Darlington moved into a play-off position with a 0-0 draw at Alfreton, but their penalty misery continues.

Jake Cassidy and Junior Mondal both saw efforts saved by George Willis, one in each half, to make it four missed penalties in a row and leave Quakers a better point better off yet also frustrated.

A fourth win in succession would have seen Alun Armstrong’s side rise to sixth, instead they are seventh and level on points with Kettering and York, who both have at least one game in hand.

Cassidy’s penalty came towards end of a first half that Alfreton started well, forcing chances against a Darlington side which failed to get a foot on the ball.

Conor Branson went close to scoring with two headers, and heavyweight forward Matt Rhead was also off-target with a header as Alfreton threatened aerially, their favoured method of attack.

Quakers were without Danny Ellis and David Wheater, so Alex Storey was recalled and was cautioned after bringing down Yusifu Ceesay as he headed for goal, though Alfreton strongly felt the Darlington defender should have been dismissed.

Darlington got their act together towards the end of the half with Cassidy going close to a breakthrough but hitting the post, and then and Jack Lambert won a penalty.

After Will Hatfield and Kevin Dos Santos missed from the spot in recent weeks, Cassidy took responsibility this time but the outcome was the same.

Willis guessed correctly and easily saved Cassidy’s tame strike.

It was a different penalty taker but again a missed opportunity midway through the second half when Darlington were given a second spot-kick, this time after Mondal went down in the box.

Whether there was any contact with an Alfreton player, or Mondal was crafty is debatable. Nonetheless, Alfreton will feel justice was done when Mondal missed the resulting penalty.

He went the opposite way from Cassidy, but the effort was not close enough to the post, it lacked power and Willis made another save, much to the frustration of the Darlington fans behind the goal who had travelled in good numbers.

They made up the majority of the 825 attendance having been encouraged by recent good form, but they had little to cheer for the bulk of the afternoon with their team failing to trouble Willis.

Storey saw a header go narrowly over, but Darlington did not do enough to warrant more than a point at the Impact Arena, and Armstrong’s shrug of the shoulders when applauding the strong Quakers support after the final whistle summarised his frustrated reaction to the afternoon.

Darlington are at home to Curzon Ashton on Friday, by which time penalty practise is required.