QUAKERS continued to inch their way to safety with two draws against promotion-chasing opponents.

Manager Gary Bennett must have been pleased with the fighting spirit shown by his injury-ravaged side, but once again the lack of a proven finisher cost his side points.

On Tuesday night at Feethams, Darlington were unlucky not to beat Southend United after more than matching the Shrimpers.

After a forgettable first half, Quakers took the lead on the hour after a brilliant break. John Williams laid the ball back to Phil Brumwell, and his Beckham-like cross was headed home by top scorer Glenn Naylor for his eighth league goal of the season.

The impressive Alex Jeannin went close with a free-kick before the visitors snatched a point with five minutes to go. Tes Bramble beat three men before hitting a low shot past home keeper Peter Keen.

There was still time for Paul Campbell to hit the Shrimpers' bar with a header, but the game ended 1-1.

It had been the same scoreline against fifth-placed Leyton Orient at Feethams on Saturday when Quakers' full-back Steve Harper was hero and villain.

First, the limitations of playing a right-footer at left back were exposed when Harper gave away a needless corner, from which Dean Smith scored for Orient.

Then, just before the break, a cross found Harper unmarked six yards out. After fluffing his shot, he retrieved the ball and was then brought down for a penalty, which Naylor coolly netted.

The points left Quakers in 18th spot in the Nationwide Third Division, six clear of bottom club Torquay United.

Bennett must be hoping midfield general Mark Ford will be fit to return for tomorrow's game at Mansfield Town. On Tuesday night, Shrewsbury Town are the visitors to Feethams.