MARK BECK'S purple patch continued as he scored twice to help Darlington see off Peterborough Sports at Blackwell Meadows.

Beck has now scored 11 goals in ten league and FA Cup matches so far this season, and if the quality of service to him continues in the same vein as it has in the last two matches, then he should help himself to quite a few more this season. If it wasn’t for an offside flag at the weekend, he would have scored hat-tricks in successive matches.

“Mark’s all-round game has improved this season, “said manager Alun Armstrong. “He’s winning headers in both boxes and turning up constantly in the right spot in our opponents’ box at this moment in time. It was such a shame the third goal didn’t count. Everything he is doing at the moment is turning to gold, we’ve just got to keep it going. It does help when the ball goes in the box, it makes a massive difference. Now we’ve got people putting them in the back of the net, the lads are buying into it.”

Peterborough were a talented outfit, with some useful players, and it took a very good performance to beat them.

“I thought it was a fantastic win because they were the best side we’ve played this season," added Armstrong. "We didn’t do ourselves justice earlier in the season against Banbury, who had also just been promoted, and I knew that Peterborough would be just as tough.

“I thought we defended extremely well, I think Tommy (Taylor) only had two saves to make from distance. I thought we weren’t really troubled, apart from some hairy-scary moments but nothing that threatened our goal. Every time we went down the sides, we caused them massive problems. The work ethic of the lads was phenomenal. I was delighted with our work-rate, we matched Peterborough and the quality shone through in the end.

“The big man is on fire. Our first goal typified what we want from people. Jacob Hazel ran all the way back into his own area, won the ball and travelled with it, put Kaine (Felix) in who was great with his cross and who else puts it in the back of the net? I was delighted with the goal.”

Quakers achieved only their second clean sheet of the season to help them climb into fifth place. “A clean sheet is a massive boost," said Armstrong. "I thought the lads deserved it, because they defended ever so well. We stopped Michael Gash dictating where he wanted to play and once we stopped their game-plan, we were a lot better in the second half. “

Against a very energetic visiting side, Quakers took the lead with a great counter-attack after just seven minutes.

It all started from a cross-field pass by Peterborough deep into the Darlington box, where Hazel cleverly controlled the ball and flicked it away from an opponent. He ran over the halfway line and placed a perfect through ball for Felix on the right, and he crossed first time for Beck to head into the bottom right-hand corner.

Peterborough’s movement caused Quakers some headaches without them really opening the defence, and they only offered a 25-yarder by Connor Kennedy that Taylor saved down to his right.

Quakers suffered an injury blow before half-time when midfielder Adriano Moke limped off and was replaced by Danny Rose.

After Armstrong was forced into another change when Hazel went off with a dead leg and was replaced by Jarrett Rivers, Quakers went 2-0 up. Rose cleverly found Felix on the right, and he laid the ball off perfectly for the overlapping Kallum Griffiths to cross into the middle where Beck glanced the ball past Crook.

Beck thought he’d scored a hat-trick for the second successive game when Lambert’s flick from a Hedley cross allowed him to head home, but the assistant’s flag was raised.