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Gray could ring the changes
A number of selection dilemmas dominate Martin Gray's thinking as he chooses his side for the first of back-to-back home games.
Mossley visit Heritage Park today for a game in which the Darlington manager must make at least one change, but is likely to make more as he bids to maintain a strong start to the season.
Quakers have won four of their five matches and can go second in the table, behind Curzon Ashton, with a win over fifth-bottom Mossley.
However, the XI that Gray selected for last Saturday's game at Clitheroe were 2-0 down at half-time and only second half personnel changes instigated a comeback.
Furthermore, centre-back Jordan Robinson is away on holiday while a question mark hangs over the fitness of Terry Galbraith, who has been suffering with shin splints.
"It was a punt," admitted Gray, explaining his decision to make four alterations to the starting line-up last weekend.
"I wanted different personnel on the pitch and those are the decisions you make, but you've also got to make decisions during the game.
"As a manager you're paid to make changes during a match and we did that: we made three changes in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
"All the subs made an impact. David Dowson, Chris Moore and Craig Gott, they gave us a bit more and kept the ball better and it was an all-round better performance in the second half."
Gott has this week moved to Marske United in the Northern League. He was unable to commit to Quakers because of the travel involved in the Evo-Stik First Division North.
The substitute vacancy is likely to be filled by one of this week's new signings, Curtis Edwards or Bruno Pilatos, but it is in the starting line-up where Gray's most pressing concerns lies.
With Robinson in America, he needs to select a central defensive partner for Alan White, who returned to the club last week.
One option is to recall Paul Welden at left-back and return Leon Scott to the middle of defence, though Chris Hunter can also play in the middle.
White, 37, did well in his first game since returning to his hometown club and Gray said: "He's had time to recover and he needed a game. He hadn't played since pre-season and that was the first competitive game he's had for a long while.
"I thought his organisation was good, he made big strong headers and we know he's going to tire, so getting 90 minutes behind him didn't do any harm.
"We've brought him in for his leadership, his organisation, and it's vital for the team."
A less likely defensive option is Dan Hall, a Scottish recruit who joined recently after a trial.
Gray said: "He came from a recommendation from the scouts that I know up there. I got a phone call to say he was coming to the North-East because of his work commitments and he was highly recommended.
"We had a look at him and he looks like being a good addition to the squad. I'm not saying he's going to go into the first team straight away, he might be one that I loan out for the experience and see how he develops."
Despite fitness worries, Gray will give Galbraith another start, but admits the midfielder was only due to play for an hour last Saturday.
He said: "I didn't plan to give him 90 minutes. He was supposed to play an hour, but I'm pleased he got through the game.
"He's three or four games away from being anywhere near what he's about, but everyone knows about his quality when he's fit and hopefully that 90 minutes will set him up for Saturday."
Darllington chief scout Harry Dunn watched Mossley's 1-1 draw with Clitheroe on Tuesday, when they scored a last-minute equaliser to secure their fourth point of the campaign. They have yet to win this season.
Today's match was arranged as Darlington are not involved in the FA Cup and Mossley were knocked out two weeks ago. Next Saturday Quakers host Harrogate RA.