Nathan Aspinall knocked out Gary Anderson to join Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals of the World Darts Championship, as Fallon Sherrock's fairytale run came to an end on Friday at London's Alexandra Palace.

Last year's semi-finalist Aspinall defeated two-time World Champion Anderson 4-2, while Van Gerwen whitewashed Stephen Bunting 4-0 as the pair became the first two players through to the last eight.

A tight contest between Aspinall and Anderson began with the Scotsman winning the opening set, but after he strayed into double 15 when requiring 20 in the deciding leg of set two, Aspinall punished with double 16 to level.

The next two sets were shared, before set five continued the trend of going to a fifth leg, as Aspinall held his nerve on double four to go 3-2 up in sets.

Aspinall landed his 11th 180 of the match in the sixth set which he won, without the need for a deciding leg, on double ten to go one win away from back-to-back World Championship semi-final appearances.

"To beat Gary Anderson, a legend of the sport, on the World Championship stage means the world to me," said UK Open champion Aspinall.

"It's an indescribable feeling and these are the moments you play darts for.

"I had a great run here last year, followed by a strong 2019 but I've not had the best last couple of months so I'm delighted to see my game shine through.

"There was definitely pressure on myself coming into this tournament, there were a lot of people backing me to win it and I take confidence from that."

Aspinall is joined in the quarter-finals by reigning champion Van Gerwen, who continued his title defence as he swept aside Stephen Bunting 4-0 in a dominant display.

World number one Van Gerwen averaged 104.09 as he struck seven 180s and landed a 130 checkout on his way to a seventh quarter-final berth in his last eight World Championship outings.

Earlier in the day, the final four third round ties took place after darts' biggest event returned from the three-day Christmas break, as Chris Dobey ran out a 4-2 winner over history-maker Sherrock to book his place in the last 16.

Trailblazer Sherrock was bidding for a hat-trick of wins on the big stage following triumphs against Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic, and she got off to the perfect start by landing a 77 finish to take the opening set.

Checkouts of 104 and 96 weren't enough to prevent Dobey from taking the second set, but an undeterred Sherrock produced a stunning 142 finish on her way to regaining a 2-1 lead in sets.

That was as good as it got for Sherrock, as two-time TV semi-finalist Dobey found his top form to concede just one more leg to end the contest with a 101.09 average.

"Chris played really well at the end and I couldn't keep up with him," said Sherrock.

"I've loved every minute of this experience. The crowd were incredible again, I loved the way they were so supportive.

"I've never experienced anything like it before but hopefully I will in the future.

"I hope this journey can continue, I'm going to Q School in January where I hope to win a Tour Card and I've also got the World Series event in New York to look forward to in June."

Meanwhile, rising star Dobey was delighted to continue his progression by making it to the last 16 stage for a second successive year where he will take on Glen Durrant.

"Without a doubt that is one of the hardest and biggest wins of my career," said Dobey.

"I said I wanted a test and I got it, Fallon threw absolutely everything at me so I take my hat off to her.

"It was hard to be the person to put Fallon out because I wanted to see her do well like everyone else.

"I want to see Fallon go on and keep making a name for herself but I'm here to earn a living for my family.

"I had to be at my best today and I thankfully I was. Now I'm looking forward to a clash of the North East against a player I know very well in Glen."

Durrant, a three-time televised semi-finalist in his maiden year in the PDC, continued his dream debut at Alexandra Palace with a hard-fought 4-2 win over world number six Daryl Gurney.

Three-time Lakeside Champion Durrant twice led in sets, only for dogged Northern Irishman Gurney to fight back on both occasions to level the contest at 2-2.

With Gurney throwing first in the deciding leg of set five, Durrant produced a timely 180 followed by a 62 checkout in two darts to regain the advantage.

Gurney looked to have recovered with a break of throw to lead 2-1 in set six, only for Durrant to land a 109 checkout, his fourth ton-plus finish of the match, before sealing victory with a 13-dart leg.

There was no such drama for Gerwyn Price, as the world number three enjoyed a straightforward passage to the last 16 with a comprehensive 4-0 whitewash of John Henderson.

Welshman Price survived a scare from William O'Connor in his opening match, but the two-time Grand Slam of Darts champion roared back in style with an eye-catching 104.2 average.

Price's next assignment will see him come up against Simon Whitlock, who reached the last 16 for the first time in six years with a 4-1 win over Mervyn King.

Former semi-finalist King enjoyed a perfect start, winning the first five legs before Whitlock stopped the rot and won three legs in a row to level at 1-1 in sets.

Whitlock once again won the deciding leg in set three to take a 2-1 lead, and the Australian number one proceeded to land a 148 checkout on his way to winning the last two sets.

Afternoon Session (1230)
3x Fourth Round

Steve Beaton v Darius Labanauskas
Kim Huybrechts v Luke Humphries
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Adrian Lewis 

Evening Session (1900)
3x Fourth Round

Peter Wright v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Glen Durrant v Chris Dobey
Gerwyn Price v Simon Whitlock