Dover Athletic v Maidstone United

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Date Time League Season Attendance Dover Star Player Home Scorers Away Scorers
26th December 2017 3:00 pm National League 2017-2018 2,078 Kadell Daniel Nortey (58), Bird (80) Pigott (36, 41)

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RYAN Bird’s goal ten minutes from time saw Whites complete an impressive second-half comeback in a thrilling Boxing Day Kent derby at a rainy Crabble.

Trailing to two Joe Piggott strikes at the break, Nortei Nortey headed home shortly after the restart and Bird pounced to level the scores after visiting keeper Lee Worgan parried sub Kadell Daniel’s cross-cum-shot to Athletic’s top scorer.

The visitors fashioned the first chance, but Aaron Collins was unable to direct Piggott’s high ball into the box on target.

The Wolves loanee then tried again, this time testing home stopper Mitch Walker from twenty-yards.

Dover’s first shot on target came on 21 minutes from Bird as he headed Mitch Pinnock’s free-kick straight at Worgan.

And Anthony Jeffrey also attempted to score with his head, but nodded Josh Passley’s centre well wide of the mark.

A set piece provided Whites next chance as Connor Essam nodded over Pinnock’s corner.

And seconds later Bird almost put the hosts ahead.  The striker fired Femi Ilesanmi’s low cross towards the bottom corner, but Worgan flung himself to tip the ball around the post.

But it was the away side who had the lead ten minutes before the break.

Seth Nana Twusami took advantage of hesitation by Jeffrey and crossed for Collins, who flicked the ball away from Walker’s clutches and straight to the laying-in-wait Piggott to take a touch and curl into the far corner.

And Maidstone’s top scorer doubled his match tally minutes later.

The forward was left alone in the box to power in his 12th of the season from Jamar Loza’s accurate cross.

The forward almost had his hat-trick after the break, but was unable to get the better of Walker at the near post after winning a tussle in the penalty area.

Skipper Mitch Brundle almost had Dover back in contention, striking the underside of the crossbar with a stunning 30-yard lob.

And Athletic went close again minutes later with Worgan forced to tip over Passley’s floated ball into the box.

The home pressure continued with Bird a whisker away from connecting to Pinnock’s driven pass across the goalmouth.

But Dover were back in the game with just over 30 minutes left of the clock.

Passley tossed in a ball from the right for Nortey to head into the bottom corner – past Worgan’s despairing grasp.

The home crowd were almost celebrating an equaliser shortly after, but Kadell Daniel stabbed over Manny Parry’s ball to him from close range.

But the substitute proved integral to Whites equaliser ten minutes from time.  The winger’s long-range shot from an angle deceived Worgan, who could only parry the ball upwards, allowing Bird to gleefully prod in his twelfth National League goal of the season.

Stones’ goalie faired better when blocking Pinnock’s lashed effort with his legs as the home team searched for a winner.

And it looked like Giancarlo Gallifuoco would complete a stunning turnaround, but Worgan somehow caught the Australian’s point-blank header from Brundle’s cross.

Earlier, boss Kinnear kept with the same side that drew at Wrexham on Saturday.

Whites next host FC Halifax Town on Saturday 30th December.  Kick off 3 pm.

DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION

MATCH GALLERY

Dover Athletic

1Mitch Walker Goalkeeper
2Josh Passley Defender 58'
4Giancarlo Gallifuoco Defender
6Connor Essam Defender
5Manny Parry Defender
3Femi Ilesanmi Defender
8Mitch Brundle Midfielder, (c)
18Nortei Nortey Midfielder 58'
25Anthony Jeffrey 23 Forward
11Mitchell Pinnock Forward
17Ryan Bird Forward 80'
7Kane Richards Forward
12Loui Fazakerley Defender
19James Alabi Forward
23Kadell Daniel 25 Forward Jeffrey 54'
80'
74'
27Aziz Deen-Conteh Defender
  1 2 2 1

First Team Manager: Chris Kinnear

Maidstone United

1Lee Worgan Goalkeeper, (c)
16Nana Ofori-Twumasi Defender
5Alex Wynter Defender
3Alex Finney 6 Defender
13Joe Anderson Defender 73'
8Stuart Lewis Midfielder
14Jai Reason Midfielder
7Jamar Loza 4 Midfielder 41'
27Zavon Hines 11 Midfielder
39Aaron Collins Forward 36'
32Joe Pigott Forward 36', 41'
2Josh Hare Defender
4Reece Prestedge 7 Midfielder Loza 70'
6Magnus Okuonghae 3 Defender Finney 15'
10Jack Paxman Midfielder
11Tom Wraight 27 Midfielder Hines 81'
  3 2 2 1

First Team Manager: Jay Saunders

Substitutions
1
3
Goals
2
2
Assists
2
2
Yellow Cards
1
1
Red Cards
0
0

Officials

RefereeReferee's AssistantsFourth Official
Sam PurkissDele Sotimirin
Nick Dunn
Joseph Stokes

Ground

Crabble Athletic Ground
40 Crabble Rd, Dover, Kent CT17 0QJ, UK