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Slough Town 2 Dartford 2 match report

By Steve Tervet

Darren McQueen scored on his debut as Dartford claimed a point from a tough game at Slough.

The Sutton loanee gave Darts the lead early in the second half after Ben Greenhalgh had cancelled out Ben Harris' first-minute opener.

But it finished all square in Berkshire after Sean Fraser got a lively Rebels side back on terms.

Darren McQueen marked his Dartford debut with a goal Picture: Andy Payton
Darren McQueen marked his Dartford debut with a goal Picture: Andy Payton

McQueen went straight into the starting line-up at Arbour Park, having just arrived from the National League U's. He took the place of Charlie Sheringham, who missed out with an ankle injury, in Dartford's only change from the 3-0 win over Bath.

There were just 58 seconds on the clock when Slough took the lead. Ben Harris got up above Ronnie Vint to flick on a long ball and when Manny Williams returned the ball into his path, Harris beat Bailey Vose with a low angled drive.

Dartford didn't look switched on at the back and they were fortunate Matty Lench's touch let him down in front of goal when Warren Harris' right-wing cross dropped at his feet in the six-yard box.

But the visitors broke and almost levelled through McQueen, who stretched to volley Phil Roberts' cross against the top of the bar.

Tom Bonner did well to block a Warren Harris shot at the near post with Darts looking susceptible to Slough's diagonal balls in behind the full-backs.

But equally they looked dangerous going forward and Lee Noble warmed Jack Turner's palms with a powerful low strike from the edge of the box.

McQueen set up the equaliser on 13 minutes, working a yard of space near the byline and crossing low for Ben Greenhalgh to fire into the roof of the net.

It had been an even contest to that point but Slough started to get the upper hand, causing Dartford problems every time they went forward.

Right-winger Warren Harris was getting so much joy against Dan Johnson, who was walking a disciplinary tightrope once he'd been booked for dragging his man down just outside the box.

George Wells took aim from 25 yards and forced a flying save from Vose before Warren Harris volleyed Matty Lench's left-wing cross firmly against the bar.

Billy Clifford's follow-up shot was blocked behind but Dartford's full-backs were being over-run on both sides.

At the other end, Bradbrook spread play wide to Ryan Hayes after McQueen had done well to wriggle free in midfield but although his cross reached Greenhalgh, the Rebels got bodies in the way of his shot.

Dartford were furious at the award of a corner against them moments later and weren't concentrating when Slough took the set-piece quickly. Sam Togwell's header back across goal found Williams totally unmarked on the corner of the six-yard and his volley was blocked by a defender on the line.

The home side were taking up good positions at will and when Williams combined with Clifford, it needed another excellent block to deny Lench.

Jordan Wynter lashed over from Bradbrook's pass in the final act of a first half which had been largely dominated by the hosts.

But it was Dartford who came flying out of the traps after the restart, Hayes forcing a corner when his low shot was turned round the near post by goalkeeper Turner.

Slough failed to clear the set-piece and Noble had a goalbound shot blocked before Greenhalgh's inswinging cross was headed over by Roberts - a big chance for the visitors.

The hosts then enjoyed a good spell of possession, pushing Dartford back, and Tom Bonner stepped in with a crucial block before Vose got behind Clifford's strike from distance.

McQueen marked his debut with a classic poacher's finish in the 56th minute after Dartford had taken a quick free-kick. Hayes' cross reached Roberts at the back post and when his shot was parried by Turner, there was McQueen to make it 2-1.

But Dartford's lead lasted just three minutes as Sean Fraser punished more shaky defending by rifling a low shot across Vose into the far corner.

The visitors were starting to look shaky at the back again, with Bonner forced into another important block before the offside flag saved Dartford as Warren Harris ran clear.

Into the last 20 minutes, the game was in the balance and you could feel the tension around Arbour Park.

Williams saw a header saved by Vose and substitute Tommy Wood nodded just over as Slough pushed for the winner.

But how Dartford didn't retake the lead, seven minutes from time, is anyone's guess. McQueen did well to work an opening for Billy Crook and he forced a good low save from Turner, who somehow recovered in time to deny Roberts from point-blank range. Turner made a third good save seconds later to grab Bradbrook's curling effort from 20 yards.

Slough ramped up the pressure in the dying stages, peppering the Darts box with crosses although Bradbrook went close with a header from a corner in time added on.

Slough: Turner, Fraser, Wells, S Togwell, Nisbet, L Togwell, Lench, Clifford, B Harris (Flood 41 mins, Wood 46mins), Williams (Soares 87mins), W Harris. Subs not used: Jackman, Dunne.

Dartford: Vose, Wynter, Vint, Bonner, Johnson, Hayes (Crook 65mins), Noble, Bradbrook, Greenhalgh, Roberts (Murphy 90mins), McQueen (Coker 83mins). Subs not used: Onyemah, Smith.

Attendance: 701.

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