Darlington 1-2 Boston United
Boston United chalked up a deserved away victory at Darlington on Saturday afternoon courtesy of goals from Reece Thompson and Ashley Hemmings.
The Pilgrims dominated the opening period and took the lead through Thompson in the 35th minute before doubling their advantage when Hemmings fired home four minutes later.
Reece Styche cut the deficit on the stroke of half-time but the Pilgrims held on after the break for a crucial three-point haul which moved them to within touching distance of safety.
United boss Craig Elliott had named an unchanged starting XI ahead of kick-off and the Pilgrims made a strong start on their first-ever visit to Blackwell Meadows.
James Clifton, making his second successive start, drifted an early effort into the arms of Anysley Pears following a forceful run infield.
Darlington threatened with Josh Gillies’ corner being glanced wide of the far post by Styche.
The Pilgrims took a stranglehold of proceedings with a quickfire double inside a decisive four-minute spell.
THOMPSON kept the ball in play, cut back inside the penalty area and arrowed a fantastic drive beyond Pears 10 minutes before the break.
Clifton played the role of provider four minutes later when he drove across the field to lay the ball on a plate for HEMMINGS to beat Pears with aplomb.
Darlington reduced the arrears six minutes further on when STYCHE advanced on to a loose ball to drift a long-range effort over the dive of George Willis from 25 yards.
United attempted to keep the Quakers at arm’s length after the break and came close to a third goal when Pears denied Clifton and Jake Beesley somehow hooked the rebound off target from close-range.
David Syers’ header flew wide from a Gillies free-kick before Clifton sailed a Jordan Keane cutback high and wide as the sides traded chances.
United professionally saw out time and moved to within sight of mathematical safety.
Darlington (4-4-2): Anysley Pears; Tom Portas (Dominic Collins 87), Josh Heaton, Terry Galbraith, Ben O’Hanlon; Stephen Thompson, Joe Wheatley, Phil Turnbull (James Caton 63), Josh Gillies (Greg Mills 63); Reece Styche, David Syers. Subs (not used): Mitchell Glover, Matthew Bancroft (gk).
Boston (4-4-2): George Willis; Ben Middleton, Ryan Qualter, Jordan Keane, Stephen Brogan; James Clifton (Gregg Smith 82), Brad Abbott, Andi Thanoj (Jamie McGuire 67), Ashley Hemmings; Reece Thompson, Jake Beesley (Jonathan Wafula 86). Subs (not used): Kabongo Tshimanga, Jon Stewart (gk).
Referee: Adam Herczeg.