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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:54 pm 
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divas wrote:

We're paying a heavy price for

1) Gray building a team around a striker that has been injured since the beginning of the season

2) Gray Signing an unproven winger to a lay up front rather than a proper forward. Think he must have thought he was Wenger bringing Henry in for a moment.

Make no mistake we have the finances to compete at the top end of the division but the money needs to be spent wisely.

I'd add

3) Gray offering 2 year contracts to players who are struggling at this level, making it difficult now to refresh the squad. It was obvious even last season when we were doing well that some of the squad had struggled with the step up, and that is even clearer now that we're missing some of our better players and also our momentum and confidence has gone. It's a shame as they seem like good blokes, and they've all played an important part in our progress to date, but unfortunately all players reach an upper limit eventually.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:00 pm 
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divas wrote:
Thinking about it a bit more if TW wants to stick to the 4-5-1 he favours then I see no reason why you couldn't play Cartman as the most advanced of the 3 central midfielders where Caton played yesterday initially. A big man up front (Syers until Beck is fit) and Cartman coming from deeper may give us more joy. Cartman defends from the front and often nicks possession back but it's no good doing that if you're the only forward.

Syers is a must at the moment, and it's puzzling as to why he wasn't involved yesterday at all (unless he had a knock). He's the only player we've got at the moment who offers us a bit of presence up front. It's not about playing 'hoofball', rather it's that all of our other attackers need someone to play off, and he's the only who who can play that 'target man' role to any degree of success.

I'm all for Wright giving Caton another go - we're paying him and we need to try and get the best out of him (I'd be tempted to try him on the wing - at least he sometimes tries to beat his man and get a ball in). But it should have been at the expense of Thompson, Cartman or Gillies and not Syers.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:00 pm 
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Yep, good point. I must admit I was surprised at how many existing players were given new deals giving him little wiggle room to freshen up the squad. Then there was the bizarre team photo with a squad of about 25 - he probably planned to try and exert his influence to keep everyone and then bring in a raft of other signings rather than having to make some tough decisions on existing players. He knew himself that the league would be tougher this time around - he told us enough times when trying to get more budget.

There was no need to give Burgess a 2 year deal when he was still injured - no one was going to come and pinch him - let him get fit then make him an offer. Given he still doesn't look fit it would have been scope to bring someone in for 6 months.

I think Gray probably thought if he signed them up and didn't want them he'd be able to ship them out easily as he'd managed to do in prior seasons. The trouble is it's a lot more difficult when the clubs who you usually sell to are now out performing you and the wages the players are now on make them too expensive even for northern league teams who splash the cash.

We might have got away with it had it not been for the injuries this season, especially to key players which has highlighted that the back up players we have aren't good enough.When you have to run with a small squad you have to make sure they can all step up. Last season we got away with it, this season it's bit us on the arse.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:05 pm 
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Alfie wrote:
Was a MoM announced, or was it considered inappropriate in the circumstances?


Portus got it.

There is a lot of doom and gloom on this thread but Brackley are a very good side as they have skill and strength. The game yesterday reminded me of our trip to Fylde last season, we were beaten by a better team - it happens.

Yet I've seen us play a lot worse than yesterday, I've seen worse performances from us this season under the leadership of Gray, with Beck and Ferguson playing, so I don't feel too down about it.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:10 pm 
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al_quaker wrote:
divas wrote:
Thinking about it a bit more if TW wants to stick to the 4-5-1 he favours then I see no reason why you couldn't play Cartman as the most advanced of the 3 central midfielders where Caton played yesterday initially. A big man up front (Syers until Beck is fit) and Cartman coming from deeper may give us more joy. Cartman defends from the front and often nicks possession back but it's no good doing that if you're the only forward.

Syers is a must at the moment, and it's puzzling as to why he wasn't involved yesterday at all (unless he had a knock). He's the only player we've got at the moment who offers us a bit of presence up front. It's not about playing 'hoofball', rather it's that all of our other attackers need someone to play off, and he's the only who who can play that 'target man' role to any degree of success.

