DARLINGTON won their first penalty shoot-out for 18 years to move into today’s draw for the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Quakers only had themselves to blame for putting themselves in that situation after twice conceding the lead in the 90 minutes, and so it was left to debutant keeper Johnny Saltmer to save a spot-kick from Dale Korie-Butler and then the next effort from Ethan van Aston to set up veteran Nicky Hunt to score the winner. It was the first time Quakers had won a shoot-out since beating Bradford City in the Worthington Cup in 2002.

It was a tense finish to an entertaining afternoon, but assistant manager Darren Holloway thought Quakers’ lack of match fitness showed against their opponents from two divisions below.

“We felt after the game that the lads are a bit short of match fitness,” he said. “They tired in the last ten minutes or so, and it will probably be another two or three games before they’re near to what we expect. Prescot are ahead of us in terms of games this season, and that showed towards the end.”

Quakers played some good football in the first half that Prescot couldn’t match. Former Newcastle youngster Luke Charman showed some delightful skill to control a through ball but lobbed his effort against the bar, then Alex Storey put a header wide from six yards and Tony McMahon curled a 30-yard free-kick just wide of the post.

Darlington deservedly led on 29 minutes, when Adam Campbell displayed some great footwork inside the box on the right to cross to the far post for Charman to firmly head in.

The home side wasted more good chances until the hour mark, when Prescot’s Alex McMillan chested down a free-kick ten yards out and neatly fired left footed past Saltmer.

Quakers thought they’d won it when Charman tapped in a left-wing cross from Jarrett Rivers on the hour, but Prescot’s persistence was rewarded when Hunt tripped Korie-Butler, and James Edgar scored from the spot.

There was still time for Allen to pull off a great save, but it was down to former Hull keeper Saltmer in the end to put Quakers through.

The draw for the third qualifying round takes place at lunchtime today.