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Same again for Darlington
SOMETIMES it can take a while to settle into new surroundings, but Darlington appear to be making themselves at home after a 3-0 win gave them their second win of the season at Heritage Park.
The decision to move Quakers out of Darlington was met by caution during the summer, but another four-figure crowd for last night's win over Marske United proves the interest in the club has not waned in the wake of their demotion to the Northern League.
A crowd of 1,202 descended on Bishop Auckland and they were sent home happy after goals from Chris Emms, Shaun Reay and Steven Johnson made it two wins from two for Martin Gray's side.
Quakers' boss had admitted the Northern League won't be a walkover for his side, but he admitted after last night's win that the positive start to the new season sends out a message they are ready for the challenge.
"It was nice to carry on from Saturday," said Gray, who takes his side to Consett on Saturday.
"We started the game better tonight. We had a few chances before the goal, but when it did come it gave us confidence for the second half and our performance after the break was excellent.
"I think there was less nerves. There wasn't the attention and hype that there was on Saturday. It was a big occasion for any player and sometimes nerves do kick in, but again the fans were great tonight.
"The lads came in the changing rooms buzzing and the more they can give the more they'll scream and it can only build confidence. Hopefully we can keep the positive start going. Our work ethic was exceptional tonight across the board and it's important we set the standards.
"We're not getting carried away but the more you give these people the more they'll come back and hopefully they've gone home tonight happy having seen a great second half performance.
"The fans have been fantastic, they're there through think and thin and hopefully we can give them something to shout about now."
It was a slow start from both sides, but keen to pick up where they left off on Saturday, Darlington enjoyed the first real chance.
Former Durham City forward David Dowson collected the ball on the edge of the area and drilled a low shot towards goal, but his effort went the wrong side of the post.
The hosts continued to press with crosses in particular causing problems for the visitors. Chris Emms sent a teasing ball in to the box towards Shaun Reay and the striker was almost gifted an opportunity to score when Marske defender Thomas Marron headed the ball against him.
In Saturday's 3-1 win over Bishop Auckland, Quakers had struggled to get started and they again allowed the opposition in to the game. Marske could so easily have taken the lead when Adam Wheatley met ex-Boro man Nathan Porritt 's corner, but to Darlo's relief his free header went inches over the bar.
However, Marske remained susceptible at the back and a poor clearance from goalkeeper Scott Allison fell to Emms. He curled in a first time cross from the left towards Dowson, but it was met by Marron who accidentally headed the ball against his keeper, which almost fell to the Darlington striker.
The visitors came back, though, and Porritt was presented with a great opportunity to score the opener when he received the ball in space on the left. However, instead of taking a touch and drilling a shot towards goal, he attempted the chip Jack Norton, an effort the Quakers keeper collected with ease.
Quakers responded well, though, and after clearing a corner the hosts took the lead from a superb counter attack in the stroke of half time.
Reay broke down the left and swing a cross in to the box and after Marske had failed to clear, the ball fell to Emms who drilled home from inside the area.
After the interval, Quakers seemed to settle into a better rhythm than they had in the first and a second goal arrived just after the hour mark.
Dowson passed to Reay just inside the area and he made no mistake blasting home past Allison into the roof of the net.
That seemed to knock the stuffing out of Marske and after introducing Jamie Clarke and Steven Johnson, Quakers pressed for a third.
A third did come on 86 minutes and after spurning two chances, Darlington-born Johnson finally got his goal with a rasping strike past Allison after a great through ball from Marc Ellison.Referee: Warren Broadbent
DARLINGTON (4-4-2): Norton; Harrison, Brown,
Arjun Purewal, Smith; Emms, Scott, Ellison,
Nicholls (Amar Purewal 60); Reay (Johnson 68),
Dowson (Clarke 68). Subs (not used): Porter (gk),
MARSKE UNITED (4-4-2): Allison; Grier, Marron,
Hunter (Burton78), Wheatley; Bradley (Millington
78), Omerod, Carling, Porritt; Onions, Brunskill
(McGill 63). Subs (not used): Charlton, Morris