MAINTAINING their form of recent weeks and becoming more consistent is Darlington’s aim this weekend against Gloucester City.

Alun Armstrong’s side have taken seven of the last nine available points, beating Guiseley and Kettering, and it would have been three wins in a row had they not suffered a late collapse seven days ago at Chester.

They led 2-0 until conceding two late goals, and Armstrong said: “Hopefully we can carry on from where we left off at Chester in terms of the performance.

“Kettering was a fantastic performance too on a bad pitch, so there’s been massive improvements in the team, everyone can see that.

“We need to go on a run. I’ve looked at our fixtures and there’s nothing to be afraid of.

“We need to be consistent and if you look at the last three games we’ve played and deserved nine points.”

Last week’s draw was meagre reward after a good showing, one that would surely have been a 3-0 away win had Kallum Griffiths not spurned a scoring opportunity moments before Chester’s first goal of the game.

Armstrong admitted: “It was really frustrating and nobody saw it coming because they never had us under pressure. I never saw a threat, their two goals came out of nothing. We were only under the cosh after they scored their first goal.

“The game should’ve been put to bed, let’s be honest. Griff was fuming with himself for his missed chance. He scores that and it’s 3-0.”

Jake Cassidy’s close-range finish put Darlington 2-0 up at Chester, and he has become a key part of Armstrong’s team with the manager selecting him in each game this season.

“The person I’ve been most impressed with is Jake Cassidy,” said the boss. “His work ethic for the team is unbelievable.

“He got a kick at Kettering, a bad one, his foot was swollen and there was a bruise. I asked him if he wanted to come off, he said no and after the match he was in bits, but he doesn’t show it on the pitch.

“I knew he was a good foil to play off, but I didn’t realise how much work he gets through, so I’ve got to give him massive credit.”

Second-bottom Gloucester recorded a long-awaited success last weekend, their 2-0 success against Farsley being their first victory in ten league fixtures.

“I was pleased they won,” added Armstrong. “Yes, their tails will be up after they had a good result, but when teams have had a bad run it would typical for them to get a win against Darlington.”

Danny Ellis returns to the fray today after overcoming a calf strain, further knocking Brandon Taylor down the pecking order.

Armstrong admitted: “Brandon needs to go out on loan. He needs to go and play games to give himself any chance of a career otherwise he’ll get forgotten about.”