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Thompson wants more of the same
New signing Stephen Thompson is expected to make his Darlington debut this evening against Newton Aycliffe and he will hope to carry on from where he left off with Durham City.
The forward joined Quakers at the weekend having already scored four goals this season, two of them being against Aycliffe last Tuesday.
The 23-year-old bagged a brace in Durham’s 5-2 win, his last final league game for City before bringing to an end weeks of talks by agreeing to sign for Martin Gray’s men.
He came through the ranks at Middlesbrough and then played in the Football League at Port Vale before dropping down to AFC Telford and then signing for Durham in the summer of 2010.
"He's different to others that we've got at the club," said Gray. "He's strong and aggressive and probably the opposite to David Dowson.
“Stephen and Dows played together at Durham last season and scored a lot of goals between them."
In making the move he has become the fifth to swap Durham for Darlington this season. At Heritage Park Thompson links up with ex-City team-mates Gary Brown, Arjun Purewal, Amar Purweal and Dowson.
Quakers go into this evening’s game at Heritage Park against third-bottom Aycliffe second in the table having been overtaken last night by West Auckland thanks to their win at Sunderland RCA.
Darlington went top following their 5-0 win over Consett on Saturday, but Gray hopes lesson have been learned from last week’s 4-1 defeat at Guisborough.
“They’ve got to get their minds right and I won’t allow any complacency to creep in again,” said Gray.
“I crept in last week and we got bitten on the backside so that will never happen again, it can’t afford to happen.
“We’ll give Aycliffe as much as respect as we gave Consett because they’re a team that’s capable of winning so you’ve got to make sure that you apply yourself with the right attitude and if you do that, hopefully, you’ll put in a really good performance.
“But what’s more important than last Wednesday is what they did on Saturday and we’ll be asking them to go and do that again.”
Joe Tait is on trial with Hartlepool and played in their 2-1 reserves defeat to Oldham yesterday, but Darlington expect him to be available.
Aycliffe failed to win any of their first eight league and cup matches, but they defeated Marske United on Saturday thanks to a Paul Broom goal.
Danny Mellanby impressed when he came off the bench, but he is unavailable this evening due to the terms of the transfer that saw him return to Aycliffe from Quakers at the beginning of the month.
Aycliffe will also be without former Darlington striker Paul Robinson who has re-joined Jarrow Roofing. He had scored twice in seven appearances.
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