Rotherham United's overdue return to action ended in defeat after two goals early in the second half from Darlington proved too much to overcome.
Substitute Micky Cummins grabbed a consolation for the Millers, but it wasn't enough to cancel out strikes by Tadhg Purcell and Gary Smith.
Ronnie Moore made one change from the side that was last in action over a month ago, with Danny Harrison returning to the side in place of the now departed Adam Rundle.
However, it was bottom club Darlington who began brightest. Purcell capitalising on Ian Sharps' misjudgement on nine minutes, but his shot was saved comfortably by Andy Warrington, before Jeff Smith fired wide from the angle just moments later.
The Millers' first opportunity came shortly after, Drewe Broughton flicked on Warrington's clearance but Kevin Ellison couldn't control his shot from the left hand side after pouncing on a mix-up in the Quakers back-line.
The lack of action appeared to be affecting both teams, and this time it was Marc Joseph who was caught out, fortunately for him Warrington was on hand once again to keep out Jeff Smith's shot.
The Millers soon began to take control of the game, Adam Le Fondre headed wide from Pablo Mills' long pass, before the defender tried his hand himself from Nicky Law's corner, but his effort also failed to hit the target. On 25 minutes Gary Roberts fired wide from the edge of the area after Law's build-up.
The Millers finally got the ball in the back of the net on 36 minutes. Ellison's corner was headed home at the near post by Le Fondre, but referee Mr. A. Taylor left the crowd mystified when he ruled it out for what can only have been a push.
The disallowed goal appeared to have lifted the crowd, and the 3,000 plus Millers fans encouraged Law as he broke down the right, but Ellison's resulting effort again failed to test Nick Liversedge.
Millers 0-0 Darlington
Despite showing signs of improvement before half-time, the Millers' chances were dealt a blow on 47 minutes. Sharps getting a bouncing ball all wrong, allowing Purcell to break free, and despite support from Mor Diop went it alone and slid the ball under Warrington to give the visitors the lead.
Rotherham almost hit back 10 minutes later, but Liversedge managed to palm Le Fondre's shot wide when it looked destined for the far corner. Law then burst into the box on 59 minutes, but Ellison couldn't connect with the cross, and Darlington managed to get it clear.
A goal did arrive just after the hour mark, but unfortunately for the Millers, it wasn't in their favour. Diop managed to turn in midfield and split the defence wide open with a pass that Gary Smith took in his stride and rolled under Warrington to double the lead.
With the home support becoming increasingly frustrated, Law curled a free-kick high and wide from 20 yards after Roberts had been brought down before a Millers goal finally arrived. Law's corner was headed up rather than out, and substitute Cummins volleyed home from 12 yards.
Darlington's desperation began to show as they searched for a first away win of the season, and began to drop deeper into their own half inviting Rotherham on the attack. Cummins again finding space in the area but this time his shot was blocked by one of the many bodies in the area.
With 10 minutes remaining, Cummins fired wide from the edge of the area, before being in the centre of a goalmouth scramble that also saw efforts from Law, Sharps and Le Fondre all blocked.
Six minutes were added on by the fourth official and the Millers came within inches of grabbing a point, but Sharps' header at the far post sailed agonisingly over to the despair of the home support before Mr. Taylor eventually brought the game to an end.
Rotherham United: Warrington, Joseph, Sharps, Mills, Green, Law, Harrison (Cummins 65), Roberts, Ellison (Taylor 75), Le Fondre, Broughton (Pope 65).
Unused: Annerson, Tonge, Nicholas, Brogan.
Darlington: Liversedge, Arnison, Miller, J.Smith, Dempsey, G.Smith (Foster 90), Purcell (Main 71), Giddings, Waite, Diop (Deane 71), White.
Unused: Gray, Mulligan, Jones, Burn.
Report: Ben Shepherd
The Millers Match report is brought to you in association with The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust