BURNHAM-ON-SEA'S Gary Anderson survived an almighty scare against Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena, eventually winning 4-3 on Saturday evening to progress to the last 16 of the 2019 PDC Darts World Championship.

Anderson lost the first set but came back to lead 3-1 in a match played at an absorbing pace, with 14 180s between the two players.

The Flying Scotsman led 2-0 at 3-2 up but missed five match darts, three of which were at double one, and Wattimena made the most of his opportunity to surge back into the contest.

He levelled the match at 3-3 and went 2-0 up in the deciding set, but missed match darts of his own to let Anderson back in.

The Burnham resident capitalised, levelling at 2-2, then 3-3, before pulling away to win 5-3 in the deciding set in one of the matches of the tournament so far.

A relieved Anderson told Sky Sports: "When Jermaine came back I was thinking 'I'm going to have Christmas at home and a few weeks off.

"The doubles came good again in the end - I was struggling a bit but got there in the end."

Michael van Gerwen eased past Max Hopp in the night's final game, meaning a semi-final between Anderson and the world number one remains a distinct possibility.

Wellington darts ace Ryan Searle has also made it into the last 16 after defeating William O'Connor 4-1 on Saturday evening.

Searle, the world number 61, dumped out world number seven Mensur Suljovic on Thursday night and took that confidence into the clash with the Northern Irishman.

It did not all go to plan from the outset for Searle, who lost the first set, but it was one-way traffic thereafter as the Holcombe Rogus man punished O'Connor's profligacy on the doubles.

The third set proved crucial, as O'Connor came back from two legs down and missed a shot at double 12 to go 2-1 up in the match - Searle replied by nailing his double eight and never looked back.

O'Connor was growing visibly frustrated on stage and Searle won the last set 3-0 to secure comfortable progress and continue his fantastic run.

Searle, who plays in the Wellington Darts League, has earned £35,000 by getting this far.

He told Sky Sports: "I can't believe it.

"I seem to be scraping through, people aren't taking their chances and I'm taking mine, so let's hope it continues like that.

"I'm still feeling quite nervous, this is all quite new to me. But I've got a good Christmas now so I can't wait.

"I'm lucky to even be here and had to play well to get here at all.

"This is a lot of money to me. To these big boys it might not be much, but that's a life-changing sum of money to me. What other job can you have where you can earn that sort of money in a week?

"I'm over the moon."

Both Searle and Anderson will be back in action after Christmas when the fourth round takes place on December 27 and 28.

Searle will play the winner of Michael Smith versus John Henderson, with Anderson to meet the victor of Chris Dobey and Vincent van der Voort.