Free-scoring Darlington reached the 70-goal mark for the season with a comfortable win over Billingham Synthonia.

Stephen Thompson got the landmark goal at the end of a win that was rarely in doubt from the moment that Craig Gott put Quakers ahead after only six minutes at Heritage Park.

Even though Martin Gray's men soon conceded an equaliser, through Amar Purewal they retook the lead midway through the first half from which point there was only going to be one winner.

Loading article content

The tone was set with an explosive start. Inside the first minute Purewal burst through and won a corner, from which Gary Brown had a shot saved by Josh Moody and then centre-back Andrew Foster cleared from close to the goal-line as David Dowson was waiting to pounce following good work by Thompson.

Like in Saturday's win at Celtic Nation, Quakers carved open the opposition defence so it was no surprise when they struck early, Gott putting Darlington 1-0 up after six minutes.

Quick footwork by Chris Emms took him past a defender and good awareness saw him play in fellow former Synner Gott to rifle home his first goal since moving from the Teessiders earlier this season.

But, thanks to slack defending, the visitors soon levelled. A throw-in on the left into the penalty area was collected by striker Andrew Jennings who turned and fired past Jack Norton.

Keeper Norton was recalled as Craig Turns was delayed due to work commitments, but it was the keeper at the other end that was the centre of attention when Darlington retook the lead.

Under pressure from Dowson, Josh Moody gave the ball to Purewal and from 30 yards, with the keeper stranded, the winger floated the ball into a empty net for his 11th goal of the season.

There were no more goals before the break, but it was end to end stuff with both teams committed to getting forward and creating chances.

Norton reacted quickly when a Nathen Wilson shot was deflected while Darlington's Joe Tait hit the post with a header and then Moody tipped a shot around the post from the centre-back.

Jennings saw a shot deflected over at beginning of second half, but Quakers then wasted a glorious opportunity for 3-1. After exchanging passes with Dowson, Emms lined up a shot but, with his weaker left foot, dragged the effort wide.

Emms, though, had a hand when Darlington eventually added a third goal on the hour.

After Thompson pulled the ball back to the edge of the area, Emms' low drive rebounded off the post and David Abel was unable to avoid the ball as it ricocheted off him and into the net.

It was hard luck on Abel, but Darlington deserved to extend their advantage, though there the game lost some zip at 3-1.

Darlington looked comfortable and while the Teessiders ran out of ideas, though Synners sub Daniel Johnson was just wide with a shot from 20 yards.

Flame-haired Johnson was the scorer of a cross-cum-shot when Quakers won 4-1 at Central Avenue last month, and that scoreline was repeated thanks to a sloppy pass by Abel.

It was intercepted by Thompson who can always be relied upon to find the net and doing so sealed a 4-1 win which restores Quakers' seven-point lead at the top of the Ebac Northern League.

On Saturday they are at Team Northumbria.