Darlington conquered the Citadel thanks to a superb hat-trick by Jack Lambert.

It was a day of records for Quakers; the first hat-trick away from home since Reece Styche at Brackley in August 2018, the highest score away since the memorable 7-1 win at Whitby in April 2016, the best away win since Alun Armstrong took charge and a first win at the Citadel in five visits.

Lambert was unplayable for 20 minutes before half time, but there were plenty of other excellent individual performances that helped to lift Darlington into into tenth place, just two points behind the play offs – and all without their suspended top scorer Luke Charman.

“It could have been ten,” enthused manager Armstrong.

“But nobody could see that coming after ten minutes. We knew that we would be in for a battle under pressure from the off, and I told the lads to stand up and be counted. They did that ever so well, but they just couldn’t get their foot on the ball.

“When we did, Jack did fantastic with his finishing, he took his goals really well.”

On an ominously heavy pitch that cut up during the warm up, Quakers rode their luck in the first 20 minutes, as Farsley took the game to them.

There were one or two anxious moments in defence, one in particular when Lewis Turner hit the post from ten yards, but Quakers grew in confidence and Farsley shrunk once the visitors took the lead with a well-created goal on 25 minutes.

Jarrett Rivers received the ball from skipper Will Hatfield with his back to goal, and he cleverly wrong-footed his marker and laid the ball off for Lambert, who curled the ball around Farsley keeper Kyle Trenerry into the net.

Four minutes later, Lambert scored his second, when from a short corner on the left Danny Rose hoisted the ball over to the far post where Lambert beat a defender, and fired diagonally low past Trenerry.

It was a mystery why Darlington were not awarded a penalty on 42 minutes. Rivers raced into the box and was scythed down by defender Tom Allan, but instead referee Jonathan Urwin penalised Rivers for diving and booked him.

It was a ludicrous a decision, but Urwin was off the hook two minutes later when it became 3-0, when the outstanding Lambert dribbled his way through, picked his way past two defenders, and lashed the ball into the roof of the net for his hat-trick.

Soon after the break, Rivers, who was having his best game of the season, cut in from the right into the area, and fired left-footed into the bottom corner for his first goal of the campaign.

Darlington stayed in control, and the introduction of subs Kevin Dos Santos and Tyrone O’Neill added extra energy – and more grief for a bedraggled Farsley – for the last 20 minutes.

O’Neill’s first touch produced a goal, when he nodded in a cross by Danny Rose, whose loan spell from Grimsby finished after the game.

Then Rivers produced the pass of the game with a 50-yard diagonal ball to find Dos Santos on the left, and the winger worked his way into the box and fired an angled shot past Trenerry for 6-0.

It could have been more. O’Neill scored another but was pulled up for offside, and Dos Santos weaved his way through, rounded the keeper, but his effort was cleared off the line.

Charman had been the only Darlington player to score in the team’s previous five games, and Armstrong added: “I’m not daft, I’ve seen comments wondering where we’re going to get the goals from with Luke Charman suspended. I’ve been saying that I want to build an attacking team, and today we got it. Luke has been fantastic for us, but the lads have come up trumps there.

“We have to give the lads credit, because the pitch was a mudbath, they were slipping all over the place. Once they got their feet and got themselves sorted, I loved what they did with the ball. We didn’t resort to lumping the ball forward, some of the performances were outstanding from start to finish.

“Several players had their best games of the season for us. I’m so pleased with what we’ve got. We’re sneaking in there towards the play offs – I want a decent run and to be consistent, everyone knows that. I want to keep this group together, but I also want to strengthen it if I can. I always want to push further.”