TALK about making life hard.

Not content with the easy life, Darlington seem hell bent on giving themselves more work than they really need.

There was a certain sense of deja-vu down by the English Riviera at the weekend, as, for the second time in four days, Quakers handed out another lesson in the fine art of defending with ten men.

On Tuesday at York, Mick Tait's men clung on for a point following Gary Pearson's red card with a quarter of an hour to go.

And at Plainmoor, Quakers twice came from behind before holding out for a draw after Danny Mellanby's dismissal in the 76th minute.

Tait joked before the game that as long his side finished with 11 men, there was every chance they would be making the 350 mile journey back to the North-East with all three points.

And but for a moment of madness from substitute Mellanby - who had only been on the field a matter of minutes when he lunged in on James Benefield - Quakers may have taken maximum points for the first time in eight visits to Torquay.

In the end it was a 73rd minute header from substitute Ian Clark which earned Quakers a share of the spoils, to extend their unbeaten run to four games.

"We certainly made things hard for ourselves," admitted Tait.

"To come down here and get a point without playing well isn't too bad. I can't fault the players' effort in the last four games. Once again the lads have worked very hard and in the end it's earned us a point."

With Pearson beginning a four-match ban, Tait made one change from the side which earned a point at York in midweek, with Frenchman Fabian Bossy earning a recall.

The game was only 22 seconds old when winger Neil Wainwright fell awkwardly under a fairly innocuous challenge from midfielder Jason Fowler.

The former Sunderland man returned to the field, albeit rather gingerly, and after failing to shake of the ankle injury, was replaced after five minutes by Ian Clark.

There are fears that Wainwright has suffered a broken bone and Tait will anxiously await scan results today.

It got worse when, after conceding a needless corner, Steve Woods smashed his header off the underside of the bar and into the back of the net from Alex Russell's set-piece after 11 minutes.

However, Quakers, whose last victory at Plainmoor came in 1995, were level almost instantly after the restart when skipper Craig Liddle powered home a well-placed header from Ryan Valentine's free-kick.

With 25 minutes on the clock substitute Clark was unlucky to see his low effort blocked by Woods after skipping past a couple of challenges.

Goalscorer Woods almost restored the lead for his side when he turned Russell's cross from the left just over the bar.

And after a lengthy spell of pressure from the home side, they were ahead for the second time with the assistance of some sloppy Quakers defending.

Joey Hutchinson made a hash of his attempted header back to Collett and after picking the ball up on the left edge of the penalty area, Jo Kuffour swung over a cross which was brilliantly dispatched into the top corner, left-footed by David Graham.

With half-time approaching Clark was played into the box by Ashley Nicholls but his tame effort was tipped wide by Gulls keeper Arjan Van Heusden.

Quakers were fortunate not fall further behind when, unmarked at the back post, Woods headed wide of Collett's goal.

And the Quakers keeper had to be alert moments later when he denied Kuffour with a point-blank save.

On a rare attack at the other end, a slip by Woods let in Clark but he directed his effort over the bar.

But it was the Gulls who looked the more threatening when going forward and Kuffour almost single-handedly extended their lead when he skipped in and out of the Quakers defence before seeing his attempted lob cleared off the line by Valentine.

In a bid to salvage something from the game, Tait introduced Mellanby and then minutes later, youngster Chris Hughes.

Those changes seemed to spark Quakers into life and Conlon was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet when his turning volley was parried away by van Heusden.

And after a spell of pressure, Quakers were deservedly level through Clark after 73 minutes, heading past van Heusden at the back post from Nicholls' cross.

Any hopes the visitors had of snatching all three points were effectively dashed three minutes after Clark's leveller as Mellanby was sent off for a two-footed tackle from behind on fellow substitute Benefield.

Torquay rallied late on with the extra man with Kuffour going close but not for the first time this season ten-man Quakers showed plenty of fighting spirit to hold out for a well-earned point.

Result: Torquay United 2, Darlington 2.

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