DARLINGTON manager Alun Armstrong said the 1-0 long-distance win at Weymouth that put Quakers into the last 16 of the Buildbase FA Trophy was “no fluke”.

Armstrong’s team shocked their National League opponents with a composed and disciplined display that was reminiscent of their FA Cup win at Swindon earlier this season, but was somewhat of a contrast to the 1-0 league defeat at Farsley in midweek. The winner by skipper Will Hatfield keeps the hopes of a return to Wembley alive, although they could be facing another long trip in the next round.

“I wanted the players to get back to basics after the midweek defeat,” said Armstrong. “We started very brightly, and Luke Charman and Dan Maguire occupied their centre-halves throughout the game. They worked very hard like everybody else in the team. The disappointing thing was, they never got a goal between them.

“At half-time, I thought we deserved our lead because we created a few chances and got our crosses in. I had a good chat with Will before the game about being on the front foot and making powerful runs – his goal was his reward for doing the right things at the right time. It was no fluke that we won.

“It was a tough travel to the game. We were on the bus for six hours to our hotel in Taunton and another hour and a half to Weymouth. I just hope we don’t get Torquay now! I believe that the Trophy is winnable, and I would love for us to get there. It will be tough, but anything can happen on the day.”

Quakers deserved their win as they capitalised on a weak home side that was clearly lacking in confidence once the visitors took an early grip on the game.

Darlington nearly scored in the opening minute when Alex Storey, on his return to the side, almost set up Dan Maguire on the six-yard line.

Maguire, after being set up by Erico Sousa, had a close-range shot blocked as the Dorset side failed to clear a cross by Tony McMahon, then Storey clipped the top of the bar with a looping header from a free kick.

Sousa was involved again when he and Maguire set up Luke Charman ten yards out, but he fired over the top.

Weymouth, who have only won once at home in the league this season, had offered very little before Quakers took the lead on half-time. Hatfield picked the ball up just outside the Weymouth box from a poor headed clearance by Jacob Mensah, drove unchallenged a few yards and fired low past keeper Gerard Benfield.

They should have made it 2-0 eight minutes after the break. Another poor clearance by former Crystal Palace defender Mensah was picked up by Jarrett Rivers, whose low shot was blocked by Benfield, then Dan Maguire’s follow-up header was cleared off the line.

There was another opportunity when Luke Charman headed down a Joe Wheatley free kick for Maguire to play the ball off for Hatfield on the edge of the area, but the skipper’s left foot effort went just over.

Quakers broke away in stoppage time when Tyrone O’Neill sent fellow substitute Adam Campbell through, but he pulled his shot wide.

The draw for the fifth round will be made at lunch-time today, with ties to be played on Saturday, February 7.

Darlington's progress means the scheduled home league game against Gloucester on fifth-round weekend is postponed.

Meanwhile, Quakers were due to host Hereford United at Blackwell Meadows tomorrow night, but that game has also been postponed because Hereford will be involved in a rearranged FA Trophy game at Stamford on the same evening.