Former York City striker Barry Conlon had the last laugh when his late winner handed Darlington all three points at Feethams last night.

The big Irishman struck in the 87th minute to seal victory for Quakers after Lee Bullock had cancelled out Danny Mellanby's 31st minute opener. The win eases any lingering relegation fears for Mick Tait's side and dents further York's promotion aspirations.

Tait kept faith with the side which held leaders Hartlepool on Saturday while York included goalkeeper Michael Ingham in their starting line-up.

The Sunderland youngster is currently on loan at Bootham Crescent having already spent a similar spell at Feethams earlier this season, where he played three games before being called back to the Stadium of Light.

It was the home side who enjoyed the freedom of the pitch in the opening exchanges with Clark Keltie showing some neat touches and Neil Maddison trying his luck with a tame effort from the edge of the area which bobbled harmlessly wide.

Former Hartlepool loanee Parkin almost found a way through on the quarter-hour mark when he hesitated anticipating an offside flag - which wasn't raised - letting the ball roll tamely into the arms of Andy Collett.

Collett then produced a brave save to deny Anthony Shandran, diving courageously at the feet of the forward, while at the other end Mellanby wasted a glorious opportunity to put his side ahead when he beat the offside trap only to miss the ball completely with the goal at his mercy.

However, Mellanby made amends in the 30th minute with a finish even Thierry Henry would have been proud of. Latching onto a flick-on from Conlon, the striker - making only his second league start of the season - lifted the ball over a stranded Ingham.

However, Quakers' joy was short-lived as just three minutes after the break Bullock drew his side level with a sublime finish.

Defender Matt Clarke's poor headed clearance landed only as far as the midfielder, positioned just inside the box, and he let fly with a sweetly-struck half volley.

Quakers fought back and City skipper Chris Brass was lucky not to concede a penalty when he slid through the back of Mellanby in the 50th minute.

Mellanby was later replaced by substitute Ian Clark and the former Hartlepool man should have done better with his first touch when he blasted over from an close range. Cue Conlon.

A quick throw from Collett released Hodgson down the left, who left his marker for dead before crossing for Conlon who poked home into the top corner, to give Quakers their first win in eight

Result: Darlington 2 - 1 York City

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