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No clock-watching for Dartford boss Tony Burman in late win over East Thurrock

By Matthew Panting

Dartford boss Tony Burman admitted he didn’t even know how long was left when Danny Mills headed in a crucial winner at East Thurrock on Tuesday night.

Just 12 minutes were left on the clock when Mills powered substitute Ryan Hayes’ cross into the back of the net.

But ever-cool Burman was unaware how late in the day the goal went in.

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Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Andy Payton

“Better late than never,” he said. “I didn’t realise there was only 12 minutes left.

“We did believe that the game was starting to open up and they were coming at us as well.

“It doesn’t matter when you score your goals – first minute or 92nd minute – if it is meant to be then it’s meant to be and our players deserved it.”

Patience was the key for Burman, who told his players that their chance would come in the second half.

“The boys came in at half-time a little bit frustrated because they hadn’t scored a goal but you’ve got to be patient,” he added.

“It’s good to see them being organised, doing the right things and having that belief. We were mentally strong and got their just reward with a great goal from Millsy.

“It was patience and that’s what we said, it might happen in games. Because you want to get something, you try to grab at it straight away.

“We had a chance in the first 15 minutes but it didn’t happen and we were unlucky on set pieces.

“We said at half-time not to worry too many things, don’t get niggly with each other and just let it happen. We knew that we’d create chances, and we know that we’ve got players who can score goals.

“I know it’s only one goal but it’s good enough to get three points and that’s the main thing.”

East Thurrock 0 Dartford 1 match report here

It was a second winning goal in as many games for Mills, who is on loan from Ebbsfleet at the end of the season.

Full of confidence, he looks a different player from when he first joined Dartford – but Burman just thinks his luck in front of goal has changed.

“I thought he was an excellent striker when I signed him, and I think he’s an excellent striker now,” said Burman.

“I’m delighted I’ve got him in the squad. With a bit more luck, Millsy would have been in double figures for us.

“We made a big decision to bring another player in at a time when one of our main strikers was injured, the club did that, and it was a really good move from us and showed our intent to every other club.”

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