Kent derby goes the way of the hosts.

It was a match that started brightly for both teams with the usual busyness of a local derby, with both teams sizing up the other in a fast and frenetic start. Once the dust had settled, the Whites looked to settle in their new 3-5-2 formation. It was a steady if not spectacular start with the visitors just lacking that killer ball in the final third, something that of course has been lacking recently.

It looked like the teams were going to head into the break with the scores level when with just minutes to go before half-time, Amantchi pounced to put the hosts 1-0 to the good. It was a sucker punch for us as we certainly didn’t deserve to go in losing.

The Whites huffed and puffed in the second half with first Nick Dembele replacing Archie Hatcher at half-time and then Luke Baptiste replacing Johl Powell midway through the second half, but neither could get Dover back on an even keel. Maidstone threatened late on when Dover surged up the field looking to grab an equaliser, leaving large holes in what had been an otherwise impressive defensive showing.

The referee signalled the end of the match and it was now 16 games without a league win with yet again the opposition coaching staff praising the effort and work rate of the side. It’s back to the drawing board, but still plenty to play for.

Mitch Brundle speaking to Kent Online Sport said ‘We need a ricocheted goal or something to break us out of the cycle. I thought we did everything. We defended really well in certain aspects. Obviously the game gets stretched late on and they start to have their chances because we’re throwing everything to go and get a goal but we just haven’t got the goal scorer yet. I’m proud of the boys even though it is a defeat in a Kent derby which does really hurt me. I don’t enjoy going home when we haven’t won – I don’t even enjoy draws at the minute. A goal scorer I know for a fact will change what we’re doing this season (and) I’m still looking to bring other players in. We’re just trying to strengthen in every way we can and we’re allowed to do so. It means players will have to move on because they haven’t done it so far this season, so we are getting there, we have got the targets.’

Dover Athletic: Terrell, Oyenuga, Christie, Mensah, Lock, Allen, Dunne, Anifowose, Powell, Stewart, Hatcher

Subs: Nikaj, Baptiste, Dembele, Young, Charles-Cook

Maidstone United: Covolan, Fowler, Brown, Corne, Wanjua-Smith, Aransabia, Rush, Bone, Amantchi, Gurung, Petrasso

Subs: De Graft, Reynolds, Earle, Sole, Iandolo

Attendance: 1867