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Dartford manager Steve King reacts to their 3-0 play-off eliminator victory over Slough Town

Fortune favoured the brave on Sunday said Dartford manager Steve King.

His side failed to shine in the opening half of their National League South play-off eliminator against Slough Town but the manager instructed his players to relax and be brave on the ball. They were a different team second half.

Dartford manager Steve King takes his side to Havant for the play-off semi-final Picture: Keith Gillard
Dartford manager Steve King takes his side to Havant for the play-off semi-final Picture: Keith Gillard

Charlie Sheringham’s quick-fire double and a goal from Luke Wanadio sealed a 3-0 win and it could have been more as the Darts opened the hosts up on several occasions as the game wore on.

King said: “I knew it was going to be a scrappy, horrible game. I told the players to relax at half-time, get on the ball, I told them ‘if you get on the ball you will start opening them up’.

“They had two sitters (infront of the defence) and we played three so we just passed it around them second half. We got braver and encouraged the players to get on it more and pass it. We started to open them up at will. Ky Marsh-Brown had a chance, Tarique Hyde had a chance, it could have been five.

“They just had to be braver, that is what I said at half-time, 'be braver on the ball'. It was about picking the right passes.

“We knew what kind of game it would be but if we got the first goal they would have to change their approach and start leaving holes and gaps and second half was really good.”

Sheringham got a couple of poacher finishes and from then on Slough were chasing.

The striker might not have featured but his attitude since the return to training post-lockdown persuaded King to give him a chance. The front-man got the winner in a friendly against Boreham Wood last week and was the main man again on Sunday.

Sheringham played with the club’s leading scorers Elliott Romain and Darren McQueen flanking him either side.

King said: “The difference between Elliott and Macca is that they won’t score those goals.

“They have scored some blinding goals and are top scorers in the division, joint with the Havant fella, but they won’t score those tap-ins, Charlie does. That is why we brought him back.

“I said to him when he came back after the lockdown that I don’t have favourites. The way he has come back, the attitude he has shown, the willingness, he listens.

“He has shown a good attitude. He started the second half against Boreham Wood and occupied the two centre halves, getting it and knocking it wide, and getting himself in the box and he scored a fantastic goal and I thought, ‘ooh, we may need that’.

“He can win fouls, he takes one touch then sets, the others take a touch and a touch and the whole picture changes. Whoever decided to bring Charlie back in was a great move!”

Dartford now face Havant & Waterlooville away on Saturday in the play-off semi-final. Dorking Wanderers travel to Weymouth in the other semi. The final takes place the following Saturday at the home ground of the highest placed finisher in the table.

Match report: Slough Town 0 Dartford 3

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