WHEN Darlington welcome Walsall for an FA Cup replay next week they will be met with an intimidating atmosphere, believes Quakers boss Alun Armstrong, who wants his club’s fans to be “the 12th man”.

Having drawn 2-2 in thrilling circumstances at the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday, the teams will meet again next week, most likely on Wednesday evening subject to television demands.

Given fan-owned Darlington’s non-league stature and rise since 2012, Walsall’s poor form – without a win in seven matches – and the nature of Saturday’s cracking cup match, it would be a surprise if the replay is not selected for a live television broadcast.

Whether the cameras make it to Blackwell or not, Armstrong wants a repeat performance from his players and fans, 1,229 having travelled to Walsall where they were vociferous in their support.

His team led 1-0 until the 86th minute when Walsall scored twice in quick succession, before Joe Wheatley’s leveller deep in stoppage time.

Armstrong said: “I never wanted to come here and just have a day out, that’s not me. We’ve had the day out, now we’ve got to go and finish the job, but it’s going to be tough.

“The fans are going to be our 12th man. Walsall will not want to come to Blackwell, it’ll be intimidating and it’s not really a football place in all honesty.

“It’ll be tough for them and we’ve got put in a performance like that again.

“People say you only get one bite of the cherry for an upset, but I’ve got belief in that changing room.

“I’m not going to change the way we play when they come to Blackwell.

“We’ll play with the intensity and energy that we normally do and we’ll need the fans to be our 12th man.”

Darlington were indefatigable, despite falling 2-1 behind with goalkeeper Liam Connell culpable for the second and the first coming after his save fell kindly to Caolan Lavery to equalise.

“A lapse of concentration when they followed the shot in, that’s all it was and the game changed on that,” added the manager. “The lads were deflated then and it was difficult to get a message across to pick them up.

“The second goal, Liam held his hands up afterwards and he is devastated about it.

“You think you’ve lost the game at that point, but the lads showed exactly what I wanted to bring to this club: character, desire, workrate and quality.

“Will Hatfield typified us. He’s winning free-kicks and he’s grafting still in the 96th minute.”

However, the game at a cost. Right-back Ben Hedley was sent off in the 90th minute so will serve his second suspension of the season, the previous one being for reaching five bookings, while Michael Liddle now has a groin strain.

On the bench Armstrong again named his 16-year-old son Rhys Armstrong to boost the numbers, though Quakers were two short of the maximum permitted seven substitutes in FA Cup ties.

The manager added: “I’m probably going to have to stop my two Bermudans going on international duty on Monday, they are meant to go away this week.

“Now Ben is suspended I’d only have one outfield player left on the bench. Rhys is 16 and he’s on the bench because the other young lads are out on loan learning their trade.”

Liddle had a fitness test at Walsall, but was deemed unable to play with Jordan Watson replacing him.

Armstrong explained: “He pulled his groin in training on Tuesday he said, but didn’t say anything because of the massive importance of the game.

“He might be ready for the replay, fingers crossed.”