|Date||Time||League||Season||Attendance||Dover Star Player||Home Scorers||Away Scorers|
|26th November 2019||7:45 pm||National League||2019-2020||687||Ruel Sotiriou||Sotiriou (4,14) Rooney (67)||Cassidy (9, 44) Upward (36), Ellul (53)|
Dover were on the wrong side of a thriller at Crabble on Tuesday night, though nearly completed an impressive comeback against 10-man Maidenhead United.
Leyton Orient loanee Ruel Sotiriou, on a hattrick having twice put Dover ahead in the first half, saw his late spot-kick saved by visiting goalkeeper Chris Dunn.
Jake Cassidy had levelled in between Sotirou’s goals, with Ryan Upward also equalising for the Magpies in a pulsating first half.
Cassidy put the visitors ahead for the first time before the break and Joe Ellul, who was sent off for a second yellow card in injury time, stretched Maidenhead’s lead after the break.
Rooney stooped down to nod Athletic back into the match, but Andy Hessenthaler’s men were unable to find a leveller despite late heavy pressure.
It was the perfect start for Dover and Sotiriou after just five minutes.
The Cypriot headed Bobby-Joe Taylor’s set-piece into the top corner, though visitors Maidenhead were level four minutes later thanks to Cassidy.
The striker latched onto a ball over the top and planted the ball into the bottom corner, out of reach of home keeper Yusuf Mersin’s despairing dive.
But Sotiriou restored the lead again just minutes later, taking advantage of a mix up in United’s defence.
Two Magpies defenders clashed when trying to clear the same ball and Sotiriou, still with work to do, flicked the ball over his head and into past visiting stopper Dunn.
Remy Clemira nearly restored parity, with Mersin’s tip-over equally as spectacular as the defender’s audacious back-heel volley from Josh Smile’s corner.
It was Dunn’s turn to impress between the sticks, getting down low to palm away Jai Reason’s low drive.
Mersin turned James Akintunde’s bottom-corner bound shot behind the post and Michael Woods was well-placed from the resultant set-piece.
Athletic’s Captain cleared a Maidenhead header off the line to keep his side one goal ahead on the half hour mark.
However, the scores were level again when Upward found the same corner as Cassidy after Akintunde had capitalised on Scott Doe’s poor clearance.
Having twice been behind, Maidenhead then went into the break ahead when Cassidy took advantage of static Dover defending to run clear and slot in to make it 3-2.
And there was no stopping a rampant away side going further ahead after the restart when Ellul slid in between two Dover defenders to score his side’s fourth of the evening.
The two-goal deficit prompted Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler to make a triple substitution, however it was two of the starting XI that pulled the hosts back into the game.
Taylor swung in a free-kick for Paul Rooney to stoop down and nod past Dunn, the Irishman’s first goal for Whites.
Mersin saved well from Akintunde and then Josh Kelly to keep the score at 4-3 to Maidenhead.
And the drama was not over as Whites missed the chance to level from 12 yards after Ellul fouled Ricky Modeste after the sub had outpaced the centre back.
Sotiriou, on a hattrick, saw his penalty pushed to the side and Taylor then went close as Dunn beat away his free-kick from the edge of the box.
And despite late heavy pressure from the home side, Athletic were unable to find a way back into the game.
Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made one change to the side that drew with Solihull on Saturday as Sotiriou came in for Steven Rigg.
Whites next travel to League One Peterborough United in the Emirates FA Cup second round on Sunday 1st December, kick off 2pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”369″ gal_title=”DAFC v Maidenhead United 26/11/19″]
|Referee||Referee's Assistants||Fourth Official|
|Samuel Allison||Aurel Onita|
|Crabble Athletic Ground|
|40 Crabble Rd, Dover, Kent CT17 0QJ, UK|