FOR years Darlington’s FA Cup ambition was to reach the first round. Having finally achieved it last season, now they want to go even further.

Saturday’s 2-0 win against Cambridge City at the fourth qualifying stage earned Quakers a place in the hat for Monday evening’s first round draw, when clubs from League One and Two join the fray.

Twelve months ago they were paired with League Two Walsall, which represented the first time Darlington had achieved a first round place as a fan-owned club, but Alun Armstrong is ambitious.

“You always want to do better. First round was last year, we want to go further, second round or maybe even the third when the big guns come in,” he said.

“As a manager and as a football club you always want more, if you didn’t what would be the point being in it?

“The FA Cup is huge for us because of the prize money and I probably prioritise this more than anything else.

“The two league games we’ve had this season against Fylde and Kidderminster, we knew they were going to be tough against full-time teams, but we’ve got to try and get the money from these cup games because of the shortfall with the fans not able to come.

“The ultimate aim has got to be to get into the play-offs, but first and foremost we’ve got to concentrate on the cup because of the money.”

Darlington have made £18,375 in prize money for successfully making it through three FA Cup ties, with £22,629 on offer at the next stage.

They made £9,375 for winning on Saturday, striker Luke Charman the hero by scoring both goals at Blackwell Meadows.

He also bagged a brace in the earlier round against Prescot Cables, which went to penalties, but no shootout was required here as Quakers eased past opponents from two divisions below.

Both of Charman’s goals came in the first half. The opener on nine minutes, firing home after turning 22 yards from goal following Michael Liddle’s pass into feet at the end of prolonged possession.

The second also came after patient build-up, the move eventually seeing the ball fall nicely for Charman to sweep home a first-time effort from inside the penalty area.

Both were well-taken finishes, Charman demonstrating an eye for goal that could take him back into the professional ranks if he continues to show his potential, while he also came close to scoring with a volley that hit the bar.

To their credit, Cambridge remained competitive but without forcing many scoring opportunities, Quakers goalkeeper Johnny Saltmer only having a couple of saves to make.

“They were a stubborn, hardworking side,” added Armstrong.

“They defended extremely well and put their bodies on the line, they made it compact and I said to their manager ‘they’ve worked their socks off for you’.

“But I never really felt any threat. They sat off us and we had to break them down, and fortunately we did with Luke’s two good goals.”

Goals: Charman (9, 1-0), Charman (24, 2-0)

Bookings: none

Referee: Michael Barlow

Darlington: Saltmer, McMahon, Hunt, Storey, Liddle, Wheatley, Holness (Donawa 64), Reid, Rivers, Charman (Amantchi 89), Campbell (Hedley 75). Subs (not used): Minter (gk), Watson, Laing, Hudson

Cambridge City: George, Ofusu, Gent, Simpson, Herd, Robson, Knight (Rigby 81), Wood, Davis (Olukanmi 64), Ingrey, Sharman (Prince-Jones 87). Subs (not used): Barker, Shaw