A number of Darlington players with first-team experience will be involved on Tuesday against Newton Aycliffe.

The Durham Challenge Cup tie at the Beaumont Landscapes Stadium (7.45pm) represents a change of tack for manager Alun Armstrong, who does not rank the competition highly in his priorities.

However, due to the club’s pre-season schedule being affected by Covid leading to a number of friendlies being postponed, he says it is an opportunity for players on the fringes of his starting XI to get 90 minutes under their belt.

“I’ve not usually used that competition, I’ve left it to the academy,” said Armstrong. “But because we’ve got a few lads who haven’t played much and because of the pre-season we had, it’s an opportunity for them to play. They’ve missed so much.”

Among those involved will be Alex Purver, Danny Rose, Jack Lambert, Junior Mondal, Brandon Taylor and Andrew Nelson.

James Beauchamp is unavailable, however, as he has tested positive for Covid He last week joined Guisborough Town on a dual registration basis, but was unable to play in their game at the weekend.

Aycliffe have started the season well and are second in the Northern League, but missed the chance to go joint-top at the weekend when they surprisingly lost 3-0 at home to Sunderland RCA.

Admission is £7 for adults, £5 concessions £and £3 for under 16s.