DAVID Stockdale will be fulfilling a childhood dream when he becomes a Premier League footballer this summer - but he can only hope that no representatives from Fulham were at Spotland on Saturday.

A deal worth £350,000, which could rise to £600,000, will take the 22-year-old to Craven Cottage after a fairytale season at the Darlington Arena.

His impressive displays this season have attracted widespread interest and none more so than Roy Hodgson.

However, the Fulham boss will be hoping that Stockdale's below par performance at the weekend was a one off.

In truth it was.

Because for much of the season Stockdale has been one of Darlington's most consistent performers, rivaled only by the outstanding Steve Foster.

Twenty of Darlington's 24 league clean sheets this season have been kept by Stockdale.

But for the injury problems that curtailed any hopes of an automatic promotion finish, that tally may have made even more impressive reading.

The Yorkshireman came third in the Football League's Golden Glove competition for League Two goalkeepers last week, although he might as well have been wearing gardening gloves when his error led to Rochdale's equaliser.

By that time Stockdale's head was already well and truly in the shed after some uncharacteristic clangers.

The first of which saw the goalkeeper come racing out of his box to deal with a Rochdale attack.

His attempted header fell to Chris Dagnell and Stockdale's blushes were only spared by the striker's profligacy as his 30-yard effort cleared the crossbar.

But it was his failure to deal with Adam Rundle's freekick on the stroke of half-time that proved most costly.

With his nerves already frayed after flapping at what usually would be routine catches, Stockdale's confidence hit rock bottom when he managed to spill Rundle's cross at his near post into the path of Dagnell, who duly made the most of the goalkeeper's generosity.

The Leeds-born goalkeeper struggled to regain his composure and the normally assured Stockdale was reduced to a fumbling wreck.

It is something the former York City goalkeeper will need to eradicate from his game if, as he vowed at the weekend, he will not be heading to West London to just make up the numbers.

Under the scrutiny of the Sky cameras, Stockdale's nerves weren't helped by a vociferous Rochdale support, who didn't hold back whenever the Quakers goalkeeper made a mistake.

But with the possibility of playing at places like Old Trafford and Anfield next season, he will have much bigger occasions than a League Two play-off semi-final to deal with.