Category: Match Report

Truro City 1-0 Dover Athletic

Match Report by Fred Deveson

A beautiful evening in Gloucester saw Dover once again come away with nothing in a game that could have ended differently had some big chances been taken.

The game started with a mesmeric sunset behind the stadium on a chilly evening in Gloucester, and the Whites started the game on the front foot. The ball was laid off to Baptiste on the edge of the area but his effort went over the bar with three minutes on the clock.

Baptiste was at it again a few minutes later with an effort that went much closer, and got a touch on the way for a corner. He and Dover had started well.

Truro started to form some attacks of their own, firing the ball into the front men who held it up and linked the play well.

The “home” side forced a good save by Rowley on minute 20, and the ball fell for the attacker but Oyenuga was there to stop it going in for Dover.

The Whites did not let this get to them, however, as Nikaj had a superb chance to put Dover in front but hit the bar from relatively close range.

It only took Truro 5 minutes after this scare to score the first and only goal of the game. It was a well worked goal with number 9 Harvey finishing well into the bottom corner past the outstretched Rowley.

Soon after, it was Harvey again who attempted a chip on Rowley but the ball bounced back off the bar. The rebound also hit the woodwork and Dover survived.

The second half started poorly for Dover, with the hosts dominating. No notable chances came until the 61st minute, with a flowing move ending in a shot going wide from a good position.

Baptiste was still looking lively and his shot from range went just past Hamon’s goal. Stewart had a shot from a similar position soon after, which was saved well by the goalkeeper.

Substitutions were made during the second half, with Wilkinson and Drakes-Thomas coming on to sure up the midfield, but these did little to impact the game.

The game gradually drew to a close with Truro defending their lead very well and seeing out the 1-0 win to make it back-to-back wins for the team.

A special thank you to the 15 travelling Dover fans who made the journey, a fantastic commitment and the support is hugely appreciated.

The champions Yeovil await Dover on Saturday for the final game of the season.

City: Hamon, Palmer, Adelsbury, Dean, Riley-Lowe, Rooney (Palfrey, 52), Melhado, Porter, Law, Harvey (Brett, 70), Neal (Hinds, 60). Subs not used: Johnson-Fisher, Buse.

Dover: Rowley, Charles-Cook (Drakes-Thomas, 82), Mensah, Holding, Naylor (Wilkinson, 71), Oyenuga, Oliver, Baptiste, Nikaj, Akehurst, Stewart. Sub not used: Young, Neil-Gray, Garrett. 

Referee: Stacey Pearson
Attendance: 73

Hampton & Richmond Borough 1-0 Dover Athletic

Match Report by Fred Deveson

It was a beautiful sunny day for it in Hampton as the Whites were unlucky to leave the game with nothing, while the hosts take all 3 points in a 1-0 win.

The game started fairly evenly, with little action to report for the first 20 minutes. Dover had had a lot of the ball in the opening exhanges, however, and were looking the most likely team to score.

The first chance for the Whites did eventually come in the 24th minute when Wilkinson had a shot saved after a good move by the away side.

The hosts went up the other end from this move, and hit the bar after working their move nicely on the left-hand side. Despite the two chances, the game remained level.

Hampton did turn up the heat from this moment, with a corner coming in and a header being well saved by Rowley. The rebound was then blocked on the line by Naylor who kept the score 0-0.

The visitors came back from this well. Baptiste sees his effort blocked in the box after another good move by Dover, and then the rebound was put over by Nikaj.

Dontai Stewart had been working hard this first half, and his efforts were paid off when he won a header to set himself in behind the defence. His effort then hit the foot of the post and bounced clear.

The second half started much like the first, with little happening in the opening 15 minutes.

The first and only goal of the game came in the 61st minute for the hosts and it was another set piece that carved Dover open again. Hampton had got themselves a lead which was perhaps against the run of play.

George Nikaj had a chance to equalise as the game progressed towards the latter stages. His spin and shot in the box went just wide of the goal.

