High-riding Darlington RA made it ten wins out of ten at the weekend leaving manager David Woodcock to exclaim: "I cannot believe just how well we have adapted to the Wearside League. It has been an incredible three months and we just seem as if we cannot do anything wrong."

Spennymoor Quinns Inn were Darlington's latest victims in the Durham County Trophy but Woodcock was the first to admit that his side rode their luck.

"I played a few lads who have not been in the team recently and Spennymoor gave us a really difficult time of it. They missed a penalty at a crucial stage and who's to say what the outcome might have been had they scored.

"The week before, we nicked the points with a last-minute goal against Wolviston but I suppose when you are playing well, you get the rub of the green," enthused Woodcock.

Before the start of the season RA would have settled for a top six place in a League of 17 clubs but now Woodcock has his sights set much higher.

"I am not saying we are going to win the League. We have had a remarkable run yet a number of sides are still breathing down our necks but I'll be very disappointed if we do not win at least one cup.

"After all, we are still in four competitions and with a squad of 20, I believe we are strong enough to go all the way in the cups and also challenge for the title."

One of the teams which RA fears is Birtley Town who, after recently scoring ten goals in a match, put seven past Whitehaven at the weekend. They are the League's leading scorers with 51 goals from 16 games and Stokesley SC are second but have netted 12 fewer.

"We are really banging in the goals but I think we are too far off the top to mount a serious championship challenge," said Birtley manager David Smith.

"I am delighted with the progress the club has made following an indifferent start to the season. My assistant Paul Foster and I knew we had to make changes when we came in during the close season and there are only a couple of players now on the books who played last season.

"We have used more than 50 players but now have a much more settled team. We enjoy playing attacking football and recently the goals have been flooding in," added Smith who is delighted with the signing of Paul Bryson from Chester-le-Street.

"Paul was player manager with the Cestrians. He is an experienced player and an excellent motivator both on and off the field.

"It is quality players like him who will take this club forward and if we maintain our recent form, then we will give one or two of the leading sides a shock," claimed Smith.