THE Football Association's decision not to repeal St Albans’ 10-point deduction and £7,500 fine has virtually decided one of the division's relegation spots.

Despite this, the home side proved lively hosts and included ex-Lewes juvenile giant keeper Conor Gough, on loan from Charlton, in their line-up.

Darts made a late change when Matt Jones pulled a hamstring and was replaced by Billy Burgess, leaving just four options on the bench for Tony Burman.

Going up the slope in the first half, Darts had a couple of near misses early on but when the opening goal arrived midway through the first half it did so in bizarre circumstances.

A fairly rare Saints raid ended with Darts being awarded a free-kick 10 yards from the penalty area.

Andrew Young delivered a probing kick deep into home territory, where Lee Burns headed on.

Gough was caught either flat-footed or unsighted and the ball ended up in the net without further contact.

It may be fluky but it was a duck-breaker. Special t-shirts are being produced.

Saints got themselves on terms early after the break when Tony Battersby found himself free to slot home.

They were then awarded a penalty for an infringement by Paul Goodacre.

Up strode Battersby, hoping to double his tally.

However, he hit the bar and it bounced over.

The hard, bumpy ground took its toll on players with Ryan Hayes replacing Danny Harris 10 minutes after the break.

Fourteen minutes later Joe Bruce and James White were replaced by a not quite 100 per cent Eliot Bradbrook and Jack Pallen respectively.

Pallen showed some nice touches and scored the winning goal five minutes from time following a run in which he coolly beat three men in a close dribble and coolly placed a shot wide of Gough to open his Darts account.

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Dartford: Young, Burgess, Bonner, Bruce (Bradbrook 69), Goodacre, Champion, Noble, White (Pullen 69) Sheringham, Burns, Harris (Hayes 55). Sub not used Jones. Att: 404