DARLINGTON lost their first pre season friendly at Shildon’s Dean Street on Saturday – and they will probably experiment again at Newton Aycliffe this week.

Manager Martin Gray fielded almost two full teams in the game, which was arranged as part of the David Ferguson transfer to Quakers from the Northern League club back in January.

The starting line-up included four triallists, including ex-York striker Richard Brodie and played for an hour, with nine new players coming on. Only goalkeeper Peter Jameson and midfielder Leon Scott played the whole game.

A crowd of around 400 watched the game, which was decided by goals from striker Adam Burnicle.

His first on the half-hour mark came from a long clearance by former Darlington goalkeeper Nick Liversedge that he lifted over the advancing Jameson, and his second, with about seven minutes left, was from a first-time left foot shot from the edge of the box.

The Railwaymen, who have appointed former Hartlepool defender Micky Barron as assistant manager to Daniel Moore, defended well, and did not allow Quakers all that many chances.

Liversedge pulled off a good save from Nathan Cartman in the first half, and even though Ferguson tested the Shildon defence with some good probing runs, the keeper wasn’t too busy until Quakers’ reshuffle on the hour.

Teenage sub Harvey Saunders latched on to a poor back pass but Liversedge blocked his attempted lob, and near the end Saunders got round the back of the defence and set up Mark Beck at the near post, but Liversedge blocked his shot well.

“I think we learned quite a bit from the game,” said Gray. “We’ll be doing the same again on Wednesday at Newton Aycliffe. Some players will play an hour, others 30 minutes, and we’ll be including some triallists again.

“Pre season is about improving players’ fitness and checking out triallists.”

*Spennymoor Town won their first pre season friendly of the season when they won 4-0 at Billingham Town, Mark Anderson (2), Graeme Armstrong and Rob Ramshaw scoring the goals.