Alun Armstrong’s New Year’s resolution is to bring in a striker, as he fears he could soon be without Luke Charman through suspension or otherwise.

Darlington were expecting to be informed today if they had been successful in appealing against the red card Charman was shown on Boxing Day against Spennymoor Town.

“But we’ve received an email today saying they put the decision back to next week without any explanation,” said Armstrong this afternoon. “It’s frustrating.”

Nonetheless, Charman is available for selection on Saturday against Spennymoor at Blackwell Meadows, looking to score for the fifth game in a row.

His fourth was on Tuesday against Gateshead, making it 18 goals in 32 Quakers appearances since joining after leaving Newcastle United in the summer of 2020.

“I’m worried about the January window because the way Luke is playing I don’t know how much longer we’ll have him,” confessed Armstrong.

“There were scouts there on Tuesday, some of them because of Gateshead players, so it was a good game for Luke to do well in.”

Each of Charman’s six goals last season were in cup competitions, but in 2021-22 he has been in fine form, scoring in ten of his 15 league appearances.

Armstrong added: “Last year he wasn’t fit, he’ll admit that he wasn’t. He pulled up in the first couple of sessions and he had sore hamstrings, but if you look at pictures of him from last year his physique has changed. He always worked hard but was getting niggles.

“There was interest in him in the summer which we turned down and it caused an uproar because obviously he wants to play full-time.

“We had tough conversations with him, me and DJ, because obviously he wants to play professionally, but it was just a National League club who came in but I don’t want him to go to that level, I want him to go higher and we told him he can bypass that division.

“We told him if he works his socks off and does well then we’ll wish him all the best and he’ll move on, and he’s keeping his end of the bargain at the minute.

“He’s got all the attributes and now he’s adding tap-ins as well as the long-range goals.

“I’d love to keep him for the rest of the season, but I’ve got to be prepared.”

With Andrew Nelson currently sidelined due to his longstanding knee problem, one potential arrival could be former Quaker loanee Tyrone O’Neill, who is not in favour at Scunthorpe United.

“I’m going to have to try and get a striker in,” explained Armstrong. “If you look at the bench on Tuesday, I didn’t have a striker to bring on.

“I’ve spoken to Tyrone and it would be a good one to do if we can because of my connection with him and his connection with the club.

“I know how he plays, he knows how we play, but we need someone and he can do it at this level. I’ve spoken to him and Scunthorpe, he would be the obvious choice.”

Quakers can call on Will Hatfield today, but Joe Wheatley is unavailable due to Covid and Jake Cooper has been unable to recover from a hamstring strain. Armstrong is hoping to extend his loan from Rotherham United.

Jarrett Rivers is in contention to start today having been ill on Tuesday.