DARLINGTON manager Gary Bennett is ready to give skipper Martin Gray and veteran defender Neil Aspin a night off tonight.

Quakers travel to York in a rearranged LDV Vans Trophy first round tie and with the threat of a hernia operation hanging over Gray, Bennett will let the former Sunderland midfielder rest at Bootham Crescent.

He admitted: "We're taking this competition seriously, and won't be fielding a weakened team.

"One or two players will be rested, but it will give a chance to players like Stuart Elliott and Phil Brumwell to get games under their belts. We are going to need everybody in the squad over the next few weeks."

Youngster Adam Marsh is also included in the squad, but Bennett will probably start with the Kyle and Glenn Naylor pairing, with possibly Brumwell at right back and Adam Reed moving along the back four in into the centre.

The game was called off an hour before kick-off last week and there is already a doubt over the tie after more heavy rain last night and a poor forecast for today.

Bennett, meanwhile, is hoping today will be the day he makes a breakthrough in his search for a new striker.

Bennett has been looking for new blood for several weeks and is hoping to announce at least one new signing ahead of tonight's clash with possibly another later in the week.

"We might be able to sort something out soon," he said. "If we can help it, we don't want the player or players concerned to be loan players, and be in the same scenario we are in now with Thomas Butler and Kevin Kyle.

"We're waiting for the clubs concerned to come back to us. We have three irons in the fire, two of them are with Football League clubs, and another with a Premiership club. Hopefully, at least one will work out."

Midfielder Butler has returned to Sunderland after two months at Feethams, and Bennett said: "I'm disappointed that Thomas has gone back, but it was the player's choice.

"We'll be in the same situation when Kevin Kyle comes to the end of his loan.

"But this is what happens when you bring in players of that calibre. Both of them are exciting prospects, and both of them have benefited from playing matches for us.

"Kevin is earmarked as a long term replacement for Niall Quinn, and to be truthful, we won't be able to get him on a permanent basis."