Darlington have won four of their past five games – repeat the feat over the next few weeks and it would put a whole new complexion on their end to the season.
They have hauled themselves away from danger with some notable successes, instilling a sense of belief previously lacking in a squad that had endured a poor run of results – winning only one of Tommy Wright’s first 12 games at the helm. Beating Blyth (4th), Bradford PA (9th) and Kidderminster (6th), as well as lowly Leamington, has imbued confidence, propelling Quakers to 14th and creating a momentum they would love to have taken to out-of-form Tamworth last weekend.
The postponed fixture will instead be played this Tuesday, with today’s visit of Curzon Ashton to Blackwell Meadows representing the first of five fixtures in a row against teams in the bottom half of the table. Wright, with an almost fully fit squad available, said: “The lads have come through a tough run of games smelling of roses, and now we’ve got five back-to-back games where the opposition is around us – it’s up to us now.
“We’ve done it against the better teams in this league, so what I’m saying to the boys is are we going to stay in this pack, or are we going to kick on? It’s all to play for and at the end of this five-game period I’d like to be in a favourable position where we can start looking at our next objective.
“Are we just going to see the season out, or are we going to have an outside chance of performing a miracle? A lot can change in five games, as we have just seen.”
After Curzon (17th) and Tamworth (19th) there are dates with North Ferriby (22nd), Telford (20th) and Southport (12th).
While such fixtures may be appealing on paper, Darlington fans know not to take anything for granted from the opposition’s league position – this season Quakers have lost three games to teams in the current bottom four.
The Beast from the East postponed last week’s visit to Tamworth, who have wretched home form, and Wright reflected: “It was frustrating because when you’re on a good run of form you want to continue it while you have the momentum.
“Tamworth were on a bad run, so it was a game I was looking forward to. Although I was disappointed not to play, on reflection going into a game without any training in the week before could’ve been a risk.”
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