DARLINGTON face their longest trip since becoming a fan-owned club when they play Weymouth in the fourth round of the Buildbase FA Trophy today.

The Quakers squad set off yesterday lunchtime on the daunting 350-mile trip to Dorset and stopped overnight in a Taunton hotel, with manager Alun Armstrong demanding an improvement on the 1-0 defeat at Farsley in the league on Tuesday.

“We’ve got to get our fingers out for the game,” said Armstrong, who was annoyed that the heads of one or two of his players appeared to drop after Farsley scored early in the second half on Tuesday night.

“We weren’t bad in the first half at Farsley, but in the second half we weren’t great. We didn’t create many chances after they took the lead, and didn’t get behind their defence to put crosses in. We could have done better. We’re lacking in confidence a little bit, but we’ve got nothing to lose and can go onto the field with nothing to fear.

“Hopefully, the pitch will be decent. We know they’re not doing too well in the league above us, but they haven’t played much lately. We’ve had a couple of reports on them, and have a rough idea of what they’re about. It’s all about what’s on the day, and if the lads rise to the occasion like they did at Swindon, then we can give it a right good go.”

The season has become stop-start for Quakers, with interruptions for Covid and the weather meaning they have only had one training session so far this year.

Central defender Louis Laing is missing long term because of a cruciate ligament injury, but midfielder Omar Holness and defender Ben Hedley are both added to the squad.

Weymouth are third from bottom of the National League, and have picked up only four points in ten league games at the Ron Lucas Stadium.

Meanwhile, Quakers have stated that one of their players tested positive for Covid away from the squad last weekend and is self-isolating until next week. The rest of the players and management team are unaffected.