Published: 06:15, 23 October 2018
| Updated: 07:56, 23 October 2018
Fans hoping to see the return of long-serving Dartford player Ryan Hayes at the weekend were disappointed when they did not see his name on the team sheet on Saturday.
Yet they will not have expected the reason for his absence to be that he had been injured in a bizarre accident at work - falling down a hole in his job as a labourer.
Hayes, who left the Darts after 13 years in May, rejoined the club last week after five months at Concord Rangers.
But the winger was denied his chance to make his second debut for the club against Dulwich Hamlet at Princes Park after he was injured in the freak incident seven days earlier.
The transfer had been agreed but with paperwork still going through, he wasn't registered in time for Dartford's game at Chippenham.
Hayes said: "On Friday night my boss rang me and said ‘I know you’ve not got football so can you come to work for a couple of hours?’
"I said I’d come in so I went to work and ended up breaking two bones in my hand falling through a hole.
"I rang (the management) on their way home from Chippenham because that’s all I cared about.
"I was lying in the hospital bed and I was like ‘I ain’t got a club, I’ve not signed with Dartford yet and they might not want me after this.’
"I texted Flan (joint-manager Adam Flanagan) at six o'clock and said ‘when you’re on the coach can you ring me, I’ve got some news.'
"I said 'great result but I’m in hospital. I’ve broken my hand and I’ve got stitches in my leg.’
"At that time I had machines all over me, scans, x-rays, my ribs were in tatters and I said ‘Flan, I fell through a hole at work.’ He was like 'what?'
"I said 'you boys had a great result' and he said ‘look come in next week and we’ll talk'.
"I went to training and said ‘Flan, I can’t train but I’ll see the physio and the doctor'.
"I signed and watched the game on Saturday."
Hayes should be fit to play against Truro this weekend.