Published: 00:00, 10 September 2017
Tony Burman wore a wry smile when he was asked about Dartford's matchwinner on Saturday.
Mercurial winger Ryan Hayes capped a fine display with a goal and two assists as the Darts beat Chippenham 3-0 in National League South.
Hayes' magical moments over the years have been interspersed with performances that have left his manager tearing his hair out in frustration and it's no different now.
"He’s done all right but if you go back two weeks, he hadn’t done all right," said Burman when Hayes' name was brought up in the post-match interviews.
"That’s Ryan. There’s nothing in between, it’s either down in the dumps or he’s brilliant.
"He’s got it on target today and I’m pleased for him. He knows what he’s got to do and in the end, he’s played well.
"We probably didn’t get the ball out to him in the first 15 minutes as much as we’d like to have done.
"I still think his radar’s not quite there at the moment. He’s finished today, which is great, but I don’t think he’s quite there at the moment.
"He had a good game today but there’s nothing in the middle. He either plays well or he doesn’t. All I would say is that when he isn’t playing well, the little bit of magic can come out of it.
"It’s taken me 10 years but I'm used to him now.
"He loves his football and he’s been great for this club, simple as that."
Hayes was the stand-out performer on Saturday but everyone in a white shirt played their part as Dartford climbed to third in the table with their second big win in less than a week.
Burman said: "I’m pleased we’ve won on Tuesday (4-0 at Whitehawk) and come back and won here today.
"Chippenham have had some good results but we managed the game really well. We haven’t chased things because it hasn’t quite gone our way straight away. We managed the game well from start to finish and thoroughly deserved the three points.
"They were passing the ball around quite well but we felt there was a mistake there. We didn’t get close enough or were a little bit unlucky in the first half but second half we felt that with some of their play, we could get closer to them and nick the ball and have more quality when we won the ball back.
"I think we did that and I’m pleased with the performance from start to finish."
The crucial first goal was scored by Alfie Pavey midway through the first half. The former Maidstone and Millwall striker, who joined Dartford last month after being released by Welling, now has four goals in six games for his new club.
"I’m trying to get a little bit of belief back in Alfie," said Burman, who signed Pavey on loan from Millwall at the end of last season.
"I wanted him to stay here in the summer and, unfortunately for us, he went off somewhere else. He felt that was the right thing for him to do at the time but we managed to get him back.
"He’s got a lot to learn. He’s been a pro but it’s a different ball game here in non-league. You’ve got to earn the right and he has to do that by working hard. He’s doing that but we’ve still got quite a bit more to do with him.
"Having said that, I’m delighted he’s amongst the goals at the moment. It was an excellent goal he scored and I’m pleased for him. He’s still only young but he’s a big lad and, for me, if he works hard, there’s a lot of potential there."
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