Darlington’s task this weekend is to overcome FA Cup giantkillers Kidderminster Harriers following their exertions last weekend.

The national spotlight fell on Aggborough, despite televisional companies short-sightedly choosing not to broadcast their third-round tie, when they toppled Championship side Reading.

They were amply rewarded in the fourth-round draw, a home game with West Ham United in three weeks’ time, so focus returns to the league where Kidderminster are firmly involved in the play-off picture.

They are fifth but have games in hand on all of the teams above them, and Quakers boss Alun Armstrong said: “They’ve done brilliantly. I watched the highlights and they had some good fortune, as you need in the cups – the second goal looked a foul – but we got it last year too at Swindon, when Adam Campbell’s second goal deflected into the corner.

“But you earn that luck by working extremely hard. Russ Penn has got them playing some good football so it’ll be tough game and a good marker because when we play these top teams we seem to do well.

“The lads know what’s at stake and if we can do what we did against Brackley and Fylde then I’ll be quite happy.”

Brackley and Fylde are top and fourth respectively, though second-placed Gateshead are top scores on 40.

Darlington, tenth in the table, are the second highest scorers on 38 having added six to their total last week at Farsley Celtic.

On a heavy pitch, it was their biggest away win since 2016, and it came despite being under considerable pressure in the opening stages.

“Those first 15 minutes, the old Darlo would probably have crumbled without Danny Ellis and Jake Lawlor,” said Armstrong.

“When Danny came in at half-time covered head to toe in mud it typified him, he loves that kind of game.

“That period set the tone, it showed that we can defend properly and then we went and played our football.”

However, Lawlor’s loan from Hartlepool United has concluded and Danny Rose’s loan from Grimsby has expired, so a reshuffle is needed.

Lawlor’s exit hands a reprise to Alex Storey, who has found himself sidelined in recent months, and Armstrong said: “Alex has been smashing in training. He hasn’t let his head drop, he’s watching and learning and that’s all we can ask of him.

“If he gets a chance it’s up to him to grab it with both hands.

“He’s got to learn off these experienced lads, watch what they’re doing.

“He’s still young, but there are other young lads like Jake Cooper who are more used to our level. Alex has been with us for two years and needs to come out of his shell.

“We know the potential is there, we need more of a nasty side from him.”

Kidderminster have strengthened their squad with the addition of midfielder Devonte Redmond on loan from Wrexham, while striker Marcus Dinanga made his Harriers debut on Tuesday after signing from Altrincham before Christmas.

In 2019-20 he scored a hat-trick at Blackwell in a 3-2 win for Telford.