Darlington’s play-off appeal rejected

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Darlington will not take part in this season’s National League North play-offs after their appeal over their ground was rejected.

The club does not have enough covered seating at their new Blackwell Meadows ground to meet FA regulations - which state there must be a minimum of 500 covered seats across two stands - meaning they cannot play at Conference National level or compete in play-off competitions at north or south level.

Darlington’s first game at their stadium was their 3-2 win over Halifax on Boxing Day last year.

The decision means only Chorley, Salford and Stockport are competing for the final two play-off places, with whoever finishes directly below Darlington in the table set to take their place.