DARLINGTON manager Alun Armstrong wants to kick-start a great FA Trophy run to go with Quakers’ excellent FA Cup exploits when City of Liverpool visit Blackwell Meadows this evening,

Armstrong’s side have not played because of Covid restrictions since the defeat at Bristol Rovers in the second round of the FA Cup over a fortnight ago, and the manager is keen to get back to winning ways – and emulate the achievement of Brackley, from the same division as Quakers, who got to Wembley two seasons ago.

“There’s no way we’re taking the Trophy lightly, “ he said. “We must make sure we come out all guns blazing after our break. It would be a great way to top off a difficult season for our supporters by getting to Wembley. They haven’t been able to see the players in the flesh so far this season, and it was so difficult for them not being at our FA Cup matches.

“We’ve seen how clubs from our division have done in the Trophy in recent years – Brackley, for example, won it two seasons ago. There’s no reason why we can’t do it.

“But we know it will be a tricky game tonight. We know the level they’re coming from – they’re in the same league as Marine, who have done so well in the FA Cup so far, and Tadcaster Albion and Prescot Cables who we beat in the FA Cup. Erico Sousa played for Tadcaster, and we’ve seen how good a player he is since he signed for us.

Sousa returns to the squad tonight after being ineligible for the FA Cup, but defender Michael Liddle is still missing because of injury. Striker Luke Charman has now fully recovered from an ankle injury.

City of Liverpool’s league season has been halted by their league, the Northern Premier League North and West, and they haven’t played a league game since October 24 when they lost at Colne.

Their Trophy run started with a concession by Cleethorpes, then they beat Atherton Collieries and Buxton from the division above them.

Quakers have re-arranged some outstanding games. They play Gateshead on Tuesday, January 26 and Leamington on Tuesday, February 2.

The league has ruled that the Boston game, which was abandoned because of the frightening injury to Nicky Hunt, should be replayed on Tuesday, February 16.