DARLINGTON'S hopes of pulling off a second FA Cup giant-killing act in a row were shattered as they crashed to a 6-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers.

Quakers saw off League One Swindon Town in the FA Cup first round, but were unable to stage a defeat as they were well beaten at the Memorial Ground.

Bristol Roversopened the scoring just before the half-hour mark when Darlington defender David Atkinson headed a long ball backwards over advancing goalkeeper Johnny Saltmer to leave James Daly with a simple tap-in.

Josh Hare made it 2-0 with a low finish from Luke McCormick’s pass after 38 minutes and – six minutes later – Luke Leahy netted a low penalty after Atkinson had brought down Daly.

In first-half stoppage time, Erhun Oztumer exchanged passes with Sam Nicholson before shooting past Saltmer from close range.

Another foul on Daly, by former Middlesbrough defender Tony McMahon, saw Leahy net again to complete his brace from the penalty spot after 52 minutes.

McMahon hit the post for Darlington before Nicholson made it six when Max Ehmer headed down a 59th-minute corner.

Rovers had to play the last 12 minutes with ten men as Daly hobbled off with all substitutes used, but Darlington were unable to claim a consolation goal that would have made their long trip back to the North-East more enjoyable.