8:00am Saturday 21st September 2013
By Craig Stoddart
He's a Wembley winner remembered for his toothless grin in the immediate aftermath of Darlington's dramatic FA Trophy triumph.
Now though, Chris Moore wants to make his mark for Darlington with his football achievements.
He lost two of his teeth in a challenge early in the FA Trophy final in May 2011 against Mansfield Town, but continued to play a full part in the game, which Quakers won 1-0.
It was the high point of the Tynesider's first spell with the club that he rejoined in the summer and last Saturday scored a fine goal that put the seal on a 4-0 win over Mossley.
After receiving a crossfield pass from Stephen Thompson, Moore took one touch to cut inside before delicately lofting the ball over the keeper, the perfect response to being dropped seven days previously.
Moore said: "It was a good goal, but I was just happy to score.
"That was my sixth game of the season and I hadn't scored, so it was about time. In the position I play you've got to chip in with a few.
"Hopefully there's more to come, now that I've got the first one. I don't like to set targets, but I'd like to get into double figures."
Having immediately earned his place back in the team, Moore will hope for another goal today when Darlington face 15th-placed Harrogate RA at Heritage Park.
A fortnight ago, the right-winger was benched for the game at Clitheroe, but with Darlington 2-0 down at the break manager Martin Gray made use of his substitutions and Moore was among those who made a second-half impact.
He said: "We were losing when I came on and then we won 3-2, but I'm sure it wasn't all down to me! I think it was down to us playing with more width and the opposition sat back a bit.
"You always want to start, but to be honest I can play better than I had been. I had to just take it on the chin and try to play well when I came on.
"You've got to play your way into the team in those situations because nobody has a God-given right to be in the team. It's different when you think you're playing well and are then dropped, but I knew I could have played better.
"It's down to yourself, what are you going to do about it?"
Moore is sure to start today as Gray is likely to select the same XI as last Saturday, with Paul Weldon due to undergo a fitness test, though Jordan Robinson is available after returning from holiday.
However, as Chris Hunter impressed when he was moved to centre-back last week, as did debutant Dan Hall at right-back after coming off the bench, the manager may contemplate implementing those changes from the start today.
Quakers can go top with a win if Curzon Ashton fail to take three points at eighth-placed Northwich Victoria.
With only the top team winning automatic promotion and the next four contesting the play-offs, finishing first is clearly Quakers' aim.
Moore added: "It's no secret that we want to win promotion, nobody's hiding from that.
"It's a bit of an unknown league and it's tough to make predictions, but we've started quite well. It would have been nice to have six wins out of six, but we are where we are.
"All of the teams are very organised. Because a lot of the teams are over in the North-West, where there's a lot of professional clubs, most of the players will have started out higher up and have had a good grounding.
"The Northern League is the best league in the country at its level - they win the Vase every year - but the pool of talent is bigger in the North-West. People talk it down, but it's been tough so far."
After being released from Darlington by Mark Cooper after the Trophy final, Moore spent time with Gateshead, Barrow and Spennymoor before returning to Quakers.
He first joined during Steve Staunton's tenure, and he added: "I was buzzing to come back.
"I couldn't wait for the season to get going because I agreed to sign at the end of last season, so it felt like I had to wait a while to get going.
"It's been fantastic. It's a great set-up, a great bunch of lads and you've only got yourself to blame if it doesn't work out.
"And it would be nice if people talked about what I did on the pitch instead of what happened with my teeth at Wembley."
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