League: The FA Cup

The FA Cup

Yeovil Town v Dover Athletic

Dover’s suffered FA Cup heartbreak after losing on penalties at a wet Huish Park on Saturday.

With both sides successfully converting a total of 13 times from 12 yards, Marshall Wratten saw his spot kick saved by home keeper Adam Smith in sudden death.

Andy Hessenthaler’s side had twice fought back to level the scores during an end-to-end affair.  Rhys Murphy scored an early brace, but Louis Collins’ quick-fire double had Whites back on terms at the break.

Joe Quigley headed the Glovers back ahead just after the restart, however TJ Bramble prodded in Whites’ third of the match shortly after the hour mark to take the game to penalties.

The shootout defeat saw Dover fail to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in three seasons, though it looked like their exit from this season’s competition was to be confirmed much earlier thanks to Murphy’s early double.

The striker rifled a left-footed shot into the bottom corner and soon after Josh Staunton had headed against the post, Murphy grabbed another, stabbing in a corner from close range to leave Whites staring at a fifth consecutive loss.

The visitors rallied, with Josh Passley’s rampaging run and pass finding Collins to finish neatly at the far post.

Hessenthaler’s men then struck again with half-time looming as Collins grabbed his second of the match, poaching on Marvel Ekpiteta’s looping header across the goalmouth.

There was still time for Tom Smith, making his debut for Dover following a loan move from Premier League side Arsenal last week, to turn Gabriel Rogers shot around the post.

Smith was at it again after the restart by saving Quigley’s strike, but Dover’s stopper was powerless to stop the burly striker heading in Dan Leadbitter’s cross.

Yeovil continued to attack and Lawson D’Ath was left frustrated as Smith tipped his goalbound shot away for a corner.

Smith’s namesake at the other end was then called into action, blocking from Collins at the far post.

Collins then turned creator for Bramble, heading across the box for the midfielder to slide in Whites’ latest leveller.  

Tom Smith acrobatically saved Staunton’s header and Kurtis Cumberbatch nearly completed a remarkable comeback for Whites, sending a free header straight at Adam Smith.

Rogers almost won it from the glovers, only to be denied by Smith once again.

But it was Adam rather than Tom who stole the headlines in the shootout, saving the crucial penalty to send the Somerset side through to the next round of the cup.

Earlier, Hessenthaler made five changes to the side that started the 2-0 defeat at Torquay last week.  Bilel Hinchiri, Collins, Wratten and Smith replaced Ade Azeez, Steven Rigg, Yusuf Mersin and Sam Wood who were named as substitutes.  Ekpiteta also returned in place of the injured Will De Havilland.

Whites next host Eastleigh in the National League on Tuesday 27th October, kick off 7:45 pm.



Peterborough United v Dover Athletic

Whites exited the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday, but Andy Hessenthaler’s men put up a brave fight against their League One opponents.

Ivan Toney spectacularly fired Posh ahead early on, but a spirited Dover fashioned chances with Will De Havilland, Bobby-Joe Taylor and Jack Munns all going close in the second half, before late goals from Frankie Kent and Mohamed Eisa sent Peterborough into the hat for Monday evening’s third round draw.

The hosts went ahead in some style with the game’s first shot on target.

Toney lashed in a first-time dipping volley over visiting keeper Lee Worgan from 35-yards after De Havilland’s defensive header had fallen towards Posh’s top scorer.

Toney was almost at it again with another volley, smashing Eisa’s cross narrowly wide of the target following a swift counter attack.

Shooting when the ball was in midair seemed a common theme for United, with Louis Reed slamming an effort straight at Worgan from the edge of the box.

Taylor sent a free-kick sailing over the bar for Dover and home fans were groaning when Eisa squandered the chance to double Boro’s lead.

A quickly taken set piece released Joe Ward, but striker Eisa could only slice his teammate’s pass wide from six yards with the goal at his mercy.

Marcus Maddison then blazed over after being sent clear by Toney as Athletic remained just one goal down at the break.

Posh continued to create chances and after the restart Worgan was called into action to rescue his side.

