DARLINGTON will be looking for revenge and a hat-trick of victories when they go to the Deva Stadium to face Chester this afternoon.

Quakers have already played their old Football League rivals twice this season in the FA Cup, drawing 0-0 at Blackwell Meadows before losing the replay to a late fluke goal to put them out at the first hurdle.

Since then, the mood has changed for the better at Blackwell Meadows, and Darlington go across country today on the back of a 5-1 home win over Guiseley and a good 3-1 away victory at Kettering. Those results left Alun Armstrong's side in 12th position in the National League North table, just three points behind the play-offs.

“It was a disappointing night in the FA Cup,” admitted Armstrong. “Both teams cancelled each other out. We had the better of the first half, they had the better of the second, but they got the rub of the green with the goal when a miskick fell to their lad, who scored.

“We’ve got to make sure that it doesn’t happen again on the back of two decent results.

“Hopefully, now we’ll go from strength to strength. The lads are in confident mood and we’re going there looking to win. But it will be a tough game, because they know how we play, and we know how they play.

“The lads got the lift they needed from the Guiseley game. Danny Ellis was a big miss at Southport, but the lads stood up and got a little bit lucky with Guiseley wanting to play their league game instead of postponing it when they had Covid.

"It might have been a different story for us if they played a stronger team. The lads took advantage of that and built on that against Kettering. Not many teams will go to Kettering and get a result.

“We’re going to have ups and downs and experience bumps in the road. We didn’t do ourselves justice against Southport, but we’ve put it right since then and there are no excuses now. “

Quakers have scored eight times in the last two matches, which makes them top scorers in the league by one from leaders AFC Fylde and sixth-placed Alfreton.

There has been some other good news in terms of contracts during the week.

Midfielder Jack Lambert, who has caught the eye with his last three appearances, has signed a contract, as has experienced defender Danny Ellis.

Grimsby have also agreed to a request from Quakers to loan them midfielder Danny Rose until January 8. Rose, who started his career at Manchester United greatly impressed Armstrong in his first start in the 3-1 away win at Kettering last Saturday.

However, Ellis is unlikely to figure at Chester because of injury, the same as left-back George Wood. Striker Luke Charman serves the second game of his three-match ban, while midfielder Alex Purver is also banned for one match after reaching five bookings.

Meanwhile, in the Northern Premier East, Shildon will be hoping to climb back into second place when they take on Bridlington at Dean Street.

The Railwaymen dropped into third place in midweek because of Marske’s 3-2 win over Worksop, but Marske are on FA Trophy duty today, so Shildon have an immediate opportunity to regain second spot. They are missing Jack Vaulks, Danny Palmer and Danny Craggs because of injury, while Ben Trotter and Chay Liddle are suspended.