Its a bitter-sweet end to the 2022/23 campaign.

The sun was beating down at the Megger Community Stadium as the two sides preparing to play out a relegation showdown took to the stage. Dover Athletic, having not won at home in their previous six attempts, hosted Weymouth who were the form horse of the two.

It was the team from down on the Solent who started the brightest, most notably with skipper Tom Bearwish who headed straight into the arms of Stuart Nelson after 5 minutes. Moments later and again Nelson was watching an Akheem Rose effort go narrowly wide of his upright.

Dover tried to get into the game but the home sides passing radars were slightly off as the Whites failed to string a series of passes together. Brad Ash for Weymouth was occupying both Dover centre halves and was keeping them honest.

It was the impressive Ash who opened the scoring for the Terras after good work down the right hand side was rewarded with the forward lashing the ball past the helpless Nelson after a neat cut back by the dead ball line.

Dover had a mountain to climb with Weymouth now leapfrogging them in the table and it got even worse for the hosts in the 30th minute when a free header by Rose managed to squirm under the body of Nelson, with the Whites unable to clear from a corner. Luke Wanadio struck the crossbar with on the brink of half-time but it was going to be a tough team talk for Mitch Brundle.

The Whites looked to get back into the game and exerted plenty of pressure on Weymouth but the visiting defence was not in the mood to throw away any goals. It was the story of Dover’s campaign. Plenty of action but nothing to back it up with despite dominating large parts of the game. In South London, Chippenham Town were leading at Dulwich Hamlet, which in the end proved costly for the Hamlet who slid into the drop zone on goal difference.

With moments to go, both sets of fans were singing ‘We are staying up’, but it was done the hard way for the Whites who reclaimed National League status once again. ‘I’m disappointed with the performance and the situation but I’m delighted we have stayed in the division,’ said Brundle post match.


Dover Athletic: Nelson, Judd, Paxman, Sterling, Janjeva, Higgs, Martin, Oliver, Wanadio, Baptiste, Nikaj

Weymouth: Weymouth  Benfield, Howe, Carlyle, Wilson, Sesay, Bearwish, Hemings, Blair, O’Connell, Rose, Ash

Attendance: 1509