NOT even Mick Tait could have contemplated four weeks ago that he would be one of the leading contenders for the Manager of the Month award.

But after the debacle which was August, when Quakers amassed a measly three points in the opening weeks of the season, September, it's safe to say, has been pretty good in comparison.

It all began with a bottom of the table clash with Carlisle, in which Quakers doubled their points tally for the season with a 2-0 win, before following that up with a victory over Doncaster and hard-earned draws at York and Torquay.

Saturday's 3-0 win over Boston at the Reynolds Arena extended Quakers' unbeaten run in the league to five games - a victory which takes them into the top half of the Third Division for the first time this season.

And providing they take maximum points from a struggling Southend side at the Reynolds Arena tomorrow night, Tait could be toasting the month with a well-deserved bottle of bubbly courtesy of Nationwide.

Only Hull's Peter Taylor and Swansea's Brian Flynn stand in the way of Tait picking up his first managerial award - and they meet tomorrow night in a top of the table clash, which effectively could decide the destination of the September award.

But that won't matter too much to Tait, who is happy to let the manager of the month jinx strike elsewhere.

"You know what happens when you get manager of the month so I don't even want to think about that," said Tait. "I'm just concerned this team, stays right, stays together and gives 100 per cent every time it goes onto the pitch."

And Tait could have few complaints with his side's commitment on Saturday as they produced another workmanlike display.

Quakers' recent revival has been built on hard work as well as a team spirit which appears to be paying dividends.

"We've all spoken about how hard it has been at times but we're all together and close as a team," said Tait. "Everybody's been helping each other with everything we do.

"It's no great secret. All we've done is worked hard and it's been as simple as that."

There was one glaring omission from the side which was knocked out of the Carling Cup at Wolves on Tuesday night, with goalkeeper Andy Collett ruled out with a recurrence of a shoulder injury.

Michael Price deputised for his league debut but the former Leicester stopper was a lone figure in the opening exchanges as Quakers forced the early pressure with Barry Conlon going close on a couple of occasions.

And when Price was finally called upon he was equal to deny former Quakers striker Peter Duffield.

After beating the offside trap Matt Clarke used his strength to barge his way through Pilgrims defender Matt Hocking but his angled shot from the right was deflected wide by Paul Ellender.

From the resulting corner, defender David McGurk headed Ashley Nicholls' cross straight at Paul Bastock.

Duffield was denied a goal against his former club in the 25th minute when his lofted ball over Price came off the top of the crossbar.

While at the other end the woodwork came to the visitors' rescue twice in three minutes. Conlon struck the upright from the edge of the area before Joey Hutchinson looped an effort off the bar with Bastock beaten.

With half-time approaching the ever-improving Ashley Nicholls, who has rediscovered his form of last season, rode a couple of challenges before shooting straight at keeper Bastock.

Stuart Douglas wasted a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock four minutes into the second half when, from just six yards out and unmarked, his outstretched leg failed to direct the ball into the net.

Boston were lucky not to be reduced to ten men in the 57th minute as full-back Simon Rusk, already on a yellow card, cynically hauled down Ian Clark after the winger had beaten his man down the left.

Mark Greaves then cleared a McGurk effort off the line. But moments later, Quakers' pressure was eventually rewarded as skipper Craig Liddle fired home from close range for his second goal of the season.

In the 72nd minute Clarke made it two, when, with the Pilgrims all at see at the back, the former Halifax man tapped home from close range.

Clarke's strike killed off any faint hopes the visitors had of getting back into the game and it got worse for Neil Thompson's men as Clark completed the scoring with a superb individual effort. Clark, who came off the bench to score the equaliser at Torquay seven days earlier, skipped in and out of three challenges before coolly slotting the ball past Bastock.

Clark almost made it four deep into injury time when he fired just wide but the points were already in the bag for Quakers who can complete a memorable month with another three points with the visit of Southend tomorrow.

Result: Darlington 3 Boston United 0.

Read more about the Quakers here.