Defeat at Dartford is not a cause for concern, says Rebels boss Underwood

Having spent some time reflecting and re-watching the match on video, Slough Town boss Jon Underwood conceded Dartford were the ‘better team’ after the Rebels were beaten 3-0 at Princes Park.

On Saturday, Underwood and Neil Baker named almost the exact same line-up which defeated Chelmsford City at Arbour Park a week prior, with Scott Davies being the only change who came in for an injured Lee Togwell.

Dartford manager Steve King also named a mostly unchanged side, with one exception being striker Dan Roberts who was rewarded with a place against his former teammates after scoring a late brace against St Albans City last weekend.

The Darts were rarely off target all afternoon as the trio of Ade Azeez, Roberts, and Danny Leonard terrorised the Rebels’ defence and tested goalkeeper Jonathan North.

King’s men opened the scoring just before half-time when Leonard squared the ball to Azeez who comfortably tapped home.

The second 45 was more of the same, as the hosts dictated the possession and doubled their advantage before the hour mark, Noor Husin smashing away a strike after Roberts had an initial shot parried by North.

A third and final goal arrived in the 80th minute after the former Rebels man found himself through on goal, before unselfishly squaring to George Porter who tucked the ball into the back of the net to score his first goal for Dartford and ultimately seal the victory.

“It is obviously disappointing to lose but we knew going into the game they are a very good side and it’s a tough place to go,” said Underwood.

“I don’t think they were miles better than us and I think we competed well in the game, but, I don’t think we caused them enough problems.

“We conceded a goal before half-time, which is always a bad time. I think if we had got in at the break at 0-0, some doubts might have crept into them in the second half.

“When they got the second goal after the break, they stepped up a gear and played with a lot of confidence.

“I think in these particular games, you want to try and get in front to give you something to defend. But, we weren’t able to do that.

“There are no complaints with the effort, and I thought our shape looked good without the ball. Our ‘keeper Jonathan North also made a couple of good saves.

“All in all, it wasn’t a terrible performance, but the better team definitely won on the day, and we just came up a little bit short.”

The Rebels have now got to draw a line under the result and focus on this weekend’s clash against Chippenham Town.

They were back in training last night (Thursday), under the watchful eye of Underwood, while Baker attended one of Slough Town’s u23s matches.

“Our attention is very much now on Chippenham on Saturday,” said Underwood. “We’ve got to respond well from the Dartford defeat and I think the players will do that.

“Everything has been put into perspective at training and we talked about the things we could learn from the loss.

“Our season isn’t defined by how we get on at Dartford away. I think it’s how we do against a lot of the other teams in the league that are probably more equal with us in terms of finances, budget, squad size etc.

“If we get a win at the weekend then that’s six points from nine which represents a really good start.

“We’re positive, and we’re looking forward to it.”

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