Charlie Sheringham and Pierre Fonkeu both scored second-half goals, as Dartford came from behind to take all three points at Arbour Park.
With Skipper Tom Bonner still suffering from the weekend’s action, Connor Essam stepped up to take the Captain’s armband as manager Alan Dowson shuffled his side slightly for tonight’s game. And, the hosts tried to take advantage of the change early on after starting brightly.
After just nine minutes, a Johnny Goddard pass split the Dartford defence open and allowed George Hunt through. But, Joe Young was alert to make the save and prevent the Rebels from taking an early lead.
Another swift attacking move saw Keiran Murtagh step up to put his body on the line with an outstanding goal-line clearance (11), before Sam Odaudu raced down the left-flank and found Marvin Herschel with a brilliant cross. Unfortunately, Herschel’s header took a slight deflection and sailed wide of Rhys Foster’s upright (18).
A minute later saw Slough edge themselves in front with a decent attack along their left-flank. The ball was eventually sent into the Dartford box, where it met the boot of Josh Jackman at the far post. His volley left Joe Young with no chance, as it sailed into the bottom corner (19).
The hosts created another good opportunity after 27 minutes via Matt Lench, but his troublesome cross was eventually cleared by the Dartford defence after an initial ricochet had caused problems!
The Darts began to assert their authority on proceedings soon afterwards, and were unfortunate not to level the score before the break. Joe Dandy’s excellent block was the only thing that prevented Jack Smith from netting his second goal in as many games after midfield dynamo Samir Carruthers had played him through (38).
Alan Dowson tweaked his side a little by bringing on Pierre Fonkeu for Marvin Herschel at the start of the second-half, and eleven minutes later sent on Luke Coulson for Josh Johnson as well. The changes had a positive impact to say the least because, from that point on the visitors dominated.
As the Darts continued probing forward, goalkeeper Rhys Foster pulled off a fabulous save to prevent Jack Smith’s curling drive from dipping into the top corner (57). However, five minutes later saw Foster picking the ball up out of his net!
A wonderful move through the middle resulted with Carruthers playing the ball through for Charlie Sheringham, and the Dartford number nineteen struck it beyond the Slough goalkeeper to pull his team level (62).
Dartford were purring at this point and came agonisingly close after 69 minutes. Luke Coulson’s initial effort ricocheted into the path of Sheringham, who controlled the ball well before pulling the trigger. Unfortunately, Foster got just enough on the ball to tip it onto the outside of the post, before his defence eventually cleared the danger.
The misfortune was soon forgotten though, as Pierre Fonkeu stepped up with a wonderful strike to turn the game on its head with fourteen minutes remaining. After scoring earlier, Sheringham then became the provider as he found Fonkeu with a neat pass into the box. The Darts’ substitute then sent a curling effort in off the inside of the far post to put them 2-1 up.
With the points in the bag, Samir Carruthers was replaced by Davide Rodari (89), as the visitors saw the game out. There was a moment of madness for the hosts in stoppage time, whereby they will surely consider themselves fortunate… A long ball over-the-top released Luke Coulson before two things occurred in rapid succession. First, Rhys Foster rushed out irrationally and completely missed the ball, almost taking out the Dartford number seven! Then, as Coulson turned to strike at an empty goal, a lone defender handled the ball, thus preventing it from travelling any further. However, the referee Mr Farai Hallam “didn’t notice anything”…
Not that it effected the result though, as Dartford secured the victory and stretched their unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions. The result sees them climb to second in the National League South table, having now won ten of their 15 games so far.
SLOUGH TOWN: Rhys Foster, Josh Jackman, George Wells, Joe Dandy, Lee Togwell, Arnold Matshazi, Matt Lench, Johnny Goddard, George Hunt, Scott Davies (c), Aaron Kuhl.
SUBSTITUTES: Ben Harris, Manny Williams, Gabe George, Fabio Sole, Imran Kayani.
DARTFORD: Joe Young, Jordan Wynter, Samir Carruthers, Connor Essam (c), Maxwell Statham, Jack Smith, Keiran Murtagh, Charlie Sheringham, Sam Odaudu, Marvin Herschel, Josh Johnson.
SUBSTITUTES: Dan Wilks, Luke Coulson, Alex Wall, Davide Rodari, Pierre Fonkeu.
By Chris Palmer