Two first-half goals eased Darlington to their first Blue Square Bet Premier win in seven games as managerless Newport County extended their poor run.
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson's penalty broke the deadlock after County captain Gary Warren fouled Tadhg Purcell in the box.
Purcell turned goal-scorer as he fired Kris Taylor's ball past County keeper Glyn Thompson from eight yards.
Scott Rogers had Newport's best chance but his strike was tipped over by Darlington keeper Ole Soderberg.
The Welsh team, who have not won in 11 league games, remain in the relegation zone.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Newport County caretaker manager Lee Harrison:
"There are no positives because we lost the game 2-0.
"For ten or 15 minutes after the penalty we felt sorry for ourselves and we have to stop doing that because we're down the bottom of the table.
"And if we feel sorry for ourselves, we are not going to get out of it.