Vanarama National League North

Blyth Spartans 1
Darlington 2
FT HT 0–1
  • Cornish
  • Salkeld

Croft Park

Attendance: 1,139

Match report

Blyth 1 Darlington 2

Goals: Cornish (0-1, 12 mins), Salkeld (0-2, 66 mins),  Siziba (1-2, 89 mins)

Quakers picked up three huge points at Croft Park to lift them out of the relegation zone in National League North.

Matty Cornish gave Quakers with a cracking goal early in the game, and after withstanding some strong Blyth pressure, Cameron Salkeld added a second just after the hour.

Blyth didn't give up though, and pulled a goal back with a couple of minutes left of stoppage time, and right at the end Tom Platt cleared one off the line.

The victory means that Quakers have climbed out of the bottom four for the first time since August, because Rushall Olympic lost at home to Brackley, and swop places with Quakers, who are now level on points with Blyth and King's Lynn.

Under manager Steve Watson and assistant Terry Mitchell, they have won six out of their last eight matches, scored 19 goals in the process and conceding eight.

Blyth missed an early chance, but they were stunned on 12 minutes when Quakers took the lead.

An attack by Quakers stretched the Blyth defence, and Will Hatfield set up Matty Cornish to fire a right foot shot from 25 yards that flew into the top left corner of the net for his fourth goal in four games.

Blyth then had a good spell of pressure, Mattie Young tocued a header by Will McGowan over the bar, and Finn Cousin-Dawson headed just wide of the post.

The keeper made another good save from Malakei Reeve's header, then Kallum Griffitsh cleared a header by Cousin-Dawson off the line.

Quakers were more in the game in the second half. Mitch Curry had a shot blocked, before they gave themselves some breathing space with a second.

Quakers moved the ball from left to right, and after Kallum Griffiths had a pass towards Salkeld intercepted, he regained possession with a good sliding tackle, and the ball was picked up by Salkeld, who held off his marker, ran forward, and beat the keeper with a left foot shot into the bottom corner.

Quakers had control of the game after that, and nearly scored a third when sub Jarrett Rivers got away, but had his effort cleared off the line.

But Blyth didn't give up and caused a scare in the dying minutes. Zanda Siziba pulled a goal back, so they threw everyone forward for an equaliser, and in stoppage time Tom Platt kept the win intact when he stopped a header by JJ Hooper on the line.

Team:  Young, Griffiths, Lees, Barrow, Hedley, Platt, Hatfield, Salkeld, Cornish (sub Lindley 72), Curry (sub Rivers 63), Main (sub Gibson 85). Subs: Taylor, Lawlor