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More to come, says Gray
DARLINGTON look to build on their opening day win when they play their first home game of the Ebac Northern League season this evening against Marske United.
Although Saturday’s game win over Bishop Auckland was played at their temporary home Heritage Park, it was an away fixture.
The 2,004 attendance was a sell-out, and another four-figure crowd is expected this evening for a game in which manager Martin Gray would like to see an improvement.
Bishops had Chris Renhaw sent-off in the first half, but led 1-0 until the 64th minute.
Gray said: “It was important that we won so everyone went home happy, but there’s more to come performance-wise.
“We’re not just going to turn up and win, you’ve got to earn the right to win. You’re not going to win or play well every week, but you’ve got to put in consistent performances.
“People might be expecting us to win every week, but it’s not going to happen. We’ve now got that first win so we can build on that and improve as well.
“The lads had a great preseason and they will get better and better.”
Gray is unlikely to make wholesale changes, but midfielder Leon Scott could come in for his full debut having made an impact after coming off the bench on Saturday.
Bishops held their lead until Gray made a triple substitution in the second half with winger Amar Purewal and striker Shaun Reay also entering the fray.
Reay put Darlington ahead while David Dowson scored on his return to the club having also netted on his Quakers debut while on loan from Sunderland in 2009.
Gray added: “We started to pass it better in the second half and there was good movement from Dowson and Reay and they both had nice finishes.
“The first goal was important, the header from Arjun Purewal. Until then we hadn’t put enough balls in the box and we had Jamie Clarke on, but we didn’t use his strengths.”
Marske also got their league season off to a winning start, defeating Newton Aycliffe 1-0.
Their goalscorer was Nathan Porritt, the former Middlesbrough trainee who had a short loan spell with Quakers in 2009.
Darlington : Norton, Harrison, Brown, Arjun Purewal, Smith, Emms, Ellison, Scott, Nicholls, Dowson, Clarke.