DOVER 1-0 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE
A STUNNING goal from Mitch Pinnock saw Whites secure a narrow win against Dagenham & Redbridge at a wet and muddy Crabble on Tuesday night.
With his back to goal and surrounded by a couple of Daggers defenders, the midfielder’s audacious 25-yard overhead kick flew over a stunned Mark Cousins and into the back of the Dagenham net as Dover ended a run of two consecutive league defeats.
But it was John Still’s men who started the brighter, with home keeper Mitch Walker forced into action with seconds of the kick off as he beat away Charlee Adams’ piledriver.
Giancarlo Gallifuoco thought he had given the home side the lead after slotting in Mitch Brundle’s set piece, however the Australian’s effort was disallowed for a foul in the build-up.
Brundle then created a chance of his own making, beating the visiting defence for pace, only for Cousins to smother the ball at the captain’s feet.
Pinnock struck the opener and within ten minutes Whites almost doubled their lead.
Femi Ilesanmi powered a shot towards goal, only for Cousins to parry the ball towards Liam Bellamy. However the midfielder, making his first start since rejoining the club in December, could only head the rebound onto the roof of the net.
And Bellamy went closer still after the restart, prodding inches wide from Pinnock’s long throw.
Pinnock then almost scored directly from a corner, only for Luke Howell to head the ball away from underneath his own crossbar.
Walker was then alert to hold onto Fejiri Okenabirhie’s firm shot after the winger stole the ball off Ilesanmi.
At the other end, Ryan Bird flashed an effort past the post after latching onto Pinnock’s back heel on the edge of the penalty box.
The striker then looked to turn provider, flicking the ball on for Connor Essam to volley inches wide of the far post.
And those misses almost proved costly as Dagenham wasted a couple of chances to earn a point late in the game.
Substitute Michael Cheek dragged the ball just off target from an angle and Gallifuoco was well placed to clear Okenbirhie’s goalbound effort off the line.
Ilesanmi almost sealed the win in injury time, but Cousin punched clear his cross-cum-shot.
But Chris Kinnear’s men held on to seal their first win against Dagenham at the fifth time of asking.
Earlier, boss Kinnear made two changes to the side that started away at Solihull on Saturday. Bellamy and Josh Passley replaced Nortei Nortey and Ejiro Okosieme, who were both named as substitutes. Kevin Lokko, signed on loan from Stevenage earlier in the day, was also on the bench.
Athletic next travel to AFC Fylde on Saturday 24th February. Kick off 3pm.
Dover: Walker, Passley (Okosieme 85), Gallifuoco, Essam, Parry, Ilesanmi, Brundle (c), Bellamy, Pinnock (Nortey 89), Bird, Jeffrey (Daniel 54).
Subs not used: Alabi, Lokko.
Dag & Red: Cousins, Nunn, Pennell, Robson (c), Robinson, Howell, Okenabirhie, Sparkes (Kandi 72), Adams, Bloomfield (Cheek 60), Howells.
Subs not used: Moore, N’Gala, Bonds.
Referee: Carl Brook
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE REACTION
|Date||Time||League||Season||Full Time||Attendance||Man of the Match|
|20th February 2018||7:45 pm||National League||2017-2018||90'||677||Mitch Pinnock|
|Crabble Athletic Ground|
|40 Crabble Rd, Dover, Kent CT17 0QJ, UK|
|Referee||Referee's Assistants||Fourth Official|
|Carl Brook||Daniel Berry|