BEN HEDLEY’S arrival at Darlington is timely due to the impact on the squad of injuries and international duty.

He joined Quakers yesterday afternoon and would have been involved against Blyth Spartans last night had the paperwork been completed in time.

Instead, the 20-year-old from Whickham watched from the stands at Blackwell Meadows, 24 hours after leaving Bradford Park Avenue with whom he played against Darlington last week.

He was a substitute in the second half, coming on soon after Jaheim Headley had scored the only goal of the game.

But with David Atkinson limping out of Wednesday’s win against Blyth after only a quarter of an hour, Hedley joins at the ideal time.

“He can play right-back or centre midfield, he can do both so he gives us options,” said manager Alun Armstrong.

“He’s a tough lad. He came on against us and I think he got booked within a few minutes.

“He knows how to play the game. He was at Morecambe last year, then he was at Bradford and was told he could cancel his contract late on Tuesday. I didn’t find out until 3pm on Wednesday and I tried to get him signed before the deadline to play against Blyth but we couldn’t get it done in time.”

Hedley was in the youth set-up at Morecambe where he made five senior appearances and was named reserve team player of the year last season, and joined Bradford in June.

But having endured a torrid start to the season the West Yorkshire club have made a number of personnel changes, leading to Hedley leaving and being snapped up by Quakers.

Atkinson missed the start of the campaign due to an ankle injury that he has not fully recovered from, while first-choice right-back Luke Trotman is out for the season.

Omar Holness, usually a midfielder, replaced Atkinson at right-back against Blyth and Armstrong said: “I’m pleased with Omar, he did smashing. He had come to me and said ‘look gaffer, I can play right-back if you want me too’.

“So Omar has put a spanner in the works there, in a good way, because he did so well.

“I went with Omar instead of Cameron because I didn’t think it was the right time to put the young kid on when the team isn’t doing so well.”

Teenagers Cameron Holliday and Brandon Morrison were named as substitutes and could be involved again this weekend when Darlington play at Gloucester City.

Osagi Bascome and Justin Donawa will again be unavailable due to being on international duty with Bermuda.

Meanwhile, Armstrong still wants to bring in a striker and has been speaking to three different clubs this week about making an addition.