SPENNYMOOR comfortably won at Blackwell Meadows for the first time in over four years to keep them in promotion contention – and increase struggling Darlington's misery.

Moors were thumped 6-0 at Scunthorpe in midweek, but they bounced back with a hard-working performance in which they could have scored more goals before they finally made the game safe in the second half.

Quakers' defeat means they remain rooted to the bottom of National League North with only one win to their credit this season and are now nine points adrift of safety.

Spennymoor manager Lewis Dickman said: “It was a superb victory, we wanted to right a few wrongs from the midweek game.

"We guaranteed that we’d see a different Spennymoor performance. We had a detailed review of the Scunthorpe game at training, more so just to help the players so then they could understand what we want to do. To a man, they ran through a brick wall.

“The game was never going to be pretty, but we had a game-plan and we executed it to a tee.

“The players wanted to work hard for each other, because Tuesday hurt us. They rolled their sleeves up, went into the trenches, and did what they’ve wanted to do for the club. That’s what I’m proud of more than anything.”

Darlington manager Josh Gowling has yet to taste victory since he took charge, and he said: “We had a poor middle of the game.

“For the first 25 minutes, we were excellent, we had a game-plan to get behind their back line, but the goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of us. You could see it wobble the lads massively.

"Between the first 25 minutes and the last 15 minutes, I thought we were a bit lacklustre. I thought some of the lads looked a bit leggy – it needs to be a lot better. On the back of the Blyth game, which was a solid performance, we looked flat.

“We need to stop losing games. Spennymoor deserved to win the game, but were they fourth in the league and us bottom of the league different? I don’t think so. It’s important that we roll our sleeves up and keep fighting.”

Quakers were on top for the first 15 minutes. Tom Platt put an early left-footed shot wide, and then had a header from a corner blocked. Cameron Salkeld and Jacob Hazel, playing up front together, were also denied.

After Spennymoor defender James Curtis went off injured, the game started to turn in Moors’ favour when they took the lead on 19 minutes . A deep cross from the right was picked up by Callum Ross, who played the ball to the edge of the penalty area where Danny Greenfield hit a right-footed shot that seemed to deceive keeper David Robson and go under him into the net.

Another Moors defender, Michael Ledger, went off injured and was replaced by Keenan Ferguson, but that didn’t upset their improving rhythm. Glen Taylor was just off target with a glancing header before half-time, and Rob Ramshaw dispossessed Charlie Winfield and set up Will Harris, who side-footed wide of a gaping net.

Quakers nearly levelled just on half-time when Hazel sent Salkeld running through, but James Montgomery saved well.

Moors took a firm grip on the game in the second half.  Robson made two great saves from Greenfield and Taylor, but he had no chance on 68 minutes when former Darlington player Rob Ramshaw broke down the right and crossed perfectly for Mark Anderson to volley into the bottom corner.

Quakers raised themselves for a late fightback. Hazel put a dipping shot over the bar and Salkeld had a low shot saved, before Salkeld found Hazel in the box, and he fired across Montgomery into the net.

But Quakers had left themselves with too much to do, and they now find themselves with an uphill battle to climb out of the relegation zone.