STAR PREVIEW: Darlington v Walsall

The FA Cup is in its early stages but we’ve already seen quite a few cup moments and Darlington will hope to pull off one of the biggest cup upsets of the season so far against Wallsall tonight. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET MARKET

Darlington will now get to bring the magic of the cup to Blackwell Meadows after earning themselves a replay thanks to Josef Wheatley’s dramatic equaliser seven minutes into added time in the reverse fixture.

That was very much a victory for a side that is competing at this stage of the FA Cup for the first time since 2011/12, and they will be pleased with how competitive they were, having led until the 86th minute before Walsall struck twice in the last five minutes, and they made a strong start to the game too. Omar Holness’s opener was a deserved one and they had control of the game early, but the hosts eventually grew into the game and they deserved their goals even if they came late.

Darlington have risen from the ashes since being expelled from Football League in 2012 when they went into administration. The move from their spiritual home Feethams to the 25,000 seater ‘white elephant’ Darlington Arena on the outskirts of the town was thought to be a major factor in the downfall under the George Reynolds era at the club.

Under FA rules the ‘new’ Darlington had to be called another name, ‘Darlington 1883’ in this case, but after rising from the ninth tear the FA have approved their name reverting back to Darlington.

Darlington now ground share with the rugby club but some things never change for The Quakers who retain their black and white colours.

Darlington v Walsall
FA Cup First Round Replay
19:45 BT Sport 1 HD / BT Sport Ultimate

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD*
(Maximum 10 matches)
NOV 2019 FA CUP FIRST ROUND Walsall 2-2 Darlington

It should be tougher for Walsall coming to The Meadows, but much will rest upon the tactics that the visitors use. Darrell Clarke’s choice to bring on James Hardy and Wes McDonald with just half an hour gone turned the game back in Walsall’s favour and it remains to be seen if he goes 4-4-2 from the start here, having started with a 3-5-2 formation in the original fixture.

Walsall did have the chances to win the opening game when they got on top and have kicked on since, putting 6 past Forest Green in the Football League Trophy and beating Cambridge 2-1 in League Two.

Darlington are just 14th in the National League North but have only lost twice at home, and it could be that they make a mark here, but they were beaten 5-1 at Brackley on Saturday and if Clarke gets his tactics right from the start, it could be that the gap between the two shows on the pitch this time.

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