07 November 2020 22:32
DARLINGTON are in the second round of the FA Cup after recording one of the shocks of the round, winning 2-1 at Swindon Town. Not many neutrals fancied their chances, but two goals by Adam Campbell saw the National League North club overcome opposition from League One, three divisions above. They will be ball number ten in Monday evening's draw, which will be held at Harrogate Town. Their FA Cup run has seen them collect £35,000 so far in prize money having successfully come through four rounds of the competition, but this win is their most impressive in years. Early on Darlington goalkeeper Johnny Saltmer made two stunning saves, pushing away Ellis Iandolo's header after a Swindon free-kick on the left had been whipped in.
And when Joel Grant was sent racing in on goal after a pass from the centre-circle, with Darlington's defence caught flat-footed, Saltmer narrowed the angle and saved well. Darlington took a 1-0 lead after half an hour, Campbell making the most of a poor header by former Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Grounds. Quakers' striker nipped in and poked home beyond the goalkeeper, but Swindon were level before half-time. A series of Swindon passes inside Darlington's half led to Matt Smith finding Grant, and he teed up an unmarked Brett Pitman to tap into the net from inside the penalty area. Quakers were under pressure in the early stages of the second period, but for all their possession Saltmer had few saves to make. Grant blazed a shot over from 18 yards after seizing on Michael Liddle's poor touch, and then Nicky Hunt looked to have let Pitman in, but the experienced defender managed to resolve the situation by beating the less than speedy striker for pace. And from nowhere, Darlington took a 2-1 lead. Out of the blue and against the run of play, Campbell's second of the day gave Darlington the advantage and it came via a huge deflection. After a Liddle throw to Holness, the ball was played in-field to Campbell who tried an optimistic low shot from outside the penalty area, the ball hitting a Swindon defender's leg to wrong-foot the goalkeeper before trickling over the line. Campbell even spurned a good chance to make it 3-1, but it was not to matter as Quakers closed out a fine victory.