Final minutes victory for Saints in Dartford clash

St Albans City striker Shaun Jeffers. Picture: ST ALBANS CITY

St Albans City striker Shaun Jeffers. Picture: ST ALBANS CITY - Credit: Archant

Dartford 0-1 Saints

The Saints secured an impressive 1-0 victory in dramatic fashion against league leaders Dartford at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park on Tuesday evening.

A superb Shaun Jeffers strike from 40 yards in the last minute of regular time was the culmination of a topsy-turvy meeting between two of the Vanarama National League South’s form sides.

City started the game well and registered the first effort of the game on target inside seven minutes when Jeffers lined-up a free-kick from range that Dartford stopper Craig King did well to hold onto at his near post.

Michael Johnson in St Albans’ net was soon called into action however, making a smart stop low to his left after Charlie Sheringham turned on the edge of the box and struck a vicious effort that looked goal-bound.

The pressure continued from the hosts and a few minutes later Elliot Romain sent a header inches over the bar from McCallum’s cross.

The open nature of the game continued and the Saints were next to create an opening through Zane Banton, who did well to beat two defenders and get a low drive away that King managed to turn from the target.

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King was forced into an even-more impressive save just before the interval following good work down the right by Sundire, which ended with the ball dropping for Jeffers eight yards out. The City forward turned and hit a strike that King somehow managed to turn wide from almost point-blank range.

The hosts came out after the interval looking improved and Husin went close just before the hour mark when he met Berkley-Agyepong’s ball and sliced an effort just wide of the back post.

A few minutes later and Dartford were presented with their best opening of the game after Husin went down under pressure following a challenge from Michael Clark, resulting in referee Paul Johnson pointing to the spot. Experienced forward Charlie Sheringham stepped up and saw his penalty saved by Michael Johnson, who dived to his right.

With just 16 minutes left on the clock the Saints almost took the lead themselves and it was Jeffers who was involved once again as his attempt from the edge of the box deflected off of a defender and onto the bar.

However, the hosts continued to be a threat themselves and substitute Jack Barham was inches away from a goal when he leapt highest to meet a cross and sent a header just wide of the target.

With the game entering the final minute of regular time it looked like the game was heading for a deadlock, until Jeffers took aim from range.

The forward’s remarkable strike sailed over the head of King, crashed off the underside of the bar, bounced onto the line and spun into the roof of the net, sparking wild celebrations amongst the Saints players and staff.

Dartford: King; Barnum-Bobb; McCallum; Wynter; Essam; Bonner; Husin (Allen 78); Berkeley-Agyepong; Romain (Barham 68); Sheringham (Pavey 68); Jebb

Subs Not Used: Hill; Marsh-Brown

St Albans City: Johnson; Bender; Wiltshire; Kaloczi; Clark; Jeffers (Chidyauskiu 90+4); Banton; Diedhiou; Weiss (Noble 78); Sundire (Stanley 90+5); Mukena.

Subs Not Used: Akinola; Onokwai.