|Date||Time||League||Season||Attendance||Dover Star Player||Home Scorers||Away Scorers||Red Cards|
|13th January 2018||3:00 pm||The FA Trophy||2017-2018||565||Mitch Brundle||Parry (6), Bird (29), Pinnock (54), Brundle (80)||Mitchley (10, 75 pens), Brewster (74)||Smart (43) (Marine)|
WHITES progressed to the third round of the Buildbase FA Trophy, but not without a fright as ten-man Marine pushed Chris Kinnear’s men all the way in an exciting encounter at Crabble on Saturday.
Manny Parry’s early header was counteracted by Danny Mitchley’s penalty minutes later. Ryan Bird put Dover back in control and their task was seemingly made easier by Billy Smart’s red card before half-time.
Mitch Pinnock gave the hosts a two-goal advantage, but Mitchley’s second spot-kick of the match kept the Mariners in the tie.
And Home fans thought the tie was over once Mitch Brundle slotted home to make it 4-2, but Michael Brewster’s clever turn and finish set up a tense final few minutes.
It was almost the best possible start for Dover as Martin Fearon saved well from Connor Essam’s precise header.
And it looked like a long afternoon ahead for 150 travelling fans as Parry helped the ball into the top corner from Kane Richards’ flick following a looping ball into the area from Brundle.
But the away side hit back two minutes later from the penalty spot. Home stopper Mitch Walker’s foul on James Short was duly punished by their leading marksman Mitchley.
Giancarlo Gallifuoco saw a headed effort cleared away from underneath the opposition crossbar, but Whites’ second goal of the afternoon duly arrived midway through the opening half.
Femi Ilesamni surged down the left-hand side of the pitch, crossing for Bird to head past a helpless Fearon.
The striker, who scored in the previous round against Eastbourne, then nodded Essam’s looping ball wide when well placed.
The hosts’ hopes of qualifying for the last 16 of the competition were further boosted as Smart was shown a straight red card following a reckless challenge on Parry with five minutes of the half to play.
And Athletic almost immediately punished the Evo-Stik Northern Premier side, only for Gallifuoco to blast over from a good position.
But it was Mitch Pinnock who seemingly put the tie out of the visitor’s reach, collecting Bird’s pass and curling a 25-yard shot past the outstretched palm of Fearon.
However, Marine were determined not to give up the tie and Mitchley tested Walker with a volley soon after.
And the top scorer pulled his team back into the match with his second penalty twelve minutes from time. The striker teased a foul out of Parry in the area, before picking himself up and slotting past Whites goalkeeper.
Essam headed sub Kadell Daniel’s straight at Fearon, but the home team had back their two-goal advantage on 80 minutes.
Sub Anthony Jeffrey sprinted clear on the left wing and pulled the ball back for skipper Brundle to Coolly finish into the side of the goal.
But the drama was not over as Michael Brewster smashed into the bottom corner from an angle to set up a frantic five minutes of injury time.
Jeffrey almost sealed the win at the death, beating his marker for pace and firing on target, but Fearon blocked his effort and was up quickly to catch the ball after it rebounded goalwards off Daniel’s thigh.
However, the home crowd did not have to wait much longer for the final whistle to confirm Whites spot in Monday lunchtime’s draw.
Earlier, boss Kinnear kept the same side that starting against Aldershot last week. Anthony Jeffrey and Chris Lewington were named on the bench.
Athletic return to league action next week when they visit Boreham Wood on Saturday 13th January.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
|Referee||Referee's Assistants||Fourth Official|
|Christopher O’Donnell||Paul Lister|
|Crabble Athletic Ground|
|40 Crabble Rd, Dover, Kent CT17 0QJ, UK|