Darlington continued their remarkable fight for survival by beating Blyth Spartans 2-1 on Tuesday to climb out of the relegation zone for the first time this season.

They were nine points adrift of safety on February 10, and seemingly resigned to relegation. There was plenty of doom and gloom and not a lot of hope.

But the mood has transformed as they have now won six of of their last eight games to rise to fifth-bottom.

Quakers took an early lead at Croft Park with a sensational Matty Cornish goal, the midfielder scoring from around 25 yards, but then they had to defend well against some strong Blyth pressure before Cameron Salkeld added the second.

Blyth caused some late anxiety when they pulled a goal back, and it needed a clearance off the line in the last minute to secure the three points.

Blyth had an early chance when former Quakers left-back Michael Liddle fired over from the edge of the area, but Darlington immediately hit back.

Cedric Main almost opened up the Blyth defence on the edge of the box but saw his pass intercepted, before Quakers took the lead on 12 minutes.

A Darlington attack down the left side saw Will Hatfield set up Cornish, who struck a right foot shot from well outside the penalty area that flew into the top left corner of the net - his fourth goal in as many games giving Steve Watson’s side a valuable lead.

But they couldn’t press home their advantage, and Blyth came more into the game.

Darlington keeper Matty Young once again showed his quality when he tipped a header by Will McGowan over the bar, while Finn Cousin-Dawson, who was returning to the Blyth side after suspension, put a header wide.

Darlington defender Scott Barrow had to receive treatment for a leg injury, but Quakers continued to defend well.

Young made another good save from Malakei Reeve’s header off a Nicky Deverdics free kick, and when he was beaten, Kallum Griffiths was covering behind him to clear Cousin-Dawson’s header off the line.

Blyth were forced into a change five minutes before the break when Jordan Cook, who had a brief spell on loan with Darlington from Sunderland in 2009, went off injured and had to be replaced by new signing Luke Shaw.

Darlington started the second half strongly, and a patient move ended with Tom Platt hitting the post from the edge of the area.

Mitch Curry nearly made it 2-0 when his effort went just past the post, but then Quakers got the breathing space they so badly needed on 65 minutes.

Griffiths won possession with a good sliding tackle on the edge of the area and found Salkeld, who beat his man and struck a low left foot shot across the keeper into the bottom corner of the net in front of the Darlington fans packed behind the goal.

It was nearly 3-0 when former Blyth player Jarrett Rivers, who had come on for Curry, had an effort cleared off the line.

However, Blyth didn’t give up, and with a minute left, Zanda Siziba pulled a goal back, and in stoppage time, Platt somehow managed to stop a header by JJ Hooper on the line.