A LATE equaliser by John McCombe denied Dartford a historic FA Cup giant killing over Port Vale at Princes Park this afternoon.

Dartford dominated for long periods and deservedly took the lead in the 39th minute through Elliot Bradbrook.

But they failed to get the crucial second goal and paid the price six minutes from time when John McCombe drew Vale level to earn the League Two side a replay their performance didn't really merit.

The Darts almost made the perfect start when Danny Harris' third minute shot beat Vale keeper Stuart Tomlimson before being cleared off the line by John McCombe.

Ryan Hayes' free-kick from the right just went wide of the far post two minutes later.

A delightful pass forward by Michael Shinn picked out Hayes on 17 minutes and his dangerous cross had to be whipped away by the visiting defence.

Darts keeper Andy Young was a virtual spectator but was called into action to deal comfortably with two crosses from either side of his goal.

News Shopper: Dartford take the lead

Tempers flared in the 24th minute as Gary Roberts went in late on Shinn, a challenge which led to a 20-man brawl before the officials quickly intervened and calm was restored.

Roberts was eventually shown a yellow card but can consider himself fortunate to escape a red after going in two-footed on Shinn.

Shinn was involved in the thick of the action again four minutes later when his long punt forward was flicked on by Bradbrook into the path of Lee Burns but he just failed to make a decent connection.

Paul Goodacre saw a goal-bound header cleared by McCombe as Dartford continued to look more like the side with Football League status.

News Shopper: The players celebrate the goal

Rook fired straight at Tomlinson and Danny Harris placed a shot wide but there was a rare moment of action for Young as he was force to punch away Adam Yates' cross.

But Dartford deservedly took the lead six minutes from the break when they won a free-kick on the right of the area.

Hayes whipped the free-kick in and Vale's defence failed to deal with it, allowing Bradbrook to fire into the empty net at the far post.

Port Vale manager Micky Adams was clearly not impressed by his side's poor first half display and decided to throw on all three of his substitutes at the restart.

His mood wouldn't have been improved by Gareth Owen's desperate 40 yard attempt in the 51st minute, which sailed well wide.

News Shopper: It was a day to remember for the Princes Park faithful

Goodacre was unfortunate not to double Dartford's lead as his header from Shinn's corner went straight into the hands of Tomlinson.

Louis Haldane blasted a powerful shot wide at the other end and McCombe saw his header saved by Young as Vale began to finally come awake.

But they were relieved midway through the second half to see Hayes' 25 yard free-kick just sail over the bar and Tom Bonner had a half-hearted penalty appeal ignored after his header hit McCombe before being scrambled clear.

However, it was McCombe who came to Vale's rescue six minutes from the final whistle when he bundled home Tommy Fraser's corner to break Dartford's hearts after a gallant display.

The replay will take place on Tuesday 16 November.

Dartford: Young, Burgess, Champion, Goodacre, Bonner, Hayes, Shinn, Burns, Brabrook, Harris, Rook (Sheringham 82). Subs not used: Whitehouse, White, Noble, Berquez, Bruce, Burchell. Att: 3,697.