Cameron Salkeld’s seventh goal of the season secured another crucial three points as Darlington’s resurgence continued.

Their seventh in nine games was hard-earned against Peterborough Sports, who were tough opposition at Blackwell Meadows and their physical approach ensured Quakers were not at their best.

But Salkeld’s second-half goal proved enough and Steve Watson’s sigh of relief at full-time summed up Quakers’ reaction to three vital points.

It was his ninth win in 16 games as Darlington manager - predecessor Josh Gowling won three of his 16 games at the helm before being sacked.

Sports had the better of the opening exchanges and striker Kaine Felix, who started the season with Darlington, should have hit the target when he flicked a header wide early on.

Darlington had a rare glimpse of goal when Salkeld played in Mitchell Curry, but the striker was blocked by alert Sports goalkeeper Lewis Elsom And then below-par Curry turned Ashton Fox inside out before driving into the box, but his low shot went into the side-netting.

Ryan Fryatt almost scored an own goal shortly before the break when diverting a Kallum Griffiths cross, narrowly conceding a corner which came to nothing.

In the second half, the visitors were again tough to break down but in front of goal they were lacking.

Sports defender Fox failed to get a clean connection with a header to a Dan Jarvis corner and missed his chance to score.

Darlington made a double substitution on the hour mark, Watson replacing Ben Hedley and Curry with Jake Lawlor and Jarrett Rivers, with Scott Barrow moving to left-back.

Barrow offered Quakers more going forward down the left, and it was from that side that the only goal came on 74 minutes.

Having been stifled for the bulk of the contest, Quakers began to assert themselves. Matty Cornish lifted a high ball into the penalty area, Tom Platt headed the ball on, and Salkeld fired low into the net to score the goal which ultimately separated the sides.

During added time a low Main drive rolled narrowly wide after Salkeld played him in, but it was not to matter as Darlington sealed another vital victory.

They remain fifth-bottom, but are now five points clear of Rushall Olympic, who Quakers travel to next Saturday.

Referee: Gareth Thomas

Attendance: 1,623

Darlington: Young; Griffiths, Lees, Barrow, Hedley (Lawlor 60); Cornish, Platt, Hatfield, Cornish; Curry (Rivers 60), Main. Subs not used: Taylor, Lindley, Gibson

Peterborough Sports: Elsom; Fryatt, McAuley, Fox; Ahui, Alban-Jones, Lawlor, Jarvis (Gash 83), McCammon; Jones, Felix (Fowkes 90). Subs not used: Tootle, Miles, Pereira