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Dartford FC joint-manager Jamie Coyle on the trip to Torquay United

By Steve Tervet

Dartford are confident they can match title-chasing Torquay on Saturday – despite making the long trip west without their two midfield generals.

Elliot Bradbrook and Lee Noble are both suspended for arguably Darts’ most difficult game of the season.

Torquay are second in National League South and the absence of Bradbrook and Noble, with more than 900 appearances between them, leaves a big hole to fill.

Elliot Bradbrook starts a two-match suspension this weekend Picture: Andy Jones
Elliot Bradbrook starts a two-match suspension this weekend Picture: Andy Jones

But joint-boss Jamie Coyle said: “You’re looking at someone with Joe Healy’s quality and I’m still confident.

“I’m looking behind us and our bench is strong. We haven’t said that a lot this year with injuries and suspensions.

“We’ve got two of our main players out but I still think we can go there and take the game to them.

“We got really good news about Jordan Wynter last week that his cast is off now.

“He’s got a temporary cast which he’s allowed to play in and that’s going to help us moving forward, especially on Saturday because we’re thin on the ground in the midfield.”

Joe Healy, the former Welling and Maidstone midfielder, made his home debut in Dartford’s 2-0 win over Gloucester on Saturday.

The 32-year-old isn’t expected to play regularly, but he’s doing his mate a favour.

“I’ve asked Joe to stay to the end of the season,” Coyle said. “He’s got a few commitments but he’s going to help us out as much as he can.

“He’s been bouncing around this season, playing a few games for Beckenham Town just to keep fit. It’s the same here.

“He’s coming to the end of his career, he’s got a really good job in the city and family life as well but the boys absolutely love him.

“He’s great to have in the changing room. The respect you get when you’ve got that quality and it’s not just his reputation, it’s what we saw on Saturday.

“He’s played five or six games this whole season and he got man-of-the-match. It just shows you the class the man’s got.

“I would love to keep him here between now and the end of the season because it will only strengthen us but I’ll have to speak to his wife!”

Torquay had won eight on the spin at Plainmoor before a shock 2-1 home defeat to rock-bottom Weston last time out.

“I’m excited for the test,” said Coyle, whose side lost the reverse fixture 2-0 in December.

“We played them here and I thought we were by far the better team for 45 minutes but we didn’t take our chances.

“We’re a different beast now, we offer more of a threat in certain areas and we’ve got the confidence of the decent run we’re on at the moment.

“I really think we can go there, roll our sleeves up and match them all over the park.”

Striker Phil Roberts came off with a tight hamstring against Gloucester but should be fit.

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