The new Darlington boss, a former Leeds assistant manager, would have taken encouragement from his new club's battling qualities and neat passing but they slumped to yet another defeat.
Quakers, who are bottom of League Two, were two goals down in the opening 28 minutes against the League One leaders, but refused to cave in.
Andy Robinson's 24th minute free-kick from the left found its way into the visitors' net through a congested goalmouth and four minutes later Tresor Kandol was put through by Neil Kilkenny and found the top corner from 18 yards.
Mark Convery replaced Matthew Plummer for the Quakers in a 31st minute tactical switch and it paid off just before half-time as Convery swept the ball past Casper Ankergren.
Darlington keeper Nick Liversedge was sent off in injury time for hacking down Enoch Showunmi outside his area.