8:00am Saturday 30th November 2013
By Craig Stoddart
Terry Galbraith's goal for Darlington last weekend was perhaps a sign that things are starting to go his way again.
While struggling to shake off an injury, he began the season with a string of below-par displays and was eventually taken out of the central midfield position in which the former Dunston player had excelled last season.
Moved by manager Martin Gray to left-back, where he played regularly for Dunston, Galbraith has steadily worked his way back to fitness and form.
He had been suffering with shin splints, a condition which usually necessitates a period of rest, but he preferred to continue playing, perhaps unwisely
There have been signs that Galbraith is returning to form with some improved displays while a slightly fortuitous goal was the highlight of his man of the match display in a 4-1 win over Ossett Town seven days ago.
From a free-kick on the touchline, Galbraith fired the ball low into the six-yard box, where a defender's outstretched leg turned it past his own goalkeeper to make it 2-0 to Quakers.
He will be in the team today when sixth-placed Darlington travel to Mossley looking for a third successive league win.
"I'm nearly there," said Galbraith, who moved to Darlington from Dunston one year ago yesterday.
"You're meant to get loads of rest. I've strung five or six games together without injury so I'm pushing on and I'm almost back to my best.
"At the start of the season I was struggling with injuries and I did try to play through it, but I wasn't being honest with myself.
"I knew I wasn't 100 per cent fit, but at the same time I wanted to play because I didn't want to lose my place, so all those factors come into it."
Having previously missed only one league match this season, Galbraith was left out of the home game with Northwich Victoria three weeks ago and that rest appears to have been beneficial.
"I did have a rest and that did sort me out," he says.
"Shin splints is very painful, especially when you're playing on harder grounds.
"The pitches are soft now, but when you're playing on harder pitches there's a lot of force coming down on your shins.
"It's got a lot to do with the balls of your feet. I've got a high-arch foot and when your foot hits the floor it should really it hit it flat, but mine lands on the heel so there's greater impact.
"I got some orthotics and they've helped, but I don't know whether that's more psychological!
"I went to see Stephen Capper, the Spennymoor player. He's a podiatrist and it was good of him to come and meet me and do that for me.
"People had been saying I've become too big in my upper body, heavy. I'm not sure who, but there were a few whispers in the changing room. But I'm happy now and I'm enjoying my football."
The fixture at Heritage Park against Mossley in September, a 4-0 home win, was Galbraith's penultimate game in central midfield before being shifted to left-back, but he insists he is happy to be in a defensive position.
He said: "I'm enjoying playing left-back because I'm getting a lot of the ball. We've got Stephen Thompson who can switch the pay, Curtis Edwards passes the ball and I like to get forward as well.
"It's not really an issue to me, playing left-back, as long as I'm playing and playing well.
"You're more involved in midfield because everything comes through there.
"The midfield is the spine of the team, but I'm enjoying it at the minute."
With Mark Bell declaring himself fit following a calf problem, Gray must decide whether to stick with Peter Jameson or recall his experienced first-choice goalkeeper.
Left-back Paul Weldon is also available, having not played since the home win over Mossley.
Today's trip to Mossley's Seel Park is not Quakers' first, having also played an FA Cup tie there in October 2010, when they won 6-2.
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group