05:00PM, Friday 24 January 2020
Slough Town solidified their place in the play-off spaces with Saturday’s hard-earned but well deserved 1-0 win over Dartford, and, while Neil Baker would love the Rebels to be in with a shout of the title, he’s happy that they’re beginning to pull clear of their rivals for a play-off spot.
Saturday’s 1-0 win, earned through Dan Roberts’ first half goal at Arbour Park, lifts the side to 46 points, 10 clear of eighth placed Maidstone United, while the gap over seventh placed Dartford was extended to six points.
Saturday’s visitors came into the game in magnificent form, having won five in a row in the league, but for the most part they were held at arm’s length by the Rebels who rediscovered their defensive resilience.
The Rebels’ form ahead of Saturday hadn’t been the best, with the side chucking away points in the final minute against Billericay Town and without a win in the league since their Boxing Day victory over Wealdstone.
But this was much more like it from a side who were very nearly back up to full strength after struggling with injuries and illness over the New Year period.
“I thought it was probably a fair result,” said Baker.
“We limited them to relatively little and while I don’t think there was loads between the sides we were slightly the better side.
“We stopped them from playing which is what we needed to do because they’ve been very good going forward.
“We defended really well as a side and also looked dangerous on the break.
“So I’m pleased. It pushes us further up the table and, with other results, it’s created a nice gap of 10 points (to eighth-placed Maidstone) which is important.”
He added: “We’ve lost just two games in our last 22 league games which is brilliant.
“It would be brilliant wouldn’t it? (to challenge for the title). But we’re also realistic. We know there’s a lot of games to go but Wealdstone are way out (in front). We’re not getting too bogged down with what they do.
"If we’re in with a chance with five games to go then brilliant. But I would say it’s probably unlikely. But the higher you finish the more chance you’ve got of a home tie (in the play-offs). We’ll be definitely looking for that and we’ll work from there.
Tomorrow (Saturday) the Rebels visit Braintree Town, the team with the leakiest defence in National League South having conceded 59 times this season. The 17th placed side remain in a battle at the bottom of the table, but Baker is not complacent about his side’s chances.
“They’re a team in transition,” he said.
“I think they’d lost a few on the bounce but they had a brilliant win on Saturday, 4-1 at Oxford, which is a great result.
“I think they’ve brought in a number of players on loan. They’re in a battle at the bottom and have changed their manager recently, but yeah, we’re under no illusions, it’s going to be a tough game
“Havant went there a few weeks ago and drew 3-3 so it’s a tough place to go. That will have given them massive confidence to go on and win more games.
“We’ll just see where we are and try and get the points as normal.”
Baker added that could be some movement on the transfer front, with one player potentially going out, and one coming in ahead of Saturday’s trip to Essex.
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