He then had another chance soon after, getting in behind the defence but he took too long and his effort was blocked the defender as the hosts survive another attack from Dover.

Some late substitutions were made by Dover but these made little impact and the game gradually came to a close, with Hampton and Richmond sealing an important win for their playoff hopes.

It’s a long trip to Gloucester for Dover up next, with the Whites facing Truro in their last away game of the season.

Hemel Hempstead 1-1 Dover Athletic

Match Report by Fred Deveson

An incredibly warm afternoon saw Dover take a late point in Hertfordshire to draw the game 1-1, when it arguably should have been more than just the one point that the Whites took.

The first half was a poor one from the Whites. Rowley was called into action within the first three minutes, being forced into a good save down to his right after a nice move by the hosts.

A few minutes later, our captain was called upon as he cleared a header off the line from their number 9. Dover were under lots of pressure in the opening exchanges at Hemel Hempstead.

The hosts did not let up either, as on minute 20, they put together a lovely passing move which ended in a shot that went just wide of the goal.

The goal did soon come for The Tudors however. Another well worked move ended in the ball coming over to the far side and the wide man hit a beautiful volley beyond Rowley who could do nothing about it. The hosts had a deserved lead.

The manager made two changes at half time in a bid to switch things up for the second half. Wilkinson replaced Young and Stewart came on in place of the carded Kai Garrett.

The second half started in a much better way for the Whites. Wilkinson came on and made a big difference to the team, providing good energy in the midfield. It was his shot that went just wide after a nice move.

Then came what Dover thought was the equaliser. Wilkinson side footed the ball back into the box from near the corner flag and Dontai Stewart nodded it in, but the goal was ruled out for offside much to the confusion of the visiting fans.

Baptiste was much more lively in the second period, and towards the end of the game he had a shot go just wide of the goal after a lovely ball picked him out on the left. Dover were banging on the door now.

It wasn’t until the 90th minute, however, that Dover did eventually find the back of the net (legally). Some excellent work by Charles Cook lead to him crossing the ball which was defended poorly and then prodded home for the Whites with just a few added minutes remaining. A deserved leveler.

The visitors continued to push for that winning goal which nearly came, as Wilkinson’s corner floated just over the bar, but that was to be it for Dover who took just one point back to south east Kent.

Dover Athletic 1-0 Chelmsford City

Match Report by Fred Deveson

Dover 1-0 Chelmsford, and it’s not an April fools joke! Dover came out victorious at Crabble on Monday afternoon as they saw off title challengers Chelmsford City.

The game started and right from the first minute, Dover were more than up for the fight. They were battling hard and winning the ball in good areas.

Despite this, the first chance fell to the visitors. They got the ball in a good position on the left and after a save by Rowley, it was eventually scrambled away and the hosts survived.

Not long after this, however, it was the Whites who took the lead. Luke Baptiste was set free on the left wing and after some good footwork, he put a lovely ball into the box. Charles Cook got on the end of it but his shot was blocked, and it fell to Young who tapped it in for his first ever senior goal.

The first half continued to be dominated by Dover, who had less of the ball but more of the chances. Shortly after the goal, Freddie Oliver headed the ball over the bar after Akehurst’s corner.

The hosts were lethal on the break and the threat continued. Nikaj in particular was playing very well on the right, leading the counter attacks especially well. On this occasion, he worked the ball into the box well but his shot was superbly blocked and it went out for a corner, which came to nothing.

Dover started the second half how they ended the first, with lots of energy and fight. It was Baptiste and Nikaj leading the charge and the two almost combined to get a second for Dover but it wasn’t meant to be on this occasion.

The Whites were looking dangerous from set pieces too, with a header by Naylor finding the fingertips of the Chelmsford goalkeeper. Dover were so close a second that they probably deserved.

Towards the end of the game, the away side did make a push for an equaliser. The crosses and corners came flying inbut the hosts defender exceptionally well.

