Coulson praised 01/11/2023

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Coulson praised 01/11/2023

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Dartford captain Luke Coulson praised by coach Martin Tyler after scoring one and setting up three goals in 4-2 National League South win over Weston-super-Mare.

Martin Tyler was full of praise for Dartford captain Luke Coulson after he scored and one and set up three other goals against Weston-super-Mare on Tuesday night.

First-team coach Tyler was delighted to see Coulson lead from the front after what had been a disjointed start to the game from the home side.

“Luke Coulson was deservedly man-of-the-match,” said Tyler. “Four wins in a row at home is solid.

“Luke put our penalty away very well, as he did at Hemel on Saturday. He was a real leader of the pack, I’m very pleased for him as he is a very conscientious player.

“He’s a coach as well (at Bromley’s academy) so he’s got plenty to challenge us on as staff, and we like those challenges.

“Luke was involved in pretty much everything we did well. He played a huge part in the second half and we ended up with a win, not without the Dartford scare at the end.

“It wasn’t the perfect performance, no-one is pretending that but four goals in this league takes a bit of doing.”

Tyler admitted that keeper Mitchell Beeney’s first-half penalty save was the turning point in the game.

Beeney got down well to his left to keep out former Exeter and Plymouth frontman Reuben Reid’s spot-kick. They bounced back to run out 4-2 winners.

“I think the game turned on it,” he said. “We missed a penalty at Hampton to go 4-3 up with a few minutes to go and I’m sure we would have won that game.

“These things happen. I’ve seen the greatest players take penalties and you’re never sure, the goalkeepers seem to get bigger and the goal smaller when you have that responsibility.

“It was a really interesting game. They started really quickly. Had the penalty not been saved we might have been having a very different conversation.

“The truth is that Mitchell Beeney did save it well and we took it on from there. I thought our equaliser was a super goal on the counter-attack, Paul Rooney has a great touch and it was a great finish.”

After a poor first-half showing, Dartford still went in level at the break. They were much improved in the second half, but not after some tea-cup throwing.

“I think the players recognised at half-time that they were below par,” added Tyler.

“I think there are times where you realise you can improve and it was mentioned that Weston had come a long way.

“Maybe their management will disagree with me but I thought towards the end of the first half there were one or two signs that they were tiring. Obviously, Reuben Reid having to go off helped us considerably as he was fantastic in the first half.

“I think they’ve gone out and done it for their own pride. The home form is good and at times we haven’t played the type of football that Dartford aficionados want to see.

“We found a way to win, it wasn’t teacups at half-time, it was more a case of ‘put that behind us, thanks to Benney’s save and Luke Coulson’s fantastic run and Rooney’s goal it’s 1-1, we can win it from this position’, and we have.”

It proved an eventful evening for Alex Wall, who scored twice and also picked up two yellow cards. He’ll now miss next week’s clash with Chelmsford through suspension.

Wall scored within four minutes of his introduction, was booked for kicking the corner flag in frustration and then scored again to put Darts 4-1 ahead.

But his evening turned sour when the referee decided that he tripped a Weston player on the edge of the area - a view that even the assistant referee didn’t agree with, although he failed to help out the man in the middle.

“Alex Wall came on and made a big contribution with his two goals,” said Tyler. “One of the officials didn’t think, I’m led to believe, that it was a second foul.

“The referee did and we can’t appeal it as it’s a second yellow card, so bitter-sweet for Alex but the two goals will trump that he has to miss a game.”
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