A late Aldershot penalty dented Dover’s play-off aspirations at the EBB Stadium on Monday.
Matt McClure’s 75th minute spot kick saw the Shots replace Whites in fifth spot, but boss Chris Kinnear’s men are only one place and one point behind their promotion rivals and with a game in hand.
The visitors made a lively start and Ricky Miller beat the offside trap following a ball over the top, but the lack of a lineman’s flag seemed to catch the striker off guard, allowing the home defence to track back and block his effort.
Ricky Modeste then took aim from the edge of the box, but his arrowed effort flew just wide of goalkeeper Jake Cole’s left hand post.
The home side fashioned their first chance when Scott Rendell escaped down the right, but his pass was unable to find a team-mate.
Aldershot began to dominate possession, but Dover’s stubborn rear guard restricted them to long range strikes, with Cheye Alexander, Nick Arnold and Bernard Menshah all blazing over Mitch Walker’s goal.
But Dover’s stopper was forced into action mid-way through the first half, palming behind Rendell’s audacious effort from the byline.
Then it was the turn of visitors to register their first effort on target. Joe Healy’s set piece was met by the head of Connor Essam, however Will Evans was on the line to clear the danger.
Evans, Shamir Fenelon and Callum Reynolds were all thwarted by Walker after the break as Aldershot peppered the Dover goal with shots on target.
The keeper could only watch though as Nick Arnold’s cross struck the post’
Second half substitute Idris Kanu was booked for simulation minutes later following Essam’s attempt to challenge the youngster in the area.
But the burly centre back’s relief was short lived as referee Neil Hair pointed to the spot after he fouled Jake Gallagher with a mistimed tackle in the area following a clever pass from Fenelon.
Sub McClure smashed the resulting spot kick down the middle and out of reach of a diving Walker.
Essam almost made amends at the other end, but headed sub Mitch Pinnock’s free- kick straight at Cole.
Walker was then almost left red faced at the other end after he failed to hold onto Anthony Straker’s fierce strike, but was able to grab the ball at the second attempt before it crossed the line.
Former West Ham youngster Kanu received his marching orders late on for a rash tackle on Chris Kinnear Jr and Athletic almost made the extra man advantage count.
With time running out, Aswad Thomas bravely headed a corner wide and Ross Lafayette nodded Walker’s long kick straight at the keeper.
Amazingly there was still one more chance for Whites to snatch a point at the death.
Miller created space for himself in the box, but his effort was blocked. The rebound fell to Kinnear Jr with the goal at his mercy, but the midfielder scuffed the ball wide.
Earlier, boss Kinnear made one change to the team that beat Southport 3-0 on Good Friday, Thomas replacing Moses Emmanuel, who dropped to the bench.
Aldershot: Cole, Arnold (Straker 66mins), Evans, Fenelon, Rendell (McClure 62mins), Mensah, Alexander, Gallagher, Kellerman (Kanu 45mins), Benyu, Reynolds.
Subs not used: Oyeleke, Smith.
Dover: Walker, Magri (Lafayette 75mins), Thomas, Essam, Orlu, Modeste, Miller, Grimes, Sterling, Healy (Pinnock 59 mins), Hurst (Kinnear Jr 45mins).
Subs not used: Fazakerley, Emmanuel
Referee: Neil Hair
Ass: Michael Ryan, Kieran Bailey
Bookings: Hurst, Kanu, Essam
3857 with 265 from Dover
|17th April 2017||3:00 pm||National League||2016-2017|