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Slough Town 0 Dartford 3: Charlie Sheringham scores twice and Luke Wanadio adds the third in National South play-off eliminator

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Dartford produced a dominant second half performance to beat Slough Town in the National League South play-off eliminator.

Sheringham pounced twice from close-range in the opening 10 minutes of the second half to put Dartford in the driving seat before Luke Wanadio sealed it with a late third.

Charlie Sheringham scored twice for Dartford on Sunday to put them in charge of the play-off match
Charlie Sheringham scored twice for Dartford on Sunday to put them in charge of the play-off match

Slough had the better of a high-tempo first half but failed to make the most of their chances and the Darts got the all-important goals after a blistering restart.

Steve King’s Dartford side can now prepare for an away game against Havant & Waterlooville in the play-off semi-final next Saturday (July 25).

Four months after the National League season was brought to an early end because of Coronavirus, the Darts were back in action on Sunday aiming for promotion into the fifth-tier.

There had been plenty of hurdles to overcome just to get the play-offs underway at this level and staff at Slough had worked overtime to prepare their ground for the behind closed doors match.

Plastic cut-outs replaced fans at Arbour Park (38771609)
Plastic cut-outs replaced fans at Arbour Park (38771609)

Dartford were unhappy about an early challenge on Elliott Romain that left the striker in a heap. The referee deemed it worthy of only a yellow.

The player who got away with that strong challenge provided the crosses for a couple of good early chances for the hosts. Josh Jackman headed Matt Lench’s cross over and Ryan Bird went even closer after meeting an inswinging corner.

Tarique Hyde put a shot well over for the visitors and it was the home side who went close again as keeper AJ Sesay needed to be alert to deny Warren Harris from close range.

Jack Jebb put a deep cross into the home keeper’s hands just before the break as Dartford went into the interval looking more of a threat but it was Slough who has gone the closest in the opening half.

Charlie Sheringham celebrates the opening goal (38771762)
Charlie Sheringham celebrates the opening goal (38771762)

The corner flags and the spare match balls got a clean at the break while the Darts came out full of energy.

Within three minutes of the restart the visitors were ahead. Romain made progress down the right flank, pulled it back for Jordan Wynter and his low ball was met at the far post by Sheringham, to open the scoring.

Dartford had a second on 55 minutes and again it came from the right side. Wynter also involved again in the build-up and he teed up Romain to fire in a cross that cannoned off a defender, onto the post and into the path of a grateful Sheringham.

Romain continued to prove a handful down the right flank and fired another effort over for the Darts as Slough struggled to make an impact at two goals down. The forward also had a shot blocked by home side Aaron Kuhl.

A third goal finished Slough off when substitute Wanadio beat the keeper at his near post from the edge of the box, moments after coming off the bench.

Wanadio almost set up a fourth but Tarique Hyde fired over the bar in stoppage-time.

Action between Slough and Dartford played behind closed doors (38771615)
Action between Slough and Dartford played behind closed doors (38771615)

Dartford: Sesay, Wynter, Hill, Bonner, Braham-Barrett, Hyde, Husin (Noble 79mins), Jebb, Romain (Marsh-Brown 90mins), Sheringham, McQueen (Wanadio 88mins). Subs not used: Edwards, Vint, Arnold.

Slough: Turner, Jackman, Wells, S Togwell (Davis 67), Hollis, L Togwell (Roberts 56mins), Worsfold (Hodges 77mins), Lench (Kuhl 67), B Harris, W Harris, Bird. Subs not used: Williams, Fraser.

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