DARLINGTON lost for the first time in five league and Trophy matches last night when they were beaten 2-0 by Brackley at St James’ Park.

Quakers had plenty of possession, but they found a well-organised Brackley defence difficult to break down.

They went behind from the game’s first attack. The ball was played down the Brackley left for Tre Mitford to put the ball into the box, where Ellis Myles fired towards goal, and Wes York diverted the ball past keeper Johnny Saltmer, who was making his return to the side.

But Quakers recovered, and played some good possession football as they tried to get back into the game, and they created a chance on ten minutes when Tyrone O’Neill, who has just started another month’s loan from Middlesbrough, nodded Erico Sousa’s lofted pass down for top scorer Adam Campbell to have a shot deflected wide.

O’Neill, playing as an out and out striker, then had another effort deflected wide as Quakers kept the pressure going.

Brackley had a rare attempt when Gareth Dean’s header from a left-wing corner was held on the line by Saltmer.

Quakers enjoyed more possession in the rest of the half, but they couldn’t create any real openings, apart from a shot by Tony McMahon that was blocked.

In the second half, Wes York and Tre Mitford were both off target for the home side, who were content to bring ten men back behind the ball and make it difficult for Quakers to break them down.

Quakers made two substitutions, Dan Maguire and Luke Charman coming on for Campbell and O’Neill, and they had a chance to level when McMahon’s right-wing cross was cleared as far as Sousa, who chipped the ball over the bar from 12 yards out.

Quakers were beaten with six minutes left when Jimmy Armson picked the ball up on the edge of the Darlington box, sidestepped a challenge, and fired past Saltmer into the bottom corner.

Meanwhile, Spennymoor Town’s game against Hereford was postponed after positive Covid tests in both camps.

A statement on Spennymoor’s website said: “Both Hereford and Spennymoor are dealing with positive Covid tests and The Brewery Field has been closed today for deep cleaning.”