Darlington manager David Hodgson was still hoping that his summer-long search for a striker to replace last season's top scorer Barry Conlon would bear fruit as the new season looms.

Quakers kick off their Coca Cola League Two campaign tomorrow with a home game against Grimsby Town, who will be hoping to bounce back quickly after last season's relegation.

But it looks as though Darlington will go into the tricky opener with only two recognised forwards in Craig Russell and young Argentinian Leandro Scartascini.

Hodgson said earlier this week he was close to signing one of two strikers he has been watching closely, but nothing had been finalised as we went to press.

Plymouth Argyle forward Stewart Yetton impressed on trial and scored the winner in a friendly at Billingham Synthonia on Tuesday, but has returned to his club.

Hodgson has strengthened his squad in other areas, with goalkeeper Sam Russell arriving from Middlesbrough, midfielder Stephen Thomas from Wrexham and former Newcastle United full back Joe Kendrick signed from 1860 Munich.

But the lack of firepower up front is an obvious concern for Quakers fans hoping to avoid a repeat of last season's desperate struggle against relegation. They can at least draw comfort from a solid-looking defence and, for a club which came so close to going out of existence altogether, a comfortable mid-table position would surely represent real progress.