DARLINGTON were knocked out of the FA Cup by a fortunate Chester .

A game which livened up in the second half seemed to be heading for extra-time until James Hardy took advantage of a huge slice of Cup luck to give Chester an away tie at Marske in the next round.

Quakers had the first opening of the game winner at the Deva Stadium in the second minute. Tommy Taylor’s long clearance was nodded down by Jake Cassidy straight to Luke Charman, who took a touch and struck a low right foot shot that Chester keeper Louis Gray gathered at the foot of his post.

Charman looked dangerous on the left, and he showed some wizardry on 20 minutes when he dribbled past three men to get into the box, but a fourth defender took the power off his shot and the keeper saved.

Quakers had Joe Wheatley booked for a challenge on Declan Weeks, which led to a minor flare-up with Quakers protesting that his challenge was fair.

The visitors nearly took the lead straight after the resumption, when Charman had a shot blocked inside the area, and the ball ran for Wheatley to fire just wide from the edge of the box.

Chester had their first real chance on 50 minutes from a quick breakaway, but Hardy fired harmlessly over the bar.

Hatfield was fouled about 25 yards out, and Griffiths curled the free kick over the wall only for Gray to save at full stretch. The keeper was in action again when Wheatley burst forward and struck a powerful shot that he fisted away.

At the other end, Taylor kept the score goalless when a free-kick dropped into the six yard box for Dudley but he did well to block his shot. Then he made another good point blank save from Hardy as the game opened up.

Hatfield had a powerful strike fingered around the post by Gray, then from the corner that followed, Charman’s scrambled effort was cleared off the line.

Chester took the lead on 85 minutes. The ball came into the box from the left for George Waring to completely mishit, but it ran for Hardy, who chested down and fired past the advancing Taylor.

Quakers almost levelled, but Cassidy’s low effort was pushed round the post by Gray.