I'm all for Wright giving Caton another go - we're paying him and we need to try and get the best out of him (I'd be tempted to try him on the wing - at least he sometimes tries to beat his man and get a ball in). But it should have been at the expense of Thompson, Cartman or Gillies and not Syers.


I listened with interest to Alan White's interview this morning. It was reassuring that he mentioned about not playing football in the wrong areas - that's what has let us down and it's plainly obvious. He said at times you need to just get rid. I think everyone would agree with that and it's pretty obvious. The concern however is that by setting up as they did they didn't give those players an option to knock it long, hence why they got caught in possession in dangerous areas time and time again. It's that which must be addressed. Like you I can only assume Syers has a knock as he was one of our most effective players against Blyth until withdrawn and the game was crying out for him yesterday. The only other option is to pull the wingers onto the touch line and play balls in behind. By playing narrow yesterday it just allowed their full-backs so much freedom, especially the number 2 - our wingers should have forced them back


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:15 pm 
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theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Darlogramps wrote:
theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Darlopartisan wrote:
No! the crowd was not poor, the people who decided not to come was poor!


I thought the crowd was OK. Good compared to a lot of our competitors in this league.
But not compared to the hole in the budget our smaller than planned for crowds will leave.

Stop being so naive.


We are currently 5th in the attendance table with an average of 1542. The point I was making was that in relation to the league we are in, our attendances are OK.

What we choose to set our budget at is another question.


What does that matter? It means nothing when our outgoings are/have been big too.

I don't understand the relevance of your point.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:30 pm 
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divas wrote:
I listened with interest to Alan White's interview this morning. It was reassuring that he mentioned about not playing football in the wrong areas - that's what has let us down and it's plainly obvious. He said at times you need to just get rid. I think everyone would agree with that and it's pretty obvious. The concern however is that by setting up as they did they didn't give those players an option to knock it long, hence why they got caught in possession in dangerous areas time and time again. It's that which must be addressed. Like you I can only assume Syers has a knock as he was one of our most effective players against Blyth until withdrawn and the game was crying out for him yesterday. The only other option is to pull the wingers onto the touch line and play balls in behind. By playing narrow yesterday it just allowed their full-backs so much freedom, especially the number 2 - our wingers should have forced them back

I do like what I hear from Wright and White, and if they can get their thoughts through to the players then they will do well. The problem is, they've been played a bit of a hospital pass: an unbalanced squad, low on confidence, best player just sold, best striker out injured (and maybe about to be sold), not much money to refresh things, key CB out injured (and now maybe Collins out injured too), and a really tough run of fixtures to start off with. Good luck lads :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:34 pm 
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Darlogramps wrote:
theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Darlogramps wrote:
theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Darlopartisan wrote:
No! the crowd was not poor, the people who decided not to come was poor!


I thought the crowd was OK. Good compared to a lot of our competitors in this league.
But not compared to the hole in the budget our smaller than planned for crowds will leave.

Stop being so naive.


We are currently 5th in the attendance table with an average of 1542. The point I was making was that in relation to the league we are in, our attendances are OK.

What we choose to set our budget at is another question.


What does that matter? It means nothing when our outgoings are/have been big too.

I don't understand the relevance of your point.

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The point is, people are dissing our attendance yesterday. So to repeat myself - We are currently 5th in the attendance table with an average of 1542. The point I was making was that in relation to the league we are in, our attendances are OK.

What we choose to set our budget at is another question.

I'm sure you can see the relevance, even if you don't agree.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:03 pm 
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You mean what Gray asked/demanded our budget to be set at


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:36 pm 
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theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Darlogramps wrote:
theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Darlogramps wrote:
theoriginalfatcat wrote:
[quote="Darlopartisan"]No! the crowd was not poor, the people who decided not to come was poor!


I thought the crowd was OK. Good compared to a lot of our competitors in this league.
But not compared to the hole in the budget our smaller than planned for crowds will leave.

Stop being so naive.


We are currently 5th in the attendance table with an average of 1542. The point I was making was that in relation to the league we are in, our attendances are OK.

