Darlington are 90 minutes away from a third trip to Wembley after a late, late goal clinched a vital victory in the first leg of the play-offs with Rochdale.

Ian Miller scored deep into injury time to give Quakers a 2-1 first leg lead that they take to Spotland next week Saturday.

Dave Penney's side will feel confident of maintaining that advantage in order to reach the play-off final, a prospect few neutrals believed Darlington had much chance of before Saturday's match.

Having been unbeaten in their last ten matches of the season and Darlington having won only two of their last 12 games, the form guide suggested Dale would were the favourites.

But, in front of the highest crowd of the season - the third biggest ever at the Arena - Quakers stunned Dale by taking the lead in the 29th minute with a superb Jason Kennedy strike.

In one swift movement he expertly brought down a Ben Parker long ball and turned inside a defender before curling the ball inside the far post.

It was one of the best goals of Quakers' season, of the ilk that Pawel Abbott has scored this season.

By that stage both Scott Wiseman and Micky Cummins had been denied by good saves from Rochdale keeper Tommy Lee, while the woodwork saved David Stockdale when Chris Dagnell beat Quakers' keeper.

His fine effort from 18 yards over Stockdale seemed a certain goal but the goal rebounded off the crossbar, much to the relief of Alan White who handed possesion to the striker when he dwelled on the ball.

Shortly after Kennedy's goal White came close to making it 2-0 but his header flashed wide of the post following Parker's corner, while Tommy Wright was also just off target two minutes into the second half.

But not long after his chance Wright had to leave leave the field with an injury. He sustained knee medial damage that will rule him out for the second leg and, should Darlington get there, possibly the play-off final at Wembley.

In the 70th minute Rochdale scored the goal they probably deserved, though it came in fortunate circumstances.

Dagnell's shot from 20 yards took a heavy deflection off the inside of Steve Foster's leg to completely wrong-foot Stockdale.

Quakers had done little since Wright limped from the field, and tey suffered yet another injury blow when Ben Parker went off with a hamstring strain and was replaced by Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu.

Injuries have blighted the closing stages of Darlington's season and for the third time in the game a player had to leave the field with an injury, this time White limping off in the 87th minute.

He was replaced by Ian Miller as the game seemed to destined to end in a 1-1 draw, but as five minutes of injury time were announced home fans crossed their fingers and hoped for what would be a crucial goal.

And two minutes into injury time Miller rose highest to meet a free-kick from Neil Wainwright, who had replaced Wright, to make it 2-1.

He had beaten Lee to the ball and in doing so handed Darlington a vital advantage, thus maintaining Darlington's record of having won all of their play-off semi-final ties.

Maintain that run and they will play at Wembley against either Stockport or Wycombe on Monday, May 26 for a place in League One.

Darlington (4-4-2): Stockdale; Wiseman, Foster, White (Miller 87), Parker (Ndumbu-Nsungu 79); Joachim, Ravenhill, Kennedy, Purdie; Cummins, Wright (Wainwright 64). Subs not used: Kazimierczak, Keltie.