Published: 07:19, 24 July 2019
| Updated: 07:42, 24 July 2019
Dartford are waiting for news on Sam Blackman after the midfielder was taken to hospital on Tuesday night.
Blackman left the pitch on a stretcher after being injured in a tackle and needed oxygen as he was carried down the tunnel.
There was understandable concern for the former Dartford academy player all around Princes Park.
Joint-manager Adam Flanagan said: "I actually thought it was a really good tackle in the corner, typical Sam Blackman from what we’ve seen but the way he reacted...
"When you’re on the far side of the pitch it’s difficult but he was popping around a little bit, waving his arms and that’s never a good sign.
"We’re not too sure at the moment what he’s done. It looks like it’s the ankle area from what the doctors and physio team are saying.
"He’s gone to hospital and we’ll see what we get back from that."
Blackman's injury comes almost a year to the day since Dartford striker Andy Pugh broke his leg playing in a pre-season friendly.
Flanagan said: "We were really hoping for big things from Andy before he did his leg.
"Sam’s already shown in pre-season what an asset he’ll be for this club and it just seems Lady Luck is not going our way unfortunately.
"But it’s a long season and hopefully the injury isn’t as bad as it looked and Sam can still play a major part."
Pugh scored the final goal in a 3-1 win over Bromley on Tuesday with Jordan Wynter and Cameron Brodie also on target.
Academy graduate Brodie was named man-of-the-match for his second-half display in midfield and Flanagan was encouraged by Dartford's performance.
"We were really happy with today," he said. "We felt Bromley would be our toughest test to date because we feel they’re going to be a top team this year. Neil Smith and his management team have put a strong squad together and they’ve played Maidstone at our level and beat them.
"We knew it was going to be a tough fixture so coming out of it with a 3-1 victory, with a real ‘positive in possession’ performance was pleasing.
"There were a lot of young lads who finished the game. Samuel Oduado, who came on late, is from our under-16s, Cameron who scored the goal has just finished our academy, Jay Bacon the left-back is 18 and the left-sided centre-half is 20 so we finished the game with a lot of youngsters.
"Jamie Coyle and I feel Dartford, in the past, have had a good blend of older players and young, hungry players and we feel that we’ve got that. The pleasing thing this year is we’ve got a good squad and good youngsters trying to break into that squad."
Dartford captain Tom Bonner was at the ground on Tuesday but didn't take part in the game.
Flanagan explained: "Tom’s struggling with a heel-related injury at the moment and we wanted to give him some rest because he hasn’t had any, to try to shake it off before the season starts.
"Tom keeps himself in great condition and coming into August, when we’ve got eight games, if we have to rest him and give him a little bit more time so he’s best suited for those games, that’s what we’re going to do.
"When I played, I never remember it being like that (with so many games at the start of the season).
"Why they do it all in August, I’ll never know, and I always feel it suits the squads that are bigger because they can have more rotation of players.
"But it is what it is and we’ve monitored all the minutes of the players during pre-season so that coming into those games, we’re going to be hopefully conditioned to a level where fatigue won’t play a part and we’ll get through that period with no fatigue-related injuries.
"But we’ll wait and see and anything that arises, we deal with it at the time."
More by this authorSteve Tervet
This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)