Darlo down despite shock succes
Darlington were relegated from the Football League despite recording a stunning upset to beat Rochdale.
Last Updated: 13/04/10 11:04pm
Darlington were relegated from the Football League despite recording a stunning upset to beat league leaders Rochdale 1-0 at Spotland.
Nathan Mulligan's first-half header prevented the hosts securing a first promotion since 1969 but was not enough to stop the Quakers dropping out of League Two.
Rochdale started strongly and almost went ahead in the third minute when Joe Thompson cut in from the right and fired just wide of the far upright.
Skipper Gary Jones then forced a save out of Shane Redmond with a 25-yard effort but the hosts could not find a breakthrough.
Despite dominating possession and chances in the first half-hour, Dale fell behind in the 34th minute when Josh Gray's delivery from the right was glanced home by Mulligan.
Jason Taylor twice tested Redmond after the interval as Darlington rarely got forward.
But the visitors were close to doubling their advantage in the 68th minute when Mark Convery seized on a slip by Wiseman and slammed a shot goalward, Fielding showing quick hands to palm the ball to safety.
Late attempts by Jones, Chris Dagnall, and Chris O'Grady were then kept out by a resolute Darlington defence who came under intense pressure in the closing stages.