DARLINGTON enjoyed a much-needed win and with a rare clean sheet when they overcame Gloucester City 2-0 at Blackwell Meadows.

Stopping goals has been an issue all season, so much so that manager Martin Gray analysed all 37 conceded scored this week.

His time was not wasted as Quakers kept out the opposition and won the points thanks to second half goals by Nathan Cartman and Phil Turnbull.

Darlington started with a 4-3-3 formation, Josh Gillies and Lewis Walker either side of Mark Beck and while the change in shape was hardly a huge success in the first 45 minutes it was the hosts who came closer to goal against a defensive-minded opposition.

Gloucester’s Chris Knowles robbed Walker as he tried to get the ball under control after a pass by Terry Galbraith, and then Quakers had two shots cleared off the line in a goalmouth scramble.

After a Galbraith free-kick was not cleared by Gloucester Walker and Gillies’ shots were cleared.

A Gillies ball in from the left just evaded the recalled Dave Syers at the far post, and it was not until the 41st minute that Quakers keeper Peter Jameson had his first involvement of note.

He caught the ball at close-range from Avery, the defender mishitting a shot after the first corner of the game by Gloucester, who looked content to play for a point.

The 11th placed team won last week 1-0 at bottom-of-the-table Altrincham, ending a run of six successive losses.

In the final minute of a drab first half Kevin Burgess headed over the bar after meeting an inswinging Galbraith free-kick.

The first period had been uneventful, Gray not waiting long in the second period to make changes by sending on Cartman and Stephen Thompson, both of whom had been dropped.

And it was Cartman who had the game’ next chance, a shot deflected wide on the turn after being played in by Gillies.

Gloucester’s bluntness in front of goal was summed up when Tom Webb needlessly dribbled over the byline under little pressure, and the same player later saw a long range shot fly around 15 yards over.

They were a poor team who hardly threatened, their next attempt seeing Joe Hanks shank the ball so wide it was going for a throw-in until Galbraith kept it in play.

But Darlington were unable to find a cutting edge for the most part, rarely forcing keeper Singh into action although he did save a downwards header by Beck after a Gillies free-kick.

And then up popped Cartman. The man to rely on when the ball is loose in the penalty area, he was in the right place at the right time to tuck home after Galbraith’s shot was saved by Singh following a right-wing cross.

And the points were wrapped up in injury time when Phil Turnbull marked his first goal for the club with a terrific effort.

He burst from midfield to meet Cartman’s pass and blasted first-time high into the net.

Goals: Cartman (82, 1-0), Turnbull (90, 2-0)

Bookings: Deaman (30, foul); Scott (63, foul); Parker (71, foul); Burgess (73, unsporting behaviour), Cartman (86, unsporting behaviour); Hanks (90, dissent)

Referee: W Finnie (Newcastle)

Attendance: 1,837

Darlington (4-3-3): Jameson; Hunter, Brown, Burgess, Galbraith; Syers (Thompson 61), Scott, Turnbull, Gillies; Walker (Cartman 54), Beck. Subs not used: Wilczynski (gk), Falkingham, Saunders

Gloucester City (4-5-1): Singh; Hamilton, Deaman, Avery, Hall; Parker (Thomas 79), Hanks, Webb, Knowles (Kotwica 69), Williams; Finnie (Dinsley 61). Subs not used: Richards, Hopper