What we choose to set our budget at is another question.


What does that matter? It means nothing when our outgoings are/have been big too.

I don't understand the relevance of your point.

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The point is, people are dissing our attendance yesterday. So to repeat myself - We are currently 5th in the attendance table with an average of 1542. The point I was making was that in relation to the league we are in, our attendances are OK.

What we choose to set our budget at is another question.

I'm sure you can see the relevance, even if you don't agree.[/quote]

But our attendance relative to other teams is completely irrelevant. It doesn't matter if we have the 5th biggest attendance in the league.

It's a pointless stat. You're saying 1200 is a good attendance for us, because other teams get lower.

That's stupid logic, because all teams are different. A team with a fan base of thousands, which budgets for around 1700, cannot be happy with 1200.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:42 pm 
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From what Divas says then we might not be able to cut back on our budget next year either. However, we just need to stabilise the next couple of years , then the year after we'll have more money available from the 5 year ST money being available again. Once the DFCSG board elections have taken place then we'll have some really excellent skills on our board and early next year we should therefore see the publication of plans of where we go the next few years. If we get the stand in place, then there shouldn't need to be too much infrastructure fundraising in the next year or so. Off the pitch things will seem much more rosy after the next 6 months I feel. That's why we simply have to survive in this league. Our long term plans will certainly not involve dropping back to the NPL. The other cloud on the horizon is whether we'll have to spend the next season and a half plugging gaps in the budget again, with reference to the first line of my post. God we need a cup run next year.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:49 pm 
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Gramps, with reference to our budget and our crowds being lower than hoped for, I'm clinging to two crumbs of comfort. Firstly, David Johnston said recently that we haven't been hit too hard by this due to the gate increase, and secondly, we still have some big home games to come which should boost our average attendance (Hopefully a good Boxing Day crowd, then York in the new year and FCUM normally bring a few hundred). I am aware of the maths though that we still have 12 home games to come, and we'll be above average for only 2 of those 12 at least.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:26 pm 
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Its funny how we have different opinions on players, I may be the only one but I believe that Cartman is more than capable of making his mark in this league, he has a good footballing brain, awareness of the players around him (where a few of our players need to get the ball to their feet then look around to see where our players are), chases down and defends from the front.

Unfortunately he is being asked to play in a role for quite a while now which does not play to his strengths. He needs someone to play off, (thought him and Syers were building up a bit of understanding), and have support to lay the ball off to, also quick movement of the ball into the box to get the best out of him. Sometimes think people only look at goals scored, (in which case this year we would need to get rid of most of the team if that was the criteria), and not overall contribution but of course everyone has there opinion which is of course only just and right.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:51 pm 
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50 years wrote:
Its funny how we have different opinions on players, I may be the only one but I believe that Cartman is more than capable of making his mark in this league, he has a good footballing brain, awareness of the players around him (where a few of our players need to get the ball to their feet then look around to see where our players are), chases down and defends from the front.

Unfortunately he is being asked to play in a role for quite a while now which does not play to his strengths. He needs someone to play off, (thought him and Syers were building up a bit of understanding), and have support to lay the ball off to, also quick movement of the ball into the box to get the best out of him. Sometimes think people only look at goals scored, (in which case this year we would need to get rid of most of the team if that was the criteria), and not overall contribution but of course everyone has there opinion which is of course only just and right.

I tend to agree with this.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:09 pm 
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Vodka_Vic wrote:
Gramps, with reference to our budget and our crowds being lower than hoped for, I'm clinging to two crumbs of comfort. Firstly, David Johnston said recently that we haven't been hit too hard by this due to the gate increase, and secondly, we still have some big home games to come which should boost our average attendance (Hopefully a good Boxing Day crowd, then York in the new year and FCUM normally bring a few hundred). I am aware of the maths though that we still have 12 home games to come, and we'll be above average for only 2 of those 12 at least.



Unfortunately FCUM have already been up here midweek and brought about 50


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:24 pm 
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We've played 9 league games so far. Our average is 1511.

