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Darlington crash out of Challenge Cup
Final Score: Hebburn Town 3 Darlington 0
TEN-MAN Darlington's involvement in the Durham Challenge Cup came to abrupt end as they were soundly defeated at Hebburn Town.
They were up against it from an early stage as goalkeeper Chris Porter was red-carded and two first half goals put the Hornets well on the way to a deserved victory.
It was the first time Darlington have failed to score for the first time this season, and although they had plenty of the ball, they posed little threat.
With focus entirely on promotion from the Ebac Northern League, however, Quakers' interest in the cup competition was as minimal as it was short-lived.
Manager Martin Gray made eight changes at the Hebburn Sports and Social Ground and one of them, Porter, lasted only 16 minutes before he was dismissed for pole-axing on rushing striker Paul Gardiner in the penalty area.
Jonathan Davis blasted the penalty beyond keeper Dale Connor, who was sent on in place of teenage debutant winger Connor Lowes, and there was little sign of a way back for Gray's team.
The game's outcome as good as confirmed when midfielder Scott Robson made it 2-0 with a close-range effort just before the break.
He got on the end of Carl Patterson's low cross after the left-back had been allowed to dribble up the line and drill the ball low across the penalty area.
Stephen Harrison, one of Quakers' three survivors from Saturday's team, executed a fine last-ditch tackle in the penalty area on Gardiner, but Hebburn had the final word in the preliminary round tie.
Right-back Brad Brooking completed the win in fine style, rifling home from a narrow angle in the 74th minute.
Darlington's attentions now to Saturday's league trip to Dunston while Hebburn are at home to South Shields .
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