MICHAEL Mackay has plenty of admirers at Hartlepool United, and none greater than manager Danny Wilson.

The Pools boss may have sprung something of a suprise last week when he handed Mackay his first Football League start, in the injury-enforced absence of Joel Porter.

Richard Barker remained on the bench as Wilson opted for the pace of Mackay and it wasn't long before the manager's choice was justified as Mackay bent home from 25 yards to give Pools an early lead at Yeovil.

They lost 3-1, but the Pools boss was more than satisfied with the performance of Mackay, who 12 months ago was playing for Consett in the Northern League.

Mackay has scored three goals this season and Wilson said: "Michael did fantastically well last week. When he had the ball he caused defenders problems but we stopped feeding him.

"We had a lot of joy through him in the first half but we went to sleep as a team.

"I thought that was Michael's best game for us. He was a major threat and their defence struggled to cope with his and Ian Moore's pace.

"In the first half he got in behind them and they couldn't handle him. In the second they defended deeper and it was harder for him but that was down to us.'' ■ Dave Penney admits having another blank weekend could be good for Darlington's promotion prospects, but he would rather be getting points in the bag than having games in hand.

Due to Barnet's FA Cup exploits Quakers' match in London on January 5 will have to be rearranged which means, like last weekend, Penney's side will not have a game.

Darlington's game at Morecambe was abandoned after 22 minutes.

Frost is threatening tomorrow's home game with Chester City, but Darlington are optimistic it will go ahead as the pitch has been covered.

"We've had a look at the fixture list and there's not many teams we can bring forward to play on January 5," said Penney.

"So that means we might have another rest period but then we'll straight back into it as we have Bury on the 12th then the game at Morecambe on the 15th.

"It can be a good thing not having a game. We might need a break after all the games over Christmas, and if we've signed players it would give us time to bed them in. But it also means we'll be two games behind."