good in attack and they kept the back door shut as well.

"On Wednesday, the forwards and the two wide men were brilliant, but if we'd taken a bit more time in front of goal we might have scored."

Although he has swapped positions with Leon Scott, Galbraith has continued in the No. 3 shirt.

He added: "With moving into midfield I thought I might get number four or eight, which are normally the two midfield numbers.

"Three is normally a left-back's number. Maybe it's a puzzler for the opposition to make them think I'm supposed to be playing at left-back!"

Galbraith can be expected to start today, though there is doubt over who will partner him in central midfield.

Craig Gott limped off with an ankle injury on Wednesday, but if he is unable to feature new signing Jonny Davis would make his first start since signing from Hebburn Town.

Davis came off the bench in midweek, as did fellow debutant Nathan Thomas, who has arrived on loan from Sunderland, as has defender Johnny Burn.

The pair have been recommended by Sunderland's under-18s coach, the former Darlington manager Craig Liddle, who was in attendance on Wednesday.

Gray added: "Nathan's unseen, not many people know much about him and sometimes that can catch a team out, so we threw him on against Spennymoor and you could see you what he's about. His pace is exceptional and he's got quick feet on the ball.

"He's a boy with big prospects and we're lucky that Sunderland have allowed us to bring him and Johnny in for the Christmas period."

Penrith are 21st, having recorded their fourth away of the season on Wednesday, 3-1 at Newton Aycliffe.

Quakers won 4-1 at Penrith in October on a night when Adam Nicholls scored twice.

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