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Quakers wait on Fisher
Darlington head to Ramsbottom United this evening hoping to include new signing Nathan Fisher in the squad.
Manager Martin Gray has been tracking the 24-year-old since last season and at the weekend finally secured his signature on a two-and-a-half-year contract.
Having returned to the North-East after a spell playing in Thailand last week, Fisher watched Saturday’s game with Harrogate RA and will be in the squad tonight he if receives international clearance in time.
Even if the former Gateshead forward is unable to feature, Darlington’s striker department remains in good health with three players available that have all found the net this season.
Andy Johnson, Amar Purewal and David Dowson have scored 12 league leagues goals between them in Quakers’ seven games, though none were on the scoresheet on Saturday in the match against Harrogate RA.
For the first time since December, when Spennymoor Town drew 0-0 at Heritage Park, Darlington were unable to score as they struggled to break down a stubborn defence.
Gray hopes that Ramsbottom will, as the host club, not be so defensively-minded.
“It’s about how we react now, how we bounce back,” he said.
“We want another good performance and three points. Hopefully when you go away from the opposition won’t sit everybody behind the ball. But that’s football, it’s up to us to break teams down and credit to Harrogate for making to tough for us.
“We tried to move them about a little bit, but we didn’t punish them.
“If you look back over the past two seasons, this was one of the few times that the forwards haven’t come up trumps for us. It’s very rare it happens.
“We’ve had games like this in the past, but 99 per cent of the time the forwards have got a goal for us.”
Stephen Thompson is often the source of a goal, but he endured a frustrating day against Harrogate when he saw a lot of the all but was unable to make breakthrough.
His day culminated in the closing stages when the referee waved away his penalty appeal, and Gray added: “We expect him to pull something out of the hat all of the time, that’s what we’ve come to expect because of what he’s done in the past.
“We tried him on the left and right, we tried a couple of different things, but it just didn’t come off.”
Curtis Edwards hopes for another start in midfield after enjoying a promising league debut on Saturday.
The 19-year-old former Middlesbrough youngster played the full game in centre-midfield, and Gray was impressed, saying: “It was a strong debut.
“He’s got a good range of passing, he’s athletic so gets around the pitch.
“I like what I see. He’s an England Under-19s international and has impressed me in training and in games.
“There’ll be harder tests for him, but you can see he’s got quality. He just needs to get to know everybody, get to know their runs and that will come in time.”
Alan White is available this evening. He was required to play for Harrogate Town on Saturday for whom he played the 90 minutes, but he is in Quakers' squad tonight.
Ramsbottom, who play at Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, are second-bottom and lost 4-3 on Saturday to Mossley, a team that Darlington defeated 4-0 earlier this month.
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