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