Darlington hope to be able to call on veteran defender Danny Ellis for Saturday’s game at Kettering, when Alun Armstrong expects an aerial bombardment.

Quakers crumbled in the face of such tactics in their last away game at Southport, losing 3-0 with Ellis’ absence from the heart of defence keenly felt.

Since his last appearance away to Chorley last month the 35-year-old has missed three games in a row, a period during which Ellis was on holiday but Armstrong says he was injured anyway.

The manager said: “Danny will relish this kind of game, it’s his kind of match, but if not we will rely on what we’ve got. Coops and Alex have got to respond to the criticism they got after the Southport performance.

“He’s had a stomach strain and had it before the Chorley game – he got through that on medication. Yes, he did have a break away for ten days – there was no point in him being here – and he’s come back with a bit of a strain in his calf.

“He’s an honest kid, he’s old-school and we’ll give him as long as possible to get him fit. It’s touch and go.

“Hopefully Danny is over his niggle because we could do with him.”

There will be no George Smith, however, as the left-back remains sidelined with an ankle knock. Luke Charman starts a three-match ban and Joe Wheatley will not travel due to personal reasons.