DARLINGTON manager Alun Armstrong was disappointed with just a draw from Quakers’ longest journey of the season.

They were at Hereford’s Edgar Street and trailing 2-1 late on, showing plenty of character to level through sub Omar Holness with just three minutes left.

But Armstrong’s side could have sealed the points with better finishing in a good all-round first half performance that saw them lead 1-0 at the break, but miss chances in the process.

“I was disappointed with a point especially after the first half,” said Armstrong. “After the first 15 minutes I thought we totally dominated the game and we maybe should have been 2-0 up or more at half time. I see it as two points dropped from the position that we were in. I think there’s more to come from this team, because there are little bits that need fixing, and it’s hard to fix those bits because we only train twice a week.

Quakers made their attacking intentions known early in the game when Donawa fired over the top from an Adam Campbell pass, then Joe Wheatley had a fierce shot deflected over the top from the edge of the box.

They took the lead from a counter attack on 35 minutes. Hatfield spraying the ball out wide to Donawa who ran 40 yards down the right before laying the ball on a plate for Rivers to turn home.

Armstrong said: "It was a great goal that we scored to go into the lead, Justin broke at pace and the other winger, Jarrett Rivers, supported him and put the ball in the back of the net. Justin did what I’ve asked him to do loads of times, to get down the outside and stretch their defence. I thought he did exceptionally well and I was really pleased with his workrate. Saturday was the first time I’ve seen him going into the middle and linking up with play - he’s getting more and more confident.

“Cams (Adam Campbell) had a one-on-one and he knows that he should have scored, plus we had other chances. If we had gone in at 2-0, then that would have changed the game massively, but the conditions played a big part in the second half because the wind picked up. Hereford were really direct and went for it."

The visitors could have gone further ahead, a deflected shot by Donawa looped just over, and Campbell’s attempted lob was stopped by Brandon Hall.

However, just as last season when Darlington led at half-time, Hereford came out of the traps quickly at the start of the second half and pinned Quakers back, levelling on 56 minutes.

It came after a Darlington throw-in inside their own half, Hereford winning back possession and Lenell John-Lewis picking the ball up on the right just inside Darlington's area before firing across Elliott into the top corner.

Elliott then had to make two more good saves, the first from a low shot by Mooney, and the second a reflex save to stop Jacob Jagger-Cane.

Hereford thought they’d won it when when they went 2-1 up, again after a Darlington throw-in. Jason Pope got around the back of the defence and found Jared Hodgkiss, who drove the ball past the helpless Elliott.

But Quakers deservedly levelled when Hatfield and Campbell combined well from a throw in, and Holness broke free to fire across Hall for his fifth goal of the season.

Reflecting on the goal Quakers conceded, Armstrong said: “The goals were literally given away when you look at them. I thought the first one was a pure fluke, their player miskicked it and the wind took it into the top corner, and the second goal has come from our throw in, which was disappointing.

“But the lads dug in, showed plenty of guts and determination and thoroughly deserved at least a point. Omar has been different class. He lost his place in the team because of the system we’re playing but he’s worked exceptionally hard in training.

"I was always going to put him on because I thought we lacked just a little bit of energy for the last 25 minutes, and he came up trumps by scoring a wonderful goal.

“The lads kept going, because the minimum they deserved was a point from the game, but they should have had the game wrapped up by half time.”

Goals: Rivers (35, 0-1), John-Lewis (56, 1-1), Hodgkiss (85, 2-1), Holness (87, 2-2)

Bookings: Riley, Anderson; Reid

Attendance: 1,643

Hereford (4-4-2): Hall, Hodgkiss, Pope, Anderson, Riley, Jagger-Cane, Mooney, Owen-Evans, O’Sullivan (Thomas 82) John-Lewis, Liburd (Ash 75). Subs (not used): Davies, Raison, Whitlock

Darlington: (4-2-3-1) Elliott, Hedley, Liddle, Laing, Storey, Wheatley (Martin 87), Hatfield, Rivers (Thompson 68), Reid (Holness 75), Donawa, Campbell. Subs (not used): Watson, Atkinson