I'm forecasting that we'll average 1543 for rest of season, purely because games against Salford, Harrogate, York & Blyth will pull in higher than average crowds, York in particular should be an excellent gate. The rest of the games, bar Kidderminister, I'm expecting will be around the same level as yesterday or lower.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:37 pm 
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Robbie Painter wrote:
We've played 9 league games so far. Our average is 1511.

I'm forecasting that we'll average 1543 for rest of season, purely because games against Salford, Harrogate, York & Blyth will pull in higher than average crowds, York in particular should be an excellent gate. The rest of the games, bar Kidderminister, I'm expecting will be around the same level as yesterday or lower.


I would hope that hits our budgets, hopefully we will understand more soon with the AGM.

Targets this season have to be

1. Stay Up
2. Get the seated stand all done (we are pretty close now anyhow)
3. Hopefully have no debt/spend hangover to take into next season (Give us a fresh start next year)

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:53 pm 
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Robbie Painter wrote:
We've played 9 league games so far. Our average is 1511.

I'm forecasting that we'll average 1543 for rest of season, purely because games against Salford, Harrogate, York & Blyth will pull in higher than average crowds, York in particular should be an excellent gate. The rest of the games, bar Kidderminister, I'm expecting will be around the same level as yesterday or lower.

I remember someone on here towards the end of last season saying he can't wait to prove me wrong about our average attendances this season saying it will be 2000/2500.. Can't remember who It was.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:02 pm 
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HarrytheQuaker wrote:
Robbie Painter wrote:
We've played 9 league games so far. Our average is 1511.

I'm forecasting that we'll average 1543 for rest of season, purely because games against Salford, Harrogate, York & Blyth will pull in higher than average crowds, York in particular should be an excellent gate. The rest of the games, bar Kidderminister, I'm expecting will be around the same level as yesterday or lower.

I remember someone on here towards the end of last season saying he can't wait to prove me wrong about our average attendances this season saying it will be 2000/2500.. Can't remember who It was.

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Look it up in your post history view, will be another one you can say you right and no one else noticed.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:20 pm 
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Quite a few people have been predicting 2000 plus crowds for our move back into Darlington, however things since the move haven't gone smoothly.

Banktop wrote this in January --

"Some folks need to give their heads a good shake.
Already this season at H.P we have had gates of 2001, 1996, 1730, and 1729.
Many people vowed not to watch us again until we were back in town, and with two guaranteed full houses against F.C.U.M and Harrogate , late season home games with Telford and Tamworth which should produce big gates as we will be fighting for a play-off place, there is no doubt that average home gates will be in excess of 2000 if not nearer 2500.
Darlington F.C did not come into existence in the Northern League in 2012. There are a lot of latent supporters who will be tempted back by a successful team."

--- but I'm not criticising him, as it's all just guesswork, it's impossible to predict the future.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:37 pm 
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theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Quite a few people have been predicting 2000 plus crowds for our move back into Darlington, however things since the move haven't gone smoothly.

Banktop wrote this in January --

"Some folks need to give their heads a good shake.
Already this season at H.P we have had gates of 2001, 1996, 1730, and 1729.
Many people vowed not to watch us again until we were back in town, and with two guaranteed full houses against F.C.U.M and Harrogate , late season home games with Telford and Tamworth which should produce big gates as we will be fighting for a play-off place, there is no doubt that average home gates will be in excess of 2000 if not nearer 2500.
Darlington F.C did not come into existence in the Northern League in 2012. There are a lot of latent supporters who will be tempted back by a successful team."

--- but I'm not criticising him, as it's all just guesswork, it's impossible to predict the future.


I think a winning team would bring in those attendances, especially a winning team that played good football. However we don't have either.

Our biggest problem these last 5 and half years is when we were largely the better team hammering everyone, we played in Bishop. Now back in the Town we have hit a level where we don't have a budget/team that is better than most of the rest.

Is it what it is and we just have to work with the cards we have been dealt.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:00 pm 
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Agree if we were still at Bishop we would be lucky to have crowds above 1000 the way we are playing


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super_les_mcjannet wrote:
Is it what it is and we just have to work with the cards we have been dealt.


