Dartford’s five-match winning run came to an end at Arbour Park, as a solitary goal by Dan Roberts
saw the Darts come away with nothing in a frustrating game on a cold Saturday afternoon.
With the Rebels sitting in fourth place and the Darts in seventh before the state of play, the game
had the potential to serve up portions of feisty and exhilarating football. The reality, however, was
ninety minutes of feisty and scrappy football, as that aforementioned potential fell flat on its
proverbial face! To be honest, the Darts were a shadow of their normal selves, as they just couldn’t
seem to get into gear and looked rather sluggish on the pitch. Meanwhile, the hosts weren’t much
better and seemed happy to soak up any pressure while attempting to score on the counter-attack.
Together, this served up a rather dull game with limited goal-scoring opportunities.
The writing was on the wall as early as the fourth minute when, on the rare occasion that Luke
Wanadio was able to beat his man, he was subsequently brought down by a late tackle from Ryan
Bird. The offending Rebel went straight into referee Dale Wootten’s book and the resulting free kick
was sent into the box. As the defence scrambled it clear, the ball fell to the feet of Wanadio, who
fired towards goal, but failed to trouble Jack Turner.
A few minutes later saw the visitors getting forward again, as good play between Sanchez Ming and Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong resulted in the former getting through and into a position to square the ball to Nick Arnold. The Dartford right-back took the shot on, but the Slough defence managed to block it before fouling Elliott Romain. The referee awarded the Darts a free-kick, but Billy Crook’s
effort looped up and into Turner’s arms. At the other end, the hosts thought they’d taken the lead
after Roberts had put the ball into the net in the 13th minute, only for the player to be ruled offside.
This scrappy affair continued after that, with little to choose between either side. Alhaji Sesay wasn’t really troubled until the 24th minute, when he saved a long-range effort from Matt Lench with ease.
The Dartford goalkeeper was centre of attention again nine minutes later, but for the wrong
reasons. As Slough began growing into the game, another long-range effort from George Wells
caught him unawares, and he could only parry the shot. Leaving the ball open, apparently injured, he remained down on the floor and Roberts was able to pounce and slot the ball into an empty net.
The hosts should then have doubled their lead three minutes later, after Max Worsfold was able to
breach the defence, cut inside and take on the shot himself. Thankfully, his effort flew wide of
Sesay’s post. Meanwhile, at the other end with three minutes remaining, Tyrique Hyde sent a great
ball towards Wanadio who was through. Unfortunately, good defending from the Rebels saw them
clear the danger before the Dartford number eleven could pull the trigger.
The visitors started the second half a little brighter and, maybe, should have levelled the score within a couple of minutes. Another good ball from Hyde found Wanadio, but the latter’s effort was
gathered by Turner. A minute later could have seen Lench double his side’s lead when his central
free-kick whizzed just over the bar.
With more frustrating play from both sides, it took until the 58th minute for the supporters to
witness another real effort on goal. And it was the visitors who created it, as Wanadio found himself
through again, only to shoot across the face of goal from a tight angle. A similar opportunity fell to
the hosts five minutes later when Roberts got on the end of a good ball forward, only to fire across
Sesay’s goal and wide of the far post.
Steve King tried his best to inspire a response from his squad by introducing fresh legs, as Liam Nash replaced Darren McQueen (68), Ky Marsh-Brown replaced Luke Wanadio (69), and Charlie
Sheringham came on for Elliott Romain (78). Unfortunately, the substitutions had little effect, as the
game seemed to maintain its current course in the closing stages and the only real entertainment
came from the referee…
Having already booked several players throughout the game, Dale Wootten pulled out another
yellow card for Lench, after he pulled back Billy Crook, thus preventing a possible counter-attack in
the 85th minute. A minute later, Ming saw red, literally as he received his marching orders after
placing his hand on the linesman during a questionable decision over a throw-in. During the melee,
Sesay then received a yellow card for (I presume) being a little too vocal about that linesman’s
decision, before Berkeley-Agyepong also went into the book deep into stoppage time.
And, so, the Darts’ recent good form came to an end in an uninspiring performance and game. Truth be told, neither side were deserving of a win today. In fact, lady luck shone on the hosts when a 0-0 would have been fairer as far as the league table is concerned.
SLOUGH TOWN: Turner, Jackman, Wells, S.Togwell ©, Hollis, L.Togwell, Worsfold, Lench, W.Harris,
SUBSTITUTES: B.Harris, Williams, Davies, Fraser, Amartey.
DARTFORD: Sesay, Arnold, Ming, Crook, Hill, Bonner ©, Berkeley-Agyepong, Hyde, Romain,
SUBSTITUTES: Nash, Marsh-Brown, Sheringham, Braham-Barrett, Vint.