DARLINGTON dropped a place to eighth on Saturday, Tamworth taking advantage of Quakers’ inactivity to leapfrog them in the table by beating Brackley 2-1.

But other results went in Darlington’s favour. Play-off rivals Chorley and Stockport County both drew, the latter losing their fifth spot to Halifax Town who continued their good run with a 2-0 victory over Nuneaton.

Darlington, now four points off fifth spot, were without a game as their fixture with Altrincham at Blackwell Meadows was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

It was the first time Quakers have suffered a postponement this season, their match being the only game in the National League North affected by the weather, with Bishop Auckland’s home game one of the few non-league fixtures in the North-East to go ahead.

Quakers manager Martin Gray admits that the Blackwell playing surface is not as good as Bishops’ Heritage Park, where Darlington were based for four and a half years until December, but they now share a pitch with Darlington Rugby Club.

Last summer Bishop invested close to £100,000 on the Heritage Park pitch and, speaking about Blackwell before the weekend, Gray said: “It’s not ideal, but it’s the same for the opposition too. It’s a leveller, put it that way, but we’ve just got to deal with it.

“Chorley last week was no better, if anything it was worse than ours, I was very disappointed with it, so let’s not make excuses.

“It is a leveller and hopefully people realise that. It’s not Bishop, but it was never going to be.”