Fleet boss Steve Brown singled out Aiden Palmer for special praise following the left-back’s first ever goal for the club, a sweet free-kick eight minutes from time to complete a 4-0 win over Concord Rangers.
The former Chelmsford defender, 26, has played in the Football League for Leyton Orient and Dagenham & Redbridge – and had trials with Watford in 2011 – but his current manager is mystified as to why Palmer hasn’t broken back into the big time.
“Aiden’s been magnificent all season,” Brown told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “He’s had maybe two average games and the rest have been fantastic. He shouldn’t be at this level in my opinion. I think Aiden’s a terrific defender one v one. He’s composed, he’s better in the air than people give him credit for, for his size. He has a cracking left foot as you’ve seen with the free kick [against Concord] and he’s an absolute gentleman off the pitch as well. I don’t quite understand why people haven’t given him a go higher up.”
And Brown also had a word of praise for stand-in goalkeeper Brandon Hall who came on at half-time on Saturday and distinguished himself with a flying save to deny Concord’s Reece Harris.
“When I took Brandon on,” Brown said, “I explained obviously with Preston having had a couple of great years here and being in the England C setup that he was coming in as a number two but pushing Preston for the number one spot. If I’m honest, he shouldn’t be a number two. He should be playing every week but thankfully for me he decided to come here and has pushed Preston all the way. And every time I’ve called upon him he’s been absolutely fantastic. He’s a great lad and a super professional and I’m pleased he’s here with us.”