LUKE CHARMAN’S scoring spree continued as Darlington made it back-to-back home victories with a 1-0 win over Hereford.

Charman scored for the seventh league game in row, with his early glanced header proving sufficient to separate two closely-matched teams at Blackwell Meadows.

Hereford dominated possession for long periods, but Darlington defended resolutely throughout, with their goalkeeper, Tommy Taylor, producing smart saves to deny Ben Pollock and Ryan Lloyd either side of half-time.

Taylor, who was justifiably named as the sponsors’ Man of the Match, was part of an impressive Quakers rearguard that displayed none of the vulnerability that was apparent in a number of matches earlier in the season.

Darlington’s defensive resolve would have impressed former centre-half Darren Holloway, who remained in charge of the Darlington team in the continued absence of Alun Armstrong, who is recovering from emergency surgery to repair a strangulated hernia.

Holloway would also have been delighted with his side’s start, with Charman taking his tally for the season to seven as he broke the deadlock in just the ninth minute.

Jarrett Rivers laid the ball back to Ben Hedley, and after the full-back swung over a cross from the right, an unmarked Charman glanced home a header from eight yards.

It was the ideal start for Quakers, but they had to defend manfully to ensure Hereford were not able to restore parity as they enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half.

Taylor kept out a half-volley from Ollie Hulbert, and was forced to make an even better save midway through the opening period to deny Pollock.

Pollock, who is the son of former Middlesbrough midfielder Jamie, cracked in a well-hit strike from 20 yards, but Taylor did superbly to claw the ball away to his left. Hulbert swooped on the rebound, but scuffed his follow-up effort, enabling Danny Ellis to hack clear.

Ellis was a dominant figure at the heart of the Darlington defence all afternoon, and with Taylor looking equally solid, the hosts twice went close to extending their lead towards the end of the first half.

Jordan Wright kept out Will Hatfield’s drive from the edge of the penalty area, and the Hereford goalkeeper was called into action again as he parried Charman’s volleyed effort following another decent cross from Hedley, who found himself switched to the left-back slot shortly before half-time following an injury to George Smith.

Wright, a short-term loan signing from Nottingham Forest, only joined Hereford on the morning of the game, and he almost helped set up a Darlington second eight minutes into the second half.

The Bulls goalkeeper flapped at a cross from Rivers following an effective short-corner routine, but while the ball dropped invitingly for Hatfield, the Quakers midfielder slashed at his shot from close to the penalty spot and his effort sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Hereford threw on two attacking players at half-time in an attempt to improve their own attacking outlook, and the visitors almost levelled just before the hour mark.

Mazlar Kouhyar’s shot deflected to Lloyd on the left of the box, but while the Bulls midfielder looked likely to score as he drilled towards goal, Taylor made an excellent point-blank save in front of the Tin Shed.

Tom Owen-Evans directed a 71st-minute header wide as Hereford continued to push for a leveller, but Quakers held on to record another welcome home win.

Darlington (4-3-3): T Taylor; Hedley, Ellis, Storey, Smith (Purver 37); Rivers, Hatfield, Wheatley; Charman, Cassidy, Dos Santos (Rose 81).

Subs (not used): B Taylor, Mondal, Lambert.

Hereford (4-4-2): Wright; Hodgkiss, McNally, Andoh, Hancox; Kouhyar, Pollock (Pinchard 46), Lloyd, Owen-Evans (McLean 73); Hulbert, Smith (Storey 46).

Subs (not used): Forsyth, Vincent.