Rowley was called into action a couple of times, with a save down to his near post being the pick of the bunch as the second half wore on.

The Whites made some changes as the second half drew closer to it’s end, with the manager looking to bring on some fresh legs to help in the defence of the 1-0 lead.

The corners kept coming from the away side but Dover defended every one of them very well and looked incredibly solid. The visitors did not have a clear-cut chance all game.

There was some scrapping between players at the end, but eventually Dover held out and secured what is most likely their best result of the season so far against high-flying Chelmsford.

Dover are back on the road this Saturday against Hemel Hempstead, and will be looking to make it back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Dover Athletic: Rowley (GK); Charles-Cook, Mensah ©, Holding, Oyenuga, Naylor, Young (Wilkinson 90+4’), Oliver, Baptiste, Nikaj (Dembele 85’), Akehurst (Garrett 67’).

Unused substitutes: Stewart, Drakes-Thomas.

Yellow cards: Young.

Chelmsford City: Gray (GK); Barnum-Bobb, Jenkins, Winfield © (Alexander 54’), Brookes; Ochieng, Wordsworth, Dunne (Ruff 66’); Alfa, Carruthers (Francis 54’); Hockey.

Unused substitutes: Castiglione, Watts.

Yellow cards: Winfield, Jenkins, Francis.

Match Officials: Harrison Blair (Referee), David Spain (Assistant), Michael Butcher (Assistant).

Attendance: 628

Welling United 1-0 Dover Athletic

Match Report by Fred Deveson

A warm afternoon in South London saw the hosts Welling United come away 1-0 winners, all but keeping them up this season, and unfortunately relegating Dover Athletic.

The game itself, despite its heartbreaking consequences, was largely uneventful, particularly in the first half.

In the first 30 minutes there was only one or two half chances to note, with one being for the hosts who worked it nicely into the box, but the shot was well blocked.

The Whites had a chance when the goalkeeper fumbled his clearance, but Nikaj couldn’t pounce when the loose ball came to him and the score remained level.

The chances started to come more towards the end of the first half. The hosts got in a good position again and the effort by the forward trickled just wide of the post.

Charles Cook was looking positive from right wing-back, and it was one of his good runs that managed to set free Dembele. The striker took the ball in his stride but could not finish past the Welling goalkeeper.

There was a chance just before the half-time whistle for the home side. A scrappy bit of play in the box eventually fell nicely for the man in red but he fired it just over.

The second half started with the visitors on top. Rowley was called into action down to his right to keep the score at 0-0.

Then came the golden chance for Dover. Charles Cook found himself in a good position and his shot was saved and parried out to Dembele who could not convert.

From this moment on, the feeling grew and grew that the hosts would eventually take the lead.

Rowley was called into action again with around 20 minutes to go, making a good save but giving Welling a corner doing so. This would be the corner that leads to the only goal of the game. The ball came in to the near post and was slotted in to give the hosts the lead.

The Whites did have a chance in the final few minutes of the game, with Wilkinson’s effort from outside the box being tipped over the bar by the goalkeeper.

The hosts then managed to see out the game after a lengthy period of stoppage time, thus ending Dover’s survival hopes and relegating the Whites with 6 games to go.

It’s Chelmsford at home up next on Monday for Dover

Welling United: Charles-Cook, Johnson (Green 64), Byrd, Ellul, Di Trolio, Lema, A Grant, Adigun, Papadopoulos, Amoo (Kennedy 56), R Grant.

Subs (not used): Roscrow, Burchell, Munns.

Booked: Di Trolio 90+2 (time wasting) Lema 90+4 (time wasting)

Goal: Di Trolio 72

Dover Athletic: Rowley, Charles-Cook (Wilkinson 79), Oliver, Nikaj, Akehurst, Naylor, Mensah, Young (Stewart 82), Dembele, Oyenuga (Garrett 88), Holding.

