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Dartford midfielder Lee Noble played through the pain barrier against East Thurrock

By Matthew Panting

Lee Noble played through the pain barrier as Dartford ended a four-game winless run on Monday.

Inspirational Noble was back in starting line-up for the first time since August 11 – and put in a man-of-the-match performance to lead Darts to three points.

But Noble, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, revealed that he aggravated a calf problem early in his return.

Lee Noble wins the ball in the air on his return to the Dartford side against East Thurrock on Monday. Picture: John Westhrop
Lee Noble wins the ball in the air on his return to the Dartford side against East Thurrock on Monday. Picture: John Westhrop

“I’ve had a few different injuries but one thing has led to another,” said Noble.

“I had a twisted knee, a bruised shin and a twisted ankle and then that led to a pulled calf when I was doing some running on Thursday!

“I had the problem in pre-season so we need to try and strengthen it up.

“I felt my calf in the first 15 minutes so I tried not to do anything too stupid and held it together. I was pleased with my performance and pleased to get the win.

“I’m getting more experienced now and know how to do less running by taking up better positions.”

Noble has shared his team-mates’ frustrations in recent weeks, despite not being able to get out and play.

The busy schedule meant he sat out last weekend’s defeat at Hungerford, knowing he’d be able to return against East Thurrock.

“It’s always frustrating when you’re not playing, you want the team to do well and when it’s not going well, you can’t wait to get back out there,” said Noble.

“I thought about playing on Saturday but we didn’t think I’d be able to do two games in three days. We decided to pick the home game and it’s worked out.”

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