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5 Things: Darlington

A look at this weekend’s meeting with the Quakers…



Action from Harriers 3-3 Darlington in 2017/18

HARRIERS head north to meet Darlington in National League North this coming weekend, so we’re taking a look at our opposition.

The Quakers, though beaten last time out against Brackley Town, have been in reasonable form form as of late.

From looking like they could be in for a struggle come the end of the season, an improved run has seen them climb away from danger.

With past meetings and all manner of things in mind, we factor in just 5 Things to consider going into the game.

SEATING SORTED

It was a bittersweet end to last season for Darlington last time around to say the least. Fine form across the campaign saw them finish inside the play-off places having won more than half of their league matches. Ground grading issues, however, prevented them from taking their place in the end-of-season affair as it was ruled they fell short of seating requirements in time for the league deadline. An appeal fell on deaf ears at the FA, and Chorley were able to leapfrog them into the play-offs, where they would eventually beat Harriers over two legs. No such issues for the Quakers this time around, though, with the relevant boxes ticked where their Blackwell Meadows home is concerned.

LAST TIME WE MET

This season’s Aggborough clash between the two teams was a six-goal thriller [report]. Harriers looked to have had the game well in hand after goals from Andre Brown and James McQuilkin in the first half, only for Joel Taylor’s own goal to reduce the deficit. Elton Ngwatala netted to put the reds back in the driving seat, but late strikes from Terry Galbraith and Dave Syers snatched a point at the death.

A SEASON OF CHANGE

That was one of the first games overseen by the new Darlington manager, Tommy Wright. Wright’s surprise switch from Nuneaton to take the Darlo hot-seat came after Martin Gray had resigned from the club after the better part of five years, during which time he’d earned them three promotions. A significant change, then – but Wright has steadily guided the team up the league table after an indifferent start in terms of results. The end of January saw them go on a run that included wins over Leamington, Blyth Spartans and Bradford Park Avenue.

STYCHE IN THE GOALS

Former Harriers man Reece Styche has regularly been in amongst the goals for Darlo following his switch from Tamworth earlier in the season. His campaign’s tally stands at 17 in the National League North alone, including the latter seven which have all come for the Quakers since Christmas.

ARTHUR’S BEAUTY

Any points won at Darlington are always going to be hard-earned, and the three netted by Harriers last season when they were playing home games at Bishop Auckland would certainly fall in that category. A fine rear-guard action saw the team shut out a fine 1-0 success, secured thanks to a wonder goal from Arthur Gnahoua that was one of the goals of the season.

Darlington v Harriers takes place this Saturday, 23rd February 2018.


This article is about: Match


 

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