Eastbourne Borough manager Tommy Widdrington heaped praise on veteran striker Gary Hart after their 0-0 draw with Dorchester at Priory Lane on Tuesday night.
With Elliott Charles injured and strikers James Walker Kezie Ibe, Charles Ademeno and David Knight all departed, much of the attacking onus has fallen on the 36-year-old former Brighton man.
Hart has relished the additional responsibility of leading the attack and his experience has helped the talented and hard-working young striker Darren Lok.
Lok, of similar stature to Hart, more than held his own against the bruising giants in the Dorchester rearguard.
Hart, who made 373 professional appearances for Brighton, has no doubt passed on a few useful pointers to Lok on how to cope with the physical demands of being a centre forward in the Blue Square South.
Together, Lok and Hart hustled the defence on Tuesday and never allowed them time to settle or gain forward momentum.
It was the pace of Lok that drew the first booking for Dorchester’s Aaran Pugh in the first half and Hart completed a miserable night for the centre back when he was given a second yellow after a second-half altercation.
Lok later tweeted, “Battered and bruised, tightest groin ever.” Pugh also left his mark in the Priory Lane dressing room by booting a hole in the wall after his dismissal.
Widdrington certainly believes Hart’s experience is a positive influence on the younger players in his dressing room.
He said, “Bless him Gary Hart. I said in the dressing afterwards the players can take a lot from his performances.
“He is in the twilight of his career but to have that passion and desire to win is a great example to the youngsters.”
Hart has made 21 appearances this season and scored once.
He has played the full 90 minutes in he last three league games against Farnborough, Eastleigh and Dorchester.
Against Eastleigh he was awarded man of the match and he also received the Eastbourne Herald man of the match for his display against Dorchester.