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Dartford 0 St Albans City 1 - Charlie Sheringham misses a penalty and Shaun Jeffers scores late winner

Dartford paid the price for a missed penalty after St Albans hit them with a last-gasp winner at Princes Park in National League South.

Charlie Sheringham saw his spot-kick saved just after the hour and a wondergoal from Shaun Jeffers deceived keeper Craig King to give St Albans all three points at the death.

Charlie Sheringham - missed a second-half penalty for Dartford. Picture: Simon Hildrew
Charlie Sheringham - missed a second-half penalty for Dartford. Picture: Simon Hildrew

Darts had enough chances to win the game but it proved a frustrating night for Steve King's men.

They saw plenty of the ball in the first half but were unable to find that telling pass or provide a clinical finish in the final third.

St Albans went close after seven minutes when Jeffers' long-range free-kick was well held by Darts keeper King.

At the other end, Noor Husin failed to connect properly with a lovely cross from Gavin McCallum - in the side for the injured Craig Braham-Barrett - and keeper Michael Johnson was able to make a smart save.

Sheringham beat the offside trap on 16 minutes and took his shot early from an angle but Johnson was equal to the task, pushing his effort away from danger.

The best chance arrived three minutes later. A neat exchange by McCallum, who impressed going forward, and Husin saw the latter cross but Elliott Romain could only direct his header over the bar from close range.

St Albans always looked a threat on the counter. Zane Banton had a low shot pushed out by King, who also saved brilliantly from Jeffers on the stroke of half-time.

Visiting centre-back Joy Mukena somehow escaped a yellow card from referee Paul Johnson when he punched the ball away from Sheringham as the pair advanced down the right wing.

The touch of the game came just before the hour when Sheringham's brilliant flick sent Berkeley-Agyepong into space, the ball was worked across to Husin who sliced his effort wide.

King showed good hands to hold onto Munashe Sundire's low drive in the wet conditions on the hour as the visitors continued to create openings.

Dartford were handed a glorious chance to take the lead on 63 minutes after referee Paul Johnson pointed to the spot when Husin went down in the box.

Sheringham stepped up to take the penalty but his spot-kick was pushed away by keeper Johnson.

Darts made a double change up front, with Jack Barham and Alfie Pavey - signed before the game on loan from Barnet - introduced to the action.

St Albans produced their best chance with 16 minutes left. Jeffers found himself in enough room inside the box to get his shot away, and was unfortunate to see it come back off the crossbar, possibly via a deflection, with King a spectator.

A minute later Jeffers nearly found the net, his right-foot shot from 20 yards curling just wide of the upright.

Barham nearly won it with nine minutes left for Dartford but he headed wide of the upright after McCallum delivered a brilliant cross from the left.

The decisive goal came from Jeffers, leaving the Darts officials stunned and sparking wild celebrations from the visitors.

St Albans had to hold on for four additional minutes but they managed it without alarm, making two late substitutions to run the clock down and maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign.

Dartford: King, Barnum-Bobb, McCallum, Wynter, Essam, Bonner, Husin (Allen 77mins), Berkeley-Agyepong, Romain (Barham 68mins), Sheringham (Pavey 68mins), Jebb. Subs not used: Hill, Marsh-Brown.

St Albans: Johnson, Bender, Wiltshire, Kaloczi, Clark, Jeffers (Chidyausiku 90mins), Banton, Diedhiou, Weiss (Noble 78mins), Sundire (Stanley 90mins), Mukena. Subs not used: Akinola, Onakwai.

Referee: Paul Johnson.

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