Published: 06:00, 17 December 2020
Dartford’s players dug boss Steve King out of a hole with their FA Trophy comeback on Tuesday night.
The Darts manager admitted he got his team selection wrong at Slough after changing to a three-man defence.
He switched it around at half-time and Dartford hit back to draw 2-2 in 90 minutes before progressing 6-5 on penalties.
“I got it wrong,” admitted King. “I played the wrong shape and I take total responsibility for the first-half performance.
“It was abysmal, I changed the shape of the team and I felt that we could adapt to that.
“We hadn’t really worked on it, I wanted to give Josh Hill some minutes in the team but it didn’t quite work out.”
Slough led through Josh Jackman and a Warren Harris strike early in the second half. But Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong’s fifth goal of the season and Moussa Bakayoko took the tie to spot-kicks.
“We turned the screw in the second half and played some great football,” added King.
“We could have won it, we hit the post twice through Jack Jebb and Jack Barham.”
Darts, who lost the play-off final at Weymouth in a penalty shoot-out in the summer, prevailed this time with only Jack Jebb failing to convert from the spot.
It was also a chance for on-loan Chelsea keeper Ethan Wady to redeem himself after an error gifted Slough their second goal.
“Their second goal was a massive mistake, he kicked it straight to one of their players,” said King.
“But he redeemed himself with two penalty saves, I knew that he was a very good shot-stopper and sometimes we forget that he is only 18.
“We just told our players to pick their corner and go for it in the shoot-out.
“I was really pleased with the second half performance, we looked like we were going to win it. I felt that we were the stronger team at 2-2.”
Dartford now host Isthmian Premier Haringey in the third round at Princes Park on Saturday, still behind closed doors.
Haringey beat Eastbourne 3-1 on Tuesday night so will prove tough opposition.
King noted: “I’ll have to look at them and do my homework.
“I know some of the players in their team so I’ll try and get some more information.”