Tony and John were already there as was Pete Stockill - we've not seen him at a game for a little while but he's popped up from the Midlands to join us for a game.
It was very busy in the bar today - not with punters but with the erection of some stain glass panels above the bar. These have been custom-built for the Quaker and they were being fitted for a grand opening ceremony in a few days time.
(left) One of the three stain glass panels at the Quaker
We got a sneak preview of one panel and it had the Quaker ghost as the central motif - looked very good and it will certainly brighten up the bar.
There was a competition to see how many pieces of glass were used in the three panels. With the prize being 20 pints we all had a go. I suspect my estimates were too high but fingers crossed!
Beer-wise the following were on offer at the bar: Tyneside Blond, Tall Ships and Flotsam & Jetsam from Hadrian and Border, Black Dog Rhatas, Skipton Copper Dragon, Milestone Lions Pride, Hambleton Nightmare and Big Lamp Summerhill Stout.
I had been warned that Neil was in town with the family, including son Martin - or devil-child as he is known to some DAFTS who've seen him in action in local pubs and restaurants. John had even taken the precaution of bringing a bible just in case things got too demonic.
His mum Mari was visiting too - the first time I'd seen her since we'd played at Brentford a season or two ago. She knows exactly which of our buttons need to be pressed as after going to the bar to get some crisps for Martin, she got some pork scratchings for the rest of us. You're always welcome, Mari!
Neil and family then went back home to see Grandad Harry and so we moved on up to Number Twenty-2. Continuing the theme from our last visit, they had another rarely seen (in Darlo) Tim Taylors beer, Golden Best, which went down a treat.
There were only four of us so just a single taxi required to the Arena - the place was fairly quiet in terms of away fans when we arrived - I thought they would have brought more than the 400 or so fans that made the journey.
Whilst waiting at the tunnel for kick-off, I heard that Alan White was in one of the concourses with his dad - it seems he'd been released by Luton Town so no doubt there'll be rumours about him re-joining us.
(right) Mari, Martin and Neil join Block 11 DAFTS
I'm torn - he does bring that hard edge we sometimes lack at the back but he is more than a little prone (he says diplomatically) to making some very poor tackles. And he's not getting any younger so I think I'd opt to let him look for a club elsewhere.
The game itself is a tight affair - Gateshead have far more possession that they should have but thankfully they were unable to make it count and Russell had only one save of note to make in the first-half.
This was especially satisfying since the defence was missing captain Ian Miller but Joe Clarke, signed from Solihull Moors, proved to be an able deputy in a position which is not really his forte.
(left) Debutant and scorer, Joe Clarke
From then on it was a lot of huffing and puffing from both sides - Gateshead never looked like getting back into the game.
It wasn't until halfway through the second half that I even noticed Darlo old-boy Paul Heckingbottom was playing for the opposition. It was that exciting.
Darlo seemed more than happy to sit on the two-goal lead and play out the game and overall the crowd were happy to see a win without having any more fuss or anxiety.
Not for the first time this season, it wasn't a very exciting game but it was encouraging to see a confident debut from Joe Clarke - hopefully he won't need to fall back on his recent qualification as a carpenter for a good while yet...