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Dartford boss Ady Pennock fears first-half injuries sustained by Tommy Block and Brandon Barzey during 2-0 National League South home defeat to Eastbourne Borough could end seasons

There are fears Dartford duo Tommy Block and Brandon Barzey could be out for the season after they sustained first-half injuries in their home defeat to fellow strugglers Eastbourne Borough on Easter Monday.

Defender Block (groin) pulled up in the opening 15 minutes of the relegation-threatened Darts’ 2-0 loss while Montserrat international midfielder Barzey (hamstring) also had to be replaced before half-time.

Defender Tommy Block - came off in the early stages of Dartford’s Easter Monday 2-0 National League South loss at home to Eastbourne Borough. Picture: Keith Gillard
Defender Tommy Block - came off in the early stages of Dartford’s Easter Monday 2-0 National League South loss at home to Eastbourne Borough. Picture: Keith Gillard

Back-to-back losses over the Bank Holiday weekend extended Dartford’s winless run to 10 games as they returned to the National League South relegation zone.

Asked immediately after the Eastbourne match if he had any idea how long Block and Barzey could be sidelined for, manager Ady Pennock replied: “The rest of the season.

“With the way they both pulled up, it doesn’t look good. Fingers crossed they’re both young men and that they can heal very quickly.

“But I think they could be struggling.”

The pair would be big absences for Dartford’s final four games of the campaign, starting with a huge clash at second-bottom Havant & Waterlooville this Saturday.

Report: Dartford 0-2 Eastbourne

Pennock, who’s still without a win since he took charge of the club last month, said: “Blocky has been very good.

“He just has had this little niggle in his groin. That’s why he didn’t play on Friday (a 4-1 loss at Chelmsford) because the Truro game last Tuesday on the astro-turf was tough for everybody with slight niggles.

“They’re two big blows. Barzey - since he has come back - has been very sharp.

“We will miss them both.”

But Pennock insisted he wouldn’t use those enforced first-half changes to paper over the cracks, former Cray Wanderers forward Yahya Bamba netting twice to help boost Eastbourne’s own National League South survival bid.

Dartford manager Ady Pennock. Picture: Steve Terrell
Dartford manager Ady Pennock. Picture: Steve Terrell

“The plan does go out the window - but let’s not use that as an excuse,” he said. “They looked more dangerous than us, especially in the first half.

“We had a spell where, if we had nicked a goal, it could have been a little bit different. We had one cleared off the line again, maybe a penalty, and their second goal is definitely handball.

“I’ve just shown it to the referee (Steven Hughes) and he said ‘Yes, it’s handball.’ But he missed it.”

While the visitors’ second goal proved controversial, the Darts manager had few complaints about the final result.

The ex-Gillingham boss said: “The goals that we concede, that’s been happening all season.

“I’ve got to be honest, they could have scored another four! They have hit the post, hit the crossbar and one has rolled across the line, and there were a lot of scrambles in the first half.

“But I don’t think it’s a lack of effort.

“My boys do try. Maybe we’re missing that quality that other teams have over us.”

When Dartford hosted Havant & Waterlooville in October, the hosts won 2-0, as defender Joash Nembhard netted twice.

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