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Gray goes cool on former Quakers
11:15am Tuesday 17th July 2012 in Sport
DARLINGTON have shelved their interest in former players Josh Gray and John Alexander, who had both been hoping for a return to the club.
The trialists played on Saturday at Whitby, but boss Martin Gray is no longer interested in the pair.
Alexander came off the bench in last night’s 3-0 warmup win at Northallerton when first half goals from Gary Brown, Adam Nicholls and Jamie Clarke were enough against the Northern League second division side in front of a crowd of 710, a record attendance at the ground.
Having been unavailable on Saturday due to a family commitment, Brown made his first start and he gave Quakers the lead on 22 minutes.
The centre-back tapped in from close-range after Northallerton keeper Dale Hobson spilled a free-kick.
Until that point there had been little between the sides, with the only effort of note a deflected shot by Town defender Craig Winter, the son of former Premier League referee Jeff.
In goal again for Darlington was Jack Norton, who was well protected by his defence.
Northallerton winger Stuart Hardy and striker Colin Anderson threatened with their pace, but Quakers added two quick goals before the break to seal the win.
The second was created by striker Shaun Reay and scored by winger Nicholls, Reay running with the ball up the left before delivering a low cross to the unmarked Nicholls to poke home.
Clarke added the third with an eye-catching free-kick, one that Hobson had little chance of stopping.
After midfielder Darren Richardson had been fouled 20 yards from goal, Clarke curled a shot over the wall and in off the post, and that was almost his last action as he was replaced at the break as one of a raft of changes.
The hosts, managed by Mark Fanning, changed eight of their XI at the break, while Gray sent on trialist strikers Steve Johnson and Alexander.
Hobson, replaced at the break by Fanning, played the final 20 minutes for Darlington having also featured as a trialist at Whitby.
That was one of the few scoring chances during a scrappy second half. Quakers were without trialist midfielder Adrian Webster due to injury.
Northallerton : Hobson; Hickman, Winter, Smurthwaite, Dunn; Hardy, Banks, M Butterworth, S Butterworth, Bowman; Anderson. Subs: Roberts, Laing, Caisley, Chillingworth, Hemingborough, Reeves, Craggs, Vernels
Darlington (4-4-2): Norton (Hobson 71); Reid (Mitchell 59), Brown, Arjan Purewal, Gray; Nicholls (Ellison 46), Richardson (Allison 71), Clough, Amar Purewal (Lowes 62); Reay (Alexander 46), Clarke (Johnson 46). Subs (not used): Harrison, Scott, Emms.