A sterile atmosphere, fast-flowing football a rarity, neither side creating many scoring chances - this victory can definitely be filed in the 'grinded out' category.

A none-the-wiser neutral visitor to the Williamson Motors Stadium would never have guessed Saturday's fixture played host to a promotion-chasing side, such was the hard work Darlington made of clinching victory.

It was rarely entertaining but Quakers did just enough to jump back into the play-offs thanks to Clyde Wijnhard's late penalty.

But this was a Darlington game, yet another one, that will be swiftly forgotten.

Wijnhard's spot-kick was Quakers only shot on target and that sums up Darlington's day - they weren't exciting but they were effective. Ask play-off rivals Lincoln and Northampton if they would have preferred a dull victory instead of the defeats they suffered.

Visitors Chester City contributed little having clearly travelled in the hope of a draw but thankfully Quakers didn't sink to the depths reached against Kidderminster Harriers a week earlier.

One of the reasons was the performance of teenage winger, Jason St Juste. The man with a name that suggests he should be working in the movies is instead creating his own little fairytale at Darlington.

The 19-year-old's swift elevation to first-team football in a promotion-chasing side must give hope to all aspiring young footballers. At the start of the season he was with Garforth Town before being picked up by Darlington and starring in the successful youth team.

A quick transition to Quakers' left-wing has seen him become a regular in Bobby Petta's absence.

A diminutive winger, wearing a shirt with sleeves that almost reach his knees, St Juste strikes a slight figure but that hasn't stopped him from competing in the rough and tumble of League Two.

It's not only his build which ensures he stands out for his pace, balance and confidence to run - and beat - defenders, is a thrill to watch.

David Hodgson gave him his league debut at Cheltenham in November and the manager lauded his teen ace, saying: "He's quick and can deliver a great ball but he is also a dogged little boy, very determined.

"He's direct, he frightens people and at the moment he's unknown to a lot of teams.

"He scored a great goal at Grimsby, and the other day I had to remind him he's keeping out Bobby Petta, a former Feyenoord and Celtic player. I think he appreciates that fact.

"He might be able to go higher in the game, but we'll have to see how he's doing in a year's time; see what progress he's made and then we'll have a better idea."

Though, like Saturday's game itself, the end product wasn't always there, St Juste's dribbles and quick feet gave Chester something to think about as it did Bristol Rovers a week ago when he won a penalty and scored a goal from 18 yards having run with the ball from the halfway line.

His marauding down Chester's right-flank was a constant feature of the game although he had only one shot, left-footed across goal from the edge of the box just before the end of a poor first half.

The opening 45 minutes, though not quite matching the dross served up at the stadium a week previously, was insipid stuff and, although not to be condoned, at least a Dyer v Bowyer style punch-up would have brought the game to life.

Like a journeyman boxer, Darlington ambled through with only rare glimpses of the magic everyone knows they're capable of and a complete failure to find a killer punch.

The first half saw Craig Russell mis-hit an overheard kick while Wijnhard shot over from 16 yards. Chester had their moments; Robbie Foy having a shot deflected for a corner while Stuart Drummond saw a low effort saved at Sam Russell's feet.

Supporters booed the team off at the break but Hodgson kept the faith by refusing to make any half-time changes.

"There was never any doubt that we were going to score at some point, contrary to what the fans might have thought," he said.

"Points really count at this stage of the season. I'd love to have won by more goals and had more shots. It didn't happen but I'm not going to complain.

"If we'd scored early on we would have had a different game, they would probably have changed their system but instead they kept it really tight.

"If they'd got a point they would have been delighted. They had a game plan which made it difficult for us to break them down.

"The most important thing was that we won. On Monday we were fantastic but drew. Today we were sometimes average and sloppy but we got the three points."

With St Juste more prominent, the second half saw a slight improvement on the first, but there was still little goalmouth action at either end.

Adolfo Gregorio had the chance to do something about that but his cross hit a grounded Matt Clarke. However, Quakers perked up when Akpo Sodje emerged from the bench on 70 minutes.

He won several flick-ons although it was fellow sub Mark Convery who assisted in winning the 76th minute spot-kick.

His cross from the right saw Darren Edmondson pull Adrian Webster down and from the resulting penalty Wijnhard safely tucked away his 11th goal of the season.

From this was point there was only one winner and certainly so after Phil Bolland was red-carded for a second booking in the 87th minute, the second yellow a harsh decision after Wijnhard appeared to go to ground too easily.

Quakers fans began demanding St Juste receive the ball but time quickly ran out and the final whistle was greeted with a sigh of relief after a bittersweet afternoon.

With it St Juste momentarily blended into a group of ball boys, all keen to shake the hand of player not much bigger than themselves.

Even off the pitch he stands out. While his team-mates emerge from the dressing room in collar and tie, the lad from Leeds is in a tracksuit.

But as long as he's in this form he can wear what he likes, just as long as he's aware that a big, lumbering centre-half will inevitably clatter him one day.

However, they'll have to catch him first.

Result: Darlington 1 Chester 0.

Read more about the Quakers here.