HAVING broken their FA Cup hoodoo by winning at Trafford a fortnight ago, Darlington have got the taste for success in the FA Cup and want a run in the competition.

The 3-1 win was the club’s first in the FA Cup for five years, and a victory at Leamington this afternoon would not only be a boost to the coffers - £11,250 going to today’s winners - but also their success-starved supporters.

Darlington fans have not seen their club win two FA Cup games in a season since 2010-11 (Mossley away and Bristol Rovers at home), but beating Leamington would end their drab run.

The teams are mid-table and separated by a point in the National League North, though Leamington’s only win in their last six matches was after extra-time against Chasetown in the last round.

“They’ve been in similar form to us, up and down,” said Darlington manager Alun Armstrong.

“You know what you’re going to come up against when you play Leamington. They’ll have the big lad up top and the runners off him.

“We know what Leamington are like, a big physical side, they’ll get the ball forward and work extremely hard in midfield.

“It’ll be a battle, it’s always a hard place to go, but we’ll concentrate on what we do and we should have a couple of players back by then and have a bit more strength in depth and competition for places.

“It’s a massive opportunity, a chance to make some money for the club.”

Quakers and The Brakes have drawn three times in their four meetings with Darlington winning once, a 3-2 victory in January 2018 when Stephen Thompson scored a hat-trick, but the influential forward is doubtful today with a groin strain.

Goalkeeper Chris Elliott may need a period out of the team due to an infection in his right leg, so Quakers made a signing yesterday with Liam Connell arriving on loan for a month from South Shields.

The 33-year-old has not played for Shields this season but has recently been on loan at Whickham in the Northern League.

Armstrong said: “Liam’s on loan for a month to start off so that we can have a look at each other, and then we’ll see where we go after that, but someone of his experience doesn’t come along too often.

“He’s been playing at Whickham, but I knew his loan was coming to an end and I kept an eye on it. It’s not often a player of his experience becomes available.

“He hadn’t been playing at South Shields, but he’s someone I thought about in the summer, but he signed a new deal at his club.”

Connell has made 140 appearances since joining South Shields in 2016 from Dunston, where he played for seven years and at one time among his team-mates was Quakers captain Terry Galbraith.

They were in the Dunston team that beat West Auckland in the FA Vase final at Wembley in 2012, while Connell also won the Vase with Shields in 2017.

Armstrong continues to want a striker, but with money tight has found it difficult to compete for the most in-demand players, and he said: “I’m still hoping to get a forward, but finances will dictate that one.”

Jamie Holmes yesterday had surgery on his cruciate ligament injury, while David Atkinson, who has ankle ligament damage, is due to go under the knife on October 18.