Darlington say that defender Lexus Beeden was the target of an alleged racist comment made by a Whitby Town player during Saturday’s friendly.

The match at the Turnbull Ground was Quakers’ final fixture of their pre-season schedule as they prepare for their league campaign beginning this weekend.

However, Darlington say match referee Jonty Gill was informed of racist language directed at Beeden, and the player later made a statement on Twitter.

He said: “Racism isn’t acceptable in any way, shape or form. To be called a black c***, as if it is a disadvantage, is what it costs for us to chase our dream in football nowadays. But you can’t keep this lion down without roaring. Thank you to @Official_Darlo for supporting me.”

Darlington released a statement of their own, saying: “The club is aware of an incident that took place in the first half of our friendly at Whitby today involving our centre half Lexus Beeden and one of the Whitby players, in which it is alleged that racist language was used towards Lexus.

“The referee was made aware of the incident at half time by Darlington officials, and has included it in his match report to the FA.

“In the light of the fact that the FA will now be involved, then we will be making no further comment.”

Beeden, 19, is a summer signing who was last season at Welling in the National League South.

Darlington lost the game 2-1.

A spokesperson for Whitby Town said the club will be providing no comment on the situation.