National League North
Darlington 1 Boston United 0
A freak own goal sunk nine-man Boston United at Darlington.
Ben Middleton and George Willis both saw red for the Pilgrims, while the contest was settled as the unfortunate Ashley Jackson turned the ball into his own net.
The result sees United drop to sixth in the standings.
Darlington began brightly with Liam Hughes heading over before the only goal of the game arrived in the 11th minute.
Simon Ainge’s strike hit the United post and rebounded into play, bouncing off Jackson and into the net.
Things went from bad to worse eight minutes later as Middleton received his marching orders for a challenge on Tom Elliott.
Harvey Saunders nodded over the Boston bar before the away side’s Josh Hine, in for the injured Jonathan Wafula, was inches away from converting Ben Davies’ cross.
Jonny Maddison then denied Gavin Allott and Davies to keep his side in front at the interval.
After the re-start Allott wide of the mark while Willis denied Saunders at the other end.
With five minutes to go Boston felt they were in with a chance, but all that changed as Willis was also sent off, taking out Saunders as he broke clear.
Polish keeper Sebastian Malkowski replaced Johnson to make his debut between the sticks, and was called into action to deny Steve Thompson’s long ranger.
DARLINGTON: Maddison, Elliott, Trotman, Wheatley, Hughes, Galbraith, Henshall (J. Burn 54), Nicholson, Ainge, Saunders (Syers 90), Thompson (Banks 90); Subs (not used): Glover, Banks, A. Burn.
UNITED: Willis, Davies, Jackson, Thanoj, Middleton, Qualter, Hine (Wright 84), Abbott, Allott, Smith (Johnson 63 (Malkowski 87)), Walker; Subs (not used): Wright, Norris, Slew.
REF: Paul Brown.