DARLINGTON goalkeeper Adam Bartlett has explained why he rejected the opportunity to follow Martin Gray to York City.

Quakers’ keeper last week had the chance to join Gray at Bootham Crescent, an opportunity that David Ferguson took and he made his Minstermen debut on Saturday in a 2-1 win against Brackley.

Gray dropped York’s usual goalkeeper, Jon Worsnop, for the contest but was unable to select Bartlett as he had preferred to stay with Quakers.

As a consequence he received a warm reception from the Darlington fans at Blackwell Meadows on Saturday.

Darlington drew 1-1 with Stockport County, Bartlett powerless to prevent the visitors equalising in injury time.

It could not take the shine off Darlington’s day, however, and afterwards the former Hartlepool United goalkeeper explained his situation.

“I spoke to him, but it’s a full-time club,” he said. “I played full-time for the past ten years and I made decision on coaching and playing about seven or eight months ago when I came to Darlington.

“I’m back at Newcastle coaching on a part-time basis, and it’s been great at Darlington from the off, so I wasn’t close to moving by any stretch of the imagination, but there was contact.

“The club turned down a couple of bids down anyway, and I’m more than happy that the club want me here.

“It’s great to feel wanted when you want to be a part of it too. I’ve been more than happy here since I joined.

“I had a nightmare on my debut at Gainsborough, but everybody has been great with me. Whether that’s Martin, Atky, Greegs or whoever, it was an easy decision to keep playing for Darlington.

“I’m happy with my life at the moment, so it was no-brainer in the end.”

Stockport’s goal, by Jason Oswell, denied Darlington victory, Quakers conceding a crucial late goal for the second week in succession having lost 1-0 at Curzon Ashton a week ago.

Curzon’s goal was an eye-catching effort from outside the penalty area, whereas Oswell’s was from closer range and owed something to a touch of good fortune.

Bartlett added: “It was an unfortunate situation because the big fella didn’t meant to put the cross where it went, and then their striker shanked the ball but it’s gone just inside the post.

“It was deflating and it would’ve been a great atmosphere about the place if we’d seen that one out, particularly in the circumstances.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, but it’s something to build on.

“It’s a disappointed dressing room, but I think everyone in there is proud of how they’ve conducted themselves this week.”