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Dartford FC joint-boss Jamie Coyle on the 3-2 win over St Albans City

Elliot Bradbrook had a message for his manager after scoring a screamer for Dartford on Saturday.

Bradbrook picked out the top corner from 25 yards to get the Darts on their way to a 3-2 win over play-off rivals St Albans.

It was his eighth goal of the season and it was the perfect response to a jibe from Bradbrook's joint-boss Jamie Coyle.

Elliot Bradbrook scored his 141st goal for Dartford on Saturday Picture: Sean Aidan
Elliot Bradbrook scored his 141st goal for Dartford on Saturday Picture: Sean Aidan

Coyle said: "I keep saying to him I'm getting bored of him scoring goals with his head on the far post.

"He's obviously not taking penalties this year but he's just put one in from about 30 yards and he reminded me of that as soon as he came over after the celebration.

"He said 'I've got one with my feet' and I'm pleased for him.

"He's so important, he's a leader and he led by example today - although it was his man who scored from the short corner so I'll remind him of that as well!

"But he was outstanding today and what a goal to start us off."

The other two Dartford goals were scored by Phil Roberts, who joined the club last month.

Roberts hadn't found the net in his first four appearances but looked dangerous right from the start against St Albans.

Coyle said: "I'm really pleased for Phil Roberts. He was electric today, unplayable, and he's taken his goal brilliantly at the end - it was worthy of winning the game.

"Yes, he could have timed (some of) his runs better or the balls could have been played earlier but we've got someone now that can go in behind and he's got such intelligent movement.

"He's worked so hard to get sharp and to get match fit. It was always going to be a bedding-in phase with him but he's shown today the quality he's got."

Dartford handed a debut to Billy Crook, having signed the midfielder from Braintree earlier in the week.

Coyle said: "Crooky had a brilliant debut considering he hasn't played for weeks so there's lots of positives to take out of today.

"We tried to sign him in the summer but he had ambitions of playing at the higher level so you say 'all the best'.

"He's a player that is so comfortable on the ball and he can make you tick and build through the thirds.

"It was tough today. They played a 4-3-3 in the first half so they had three in there against our two but he still, at times, got on the ball and created some good opportunities. It was his ball for the winner at the end as well.

"I'm really pleased for Billy. We knew he's got quality and he's only going to get better.

"He's not fit at the moment and he got through 90 minutes because we've had another injury with Ronnie Vint so he's only going to improve. It's exciting times ahead."

Asked about the injury to centre-half Vint, Coyle said: "I think he's got a dead knee.

"Sam Merson landed on the back of his knee when they had a collision of heads. Hopefully it's only an impact and and he hasn't twisted it."

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