Darlington won their first game of the season with an excellent performance at previously unbeaten Brackley.

The home side had only conceded twice this season, but led by the outstanding Cassidy, the visitors tore them apart at times with some good football to win 3-1.

The Darlington goals came from Jake Cassidy, Luke Charman and Will Hatfield, with Brackley playing with ten men for most of the game after having a player sent off in the first half.

It is a result that puts an end to what had been a poor start to the season, with Alun Armstrong's side losing their first three games before drawing 2-2 at Blyth Spartans on Saturday.

Darlington last night built on that draw with their much-criticised defence was less charitable than it has been, and on-loan Jake Cooper made a big difference.

Armstrong's men made a confident start and enjoyed more of the possession, and they took the lead on eight minutes.

Alex Purver picked the ball up in midfield and threaded the ball through the Brackley defence for Cassidy to control instantly, slip past a defender, and fire past goalkeeper Danny Lewis into the bottom corner for his second goal of the season.

Second-in-the-table Brackley were reduced to ten men on 15 minutes when Jimmy Armson was shown a red by referee John Maskrey for a bad challenge on winger Jarrett Rivers, who was able to continue after treatment.

The ten men seemed to recover from this setback, and started to put the Darlington defence under pressure, but with Cooper outstanding at the back, they didn’t really trouble the Quakers defence.

It was nearly 2-0 just on half time, when Charman picked up a pass from George Smith on the left, worked his way into the box and from an acute angle struck a low shot that Lewis saved at full stretch.

Quakers continued to find gaps, and when Charman briefly switched to the right, he crossed into the middle for Cassidy to score with a diving header, but the flag went up for offside.

It was 2-0 up just after half time with a low free kick by Hatfield that seemed to take a deflection off a defender and Lewis saved well.

But Brackley went straight up the other end, and Tre Mitford turned in the area and hit a low shot across Tommy Taylor into the net.

However, Quakers went straight back in front on the hour. The build up started with a good run by Cassidy into the box, and after some patient play to create space, Rivers had a powerful shot parried into the air by Lewis, and Charman was there to snap up the rebound.

They added another on 67 minutes. Charman did superbly well to keep the ball in by back-heeling it to Hatfield inside the penalty area, and the skipper had plenty of time and space to hit a low right foot shot across Lewis into the bottom corner of the net.

Quakers stayed well in control after that, and nearly got another with a dipping 30-yard free kick by Hatfield that went just over the top.

Brackley threw men forward in the closing stages, and a long range effort by Murombedzi was held by Taylor, but Quakers deserved the three points.

They aim to continue last night's form on Saturday when they play at home to Chester in the FA Cup.