Slough Town lose final home game of the season 6-0 to Dartford

Slough Town 0, Dartford 6

Slough Town's final home game of the season finished in disappointing and slightly bizarre circumstances, with the Rebels losing 6-0 to promotion contenders Dartford.

Having seen their own promotion hopes all but ended by consecutive draws against Chelmsford City and Concord Rangers, the Rebels came into this weekend looking to finish the season strongly against Dartford today (Saturday) and Hampton & Richmond on Monday.

And although the scoreline would suggest otherwise, they gave an awful lot to this encounter but didn't take any of the five or six really good chances which fell their way.

It didn't help that they were playing a team focused on wrapping up their own play-off place and they also contributed to their own downfall with some slack defending.

That started as early as the second minute when the impressive Kalvin Kalala skipped past young Gabe George on the right side of the Rebels' area and laid the ball on a plate for an unmarked Marcus Dinanga to fire beyond Jonathan North.

Slough should really have levelled the score before falling further behind.

Alfonso Tenconi, playing his final home game for the club before moving stateside to start his four-year scholarship at Stanford University, got in front of his man but couldn't quite turn Josh Jackman's right-wing cross beyond Reice Charles-Cook. The Rebels came closer still in the eighth minute when Matt Lench picked up the ball on the edge of the area and slammed a dipping shot off the underside of the Dartford crossbar.

A third good chance was carved out in the 12th minute, Tenconi wriggling free from his marker on the edge of the box to get in on goal, but the young striker's shot was pushed away by Charles-Cook.

But the game was open, far more open than both coaching teams would have liked and, after Jordan Greenidge had fired into the side netting, the visitors scored a second from the resulting corner in the 14th minute. Jack Jebb whipped the ball in for Kieran Murtagh who was left all alone to guide the ball past North.

Dartford should have had a third when Dinanga swivelled and volleyed over from Kalala's knock down in the 27th minute, but at this stage the Rebels were very much still in the contest.

A third good opportunity fell to Tenconi in the 38th minute and, had he taken it, the outcome might have looked very different. but Charles-Cook made a scrambling save at his feet and then dived on the ball as it bobbled towards the goal line.

Had they gone into half-time trailing 2-0, Jon Underwood and Neil Baker would have been reasonably satisfied with their side's efforts, however, they gifted Dartford an opportunity to score a third just before the break.

George Hunt did well to bring the ball out of defence, but his pass forward was a poor one and intercepted by Dinanga. There was still plenty for the striker to do, but he did it superbly, driving forward before unleashing a powerful drive into the top corner.

If it hadn't been already, the goal knocked the stuffing out of Slough and the game had a distinctly 'end of the season' feel to it in the second half.

Slough pretty much knew the game was lost and Dartford knew the game was won, barring an improbable comeback.

Imran Kayani missed a gilt-edged chance to possibly spark that comeback in the 54th minute when he failed to turn home Hunt's cross from close range, with Charles-Cook caught out of position. His low shot was blocked on the line and Dartford then clinically killed the game with three more unanswered goals.

North did well to turn Greenidge's thumping volley over the bar but there was nothing he could do about Kalala's fourth in the 59th minute, the winger shooting low and hard into the bottom corner after being played in on the right side of the Rebels' area.

Darts substitute Jake Robinson was denied by North after a flowing passing move from the visitors but a fifth duly followed in the 71st minute, Greenidge heading home powerfully from Danny Leonard's pin-point cross.

The hosts pressed without much success in the final 10 minutes, but they were caught out one more time in injury-time when Olu Durojaiye tapped home their sixth after Joe Dandy had acrobatically hooked Robinson's goal-bound shot off the line.

The Rebels will look to bounce back on Monday when they visit Hampton & Richmond Borough for their final game of the season. Slough remain 10th but could climb as high as ninth if other results go their way. Having wrapped up their play-off spot, Dartford will now look to cement third place with two games to play.

Speaking afterwards, joint manager Jon Underwood said: “The difference was in the two boxes today. They were very clinical, and we gave up some really poor chances for their goals. Some of our defending wasn’t good enough, but we also had chances at 1-0, 2-0 and 3-0 which you have to take against Dartford.

“We probably haven’t had that many chances in a game against Dartford for a long time to be honest. We were far from clinical in the final third and they were.

“But it’s not good enough to lose 6-0 at home to anyone, no matter how good they are. It wasn’t a 6-0 game.

“In between the first and second goal, we hit the bar and Alfonso (Tenconi) had another good chance, but they went up the other end and it was 2-0. They’re a good team with good players, they move the ball well. Their right winger (Kalala) was excellent, and we couldn’t quite deal with him today. We hate days like that, especially in front of our own fans. We didn’t want to end the campaign here like that because we’ve been pretty good at home. A disappointing day, but we’ve not gone overboard in there because we’ve got another game in two days.”

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