Dartford boss Steve King has urged George Porter not to let his standards drop after a dazzling display against leaders Dorking Wanderers.
Porter scored twice and was rightly named man-of-the-match as he enjoyed his best day in a Dartford shirt on Saturday.
Not only was Porter an attacking threat, he also did a vital job for his team by keeping the influential Darren Oldaker quiet for the visitors.
“George has got that but he needs to produce it, he was outstanding and ran himself into the ground,” enthused King. “He was a menace and did a great job on Oldaker in the first half. We felt he could do that job.
“He showed a lot of quality in his finishing but he’s got to keep that standard, don’t play to that level now and then drop.”
There were plenty of eyebrows raised when Porter’s name appeared on the team sheet, but King didn’t feel he was taking a chance.
“It wasn’t a gamble,” stated the Darts boss. “George is a good player but he needs to find the form that he’s capable of. On Saturday, he found the form that I know he’s capable of. Now he needs to produce for the last 10 games.
“He did a job, that was first and foremost, he stopped their playmaker. You can see the quality Oldaker has, some of the things he did getting out of tight areas was outstanding, but he didn’t deliver that killer pass as George marked him out of the game.
“We played a certain way as we felt we needed to stop the way they build up their play, and most of that comes from Darren Oldaker. We sat George in on him and stopped him getting the ball until the last 20 minutes when he showed the quality he’s got.”
Porter’s finishing was of the highest order – only the excellence of keeper Dan Lincoln denied him a hat-trick – while the best goal came from Marcus Dinanga, whose chest and finish oozed quality.
“They were great goals, the players all came alive up there,” said King. “Ody Alfa, Kalvin Kalala and George all came alive, Marcus was cool and calm with his finish.
“We were exceptional from minute one. We went 2-0 up and should have gone three, Kalvin should score and for me it’s game over then.
“They’re an exceptional side. On the day I thought we were two goals better than them. We should have had a penalty, they should have had a penalty and it was a foul on Jayden Sweeney for their first goal.
“We’ve got a team that is capable of beating anybody on their day but they’ve all got to turn up. Kalvin was exceptional once he got the ball and opened up they couldn’t stop him.
“George Porter played like a man possessed, I’ve never seen that before, and I told him if you play like that ‘you’re the first name on the team sheet’. Ody caused problems and Luke Allen was exceptional before he came off injured.”
The result keeps Dartford on the fringes of the title race – and King revealed he told his players it was now-or-never before the game.
“I said to the boys before the game that if Dorking beat us that they’d win the league as we’re not going to make up 13 points in 11 games,” admitted King.
“But if we beat them then we’re seven points and if we win our game in hand then we’re within four points.
“If we hadn’t won, we’d be starting to think about plan B and making sure we cement in the play-offs and go from there.”