OMAR BASCOME justified Alun Armstrong’s decision to hand him his a spot in the starting XI as Darlington collected their first three points of the season.

He replaced the rested Omar Holness in the heart of midfield against Kettering Town, keeping play ticking over and moving the ball around simply while he was also involved in a goal.

It was Bascome’s switch of play that led to Stephen Thompson teeing up Jarrett Rivers to score the second goal in a 3-0 win, and he will hope for another start on Monday evening away to Curzon Ashton.

Armstrong explained: “Omar needed a rest, he looked really tired the other night against Gateshead and that’s probably why we were resorting to the longer balls because there weren’t the options in the middle of the park.

“I said to the lads that we needed more options in midfield, we couldn’t just have centre-backs stepping in and the only ball they’ve got to play being the diagonal pass.

“I put Osagi in there to give him the opportunity to get him on the ball and it freed us up a bit. The thing I said to the lads was make sure there’s options in there. I didn’t want to see long balls from the back. Yes, when it’s on you can play it, but you’ve got move the ball quickly.

“I thought Osagi was smashing. He looks after the ball and that’s what we needed, someone to look after the ball and to be fair to him he did a lot more of the defensive work than I was expecting, he got himself stuck in.

“I was pleased with him, surprisingly pleased.

“He’s a young kid and when I watch him in training he’s so good. His tempo in training is really good. If we can get that onto the pitch that would be great.

“In games he’s sometimes a little bit slow, we need to be quick with the passes and move the ball forward, which we’ve seen him do. If he moves the ball quickly and at the tempo you need in this league then he’ll be fine.”