Momentum is vital for Darlington

PLAY-OFF PUSH: Darlington manager Martin Gray

PLAY-OFF PUSH: Darlington manager Martin Gray

First published in Darlington FC Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Sports Editor

With three league games to play, Darlington manager Martin Gray admits building momentum to take into the play-offs is crucial to Quakers' promotion hopes.

They sealed their place in the top-five with Saturday's 3-0 win over Padiham, though Darlington did not hit top gear and they will look for an improved performance on Saturday against Farsley.

While Quakers are aiming to finish second to secure home advantage in the play-offs, the west Yorkshire club are aiming to join Gray's team in the end-of-season promotion decider.

"It's about momentum now," said the manager. "We've got to focus on the next game, not the next three.

"Farsley at home is a big game. They're going for the play-offs, there's a lot riding on the game.

"Our performance on Saturday puts us in the right frame of mind."

Farsley inflicted Darlington's first defeat of the season back in August, a 4-2 loss in which Aiden Savory bagged a hat-trick.

The 19-goal striker was not on the scoresheet in last night's encounter with Curzon Ashton, but Farsley still managed to win 2-1, the champions' second defeat in three days, having also lost to Warrington on Saturday.

Farsley, who are now fifth, also beat fellow play-off hopefuls Lancaster City on Saturday, so Darlington know they are in for a test of their promotion credentials at Heritage Park.

Looking back to the game in August, Gray said: "A few mistakes cost us on the day and it was disappointing, but we weren't the team then that we are now. We didn't do ourselves justice.

"We've made lots of changes since then and I'm looking forward to the game."

* Darlington's end-of-season presentation night will take place on May 24 at 7pm at the Dolphin Centre. Tickets for the event, for over-18s only, will be available soon and they will cost £5.

* Darlington fan Alan Bennett is interested in forming a Quakers supporters group in Aycliffe. Anyone interested can email him on alanmbennett@hotmail.com or call 07775-987488.

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