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Dartford manager Steve King on signing Hornchurch striker Chris Dickson on dual registration

Dartford boss Steve King admitted he took a gamble by handing veteran striker Chris Dickson his full debut against Slough.

Dickson, 35, repaid King’s faith with a match-winning double as Darts won 2-0 at Princes Park last weekend.

Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Keith Gillard
Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Keith Gillard

Frustrated by the lack of goals his strikers have delivered in the opening month of the season, ruthless King has rolled the dice by bringing in Alfie Pavey and Dickson in the past week.

“Chris is as fit as a fiddle,” said King. “He trained with us on Thursday and I backed my judgement, I made what I thought was the right decision. You have to take those decisions as a manager.

“You leave yourself open for criticism if it doesn’t work, but maybe you don’t because it wasn’t as if we were scoring lots before.

“I’ve thrown the gauntlet down and said I wanted someone to step up and score the goals. They can never say we don’t create chances in our team.

“We’ve got good strikers for this level, no-one can say we haven’t. But we need someone to step up and do it. Chris has played one game now and scored two goals.”

Dickson joined the Darts on a dual registration from Isthmian Premier Hornchurch, who are not due to return to action until mid-December with non-elite football paused during lockdown.

“He contacted me,” said King. “I’ve known him a long time but never got the chance to manage him.

“He was going to sign for me at Welling one year as he was living virtually across the road from the ground at one point but it never materialised for one reason or another.

“I thought about him when I came to Dartford last year so I’m pleased that he’s here now.

“I had a word with Mark Stimson, the Hornchurch manager, and asked if I could dual-reg him and he said no problem.”

Dickson is no stranger to National League South, having previously played for the likes of Chelmsford and Hampton at this level.

He’s already scored eight times for Hornchurch this season and showed his class against Slough.

“We had four or five chances and took two of them,” added King. “Dickson was clinical with those two chances.

“For the second goal, he was being pinned by the defender who is not even looking at the ball and he managed to wrap his leg around him to score, it was a great finish. He made it look easy if that makes sense.

“He was a big plus in the game for us. He knows where the goal is, age is just a number he still moves like a young man even though he is 35. He came in and finished off what we were lacking on the Tuesday night against St Albans.

“I feel like we created so many on Tuesday at least 7 were great chances, not half chances. If there was a time to throw someone straight into the side, it was going to be off the back of that performance.”

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