Worgan turned Eisa’s curling shot behind with his fingertips after the striker ran clear of Dover’s defence and opted to shoot rather than pass the ball across goal to the lieing-in-wait Toney.

Toney was then given an opportunity himself, this time by Fraser Blake-Tracey from out wide, but headed inches over the bar.

Worgan stopped Eisa again, pushing behind his low drive after the striker was unselfishly fed by Toney.

Will De Havilland then had home stopper Christy Pym scampering across his goalline line to catch the defender’s header from Kurtis Cumberbatch’s deep cross.

Michael Woods then scooped over Ricky Modeste’s lay-off and Pym dived onto Taylor’s right-footed strike.

Jack Munns then went closest for Dover, collecting sub Nassim L’Ghoul’s pass and curling the ball onto the outside of the post with Pym a mere spectator.

And just minutes later Peterborough’s passage into the third round was sealed.

Maddison’s corner was stabbed in, via the base of the near post, by Posh defender Frankie Kent.

And Eisa sealed victory for Boro, slotting in sub Serhat Tasdemir’s pass with six minutes remaining.

Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made five changes to the side that started against Maidenhead on Tuesday.

Worgan, Cumberbatch, De Havilland, Rigg and Modeste all came in with Yusuf Mersin named as a substitute, Inih Effiong, Aaron Simpson and Oscar Gobern all missing out through injury and Ruel Sotiriou returning to parent club Leyton Orient following a one-month loan spell at Crabble.

Whites next host Boreham Wood in the National League on Saturday 7th December, kick off 3 pm.





Dover Athletic v Southend United

Dover caused an FA cup upset on Sunday afternoon by beating League One Southend United at Crabble in front of the BT Sport cameras.

Substitute Ruel Sotiriou, making his debut after signing on loan from Leyton Orient earlier this month, fired home the winner with seven minutes of the match remaining.

The first round victory sees Andy Hessenthaler’s men qualify for the second round proper for the first time since the 2014/15 campaign.

Jack Munns nearly put the hosts ahead early on when running onto Bobby-Joe Taylor’s pass across the penalty area, only for Nathan Ralph to make a crucial interception before Dover’s midfielder could connect with the ball.

Visiting stopper Nathan Bishop was called into action just moments later, palming away Taylor’s cross-cum-shot.

Stephen McLaughlin volleyed over after bursting into Athletic’s penalty area and Isaac Hutchinson fired low into home stopper Yusuf Mersin’s arms from the edge of the box.

Dover were next to attack and Michael Woods headed Oscar Gobern’s cross wide of Bishop’s far post.

Jai Reason curled Inih Effiong’s lay-off high over the bar, but Whites’ creative player went closer with his next effort.

Reason seized upon a misplaced pass and after a striding forward, forced Bishop to turn his 20-yard drive around the post.

Tom Hopper cleared off the line after Jack Munns’ corner bounced off Joe Shaugnessy and towards goal, with Mersin diving onto Ethan Hamilton’s low shot at the other end.

Munns then blazed Effiong’s placed ball wide following the restart and Reason smashed Munns’ corner narrowly over just after the hour mark.

The home side continued to apply pressure and Paul Rooney nodded another Munns set piece inches over the bar.

With the game on a knife edge, substitute Nassim L’Ghoul nodded Aaron Simpson’s cross straight into Bishop’s midriff.

And the tie was decided by late replacement Sotiriou.

The Cypriot, only on the pitch for two minutes after replacing Steven Rigg, latched onto a long ball and fired across bishop and into the net.

Sub Nassim L’Ghoul stopped United from replying immediately with a brave block on Elvis Bwomono.

Reason then nearly made the game safe with minutes to spare.

The midfielder cut onto his left foot and sent a fine effort onto the corner of the post and crossbar from 20-yards.

But Athletic held on to seal their place in Monday evening’s draw, to be broadcast live on BBC2 from 7 pm.

Earlier, Boss Hessenthaler made one change to the side that started at Fylde last weekend with Taylor replacing the injured Josh Passley.

Whites are in front of the BT Sport cameras once again when they next travel to Yeovil Town in the National League on Saturday 16th November, kick off 5:20 pm.