SECURING Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s services for two more months is a coup, says Darlington manager Mark Cooper.

The attacking midfielder’s goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Crawley Town was his third in six games since joining on loan from Carlisle United.

Since the-31-year-old arrived at The Northern Echo Arena, Darlington remain unbeaten, and Cooper said: “We’ve agreed to sign him until January 8, so that’s a bit of a coup for us. We’ve not lost with him in the team.

“I think he’s really enjoyed it. He’s been made to feel welcome by the fans and people at the club, plus he’s playing every week and he doesn’t live a million miles away, so why would he want to go anywhere else?”

However, should they wish to retain Bridge-Wilkinson’s services beyond January 8, it would have to be via a permanent switch as rules state the loan could not be extended further.

While Bridge-Wilkinson has extended his stay, youngster John McReady has joined Whitby Town on loan.

The South Shields-born teenage midfielder made his debut for the Evo-Stik Premier side in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at home to Burscough.

Already out on loan are goalkeeper Kelvin Jack, at fellow Conference club Kettering, and Michael Smith, at Workington in the Blue Square North.

“John needs to be playing games,” said Cooper. “We’ve got about five or six players who are not featuring so we need to get people out to play games.

“Him and Michael Smith have shown me they’ve got something, but they’ve got to grow up and develop, and when they get their chance in the team they’ve got to grab it with both hands.”

Meanwhile, Crawley boss Steve Evans says his team had Quakers “on their knees”

on Saturday.

The second-placed team had a one-man advantage for most of the game, due to Aaron Brown’s first-half red card, but Darlington’s rigid defence prevented them creating clear chances.

He said: “It was difficult to break Darlington down. Did they have a striker in the second half? But to be fair, they limited us to three chances.

“You only had to look at the reaction of Darlington players and fans at the final whistle, they looked like they had won promotion. It shows what it means to get something off Crawley Town.

“We just about had Darlington on their knees, but our creative players were not quite on top of their game.”