Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Quakers Miss out on a Number One Target

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Quakers Miss out on a Number One Target

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

Darlington will have to start again in their search for goalkeeping cover after target Dave Lucas agreed a short-term deal with Championship side Barnsley yesterday.

Manager Dave Penney had been looking at the out-of-contract 29-year-old as a possible option to bolster his stretched goalkeeping resources.

First-choice Sam Russell is out suffering with a leg injury and Jack Norton, in as cover, is due back at Whitby Town before the end of the month.

With that in mind, Penney had been considering a move for Lucas, who played 13 games for the Quakers in two separate loan spells in 1995 and 1996. He was released by Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the season after picking up a knee injury but has now returned to South Yorkshire with the Tykes.

Norton signed on a one-month loan in late December and Penney has given no indication he will look to extend the deal.

Despite his interest in other goalkeepers, however, Penney is keen not to pin the blame for Darlington's poor recent form on David Stockdale, who deputised for Russell over the festive period.

"He has done okay, it has been a great experience for him and you can't blame him for the goals," the Yorkshireman said. "I am not by any stretch of the imagination blaming the goalkeeper for the results we are having.

"People might look at and think Sam's not playing and we've lost games. I wouldn't blame David Stockdale for that but at the moment we only have one goalkeeper at the club."

Phil Stamp left the club yesterday by mutual consent. The former Middlesbrough and Hearts star joined the Quakers on a free in 2005 but has only played in nine first-team games, scoring just one goal.

Penney said: "Phil has struggled with injury this season and we came to an agreement to terminate his contract. He is a great personality in the dressing room and a popular figure with the players and everyone would like to wish him all the very best for the future. …

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