|Dover Star Player
|6th August 2019
|Balanta (26), Brundle (54 pen)
A second-half penalty from Mitch Brundle saw Whites lose their opening home game of the National League season.
The midfielder blasted home from 12 yards after Scott Doe had fouled Angelo Balanta in the box.
Alfie Pavey had levelled with his third goal of the campaign to cancel out Balanta’s earlier opener.
But despite heavy late pressure on the Dagenham goal, Dover lost their opening home fixture for a fourth consecutive season.
Earlier, Visiting stopper Elliot Justham clutched onto Bobby-Joe Taylor’s free-kick and Andy Hessenthaler’s side were given a real fright on the quarter-hour mark.
Matt Robinson’s swirling cross made it’s way to Juan Luque lurking at the back post, but the Spaniard somehow struck the inside of the post from two yards with Angelo Balanta’s follow-up deflected wide.
Bagasan Graham bravely blocked Inih Effiong’s goalbound shot and the hosts were punished shortly before the half-hour point.
On the counter, Luque escaped down the left and passed for Balanta to stab in The Daggers’ first goal of the season.
Spaniard Luque almost grabbed a second from a tight angle, but Scott Doe was back to clear his effort off the line.
That clearance proved crucial as Whites’ equalised shortly before the break through their in-form striker.
Alfie Pavey, who scored a brace at the weekend, rose highest to power in Josh Passley’s cross – a carbon copy of Whites leveller at Chesterfield on Saturday.
Effiong curled a free-kick just wide from the edge of the box and Pavey almost scored again, heading Taylor’s pinpoint cross narrowly over.
Following the restart, Oscar Gobern set Effiong clear, but Dover’s top scorer fired against the legs of Justham,
A former Dover player came back to haunt his side just moments later.
After Doe had fouled Balanta in the area, Athletic’s skipper last season fired home from 12 yards to give the visitors the lead for a second time.
Justham then parried Reason’s low shot and Pavey went close again with his head once again, this time nodding wide of the mark.
Dover continued to attack and Taylor fired just wide after cutting onto his right foot.
The pressure was on the away side and Pavey nearly connected to Passley’s driven cross.
Fervent home support had their arms aloft when Steven Rigg rose highest to meet Taylor’s set-piece, but the substitute forward was unable to hit the target.
Brundle almost made the game safe in injury time, beating Lee Worgan to the ball as the keeper slipped, but the goalie made amends by turning the midfielder’s shot around the post.
Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made two changes to the side that started the 2-1 win at Chesterfield on Saturday, with Pavey and Reason coming in for Rigg and Ricky Modeste, who started as substitutes.
Whites next host Wrexham on Saturday 10th August, kick-off 3 pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE REACTION
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”330″ gal_title=”DAFC v Dagenham & Redbridge 06/08/19″]
|Crabble Athletic Ground
|40 Crabble Rd, Dover, Kent CT17 0QJ, UK