Subs (not used): Drakes-Thomas, Baptiste.

Booked: Young 40 (foul)

Referee: Lisa Benn

Att: 839

Dover Athletic 1-3 Farnborough

Match Report by Fred Deveson

It was a chilly afternoon yesterday on non-league day as Dover fell short in a 1-3 defeat.

The game started superbly for the hosts, who started by having to contain the visitors which they did well. In the first attack of the game for the Whites, Nick Dembele found himself in a good position and he fired Dover in front with a fantastic effort from an ever-tightening angle. 

One may have thought that the hosts would have kicked on from this goal, but that was not to be. Farnborough continued to dominate possession but nothing was coming from it. Dover were defending well.

However it wasn’t long until the visitors did find the breakthrough. A penalty was awarded against Dover much to the anger of Scott Holding the offender. Farnborough converted the penalty and it was 1-1.

The away side got into their groove after this and really kicked on. A long ball came floating over the top from the goalkeeper and the flag stayed down. The forward then chipped Rowley and it was 1-2, again to the anger of the back line who felt the flag should have gone up.

The second half started the same as the first ended. It didn’t take long though before Dover had a good chance to level the game. Dembele got himself in behind the defence and tried to round the goalkeeper but the number one stood his ground well.

Naylor also had an excellent chance from a corner by Wilkinson, but his free header went just wide of the post and Farnborough had survived.

Soon after, the away side extended their advantage. A brilliant header from a well delivered corner put the visitors in front by 2 and they now had a cushion to fall back on.

Some changes were made and the visitors had a chance to make it 1-4 but the game eventually petered out and both sides settled for the 1-3 score line. 

Dover must win against Welling this coming Friday if they are to stay up this season.

Dover Athletic: Rowley, Charles-Cook, Mensah, Holding, Oyenuga, Naylor (Neil-Gray 87mins), Wilkinson (Akehurst 70mins), Oliver, Dembele, Nikaj, Baptiste (Drakes-Thomas 62mins). 

Subs not used: Stewart, Young.

Farnborough: Turner, Norville-Williams, Fearn, Robinson, Pruti, Haigh (Kasimu 78mins), Young, Pendlebury, Kuhl, Holmes (Clark 72mins), Matthews-Lewis (Saied 81mins). 

Sub not used: Bradbury.

Referee: Ayrton Hursey.

Attendance: 565.

Dover Athletic 0-0 Havant & Waterlooville

Match Report by Fred Deveson

It was a lovely, warm afternoon at Crabble yesterday, as Dover drew to Havant and Waterlooville 0-0.

It was the hosts who were on top from the first minute, creating good chances and dominating the ball.

The visitors opted for an offside trap from the start, which was effective in preventing Dover from having time on the ball, but it left them vulnerable in behind.

The Whites worked out that long balls over the top were the most effective route to goal and had some good chances from this.

Dembele was set through a couple of times but the goalkeeper denied him on both occasions. The forward also had a clever header go over the bar but was offside.

The linesman caused some controversy throughout the game with some questionable offside decisions which could have resulted in a goal scoring chance for Dover, but numerous times the flag went up, and some decisions were no doubt questionable.

The times that Dover did get in behind should have resulted in goals. Oyenuga returned to the starting lineup and was excellent defensively and offensively. He got forward well and put a ball in but Oliver fired just wide. 

Havant hadn’t had a sniff all first half. 

They did start the second well, however, and just 3 minutes after the restart they hit the upright with a good effort just outside the box. 

It wasn’t long before Dover were back on the front foot however, and Nikaj was seeing a lot of the ball in the wide areas. His good feet opened up plenty of space for the hosts but it was the same story for the Whites, who just couldn’t finish their chances.

Wilkinson had a great opportunity in the latter stages of the game to score for Dover, but he waited too long and then put his effort wide. 

The visitors saw red in the last 15 minutes, after their player picked up a second yellow. This should have seen Dover score towards the end, with the visitors being a man down but the chances kept coming and going for Dover. 

