Preview | Darlington (A) | National League North

BY Liam O’Brien

In association with LV BET:

Blyth Spartans travel to Darlington on Bank Holiday Monday – their second game in just 48 hours. 

Michael Nelson’s men claimed a 2-2 draw against local rivals Gateshead at Croft Park on Boxing Day and now quickly prepare for the short trip to Darlington. 


Darlington currently sit 21st in the National League North table but have played five games less games than Blyth, the lowest in the division (8). 

They’ve been pre-occupied with their run in the FA Cup that saw them reach the second round before being beaten 6-0 away to League One side Bristol Rovers.

Darlington have a host of familiar faces from Croft Park in their squad including the likes of Jarrett Rivers, Michael Liddle, Sean Reid and Dan Maguire.

In their previous game, they drew 0-0 at home to Spennymoor Town. 

Form (league only): DLWWLWLL


Speaking after the draw with Gateshead, Nelson looked ahead to Monday’s game.

He said: “You always tend to feel a little bit lighter in your legs and recover a bit better when you’ve had a positive result. 

“I’ve told them to make sure they recover, eat right and get the right fluids on board, obviously not the alcohol!

“Just get out and do something – a bit of a jog, a stretch and make sure we recover well and go again.

“It’s a busy period the Christmas one but if you do things right and pick up points then it can be very good leading into the New Year.” 


Quakers boss Alun Armstrong told Darlington’s YouTube channel: “We’ll definitely rotate the players and bring some fresh legs in.”

He added: “It’s not going to be an easy game. It’s another local derby, they’ll have their tails up after getting a result against Gateshead. 

“We’ll have to be right at it, if we’re not then we could end up getting turned over.” 


The last time the two sides met at Blackwell Meadows was in September 2019.

Spartans lost that game 2-1 with Callum Roberts getting his first goal for Blyth. 

Adam Campbell and Steve Thompson got the goals for Darlington.


Blyth Live will return for our trip to Blackwell Meadows, with live coverage getting underway from 2:50pm. 

Alternatively, Darlington are live streaming the game for a cost of £7.99.

Posted by Jordan Cronin