DARLINGTON assistant manager Terry Mitchell has pledged his next two years to the club after Quakers ended their season with a goalless draw at Chester's Deva Stadium.

Darlington ended the campaign in 16th place in National League North, having leapfrogged over King’s Lynn and Southport to finish six points above the relegation zone.

It was Blyth, who lost 5-1 at home to Brackley on the final weekend, who took the fourth relegation place, and they’ll go down with Banbury, Gloucester and Bishop’s Stortford. Blyth can only be saved by Rushall Olympic’s ground not being up to standard.

Mitchell, who joined Darlington from Workington when manager Steve Watson was appointed, has played a major part in lifting Quakers from second bottom at the turn of the year to safety with a game to spare following an amazing run of 12 wins and a draw from 22 matches. If the season had started in January, they would be comfortably in a play-off position.

Watson signed his new deal on Friday, and Mitchell has been quick to follow suit to give the club a firm platform to build a promotion campaign next season.

“Steve and I both said that we wouldn’t have come in if we didn’t think we would stay up,” said Mitchell. “We always said that we would have to win half the games, and we’ve done that and more.

“I’ve worked with different managers, Steve knows the game inside out, he’s a great tactician and he knows the area.

“We’ve worked well together, we share the work at training, and he knows that I’ll give him an honest opinion, and I think that’s what he wants. It’s been a pleasure so far. The next two years are going to be onwards and upwards, hopefully.

“The players have proved that they’re good players. Once they got confidence, they showed what a good footballing side they are.

“We’ll be reviewing the squad this week. We’ll need to bring one or two in, but we don’t need a host of changes, because the lads have proved that.”

The goalless draw at the Deva Stadium was the first in 22 matches under Watson and Mitchell.

“I thought we were okay in the first half, and were more of an attacking force than Chester," said the number two. "In the second half, we showed that we can defend well as a team, and deserved a clean sheet. The game would probably be last on Match of the Day, though.”

Quakers included Akwasi Asante for his first outing since January instead of the unavailable Cedric Main, and they made most of the early running. Cameron Salkeld made a strong run at the Chester defence and forced a full-length save out of Chester keeper Wyll Stanway, then Ben Hedley found Andrew Nelson with a good ball into the box, but Stanway came out and smothered his effort.

Skipper and Player of the Year, Tom Platt, also joined the attack, and put a right-foot shot from the edge of the area just wide of the post.

Chester nearly snatched the lead when Ben Tollitt won possession, raced into the box, but shot tamely at keeper Matty Young, who was playing his last game on loan from Sunderland.

But Quakers nearly gained a deserved lead just on half-time when a patient move out of defence saw Salkeld pick the ball up on the right and find Nelson, who side-stepped a defender and was inches wide with a fierce left-foot shot.

Chester had more of the ball in the second half and created some good chances. Sub Charlie Caton broke through the Darlington defence but Young fisted his effort away, then a few minutes later Young saved a header from Matty Williams under his crossbar.

Quakers nearly won it when Ben Hedley crossed from the right for sub Aidan Rutledge to head towards goal, but Stanway saved.

Right at the end, another Chester sub, Christian Norton, got through, but again Young denied him.