Darlington 3 v 1 Mossley
Darlington overcame playoff chasing Mossley at Heritage Park to remain in control of their own destiny in the race for promotion.
An Adam Mitchell double in the first quarter of an hour put the Quakers in control on a blustery afternoon where the wind caused as many problems as the visitors.
Striker Graeme Armstrong made it three before half time after following up his own shot.
Mossley pulled one back in the second half from the penalty spot, but Darlington were good value for the three points.
Martin Gray made one change to his starting line-up as Terry Galbraith returned to the side, with Ian Watson dropping to the bench.
Heritage Park is known for being open to the elements and once again the wind put paid to either side attempting to play much football.
Darlo had the wind behind them in the first half and were able to make the most of the conditions, as they stormed into a three goal lead in the opening 35 minutes.
The game was just three minutes old when Mitchell opened the scoring. Mossley failed to clear a Gary Brown cross, allowing Mitchell to fire past the goalkeeper from close range.
It was 2-0 following a great counter attack by the hosts. Mitchell won the ball in the middle of the park, gave it wide to Tom Portas, who played it back to Mitchell to finish first time.
It could have been 3-0 when the league’s top scorer Nathan Cartman failed to connect to a ball at the back post after the keeper had missed a cross.
At the other end Mossley failed to threaten the Darlo goal, but had two big penalty shouts, which thankfully the referee waved away.
Armstrong had an effective afternoon in tough conditions and was alive to react when his initial shot was saved by the goalkeeper. He smashed home the rebound with the visitors appealing for a handball against the striker.
With confidence flowing, Armstrong nearly scored a cracker from outside the box which the goalkeeper did well to tip over.
The second half was always going to be tough for Darlington with the elements and it proved to be.
Mossley put a lot of balls into the box and caused Pete Jameson problems throughout the half.
They pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after Stephen Thompson fouled a Mossley player after a corner.
However, despite the territory which Mossley enjoyed, the Quakers had chances of their own to kill the game off, with Cartman twice coming close.
Jameson saved brilliantly from a close range header in the final stages of the game to keep the two goal cushion for Darlo.
With the wind today was never going to be an easy afternoon, but it was all about the getting the points and we did.
Salford City beat Clitheroe 2-1, so it stays the same at the top, but with one game fewer to play.
Salford remain three points clear and have two games left. Darlington have three to play and a better goal difference, so three wins will guarantee the title and promotion.
The final week sees us play Warrington Town and New Mills. However, first is next Saturday, when we travel to Lancaster City.
Three to go