DARLINGTON skipper Terry Galbraith is confident his team can give Walsall a test today when the teams meet in the first round of the FA Cup, a game enthusiastically awaited by Quakers supporters and players alike.

Having previously endured some poor results in the competition, it is Darlington’s first fixture at this stage of the competition since becoming a fan-owned club in 2012.

They have successfully navigated three qualifying rounds, so interest has mounted and Darlington officials have told Walsall to expect around 800 visiting supporters at the Banks’s Stadium.

“We’re two leagues below, neutrals will think we’ll get turned over but in the changing room we don’t believe that,” said Galbraith.

“We believe we’re going to give them a game.

“I’m buzzing about it and I think all the lads are. If we apply ourselves right like we have been the last two months there’s no reason why we can’t cause an upset.”

The bookies are expecting are predicting a comfortable home win for the League Two side, yet it is not inconceivable that the two clubs could both be in the same division next season given current form.

Walsall have lost six league matches in succession and are third-bottom, while Darlington are 13th in the table they have taken 19 points from the last 21 available following some much-improved performances.

“We’ve tightened up a lot at the back,” added Galbraith, part of a defence that has conceded three times in seven games.

“If we can keep clean sheets then we’ve got more than enough quality in the team to score goals.

“On Saturday it didn’t fall for us, but if keep the back door shut the lads will produce.

“The last month or two we’ve had the same back four, but in the first couple of months we were getting injuries all the time. I was playing three different defenders every week because the gaffer was having to shuffle it as we didn’t have enough bodies.”

Galbraith reached a personal landmark in last Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Hereford, making his 250th league start for the club since joining in December 2012 from Dunston UTS.

He is approaching 300 appearances in all competitions and is Quakers’ second-longest serving player after Stephen Thompson, though unlike his team-mate Galbraith has played in a range of positions across his eight seasons,

“When I came here I never dreamt of making 250-300 appearances, but we’ve had so much success over the years and we don’t want to stop, me and Thommo want to keep going and achieve bigger and better things.

“I remember my first game, Newton Aycliffe away and we got beat. I played left-wing that day, and since then I’ve played centre midfield, left-back and now centre-back. I’ve been making my way backwards - I’ll be in goal next!”

Now a centre-back and no longer on penalty duty, a previously long-held responsibility, Galbraith’s goal average has taken a hit and he has been stuck on 57 since November 2017.

It is something he is all too aware of thanks to some gentle ribbing from team-mates.

He added: “I used to average about ten a season, but I haven’t scored for two years now.

“I know about it alright, I get gip in the changing room all the time!”