8:00am Thursday 17th October 2013
By Craig Stoddart
DARLINGTON have sold striker Andy Johnson to Spennymoor Town for an undisclosed fee, with manager Martin Gray explaining the shock move is due to "football reasons".
He only joined during June and scored six goals at the start of the campaign.
However, Quakers manager Martin Gray explained: "It's purely for football reasons.
"We had six forwards which is too many, so it's a football decision and it's a shame it hasn't worked out.
"Some things don't work out in football as well as you'd like them to and as a manager you've got to make decisions. You get judged as a manager on your decisions.
"We wish him good luck for the future at his new club."
While Quakers do not wish to reveal the transfer figure involved, Gray did say that Johnson's move back to the Northern League has been: "Financially good for the club."
Johnson joined on a free transfer from Bishop Auckland and was an immediate hit, scoring six goals in his first five appearances.
But he then suffered an ankle injury in the defeat at Ramsbottom United while Gray also brought in Nathan Fisher, a player he has wanted since the start of last season.
Following his form in front of goal for Bishop, Darlington gave Johnson a two-year contract when he joined in June.
He scored 38 goals last term and 39 the year before, so a string of clubs chased him at the end of last season including Spennymoor, Shildon, West Auckland, Celtic Nation, Dunston and Whitley Bay.
The 26-year-old did not ask to leave Darlington and, speaking on Twitter last night, he said: "I was looking forward to a good two seasons with the Quakers. Suppose that is football for you.
"Class set of lads at Darlo and the fans were brilliant. Six goals in as many games, shame its ended so soon."
As Fisher is yet to receive international clearance to play, he remains in limbo.
Darlington have played six games since the former Gateshead forward joined from a club in Thailand.
"Bringing Fisher in has added to the competition," added Gray. "We're hopeful that we'll get his situation sorted this week, we're somewhere near."
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group