|Date||Time||League||Season||Attendance||Man of the Match|
|22nd October 2016||3:00 pm||National League||2016-2017||1,073||Ricky Miller|
Magnificent Miller leads Braintree rout
Striker bags four in emphatic win
RICKY Miller scored four times as Dover hammered struggling Braintree Town at Crabble on Saturday.
Miller’s stunning haul included a first-half hat-trick, as Dover came from behind to stun the Essex side and equal their biggest winning margin in the top-flight.
The livewire striker, who also scored a treble against Forest Green Rovers at the venue last month, proved too hot for Braintree to handle, especially in the opening 45 minutes.
He struck three times in 10 minutes as Dover turned a 1-0 deficit following Sam Matthews’ sublime early strike into a 5-1 lead by half-time.
Miller, the leading scorer in the competition with 14 now, added a fourth in the second half before being substituted to a deserved standing ovation.
Aswad Thomas and Jack Parkinson got the other goals to complete a nightmare debut for Iron goalkeeper Joe Taylor, who only signed from Dartford on Friday.
The day started well enough for goalkeeper Taylor as he produced smart saves to deny Ricky Modeste and Jim Stevenson.
But despite the bright start from Dover, it was the visitors who took the lead thanks to Matthews in the 12th minute.
His stunning curling effort from 20 yards gave Dover goalkeeper Mitch Walker no chance.
Dover almost provided an instant response with Taylor doing well to keep out a close-range header from Modeste from the returning Sammy Moore’s free-kick.
But they were soon back on level terms after Taylor fumbled Thomas’ shot, the ball went through his legs and crept over the line.
Miller doubled the advantage after he fired past Taylor after being sent clear by Ross Lafayette’s clever flick.
And Miller didn’t wait long to score his second, firing past Taylor from just inside the area after a neat one-two with Sam Magri.
Walker then produced a great save to deny Matthews before Miller completed his treble with an almost identical strike to his second.
Parkinson made it five after he blasted home his second of the season from close range five minutes from half-time.
The rout did not ease up after the break with Miller firing home a free-kick for Dover’s sixth three minutes after the restart.
But, despite the scoreline, it wasn’t all Dover and Walker made decent saves to deny Michael Cheek, substitute Jack Midson and Simeon Akinola.
Dover had only beaten the Essex side once in the previous past four meetings between the sides before Saturday and only scored a single goal in the process.
They changed that disappointing record in stunning fashion – red-hot Miller saw to that.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
|Referee||Referee's Assistants||Fourth Official|
|Neil Hare||Christopher Wicks|
|Crabble Athletic Ground|
|40 Crabble Rd, Dover, Kent CT17 0QJ, UK|