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.