BRIGHT sunshine and strong winds straight from the North Sea welcomed Darts to this FA Cup tie, the winners going through to the competition proper, in Dartford’s case for the 22nd time.

Darts were invited to kick down the slight slope backed by the blustery wind, which in the long run marred the game as a spectacle.

The visitors started brightly and had the opportunity for an early goal when Charlie Sheringham latched onto a through ball.

With the home keeper rushing out to avert the danger, either Sheringham was going to knock the ball past him for a tap in or the keeper was going to pull him down.

Neither happened.

Soon after, the same pair were involved again.

This time a John Whitehouse clearance was flicked on by Ollie Berquez but Sheringham’s shot was well saved by Jamie Stannard.

Marshalled by Mark Goldfinch, Leiston came more into the game with some strong running through midfield but in truth did little to test Darts keeper John Whitehouse too seriously.

The second half saw a tail wind assisted Leiston have much more of the play but they didn’t cause Darts’ rearguard any serious trouble.

Three changes in seven minutes saw Darts make three changes, Danny Harris for James White, Carl Rook for Sheringham and Ryan Hayes for Berquez.

It did seem Darts were keen to end it there and then but in the end they were almost undone when Gareth Heath released Danny Smy but the latter’s angled shot beat Whitehouse but also the far post.

It might be thought Leiston had had their best chance to prevent Darts from progressing to the competition proper but it is far from all over yet.

Dartford: Whitehouse, Burgess, Bonner, Champion, Goodacre, White (Harris 63), Noble, Berquez (Hayes 69), Sheringham (Rook 67), Burns, Bradbrook. Subs not used: Shinn, Bruce, Burchell, Young. Att: 832.