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Cumbria trip for Quakers
Darlington’s aim is to strengthen their lead at the top of the Ebac Northern League this evening when they make their longest trip of the season.
They play at Celtic Nation, who are based in Carlisle, the 150-mile round trip to Gillford Park easily being Quakers’ furthest of their campaign.
They hope to return home having widened the gap as second-placed Spennymoor are not in action again until the weekend.
Darlington extended their lead to nine points ahead of Moors, and 17 over Bedlington, who Quakers play this weekend, when they comprehensively defeated Ashington 6-1 on Saturday.
Manager Martin Gray believed it was his side’s most impressive performance of the season, which has seen Darlington win 14 of their 15 league games.
Despite the manner of Saturday’s win, though, he did not feel able to relax on the touchline.
He said: “I still have to keep them going all of the time, demanding more from them. I demand so much from the players because I can’t afford any standards to drop.
“The players have set standards and so have we as staff so we’ve got to keep on it all the time because if you don’t you’ll end up going backwards.”
Winger Chris Emms added the final goal against Ashington, but he lost his record as being the only outfield player to have started all of Darlington’s league matches.
“I just wanted to freshen things up,” explained Gray. “He was alright about it, he knows it’s all about the squad so we was fine with the decision.”
Emms and Amar Purewal have started or been used as a substitute in every league game, but, only goalkeeper Jack Norton has started every match.
Midfielder Craig Gott remains unavailable due to suspension, so Gray is unlikely to make changes this evening, though he has been working on bringing in a new player since last week.
They last week made Tony Lee, the former Gateshead and Bishop Auckland boss, joint-manager with Steve Skinner.
He is the father of ex-Quakers and Hartlepool defender Graeme Lee who signed in the summer, though he has not played due to injury. Adam Boyd also joined, but he left the Cumbrian club a fortnight ago by “mutual agreement”.
Kick-off this evening is 7.45pm.