RELIEVED Darlington saw their unbeaten run extended to six matches – but it could have been so much better after they came back from 2-0 down for a point in a battling second half.

When they trailed 2-0 by the 50th minute it looked as if Quakers would be the first team to lose to second-bottom Hereford in 14 matches.

But Tommy Wright's team patiently played their way back into the game thanks to goals by David Syers and Jordan Nicholson, who is now the joint top scorer at the club.

Manager Tommy Wright said: “We came off the pitch, and everyone was gutted by only getting a point.

“At 2-0 down, the lads could have crumbled. I take it as a massive positive that they listened at half time. I spoke for the full 15 minutes going through things and reminding people of their job.

"We had better movement in the final third, and everything we spoke about at half time all came together. We created a lot of opportunities, and we missed sitters and should have got the three points.

“We created a lot of chances and it’s our own fault for missing them. If we start the Trophy game on Friday as well as we finished today's game, then we will win on Friday. We have to take the real positives from the game. A lot of teams would have crumbled at 2-0 down, but we kept going."

Quakers were on top in the opening stages, but the Bulls took the lead on 15 minutes when Tom Owen-Evans picked the ball up on the halfway line, ran forward, spun, and then beat Zach Hemming with a low shot that crept into the bottom corner of the net, with the keeper admitting later to the manager that he should have done better.

Yates denied Nicholson twice more as well as Tom Elliott, while Ben O’Hanlon should have done better with a clear chance when Luke Trotman played the ball across the box to him when he was unmarked.

Quakers went 2-0 down five minutes into the second half when Hereford sub Kyle Finn got behind Darlington centre half Liam Hughes down the right, and squared for Owen-Evans to side-foot his second.

But the response was almost immediate, Joe Wheatley playing the ball through for Syers to hit right-footed into the net.

It was all Quakers from then on. Yates saved a piledriver from Stephen Thompson, Harvey Saunders had a goal harshly disallowed for a foul on the keeper, and Joe Wheatley struck the bar from a free kick.

Trotman had penalty appeals turned down when he claimed that he was tripped when he worked his way into the box, but the equaliser came on 83 minutes when Syers laid the ball off for Nicholson to drive left-footed into the bottom corner for his fifth goal of the season.

It could easily have been a win if substitute Simon Ainge had not missed an easy chance for the winner four minutes from the end, when Thompson crossed into the six yard box where Ainge somehow missed the target with a header.

Wright added: "The second goal silenced our crowd, but the biggest thing for me was that the fans stayed with us, and they were egging us on right until the end. I can’t thank them enough for that, I thought they were brilliant.

“We put the ball into Hereford’s box at the right times in the right areas, we worked the ball in the final third instead of just sticking it into the box and gambling. I thought some of our football was really, really good and I’m proud of the lads for the attacking stuff that they did.

“We’re six games unbeaten. We’ve scraped a point and stretched the unbeaten run, and that gives us something to build on. The lads have got it in them, they are good players. We need to tighten up in a few areas, cut out these mistakes that are starting to creep back into our game, and to start punishing teams by being more clinical.

“We had a lot of respect for Hereford going into the game. They’ve gone through a big transition in the way they want the club to operate. They are not a bad team, but they are low on confidence, and we gave them a boost by allowing them a really sloppy goal to get them going. But what we proved at the end is how frail they are because they backed off us.”

Goals: Owen-Evans (15, 0-1), Owen-Evans (50, 0-2); Syers (53, 1-2), Nicholson (83, 2-2)

Bookings: Lloyd (30, foul), Thomas (64, foul), Roberts (66, time wasting); Thompson (87, foul)

Referee: Adam Williamson

Attendance: 1,427

Darlington (4-4-2): Hemming; Trotman, Hughes, Galbraith, O’Hanlon; Thompson, Elliott, Wheatley, Nicholson; Saunders (Ainge 73), Syers. Subs (not used): Glover, Maddison, Henshall, Burn

Hereford (4-4-2): Yates; Thomas, Cullinane-Liburd, Smith, Greenslade; Lloyd (Finn 32), Owen-Evans, McGrath, Murphy (O’Sullivan 59); Roberts, Symons. Subs (not used): Green, Horsell, Richards