In Steve Watson’s first home match since being appointed manager, Darlington suffered another blow in their fight against the drop.

They lost 1-0 to table-topping Tamworth at Blackwell Meadows, leaving Quakers eight points from safety with 19 games to play.

The leaders are now eight points clear at the top of National League North after winning for the seventh game in a row, but there was little between the teams for the most part.

Tamworth got a early goal and thereafter looked unlikely to add to it. While Quakers had plenty of the ball, not for the first time this season their lack of cutting edge, their inability to test the opposition goalkeeper, cost them dearly.

Watson was without Adriano Moke, Cardo Siddik and Akwasi Asante, who are all injured say Quakers, and he dropped Will Hatfield.

Andrew Nelson ploughed a lone furrow up front, but without service it was a thankless task.

It was a game of few chances and low on entertainment, Tamworth winning thanks to Ben Acuaye’s 12th-minute goal.

It came following a throw-in by Thomas Tonks that was defended weakly by Darlington, allowing Acuaye to drill the ball home from inside the penalty area.

Not until the 15th minute did second-bottom Quakers break into Tamworth’s penalty area when they won a corner, and it took until half an hour until their first shot on target when the recalled Jonny Ngandu was denied by Jas Singh.

Tonks’ throws were a strong feature of Tamworth’s simple tactics, and after another hurl into the penalty area Kyle Finn flashed a low shot narrowly wide.

Darlington had a long throw taker of their own in left-back Scott Barrow, making his home debut after signing on loan from York, and from one of his deliveries Singh gathered a flicked header by Tom Platt.

Darlington had more of the ball in the second half, but failed to create a decent scoring chance.

Lambs striker Daniel Creaney dragged a shot wide, and he also attempted a lob that Tommy Taylor thwarted by the keeper getting a hand to it.

Platt had a shot charged down, and Ngandu fired over from outside the penalty area, but that was about as good as it got for Watson's Darlington.

Tamworth were content to delay play with several of their players frequently claiming to be injured, which was reflected in there being seven minutes of added time.

But no matter how long was played, it did not look like Darlington were ever going to score today.

Darlington: Taylor; Hedley, Lees, Lawlor, Barrow; Platt; Lindley (Rivers 73), Liddle (Hatfield 67), Ngandu; Salked (Curry 57), Nelson. Subs not used: Sukar, Windass

Tamworth: Singh; Curley, Willets, Dolman, Fairlamb; Tonks, Jellis (Reilly 21); Finn, Thiskuna (Deacon 74), Acuaye (Williams 70); Creaney. Subs not used: Cullinane-Liburd, Cockerill-Mollett

Referee: Shaun Taylor

Attendance: 1,402