Darlington 1 Blyth 0: Liddle's stoppage-time winner lifts Quakers to third in table

Kaine Felix shoots at goal during Darlington's 1-0 win over Blyth (Picture: Steve Halliday)
Kaine Felix shoots at goal during Darlington's 1-0 win over Blyth (Picture: Steve Halliday)

A SUPERB stoppage-time goal by substitute Ben Liddle secured Darlington’s sixth win in a row and lifted the Quakers to third position in the National League North table.

It looked for so long that Alun Armstrong’s side would have to settle for a point at Blackwell Meadows as Blyth dealt with the goal threat of the prolific Mark Beck, but Liddle – who was watched by his father, Darlington hero Craig – had other ideas.

Quakers were forced to reshuffle in just the sixth minute when right-back Kallum Griffiths limped off and was replaced by David Wheater.

They nearly scored after nine minutes. Ben Hedley, who had switched to right-back from the left, found Kaine Felix, and he cut inside to hit a left-foot shot just wide of the right-hand upright.

Blyth came more into the game and had a chance when Matt Elsdon found Michael Richardson on the edge of the box, and he pulled his shot wide of the target.

Quakers slowly began to penetrate more. Jarrett Rivers dribbled up the left, and Jack Lambert was just unable to control his low cross on the corner of the six-yard box.

A good strong header by Hedley found Lambert in the box on the right, and Mitchell held on to his low cross at the near post.

Then, Danny Rose floated a corner over from the right for Wheater to head wide.

Blyth had a good chance on 41 minutes when Richardson found Cedric Main 18 yards out, and he side-stepped a defender before firing straight at Taylor.

A couple of early Blyth attacks were dealt with by Jake Lawlor interceptions, before Quakers nearly took the lead on 61 minutes. Former Blyth man Rivers drew two defenders towards him in the box and set up Jack Lambert, whose shot went just over the top.

Quakers made their second sub on 70 minutes, with Junior Mondal coming on for Rivers.

With plenty of backing coming from the Tin Shed, they nearly scored on 74 minutes when Hedley crossed from the right, and Blyth defender Nathan Buddle almost sliced the ball into his own net, the ball rolling just wide of the left-hand post.

After a five-minute delay while one of the nets was repaired, Quakers made their third sub, Liddle coming on for Rose.

Quakers had a great chance on 83 minutes when Liddle crossed from the left to the far post, where Beck nodded the ball down for Mondal, whose shot was smothered by Mitchell.

It looked all over a goalless draw as the clock ticked to the fifth minute of stoppage time.

However, Felix crossed from the right towards Beck, the ball was headed away to Liddle, and he struck full on the volley into the bottom corner of the net.