Darlington gave themselves a huge boost in their fight against relegation by beating play-off chasing Hereford with arguably their best performance of the season.

Goals by Ben Liddle and debutant Matty Cornish gave Quakers the points and only their second home win of the season.

They remain second-bottom, seven points from safety, so there remains much to do in the final 18 games if they are to retain their National League North status.

But this performance inspires belief that a resurgence under Steve Watson is possible.

Since beating Hereford 3-0 at Blackwell Meadows last March, Darlington had won one of 18 home league games, but they were excellent today and could have scored further goals before Cornish’s goal in the final minute.

New striker Cedric Main, signed on Friday from York City, was integral to Quakers taking the lead on 25 minutes.

He carried the ball up the right before crossing low, Jonny Ngandu held off a defender and the ball arrived at Liddle’s feet to finish low past Curtis Pond.

It was a strong start by Darlington and they were inches away from going 2-0 up when left-back Ben Hedley found himself on the edge of the Hereford penalty area when he took aim, his shot flying narrowly wide.

It was an entertaining half with chances at both ends. Darlington goalkeeper Tommy Taylor palmed away a rising drive from an acute angle by Hereford winger Yusif Ceesay and he also saved from Tope Obadeyi.

Main almost created another goal just before the hour mark. His pass sent Cameron Salkeld away but his shot rebounded off the post and Liddle wasted what appeared to be a simple chance when put the rebound over.

But Quakers pressing and Pond kept his team in it. He was at full-stretch to deny Hedley, the defender having made a penetrating run up the left before curling a low shot heading for the bottom corner.

Ngandu’s driving run ended with a powerful effort saved by Pond, and then the keeper parried a Kallum Griffiths shot as Darlington pushed for a second.

It came in the 90th minute as Salkeld played in Cornish, and he kept his cool to score on his debut.

Darlington (4-1-4-1): Taylor; Griffiths, Lees, Lawlor, Hedley; Platt; Nelson (Salkeld 54), Liddle (Moke 73), Hatfield, Ngandu (Cornish 78); Main. Subs not used: Curry, Siddik

Hereford (4-1-4-1): Pond; Skinner, Cameron, Howkins, Southern (Rooney 84); Teixeia (Babos 73); Mendes, Kouhyar, Obadeyi (Williams 64), Ceesay; Cowley. Subs not used: Livingstone, Tanor

Referee: Declan Brown

Attendance: 1,437