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Dartford manager Jamie Coyle reacts to 2-0 win over East Thurrock

Jamie Coyle praised Dartford’s work ethic after they ended a run of three straight defeats on Monday.

Darts moved to within a point of the National League South play-off places with a 2-0 home win over East Thurrock.

Ben Greenhalgh headed in the second after skipper Tom Bonner’s opener was Dartford’s first goal in 411 minutes of football.

Ben Greenhalgh celebrates scoring Dartford's second goal against East Thurrock. Picture: John Westhrop
Ben Greenhalgh celebrates scoring Dartford's second goal against East Thurrock. Picture: John Westhrop

“It’s been a tough couple of weeks,” said Dartford joint-manager Coyle. “We’ve worked hard on the training pitch to get things right and I thought especially in the first half we were brilliant.

“It looked like there was only going to be one team in it. We had a goal chalked off because the linesman thought it was someone else who scored. They apologised after the game and fortunately for us it didn’t have an impact on the result.”

Darts had greater balance with Lee Noble and Elliot Bradbrook back together at the heart of their midfield.

They also opted for a two-man frontline as Jamie Philpot was supported by Kudus Oyenuga.

“The last two games we’d had two shots on target and that was a concern,” said Coyle.

“To be fair to the boys they’ve stuck to the game plan. Ben Greenhalgh put some brilliant balls in, like he has done all season, in the first half and we looked like we were going to get on the end of it from open play.

“We’ve got a clean sheet and it’s brilliant for the back five. The work-rate we got from Jamie and Kudos in the first half gravitates throughout the whole side and it gave us an impetus to get higher up the pitch and support that press.

“I’m really pleased for the boys. You could see in the second half when it was only 1-0 that there were a few nerves out there because of the recent run we’ve been on. It’s understandable but they’ve dug in and deserved the win.”

Read the match report from Dartford's 2-0 win over East Thurrock here

Coyle was full of praise for the returning Noble and has urged some of the new faces in Dartford’s squad to look and learn from the experienced midfielder.

“He’s always on the front foot and in the face of the opposition. It allows everyone in midfield and the back four to get higher up the pitch and press with him,” added Coyle.

“He’s a catalyst of so much what the club has done in the past and what we’re going to do this year. You can really see when he doesn’t play that we miss him.

“If he isn’t playing for whatever reason, other players have got to take their chance, look at the influence he has when we’re in and out of possession and take a leaf out of his book. If they do that, they’ll be in a great position.”

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