Quakers produced one of their best ever away performances to win at Harrogate, and in doing so moved to just one point behind leaders Fylde, who lost at Tamworth.
The home side had no answer to Quakers’ skill, movement and strength, with Josh Gillies constantly teasing them before he went off in the second half.
And with over 1200 fans cheering Quakers on, it was an afternoon to remember.
Quakers started well, Josh Gillies crossed dangerously into the box where keeper Crook punched the ball away, and the ball dropped for Thompson whose right foot shot was deflected wide for a corner.
In Quakers’ next attack, Gillies made a 60 yard run and finished with a shot that was touched on to the post.
Quakers scored from the following corner. \The ball was curled in by Gillies into the near post where it was cleared back to him, and he coolly controlled the ball and curled it into the top right corner for his fifth goal of the season — a top quality goal.
Harrogate had a chance when Reece Webb-Foster burst through, but Liam Marrs got back to well to prod the ball out for a corner.
Then from a 25 yard free kick taken by Andy Thanoj, Peter Jameson did superbly well to touch the ball over the top.
But Quakers hit back with Gillies on the left again. He beat his man, got into the box and hit a right foot shot just wide of the left hand post.
Thompson picked the ball up 30 yards out on 25 minutes and hit a left foot shot a couple of yards wide.
Harrogate levelled on 31 minutes. Joe Colbeck chased a long ball down the right and crossed for Reece Webb-Foster to beat Jameson with a looping header.
But Quakers were back in front a minute later. Brown headed the ball out of his own penalty area for Gillies to go racing up the left again, and after a 70 yard run pulled the ball back for Cartman to have a shot blocked, but the ball ran loose for Beck to tap in his 7th goal of the season.
Harrogate tried to hit back, and Lewis Turner broke through, but his left foot shot was blocked by Jameson’s legs,
Quakers went 3-1 up on 45 minutes. Gillies again broke clear and sent Cartman up the left. Cartman held the ball up well and laid it back for Thompson , who drilled a right foot shot from 30 yards that beat Crook all ends up.
Harrogate Town 1 Darlington 3
Harrogate were reduced to ten men after 47 minutes when Cartman beat Simon Ainge for pace and was pulled back by the defender, who was instantly shown a red card by referee Copeland
Quakers went 4-1 up on 57 minutes with a superb goal. Burgess won the ball on the halfway line, and Quakers put together a lovely four man move which ended when Thompson laid the ball off for Syers to drive past Crook.
And it was nearly 5-1 when Cartman backheeled for Thompson to drive just wide.
Sub Liam Hardy nearly got the fifth when Syers put him free, and Crook pulled off a superb one handed save , then Turnbull tried to break his scoring duck with a 30 yarder that Crook held on to.
Jameson, Marrs (sub Watson 62), Galbraith, Turnbull, Burgess, Brown, Thompson, Falkingham, Beck, Cartman (sub Hardy 70), Gillies (sub Syers 55)
Subs: Bell, Davie
Crook, Colbeck, Turner, Platt, Ainge, Ellis, Brooksby (sub Chilaka 51), Thanoj, Day (sub Leesly 51), Burrell, Webb-Foster (sub Purkiss 63)
Sending off: Ainge
Referee: Stephen Copeland