Red Rewind: York hit magnificent seven
The newly-promoted visitors were struggling towards the foot of the table at that particular time, while in marked contrast York, who were under the leadership of the iconic Denis Smith, confidently occupied fourth place following successive victories against Bolton Wanderers and Gillingham.
Home winger Tony Canham immediately saw an angled effort ruled out for offside - and that was simply a forewarning of what was about to follow as their opponents were forced into virtual total retreat.
On fourteen minutes their defences were legally breached for the first time when legendary striker Keith Walwyn supplied York born Gary Ford, who in turn allowed fellow flank-man Canham to drill low beyond Fred Barber.
Moments later the steamrolling Walwyn crashed his way through stunned opposition to double the advantage; and the situation grew even worse for the Quakers when full-back Paul Ward was dismissed for a second bookable offence midway through the first-half.
However, to their credit Darlington continued to defend desperately - and Ford later had another strike ruled out; until Walwyn delivered a 63rd minute cross for diminutive winger Canham to head in his second of the afternoon.
Within five minutes Walwyn had notched his second of the game after being set up by then record £50,000 signing from Aldershot, Dale Banton.
Regular penalty taker John MacPhail then generously handed the ball to Canham to complete his hat-trick from the spot after danger-man Walwyn was fouled inside the area.
York were simply irrepressible by that point and right-back Steve Senior even got into the act with a sixth goal arriving with under ten minutes remaining.
City's recent FA Cup hero Keith Houchen soon made it an incredible five goals in twenty-two second-half minutes, while leaving delighted supporters in seventh heaven and celebrating their biggest win in almost thirty years.
York City: Astbury, Senior, Hay, McAughtrie (Hood), MacPhail, Haslegrave, Ford, Banton, Walwyn, Houchen, Canham
Goals: Canham 3 (14, 63, 75 pen), Walwyn 2 (17, 67), Senior (81), Houchen (84)
Darlington: Barber, Aldred, Ward, Tupling, Huntley (Haire), Carney, Roberts, Poskett, Airey, MacDonald, McLean
Ref: R.A. Banks (Manchester)