Alun Armstrong has spoken of his regret that Darlington fans were not able to support his side in person this season.

The Quakers boss can’t help feel it may also have helped spur his team on further in their showdown cup matches.

He told the club’s website: “I really do wish that our fans could have watched our games this season. It was a strange feeling playing our first game of the season against Prescot Cables in an empty stadium – the game, like many games this season, felt more like a pre-season friendly rather than a big FA Cup tie.

“As we progressed in the Emirates FA Cup, I felt really sorry for our supporters because they couldn’t enjoy those great moments with us in the flesh. That deserved 2-1 away win at Swindon was a day that will always be remembered, but I would have felt even more satisfied being cheered on by a thousand or so Darlington fans, just like we were at Walsall a year previously.

“The roar when Adam Campbell scored the winner in the second half would have been just as loud for Joe Wheatley’s goal at Walsall, if not louder. Maybe having a large number of fans behind us at Bristol Rovers might have made a difference against a team that had been struggling at home until we played them.

“I could argue the same about the FA Trophy. We went all the way to play Weymouth from the league above us and won, then beat Wealdstone, again from the league above us, quite easily, but we maybe lacked the positive noise of the crowd behind us or even the kick up the backside we needed when we played Hornchurch last Saturday.”

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