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Dartford defender Tom Bonner makes headlines for all the right reasons against Ebbsfleet

By Matthew Panting

Dartford boss Tony Burman has revealed he expected Tom Bonner to get sent off rather than score against Ebbsfleet on Boxing Day.

Bonner opened the scoring to put the Darts on their way to victory at Princes Park against his former club, but Burman was more worried he’d be seeing red against the team that he left in the summer.

“We had a chat with him before the game about not getting too excited about the moment,” said Burman.

Dartford's former Ebbsfleet player Tom Bonner kept busy by Darren McQueen on Boxing Day Picture Andy Payton

Dartford's former Ebbsfleet player Tom Bonner kept busy by Darren McQueen on Boxing Day Picture: Andy Payton

“He has come back to us (this season) but we needed to calm him down (against Ebbsfleet). I didn’t want him sat next to us after five minutes because he has been sent off due to the occasion, as those things can happen.

“We felt that set plays might be the breakthrough (for the first goal) and their set plays were excellent as well.”

While the experienced Bonner put Darts ahead, Burman was left singing the praises of his young guns.

Academy product Ronnie Vint was outstanding in defence alongside left-back Keaton Wood and forward Duane Ofori-Acheampong underlined his progress by adding the second goal.

“Duane has a lot of potential,” said Burman. “He has only just turned 24 and could have gone to other clubs. But he came here as he knew he’d be playing and I wanted him to play. His work rate is second to none and what he has done over the last five or six games has been excellent.

“We need to get that goal ratio to be a bit better and if we do that then we’ve got the all-round player as far as I’m concerned."

Dartford visit Stonebridge Road in the return fixture in National League South on New Year’s Day. Tom Wynter is suspended after the Darts decided not to appeal his red card against Maidenhead.

Read the full story in Thursday's Dartford Messenger.

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