Published: 06:00, 15 November 2020
Dartford captain Tom Bonner discovered the perfect pain relief after taking a full-blooded shot in the privates.
Bonner, minutes after feeling the full force of a George Porter strike, scored a classy opener to set Darts on their way to a 2-0 Kent derby win at Maidstone.
It was a lovely finish from the centre-half - one a striker would have been happy with - following a knockdown from central defensive partner Connor Essam.
And, in that moment, the agony of copping an unfortunate one at the other end disappeared.
“As soon as the ball hit the net I forgot about the pain instantly,” said Bonner.
“I’m a centre-half, I love blocking shots.
“I got as much joy out of that as I did from scoring.
“George Porter connected with it perfectly and it’s caught me in the unfortunate area but I’ll take that all day long because it stops the ball going towards the goal.”
Bonner put Dartford in front with a sweet strike into the corner after Essam met a free-kick from Jazzi Barnum-Bobb.
It was his second goal of the season and put him well on the way to meeting his target.
He said: “It was a good goal, to be fair. Head down and hit it as hard as you can - I was delighted to see it go in.
“I usually set a target of five-plus. I should probably set 10 but I’m not a massive scorer so it’s nice to have two already.
"I scored at Chippenham and again today and it’s nice to get a couple that aren’t just headers.”
Charlie Sheringham added the second as Dartford moved four points clear at the top of National South.
Both goals came late but Bonner felt they were good value for victory.
“I felt the conditions played a part in the first half, it was very windy,” said Bonner.
“I know we keep going on about no fans but there would have been three or four thousand here so it’s always going to be a little bit flat.
“I thought the second half was a better spectacle but, to be honest, I think we thoroughly deserved to win.
“As the away team, I thought we were excellent from start to finish.”
Maidstone started the day third in the table and could have gone top with a win but, at this stage of the season, it was just another game for leaders Dartford.
“Both teams will be up there,” said Bonner. “You could see they’re a good team who are going to beat more teams than they don’t.
"It’s early in the season, the title isn't won from Dartford beating Maidstone, but it’s always nice to get one over the local rivals. That was the most important thing to me.
"We’ll see where we both end up, it’s going to be tight whoever’s up there. We just want to get as many points on the board as possible.”