A THREE-GOAL fiesta at Feethams kept Town's Division IV promotion bid on track.
Darlington were downed by first-half goals from Franny Firth, Terry Gray and Jimmy Lawson as Tom Johnston's side went sixth.
The Quakers became a quivering wreck as Johnston's bold team choice brought a 3-0 win.
His plans had been disrupted after striker and skipper Rod Belfitt suffered a knee injury during the 3-1 midweek win at Torquay.
He had toyed with the possibility of handing recently-recruited former Manchester United centre-back Arnie Sidebottom a debut as a striker, the Yorkshire cricketer having impressed up front during a recent Reserves match.
But instead he plumped for a pacy three-man frontline of Firth, Gray and Bob Newton.
It worked a treat with Firth and Gray constantly switching flanks to cause further confusion.
While the switch to three up front left the midfield a man light on Darlington, Town's seasoned trio of Brian O'Neil, Steve Smith and Lawson still managed to take a firm grip.
All three, of course, had played top-flight football, O'Neil with Burnley and Southampton and the other two with Town.
They were certainly too wily for Darlington, whose goalkeeper Alan Ogley was a busy man.
While there was an element of luck about Town's seventh-minute opener, there was no doubt they were worth their lead.
Ogley was helpless as Firth's 20-yard drive took two deflections.
Darlington then had their best spell of the match with former Town loan player Billy Coulson attempting to spark a comeback.
But central defenders Steve Baines and Chris Simpkin kept things tight in front of goalkeeper Dick Taylor, allowing full-backs Alan Sweeney and Geoff Hutt to get forward on the overlap.
It was only a matter of time before Town increased their lead, and the second goal duly arrived in the 27th minute.
Smith split the Darlington defence by lobbing the ball over Jimmy Cochrane for Gray to finish with a sweetly-struck shot.
Lawson headed the third from a Sweeney cross six minutes before the break.
Darlington had breakaway chances in the second half for Coulson and Colin Sinclair.
But they were never able to find any rhythm with Town giving them no time on the ball.
No player worked harder in this respect than Newton, who constantly tracked back to break up attempted attacks at their source.
"We played particularly well in the first half, and coming after a long away trip in midweek, this was a very pleasing win," said Johnston, whose side trailed Northampton, Lincoln, Tranmere, Reading and Exeter in the table.