Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Fresh Plea to Quakers Fans; Club Need a Bumper Crowd for Saturday's Match

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Fresh Plea to Quakers Fans; Club Need a Bumper Crowd for Saturday's Match

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK DOUGLAS

IT was a victory for Darlington's football team, but another small defeat for the football club, writes MARK DOUGLAS.

Nothing should dim the achievement of Dave Penney's threadbare squad, most of them hit heavily in the pocket by the club sliding into administration, re-igniting their play-off hopes with an excellent win over Notts County.

Or, indeed, the efforts of the 2,000 or so die-hards who once again lent their unequivocal support in the club's hour of need - creating, by all accounts, the best atmosphere of the season at the Darlington Arena.

But after the calls for a "show of support" from the town for its ailing football club, an attendance of 2,450 is a major disappointment. Far from being galvanised by the club's troubles, the people of Darlington appear mildly apathetic about the Quakers' fate.

There were mitigating factors - the weather, the lack of Notts County supporters, free football on television again - but the evidence is stacking up.

The gate was significantly down on the club's last midweek fixture, and well below the 3,000 target that had been set by club officials before the game.

It was not a disaster, administrator Dave Clark pointed out yesterday, but neither was it a sign of any noticeable enthusiasm for any of the parties interested in riding to the rescue of the stricken League Two side. So far there have been seven individuals or groups that have approached Brackenbury, Clark and Co about taking over the club - three of them considered "serious" contenders. What the administrators and the club's admirable staff now need is a sign that interest exists outside the club's core support.

A bumper crowd for the visit of Macclesfield on Saturday would be a start - although cost-cutting measures taken by the administrators have ensured that the club aren't relying on gate money alone to see out the season.

"Yes, we were a wee bit disappointed with the attendance. …

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