CANVEY Island were awarded a 93rd minute penalty which allowed them to escape from a cup-tie in which they were certainly second-best.

Only those involved know for sure what happened in that fateful moment for Darts. Two things are sure.

Firstly, Darts should have been far enough ahead at the time for the outcome of the incident to have been irrelevant and, secondly, we all have to go through it again Tuesday evening.

Past history indicated Darts are more productive kicking to the sea end than defending it, so being asked to kick down was no real problem.

Right from the start, the hosts had to work hard to counter Darts’ superior pace and had keeper James Russell to thank for a series of saves.

But it was against the run of play Canvey were able to reach the interval with a 1-0 lead thanks to former-Dart Danny Heale, who headed home by the far post from Alex Rhodes’ ninth-minute free-kick.

Charlie Sheringham had an early goal ruled out, Paul Goodacre went close from a corner and the home crossbar was thwacked with a rasping shot.

Russell was forced to turn a Darts free-kick round his post at the start of the second half as the visitors set about putting the score in context.

Things changed dramatically on 64 minutes when Ryan Hayes replaced Sheringham.

Young made an excellent save to prevent Canvey from doubling their lead before James White set Hayes free on the right.

His cross into the box ended with Frankie Everett conceding a penalty, which Hayes duly converted.

Mixing long and short balls, Hayes was a constant threat to Canvey and a looping right-side cross from him allowed James White to head briskly past Russell.

Darts were now well in control until the stoppage time leveller from the penalty spot by Rob King.

Dartford: Young, Bruce, Bonner, Champion, Goodacre, Shinn, Harris (Berquez 88), White, Sheringham (Hayes 64), Rook, Bradbrook. Subs not used: Nable, Gross, Burchell, Burns, Whitehouse. Att: 715.