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Darlington Preview

Who are Darlington

They’re an old club, formed in 1883 when a number of representatives from several teams in the town met and decided to form one club. In that respect it is a very similar story to our own and we were formed as Southport Central five years later.

Darlington played in the North Eastern League from their formation up until the founding of the Football League Division 3 North, which is were we met them for the first time in 1922.

We’ve played Darlington 109 times since, winning 48, Drawing 21 and Losing 40.

Our first match resulted in a 3-1 win for the Sandgrounders in front of 4900, they were even one of our opponents in the abandoned start to the 1939 season due to the outbreak of war.

We’ve played them in the Football League Division 3 North, Third Division North Cup, FA Cup, Division 4, National League, the FA Trophy and the National League.

Taking the cups out of the equation it will see the two clubs meet each other for the 99th time in League competition. When they came to Haig Ave back in August it resulted in a 1-0 win for the Sandgrounders with the goal coming from Jack Bainbridge.

Players known to have played for both teams

Albert BrallisfordAdam DawsonBilly EdenLee EllisonHarry HoldcroftSteve IngleFred LeederLem NewcombBobby NobleJordan RichardsBill RutherfordTim RyanJamie Speare,

The most famous of all is Hall of Famer Alan Spence whom we signed from Darlington in July 1962, and who went on to be our record League goalscorer with 98 and was inducted into the Southport FC Hall of Fame in 2019.

We’ve met before


Key Info

Darlington’s current ground – Blackwell Meadows – DL1 5NR


7:45pm Kick Off


Blackwell Meadows has been the home of Darlington FC since 2016. The ground has a capacity of 3,281 with 588 of these being seated. Darlington sold out Backwell Meadows on Boxing Day 2022, with 3,059 attending their 3-2 home loss to Scarborough. Darlington have had some great attendances this season in line with their results and their league position. With their lowest attendance this season being 1,255 against Leamington on 29/10/22 but this is an exception as for most games Darlington draw in around 1,400, if not more. 


How to get there


Car (From Haig Avenue)


About a 2 and a half hour drive from Haig Avenue via the M6 (126 miles). 


Head for the M6 via the Tarleton bypass or via Parbold hill. Take the M6 north up to junction 39 for Tebay. Then join the A685 which will take you past Ravenstonedale and through the heart of the market town of Kirkby Stephen. Keep going for a further 9 miles until you reach the village Brough when you will turn right towards Scotch Corner (A66) until you reach the A1(M) and then head north until you get to junction 57. Exit the A1(M) and head onto the A66(M) until you reach the roundabout with the Evans Halshaw Darlington on your left. Take the second exit on the A167 and then turn right shortly after to enter the car park of Darlington FC.


Google Maps route link:


By train:


Same sort of route as Blyth last week, get to Manchester Victoria or Liverpool Lime Street and go for a TPE service bound for Newcastle. However you will have to stay over as there is no trains back to Liverpool after the match. You can get back to Manchester for around 1:30am.


Darlington train station is around a 30 min walk from the ground (about a mile and a half).


PLEASE NOTE: There is a preplanned trainstrike for Wednesday – 01/02. This could become a pain if you are staying over as you will not be able to get back via train on the Wednesday.




Parking at the ground is available – £5 per car. First-come-first served basis




Adults: £15

Concession (Uncludes 18-24, 65+, registered disabled and students): £11

12-17: £5

Under 12s (with a paying adult): Free


£2 extra on any ticket for a seated ticket.


Tickets are available to buy online using the link below:



There is a food van inside the ground, looked pretty standard last time, nothing too special about it.


Where to drink


There is a clubhouse inside the ground that both home and away fans can utilise. However last time I went you could not take your drinks outside the bar. The location of Blackwell Meadows means its a bit in the middle of nowhere, the nearest pubs are a mile away in Darlington.


However if you are heading to places like Darlington, Newcastle etc I would recommend stopping off for an ale in The Black Bull in Kirkby Stephen before you get off the A66. Please do NOT drink and drive


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