Poacher Nathan gives Darlo victory
Scarborough 1 Darlington 2.
Super Nathan Cartman scored a dramatic winner to keep Quakers well and truly in the title race this afternoon at Queensgate.
After sub Liam Hatch gave Quakers the lead, Scarborough equalised almost immediately, but Cartman the poacher did what he does best and got the winner.
Quakers are still three points behind Salford, who beat ten man Radcliffe with two second half goals.
Quakers nearly took the lead in the opening minutes when Nathan Cartman broke through, but Scarborough keeper Joe Cracknell pulled off a good save.
Scarborough themselves went close with an effort by Ryan Blott from the edge of the area that went just wide, and then Alex Metcalfe was just off target.
Darlington keeper Peter Jameson also pulled off a good save low down to stop a free kick by Daniel Clayton.
Quakers thought they should have had a penalty on 28 minutes when Graeme Armstrong went down under a challenge by Daniel Wilkinson, but the referee ruled that the defender had got the ball.
After Blott completely miskicked with the goal at his mercy, Quakers had another, much stronger, penalty appeal turned down when Cartman was taken out by a challenge, but the referee waved Darlo’s furious protests away, and booked Cartman for dissent.
The goal seemed to galvanise Quakers, and they went close with an effort by Alan White that crept the wrong side of the post, then Armstrong hit the post from a few yards out.
It was fairly even in the second half, until Cracknell did well to push Brown’s header over the bar.
Darlington manager Martin Gray then changed formation to 4-3-3 by bringing on Liam Hatch for Chris Hunter.
And it was a move that paid immediate dividends, as Hatch broke through and slotted the ball left footed off the inside of the post past the advancing Cracknell.
But a few minutes later, Scarborough were level when Clayton crossed from a corner, Jameson parried the ball, but Blott reacted first and headed over the keeper.
However, Quakers kept their nerve and went back in front on 78 minutes. The referee awarded Darlington a corner after Liam Hatch’s shot went into the side netting, and from the setpiece, Cartman scored from eight yards after Stephen Thompson’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked.
It was pretty nervous for Darlo fans everywhere — not just at the ground — after that, with the ref adding seven minutes of added time, but Quakers held on