Darlington easily beat nine man Kendal Town 7-0 at Heritage Park following a bizarre opening to the game.

Kendal had two men sent off before nine minutes had even elapsed, and the game then became a question of how many Quakers would score once they broke the deadlock.

The first dismissal of Kendal striker Mark Jackson was greeted with bemusement by home crowd. Jackson had received treatment for a head injury near the Darlington corner flag, and after treatment, appeared near the halfway line on the same side of the pitch.

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The referee asked Jackson to go to the dugout on the far side of the field to have blood wiped off his hands and nose but the player refused, and in the verbal exchanges that followed, the referee dismissed him for using foul and abusive language.

The second dismissal was more obvious and straight forward. Liam Hatch, making his first start of the season, dispossessed Kendal defender Rory Winters who immediately pulled the Darlington striker down and was instantly shown the red card.

But even with nine men, Kendal nearly took the lead when Rob Wilson curled a free kick from 25 yards against the crossbar with Peter Jameson well beaten.

Kendal only left the nippy Isaac Kusaloka upfield, and Quakers’ brief inability to break down an eight man defence revived memories of their draw at nine man Eastbourne in their Conference days.

Hatch, who played that day at Eastbourne, went close with two headers before he was successful with a third on 39 minutes when Adam Mitchell floated the ball in from the right for him to head firmly past Danny MacDonald.

Four minutes later, it was a matter of how many Quakers would score when they were awarded a penalty. David Dowson was hauled down by Ricky Mercer, and Terry Galbraith tucked the spot kick into the bottom corner.

It was 3-0 just a couple of minutes after the resumption, when David Dowson cut in from the left and hit a low right foot shot past MacDonald’s outstretched hand.

The ref gave Quakers another penalty on 54 minutes when a powerful shot from Stephen Thompson looped high in the air and in the scramble that followed Hatch was shoved in the back by a defender. The ref awarded another penalty that Galbraith coolly converted again.

In an atmosphere like a training session, the procession continued on 64 minutes when sub Graeme Armstrong had a shot blocked ten yards out, but he switched the ball to his left foot and slotted into the corner.

MacDonald pulled off a flying save from sub Nathan Fisher , Armstrong glanced a header wide, before Armstrong laid off a left wing Galbraith cross for Nathan Fisher to drive into the bottom corner on 81 minutes.

Leon Scott got the seventh with four minutes left, coolly picking his spot after Thompson had left another cross from Galbraith.

Darlington manager Martin Gray said: “I thought Terry Galbraith was quality. He delivered the setpieces very well, scored two very good penalties, and his passing into the front players was very good.

“I was very pleased with our setpieces, they have improved a lot this season and it’s good to get goals from them.

“When Kendal were reduced to nine men, I told the players to continue passing the ball about, and wait for the goals to come. It was nice to get a win afetr drawing at Burscough on Saturday.”