In the final few minutes, goalkeeper Rowley was called into action for one of the first times in the game and he made an excellent save to earn the hosts a point, when it arguably should have been three. 

A massive game next week against Farnborough awaits the Whites. 

Dover Athletic: Rowley, Charles-Cook, Mensah, Holding, Oyenuga, Naylor, Wilkinson (Baptiste 75mins), Oliver, Dembele (Assidjo 89mins), Nikaj, Allen. 

Subs not used: Oladipo, Young, Akehurst.

Havant & Waterlooville: Worner, Stanley, Innocent, Mcnerney, McCarthy, Carlyle (Jebb 61mins), Seager, Willson, Jewitt-White (Beckford 79mins), Kealy, Whittingham (Roberts 42mins). 

Subs not used: Mukuna, Woolston.

Referee: Tom Ellsmore.

Attendance: 552.

Eastbourne Borough 1-1 Dover Athletic

Match Report by Fred Deveson

It was a windy evening on the south coast as Dover and Eastbourne share the points in a game that the Whites may feel they could have won. 

The game started with Dover largely on top for most of the half. The signs were positive right from the off for the visitors, who pressed hard and worked hard from the first minute.

It wasn’t long before the Whites got the goal they deserved too. A long hall from Scott Holding found George Nikaj who worked his way into the penalty area and finished in the bottom corner. The goalkeeper got a hand to it but couldn’t do anything to keep it out.

Dover didn’t let up here. Iffy Allen switched to the right for a short period and was playing well. He used some trickery to work his way past the full back and his shot was well saved by the goalkeeper.

The Eastbourne number 1 showed signs of nervousness after this, as shortly after his pass was intercepted by Stewart who fired it towards goal, but the goalkeeper recovered just in time to make the save.

Stewart tried to catch the ‘keeper out shortly after, seeing him off his line and his shot went just wide. 

The hosts began to put more pressure on as the first half went on, with corners being their biggest threat. Two excellent balls came in from separate corners and a goal mouth scramble was the result of both. Somehow Dover managed to clear both away and the score remained 0-1 at the interval. 

The second half was much less intense than the first, with the first major chance of note coming in the last 25 minutes. 

Dover’s new number 1 came out to try and claim the ball but the wide man for the hosts went around the goalkeeper and had an open goal. He looked certain to score but for a block on the line to keep Dover in front. The shouts for handball were waved away by the referee.

The Eastbourne goal did eventually come however and it was a painful one for Dover to take. There was some good counter attacking work by Dover and the ball was played across the box for Baptiste to tap in, but he attempted to control the ball and take it round the goalkeeper, which led to the hosts regaining the ball. 

They then launched an attack of their own and after a shot on the edge of the area was deflected slightly, the ball went past the outstretched Rowley and found its way in the back of the net. 1-1.

The hosts piled on the pressure to try and win the game in the dying minutes but Dover held on for a draw. 

A big game against Havant and Waterlooville is up next this Saturday at Crabble. 

Weston-Super-Mare 1-0 Dover Athletic

Match report by Fred Deveson

A serious crash on the M4 saw the team bus arrive late to Somerset and as a result, kick-off was delayed until 4pm. It was the hosts who eventually took all three points, however, in a game that could have gone either way.

Dover actually started the game on the front foot. Luke Baptiste found himself with space on the edge of the area and his shot cannoned of the defender and went behind. Positive start.

This didn’t last long however, as the hosts began to put some pressure on Dover. The number 19 for the hosts was looking lively and had a shot well blocked by Holding.

Peter Ojemen made a nasty tackle shortly after near the dugouts and saw yellow when some may have thought red was more appropriate.

The hosts’ number 8 was beginning to run the show at this point and kept finding space in good areas. He had a long-range effort whistle just past the post.

Jinadu made a couple of excellent stops too, one from a free-kick just outside the area which kept the score level and kept the Whites in it.

