CHRIS ELLIOTT has had a stop-start first season with Darlington, so now wants to grab his latest opportunity with both hands, much as did he during Wednesday’s win in the FA Trophy.

The goalkeeper was man of the match as Quakers defeated Solihull Moors 1-0 to set up a second round tie today at home to Harrogate Town, one of Elliott’s former clubs.

The game will continue Elliott’s 100 per cent record in the competition this season, the Trophy having provided a route back into Alun Armstrong’s plans after initially losing his place during October in the starting XI due to a foot infection.

On-loan Liam Connell replaced him, but parent club South Shields refused Quakers permission to select him in Trophy games, so Armstrong turned to Elliott and Wednesday was the highlight of his time with Darlington so far.

“It was a case of time and patience,” he admits. “The infection came on the night before the season started, it lingered, it got better and worse for a while but it’s gone now.

“I feel like I’m moving alright now and steadily building back up. It hasn’t been ideal circumstances, but that’s the reality of football.

“Whether you’re playing or not playing, it doesn’t mean you’re a better or worse player.

“It’s a good group of lads, everyone gets on. Me and Liam have trained well together, we help each other warm up before games. We’re not the ones who makes the decision over who is playing.

“I want to build momentum now. If I’m on the pitch the business will happen and I just want to keep building. We’re in a good little run of form and hopefully we’re going to have a run in the cup.

“The league is very tight, it’s all the play for and I want to be a part of it.”

Darlington are a point off the play-offs and have 18 league games to go.

Elliott added: “I did an interview at the start of the season and I said I wanted to play 50 games on the bounce and for the team to be challenging for things. I’ll take things as they come.

"Circumstances have dictated that that number has changed, but I still want to play every game.”