DEBUTANT Alex Storey slotted seamlessly into Darlington’s defence in Saturday’s 2-1 win and has given the manager some decisions to make.

Due to unavailability of Louis Laing and Jordan Watson for the trip to Alfreton, Storey joined last week on a dual-registration basis having recently been playing for Sunderland RCA in the Northern League.

He will be eligible for the FA Cup game this weekend at Leamington, while Watson and possibly Laing will be back in the squad, but Storey did his prospect no harm with a sold first outing in Quakers colours.

“He said it was a lot tougher than he thought it was going to be, but I don’t think he did anything wrong,” said Armstrong. “He dealt with it well and Alfreton are physical lads, he’ll not come up against a team more physical than that, so I was really pleased with the kid.

“For someone who hasn’t played at this level before he did exceptionally well. He won his headers, he needs to be a bit braver and he knows that, but I couldn’t really complain.

“He dealt with two physical forwards, his passing was good so for a first game at this level, and he’ll admit it’s a massive jump from the Northern League, he did exceptionally well and gives us food for thought going into the FA Cup game.

“He gives something to think about now. He wants to stay, he wants a contract, so the opportunity will be there for him when he plays so we’ll see what happens.”

Watson was attending a wedding while Laing is recovering from a hamstring problem and while Jonny Burn is available he is not, in Armstrong’s view, worthy of a place in the squad due to a lack of fitness so has been training with the club’s academy and not the first team.

Despite not being in contention to play for his hometown team, Burn has turned down opportunities to join other North-East non-league clubs, leaving fan-owned Darlington to pay his salary for the remainder of his contract which expires at the end of this season.