SLOUGH TOWN 0 DARTFORD 6
Dartford’s hopes of finishing third in the National League South were given a huge boost, as they comprehensively destroyed Slough Town at Arbour Park in front of 951 supporters.
And, it didn’t take long for the visitors to stamp their authority on the game….just two minutes in fact! As Dartford attacked with pace down the right-flank via Kalvin Kalala, Marcus Dinanga managed to get himself on the end of the ball inside the box to register his tenth goal of the season.
The Darts were purring beautifully and, Kalala again raced away to send in another dangerous cross, which reached Jordan Greenidge. Unfortunately, his fifth-minute header was just over Jonathan North’s crossbar.
The hosts finally appeared to wake up soon afterwards, with Imran Kayani looking a threat at times. He managed to beat Kristian Campbell on the Slough right to put a dangerous cross into the box, but the Dartford defence dealt with it with ease (6). However, two minutes later saw Matt Lench come extremely close to equalising. But, his excellent curling effort cannoned back off of Reice Charles-Cook’s woodwork to the relief of the goalkeeper.
Slough’s tails were up at this point, as they came forward once again. And, Alfonso Tenconi received the ball before managing to muscle his way through the Dartford defence, before pulling the trigger. Thankfully, Charles-Cook was alert to make a comfortable save on this occasion (12).
Yet, just as they were getting into a rhythm, Dartford hit back with a sucker punch in the fourteenth minute. An attack down the left-flank saw an initial shot deflected into the side-netting. Jack Jebb sent the corner into the danger area, where Keiran Murtagh was on hand to slot home his third goal in two league games.
Dartford should have made it three after 27 minutes, after terrific combination play ripped Slough apart. However, Dinanga’s excellent volley flew just over North’s crossbar. Unfortunately, one of those involved in the build up, Keiran Murtagh, had to leave the field ten minutes later when he pulled up with an injury after passing the ball out of trouble. His replacement was Tyrique Hyde, who’d prove to be just as influential in the middle of the park this afternoon.
Reice Charles-Cook then pulled off an outstanding save to prevent Tenconi from pulling a goal back for the hosts (39), before the visitors responded at the other end to put the game out of reach via a powerful run and drive by Dinanga (44). The goal was the striker’s 11th in just thirteen appearances for the Darts. Impressive.
After a relatively quiet first few minutes during the start of the second forty-five, Slough began to probe for a way back into the game. And, they didn’t come much closer than Imran Kayani’s effort after 54 minutes. However, with Charles-Cook beaten, Olumide Durojaiye was on hand to make an excellent goal-line clearance to keep the clean sheet intact.
The game began opening up afterwards, and Charles-Cook was called into action once again to make a good save to deny Tenconi (58). Yet, two minutes previous to that saw Kalala find Greenidge with a delightful ball, only for the latter’s strike to take a deflection into the side-netting.
Next up was Kalvin Kalala to take centre stage. Having collected the ball on the right, the tricky winger then drove forward, before cutting inside skillfully. He then hit a low curling effort beyond the hapless North to put the game out of reach for definite (59).
Manager, Steve King, then introduced Jake Robinson for Marcus Dinanga (62) and Danny Leonard for Kalvin Kalala (67). Meanwhile, the hosts brought on Sean Fraser for Gabe George (65), Ben Harris for Alfonso Tenconi (73), and Eitel Goueth for George Hunt (78).
Returning to the action, Greenidge and Robinson combined superbly in the 70th minute, only for North to save Robinson’s effort. Then, Leonard destroyed Edon Pruti down the right-flank, before sending in a delicious cross. The ball met Greenidge perfectly, and he sent a powerful header beyond North to stretch Dartford’s lead to five (72).
With the visitors in full control, things calmed down on the pitch during the last remaining minutes… That was until stoppage time at the end of the ninety. The Darts exploded forward once again and, as an initial effort was cleared off the line, Olumide Durojaiye collected the loose ball and slotted it home to score his first for the Darts and their sixth of the afternoon.
The result sees Dartford move back up to third place in the National League South table, a point ahead of local rivals Ebbsfleet United. With two games remaining, the push for the promotion playoffs is now fully in the hands of Tom Bonner and Co.
SLOUGH TOWN: Jonathan North, Josh Jackman, Edon Pruti, Joe Dandy, Matt Lench, Alfonso Tenconi, Tyler Goodrham, George Hunt, Scott Davies ©, Imran Kayani, Gabe George.
SUBSTITUTES: Lee Togwell, Ben Harris, James Beauchamp, Sean Fraser, Eitel Goueth.
DARTFORD: Reice Charles-Cook, Olumide Durojaiye, Kristian Campbell, Samir Carruthers, Kory Roberts, Tom Bonner ©, Kalvin Kalala, Keiran Murtagh, Marcus Dinanga, Jack Jebb, Jordan Greenidge.
SUBSTITUTES: Jake Robinson, Danny Leonard, Ade Azeez, Tyrique Hyde, Dan Roberts.
By Chris Palmer