DARLINGTON manager Alun Armstrong admits that getting a result at Spennymoor’s Brewery Field will be a tough ask in his side’s return local derby this afternoon.

The sides drew 0-0 at Blackwell Meadows in a wind-spoilt game of very few chances on Boxing Day, and Armstrong knows that his team will be in for another tough game today.

“We know that we’re going to have a difficult game, and getting a result will be a tough ask,” said Armstrong.

“We had a good win on Monday against Blyth, but so did they at Gateshead. They’ll be full of confidence with that win, but we know what to expect after playing them last week. Having said that, they know what to expect from us. Hopefully, we won’t have to deal with a gale-force wind.”

Quakers go into the game boosted by an emphatic 6-0 win over Blyth on Monday, the best league win under Armstrong’s command since he arrived in the summer of 2019 and he admits that he has problems picking a strikeforce because of their current goalscoring form.

On loan Middlesbrough striker Tyrone O’Neill scored a couple, last season’s top scorer Adam Campbell grabbed one to give him six for the season, while Dan Maguire came on as substitute and scored.

Behind them, Jarrett Rivers now has five for the season as well as Erico Sousa, so with Luke Charman just about back to full fitness after missing the last four matches, Armstrong has food for thought.

“It’s a massive problem for me to pick a front three,” he said. “I was so pleased that we scored six on Monday, we could have scored more if our finishing had been better. Luke is fit again, so how do I fit him in?

“It was a huge battle last Saturday in the first game. It was difficult because of the strong wind, and the ball kept being blown out of play. I think we got the worst of it in the first half, it eased off for Spennymoor at the start of the second.

“But we never had the chance to get the ball down and play, which hopefully we’ll be able to today.”

Goalkeeper Melvin Minter was recalled by his parent club Harrogate Town straight after Monday’s win over Blyth – he was on the bench for their abandoned game against Carlisle on Tuesday – and so Jonny Saltmer will play in goal.

Centre-half Louis Laing, right-back Ben Hedley and midfielder Omar Holness are all out because of injury, but Charman is in the squad again, as well as Nicky Hunt, who was rested for the first game.

This is the start of a hectic spell for Quakers, with nine games – eight in the league and one in the Trophy – coming up in the month of January, with another seven league games in February.

Moors, meanwhile, had a good 3-1 away win at Gateshead on Monday to give them their second away win of the season, with former Darlington player Rob Ramshaw scoring twice and Glen Taylor scoring his eighth goal of the season.

“I thought it was a good result on Monday and we played some good stuff,” said manager Tommy Miller. “We created some very good chances and could have scored further goals even before they were reduced to ten men. We were good going forward and looked solid at the back. We scored the second goal at the right time in the second half and we were in control after that.

“Considering that was our second game in three days, it was a big ask for some players, so we changed things around, and I was very happy with the way the lads who came in played. They have waited patiently for their chance, and they took it. They have given me plenty to think about, it’s good to know that there are lads in the squad who are prepared to take their chance to play when it comes along.”

Just like Quakers, Moors couldn’t draw many conclusions from last Saturday’s game at Blackwell Meadows.

“There were very few chances last week because the weather upset the game,” said Miller. “The ball kept blowing towards the right hand side of the field when we were kicking against it. Darlington know plenty about us, and we know plenty about them.”

Miller expects to choose from a full squad, apart from midfielder Jamie Chandler who is out for the full season.