I'd much rather have it this way than Singh involved.

If we're going to struggle for a bit, it's no big deal and I think our new management team will do well, but it will take a bit of time.

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Anybody how supported us through the 70s and 80s know we never had a great supporter base,the people who said they would support us when we came back to town are mainly the ones who said they would not go to the arena,they have excuses not to come, we have a basic fan base who came to Bishop and will go anywhere to support us.The main problem now is the age of the fan base we need to get young supporters in somehow.Yes we are going to struggle for a while but who was responsible for giving 2 year contracts to so many players many who had reached there level,that was stupidity in my view.


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Think you are referring to Gray, why 2 year contracts and not 1 year can only be answered by him.Just what the hell he was thinking defies logic and has given Tommy a big headache going forward but every confidence with Whitey they will get us back on track.Us fans will have to show patience.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:22 pm 
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QUAKERMAN2 wrote:
Think you are referring to Gray, why 2 year contracts and not 1 year can only be answered by him.Just what the hell he was thinking defies logic and has given Tommy a big headache going forward but every confidence with Whitey they will get us back on track.Us fans will have to show patience.

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Interesting you think our board had no say in this.

I know Gray is everyone's favourite bogeyman right now, but I'd be staggered if our board had no say in handing out the two year deals.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:55 pm 
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We grumble about our performance, but we need to remember we were up against a very good well organised team. It isn't always about us playing badly, sometimes it can be that the opposition were better than us and I think this was the case on Saturday.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:26 am 
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Darlogramps wrote:

Interesting you think our board had no say in this.

I know Gray is everyone's favourite bogeyman right now, but I'd be staggered if our board had no say in handing out the two year deals.

Very true, though I'd wager they had Gray extolling their virtues and the board would likely defer to him when it comes to identifying the ability of the playing staff.

Whether the deals were then in line with the budgets originally set or they were pushed by Gray to stump up a bit more I don't know.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:15 am 
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Darlo_Pete wrote:
We grumble about our performance, but we need to remember we were up against a very good well organised team. It isn't always about us playing badly, sometimes it can be that the opposition were better than us and I think this was the case on Saturday.
We were up against a good, well organised team. But, we did not help ourselves with poor passing and little movement off the ball when we had posession. All in all it was a very poor performance.
I have not spoken to anyone who said otherwise. Even the management team thought so judging by their comments.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:48 am 
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Team Supported: Darlington
theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Quite a few people have been predicting 2000 plus crowds for our move back into Darlington, however things since the move haven't gone smoothly.

Banktop wrote this in January --

"Some folks need to give their heads a good shake.
Already this season at H.P we have had gates of 2001, 1996, 1730, and 1729.
Many people vowed not to watch us again until we were back in town, and with two guaranteed full houses against F.C.U.M and Harrogate , late season home games with Telford and Tamworth which should produce big gates as we will be fighting for a play-off place, there is no doubt that average home gates will be in excess of 2000 if not nearer 2500.
Darlington F.C did not come into existence in the Northern League in 2012. There are a lot of latent supporters who will be tempted back by a successful team."

--- but I'm not criticising him, as it's all just guesswork, it's impossible to predict the future.

Quite true, guilty as charged m'lud.
The lack of interest in D.F.C. coming home has been most disappointing. The match day experience at Blackwell Meadows although better now, has not helped and even last year when we were playing well attendances dropped off. To my mind atmosphere at a ground counts for a lot on how you perceive a match and your enjoyment. Feethams was good, Arena nil, Heritage Park good, Blackwell Meadows poor. All subjective of course.
The first home game at B.M when many latent supporters came along and could not see properly, will have prevented them coming again.
Also in my optimistic outlook I neglected to take account of the missing digits.
Under Darlington 1883 we had a fantastic run of success after success. Now back as Darlington F.C. ( Yippee ),with a few brief exceptions for over a hundred years we have been shite. But it is those brief exceptions that make supporting D.F.C worthwhile. Oh for a cup run to make B.M rock.


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