JOSH HEATON is on the verge of leaving Darlington, just five weeks after returning to the club.

The defender signed for Quakers on August 7, re-joining just over a year after a transfer to St Mirren.

However, Preston-based Heaton has been largely restricted to bench duty in the nine games since then, playing second fiddle to Louis Laing and Terry Galbraith, who are Alun Armstrong’ first-choice pairing.

Heaton has made two starts, the last of which was a 2-0 defeat at King’s Lynn Town.

In his post-match interview Armstrong referred to the tall defender’s role in each of the goals and then dropped him for the next match, which was last Wednesday’s home win over Blyth Spartans.

Meanwhile, Armstrong is preparing for this weekend’s home match with York City and has been hoping to bring in a tall striker who could hold the ball up, who would be an alternative option to the forwards already at the club.

The manager missed out on a potential target last week when he moved to a National League club, and admits bringing in a player with such attributes is not easy.

He said: “Can I get a 6ft 3in striker on loan from a league club? They’ve stopped breeding them so there’s not many of them about, especially local to us.”

After ten games in the first 36 days of the season, Darlington have not had a midweek match this week enabling them to train twice and work on the issues that have led to them losing five of their ten games.

“You can work on stuff a lot better,” added Armstrong. “You can work on patterns of play and transitions a lot more, because so far it’s been a case of getting them ready for a game every week, we haven’t had time in training to put things right.

“They’re a good honest group, and they’re as frustrated as anyone about why they’re not performing away from home.”

York have been allocated 770 standing tickets and 93 seated tickets for Saturday’s game and have sold over 500 so far.

The Minstermen are second in the table and unbeaten away from home, while Darlington are 17th having won three of their five home matches.