WITH the first round FA Cup tie at Walsall now six days away, goalkeeper Liam Connell has reiterated his desire to extend his stay with Darlington.

He has completed a highly successful one-month loan from South Shields to Quakers, yesterday’s 0-0 draw with Hereford making it four clean sheets in five appearances.

At the full-time whistle supporters chanted “sign him up”, manager Alun Armstrong has made his position abundantly clear that he wants to keep the goalkeeper and the player himself is in no doubt.

He said: “I want to be part of next week’s game but it’s down to the two clubs, I can’t really do anything apart from express my desire to stay with Darlington.

“I’ve expressed my wish to stay for the very minimum of another month. The feedback I got was that it’s down to the club and not the managers.

“I’ve spoke to Alun, I’ve spoken to the Shields, I don’t know what more I can do. My contract I with Shields, so it’s down to the two clubs.”

Armstrong says, as it stands, Shields are demanding too high a fee.

“They money that they’re asking is not realistic,” said Darlington’s manager, who would select Chris Elliott at Walsall should the clubs be unable to agree terms.

“I’ve heard our fans say they’re willing to chip in, but if we do that they’re going to end up doing it all the time and that wouldn’t be fair on the fans.

“The kid wants to stay and I just hope someone sees sense.

“Can we extend the loan and pay a small fee to do that, just to give the lad an opportunity to play against a Football League club, something that he has not done before.

“Hopefully we can come to a conclusion, but the fee they’re asking for is not realistic for a 34-year-old goalkeeper.”

Connell will be a free agent next summer as he is in the final year of his contract at Shields, a club he signed for in 2016 and made 140 appearances for during their rise through the non-league period.

However, this season he has been replaced by 21-year-old Myles Boney, who has joined on a season-long from Blackpool.

He added: “Shields are fantastic, the lads there are mint.

“I had thought I would give Shields the season and I would be happy pushing the young lad to be No. 1, but not now. Not that now I’ve had a spell here.”

In order to reach the first round of the FA Cup, the first time Darlington have done so as a fan-owned club, they have come through three qualifying rounds and Connell has played in two of them: the wins at Leamington and Tamworth.

He saved a penalty in the victory against Tamworth, a win that set up the trip to League 2 strugglers Walsall, and he added: “I’d love to be play in that game, it’s massive.

“I’m desperate to play. I’ve played the last five games, we’ve won four and drawn one and we’d love to do a giant-killing. They’re not doing too well, we’re on a good run, so why not?

“It’s not just a personal thing, it’s big for the club too and I’ve never got this far before.”