Dover fall to defeat as play-off chasing Worthing taste victory.

Worthing began the brightest of the two sides, forcing two early corners as the Whites tried to settle into a rhythm. Dover managed to weather the storm with Josh Ajayi breaking the offside trap in the 5th minute to race onto a through ball, only for Harrison Male in the visiting goal to clear with his head.

The visitors took the lead inside ten minutes when a nod down in the box from Joel Colbran was neatly finished by Kane Wills. It had been coming with Worthing applying early pressure.

Dover looked to hit back immediately when a beautiful whipped free-kick by Martin on the right was met by Myles Judd, only for his header to sail over the bar and the linesman to raise his flag. Moments later and Worthing nearly doubled their lead when a cross on the left by Meekums evaded everyone including the far post. It was a let off for Dover who were looking a little shell shocked after the goal.

In the 18th minute, neat play between David Boateng and Josh Ajayi unlocked the Worthing defence, only to see Ajayi’s shot saved smartly by Male. Almost immediately it was the turn of the Dover goalkeeper to make a save when Nelson palmed away Oliver Pearce’s effort for a corner.

Ajayi looked the most likely to score last Saturday and he nearly opened his Dover account on 24 minutes when again Boateng linked up with the forward, only to see his effort graze the roof of the net.

A minute later and the Whites had a mountain to climb. Again Colbran doing the damage down the right with a superbly weighted slide pass into the path of Pearce who slotted into the bottom corner to double Worthing’s lead.

With Dover now chasing the game, Boateng, who had been teeing up Ajayi, decided to go on his own and arrowed a low drive across goal that Male seemed to get a finger too. From the resulting corner, that man again Colbran, headed off the line from under his own crossbar.

It was a flurry of corners for the visitors at the tail end of the first half that brought about some fine defending and a cracking save by Nelson, diving down to his near post. It was vital for Dover to not concede again before the break with the manager preparing his half time notes.

Dover never took their chances in the first period and it continued after the restart when Boateng fired tamely into the keepers hands from close range. At this point you are just thinking its going to need someone to score off their backside to break the goal drought.

George Wilkinson had entered the fray at half time and nearly halved the deficit when a curling shot was deflected wide for a corner. There were huge shouts from the home players who turned to the referee, only to see him pointing to the corner flag. It looked like a penalty but nothing doing.

Worthing began to apply some pressure of their own with a succession of corners causing chaos in the River End penalty area that Stuart Nelson was glad to claim at the second attempt.

And it was the River End again that was the centre of the action in the 70th minutes as Jake Goodman was deemed to have tripped Meekums In the penalty area which resulted in a spot kick and a red card for the Dover defender, for presumably being the last man. It was a harsh decision at a time when Dover were looking to take control. Kealy stepped up and struck the ball straight down the middle to put the visitors 3-0 up.

Alfie Pavey had replaced Josh Ajayi and nearly made an impact, cutting inside his man and forcing a smart save from Male who was largely a spectator in the second half.

Myles Judd was sticking to the cause with first a saving tackle when it looked like Worthing were about to score and secondly when he received a harshly given yellow card for what looked like a fair tackle on the halfway line.

With time ebbing away, Pavey again jinxed his way into the box, turning his defender inside out before unleashing a shot that was palmed away for a corner. It was a bright cameo from the substitute who was keen to get his name on the score sheet.

We were all keen for anyone to get on the scoresheet for the home team but for the third successive match it was not to be the case. The difference between the two sides was the fact that Worthing took their chances and we didn’t.

Slough away this Saturday will be another stern test. Hopefully we will see you there.


Dover Athletic: Nelson, Judd, Sterling, Paxman A, Goodman, Higgs, Martin, Carney, Ajayi, Paxman J, Boateng

Subs: Pavey, Wilkinson, Baptise, Byford, Oliver

Worthing: Male, Colbran, Livesay-Austin, Wills, Racine, Rodari, Chambers, Pearce, Kealy, Myles-Meekums

Subs: Bowry, White, Beresford, Akanbi, Thorn

Attendance: 566