Just before half-time the hosts were really piling on the pressure. The Somerset side put in a good ball into the box which was headed just over.

Manager Jake Leberl brought on new signing Dylan Pepe at half time to replace Ojemen and the new defender impressed, making some good tackles and working hard.

Weston-Super-Mare had a good chance though around the hour mark, picking up a free-kick on the edge of the area which was crashed against the post and cleared.

Soon after, Dover had the best chance of the game. Stewart was sent in behind and after some excellent work to put the defender on the floor, he laid it off for Wilkinson who fired it over.

The visitors had another chance soon after. It was Naylor this time who had the ball on the edge of the area but his shot was fired wide of the goal.

Jinadu was called into action again shortly after, pulling off two fine saves after two long range efforts came his way.

The Whites came forward again after this and a long throw came in from Roman Charles Cook, which was flicked on well by Nikaj. Freddie Oliver got his head to the flick on but was denied by a brilliant save by the goalkeeper.

Not long after, the hosts came forward and earned themselves a corner. This was taken quickly and they caught Dover napping. The wide man finished well in the bottom corner past the outstretched Jinadu and the host were one up.

The game then petered out and it was a similar story for Dover Athletic who went back to Kent empty handed once more.

Dover Athletic 0-1 Maidstone United

Match Report by Fred Deveson

There was heavy rain before the start of the game and there were doubts over whether the game would go ahead, but it did nevertheless and it was Maidstone who took all three points.

Dover started the game fairly brightly, with Nikaj looking positive on the right for the hosts. The ball broke for Oliver on the edge of the box but his shot was hit over the bar. 

Soon after, Maidstone were on top. They earned themselves a succession of corners which came to nothing, but the signs of a goal were coming.

It wasn’t long after this that the visitors got themselves a penalty after Naylor fouled their forward in the box. Sam Corne it was who took it, but his penalty went sailing over the bar and Dover were let off the hook.

Daniel Jinadu had a very solid first half for the Whites. He made a couple of excellent saves to keep the score level which gave the hosts a glimmer of hope.

The away side kept up the pressure throughout the first half and kept knocking on the door and eventually they got their reward.Their left back made a good run into the box and fired it across the six yard area where the Stones winger tapped home to make it 0-1.

The second half began and there was a great chance for the hosts to make it 1-1, but Nikaj couldn’t convert his seemingly easychance and the score remained 0-1.

There was an extended stoppage in play shortly after, as Freddie Oliver’s challenge left the Maidstone midfielder in a heap on the floor. The Dover number 8 saw yellow for this tackle.

It wasn’t long after this that Jake Leberl made some changes. Dembele, Oladipo and Allen all came on but they didn’t make much impact as Maidstone had a firm grip of the game by this point. 

The visitors kept up the pressure and should’ve doubled their lead. A corner came in from the right hand side and was met well, but Jinadu got down quickly to make the save and keep the score at 0-1.

There was a bit of late pressure from Dover, with Wilkinson putting in a good corner but no one got on the end of it and it flew behind for a goal-kick. 

The game then petered out with the away side managing the game well and seeing it out until the final whistle. The visitors take all three points back up the M20 in their pursuit of a playoff place.

It’s Weston-Super-Mare up next for Dover as they look to turn around their recent poor form.

Dover: Jinadu, Charles-Cook, Mensah, Naylor (Oladipo 87mins), Holding, Ojemen, Oliver, Young (Dembele 64mins), Wilkinson, Stewart (Allen 73mins), Nikaj. Subs not used: Hatcher, Neil-Gray.

Maidstone: Covolan, Brown, Fowler, Greenidge, Ezennolim, Gurung, Corne, Berkeley-Agyepong (Sole 83mins), Rush, Faal (Reynolds 82mins), Tanga. Subs not used: Earle, Appiah, Duku.

Referee: Nathan Oakes.

Attendance: 1,203.