Amazing what a win can do for morale.

Prior to Saturday, with the play-offs just days away, Darlington were winless in eight games, with confidence among fans and players alike justifiably low.

Darlington had no momentum, no strikers and, some would say, no hope. Three points from 24 available is relegation form.

So this was not just any old win. For Peterborough it may have meant nothing more than an opportunity to say goodbye to League Two, but for Darlington it represented much more.

It was a chance to prove they can compete with the best in the division and remain capable of producing clean sheets - just like they did up until March.

The makeshift side played with confidence, moving the ball around well to put an end to a miserable run with goals from Jason Kennedy and Micky Cummins either side of the break to secure a morale-boosting win.

"It's a big confidence boost," admitted Alan White, captain for the day in the absence of the rested Steve Foster. "It was just what we needed so we're really looking forward to the play-offs now.

"Peterborough weren't messing around. I know a lot of their lads from when I was on loan here last year and was talking to them before the game, they were bang up for it.

"We know we're a good team and the adversity pepped the lads up a bit more."

For adversity read threadbare. Several remained injured, Tommy Wright was also rested while midfielder Cummins was asked to fill the void up front in a 4-5-1.

Quakers will field a much-changed line-up in the first leg of the play-offs versus Rochdale but whether that includes keeper David Stockdale remains doubtful because, as has become customary, Darlington lost a player through injury.

Last week it was Pawel Abbott, this time it was Stockdale who limped off with a bruised foot after only 12 minutes. Following White's backpass, Stockdale came off worse in a 50/50 with the otherwise anonymous Aaron McLean.

The early diagnosis suggests he will be available on Saturday to face Rochdale at the Darlington Arena but if he does not make it, at least Darlington now know they have an able replacement in Przemyslaw Kazimierczak.

The Polish keeper, a protÃgÃe of goalkeeping coach Andy Collett, made several saves but most were comfortable due to Darlington's defending, just like they used to when clean sheets were routine.

Saturday's was the 24th of the season but most importantly however, is that the win has restored belief. Granted, the hosts may have had little play for, but this win still provides a huge boost and what made it special, what gave it an edge, was that it spoiled Peterborough's promotion party.

The biggest league crowd of Posh's season were celebrating elevation to League One and, against opposition in dire form, were expecting a comfortable victory to cap a successful season.

Darlington taking the lead in the third minute was not supposed to happen. Ricky Ravenhill's shot from Neil Wainwright's cross deflected in off Kennedy to stun the home side.

Posh held more possession and winger George Boyd was always a threat but Quakers held firm and restricted their chances.

Kazimierczak made saves from Boyd and Dean Keates before leaping to his left to impressively catch the ball after it cannoned off both Kennedy and Peterborough's Craig Mackail-Smith.

Mackail-Smith had a volley saved six minutes after the break and seconds later it was 2-0 thanks to Darlington's only second and last shot of the game.

Craig Nelthorpe dispossessed the lethargic Adam Newton before crossing for Cummins to strike low past Joe Lewis from eight yards.

Peterborough pressure increased but the closest they came was a Scott Rendell header that went narrowly wide as their season petered out while Darlington ended the regular season by creating history.

Curtis Main came on as a late sub to become the club's youngest ever player at the age of just 15.

Short and bulky, almost Wayne Rooney-esque, he had little time but made a good impression, even showing strength to beat experienced former Hartlepool defender Chris Westwood to a high ball.

He won't forget the memory of his debut and neither will the 600-strong travelling support who enjoyed a hugely satisfying result against a side who have inflicted two miserable days on Quakers on recent years.

It did not atone for Wembley in 2000, nor was it adequate revenge for Posh's 2002 FA Cup replay win that deprived Quakers of a tie with Newcastle United.

But it certainly wiped the smile off Peterborough's faces and if only for that reason it made for one of the most enjoyable away days of Darlington's season.

Manager Dave Penney said: "There was a good atmosphere and I told the players that there was no way I wanted to come here and get battered. I wanted to stand tall and spoil their party.

"Some people will have expected us to get beat so it was nice to show that we are still a decent side, even though we are missing players."

Morale has certainly been lifted and now hopes of travelling to Wembley at the end of the month are higher than they were last week, but first up it's Rochdale.