DARLINGTON striker Harvey Saunders scored a first-half hat-trick as Quakers moved into the quarter finals of the Durham Challenge Cup with a comfortable 4-0 win over Stockton Town at Blackwell Meadows last night.

Saunders, who was one of nine players on duty at Chorley last Saturday, opened the scoring after four minutes when he latched on to a good pass by Jordan Nicholson and beat Josh Moody in the Stockton goal.

After Stephen Thompson and Mitch Glover both went close, Saunders was on hand to score the second after Nicholson hit the post.

The partnership worked again just before half time, when Nicholson completed a counter attack when he slipped the ball through for Saunders to fire past the keeper.

In the second half, Stockton rallied and Darlington keeper Jonny Maddison pulled off two good saves, while Stephen Thompson was denied a fourth by a good save from Moody.

Two academy players combined for the fourth, when Harry Stansfield’s effort was fumbled by the keeper, and Brandon Morrison tapped in.

Darlington: Maddison, Trotman (Banks 78), O'Hanlon, Lycett, Burn, Galbraith, Stansfield, Glover, Nicholson (Lingthep 61), Thompson, Saunders (Morrison 61) Subs (not used): Hoare, Hall