League: National League

The Vanarama National League. The top of the non-league pyramid and gateway to the Football League.

Yeovil Town v Dover Athletic

Two second half goals sealed defeat for Dover in a hard fought contest at Huish Park.

Whites were ahead inside 15 minutes through Ade Azeez, before Joe Quigley levelled just before the break.

Quigley then doubled his tally early in the second half before Rhys Murphy sealed it with just over 10 minutes to play.

Both sides had early chances with Quigley heading over for the hosts after connecting to a Josh Neufville cross.

Shortly after, Oscar Gobern nearly gave Whites the lead after a deep free kick from Sam Wood was headed back across goal to the midfielder, but his shot was cleared for a corner.

From the corner, Whites did take the lead through Azeez after he was able to poke the ball past home goalkeeper Adam Smith after the stopper had palmed a shot straight out to the Dover striker.

Travis Gregory almost doubled Whites’ advantage on the stroke of half time, but his looping shot from outside the area just missed the target.

Whites were made to rue this miss as Yeovil went straight down the other end to level through Quigley who fired home the equaliser.

Quigley doubled his tally and completed Yeovil’s turnaround minutes into the second half as Alex Bradley’s cross found the forward who headed it over Ollie Webber in the Dover goal.

Murphy doubled Yeovil’s lead with his first touch after coming off the bench, connecting to a free kick crossed towards the back post to seal victory for The Glovers.

Quigley almost sealed his hat trick late on from the penalty spot, but Webber, who had given the penalty away, made up for his mistake by making a great save to deny the Yeovil striker.

Earlier in the day, Andy Hessenthaler named an unchanged lineup from Tuesday’s win against Barnet.


Dover Athletic v Barnet

Whites moved off the bottom of the National League on Tuesday night with a convincing win.

In wet and muddy conditions, Andy Hessenthaler’s men were 3-0 up at the break thanks to Will De Havilland’s early double and Ahkeem Rose’s fine volley.

Substitute Michael Petrasso pulled a goal back on the hour mark, but the hosts held on for their first win of 2021 as they leapfrogged their hosts on the table.

Both sides had early chances, with Alfie Pavey seeing his early effort tipped wide by Dover keeper Oliver Webber, with Rose dragging narrowly wide at the other end.

It was the home side who struck first when Ryan Hanson’s floated free-kick was inadvertently flicked into path of the lying-in-wait De Havilland, with the defender making no mistake from close range.

Centre-back De Havilland double his tally for the game and the season two minutes later, firing in Sam Wood’s ball into the area.

Whites then added a third just over ten minutes later when Ahkeem Rose gave visiting stopper Scott Loach no chance with an accurate volley from the edge of the penalty area.

Petrasso pulled a goal back on the hour mark, however Whites held firm as the conditions worsened, almost adding a fourth when Rose tried to chip Loach from distance, but the Barnet keeper, already out of the penalty area, was able to head the ball away.

The win moves Whites to within seven points of safety ahead of their next league match, a crunch clash away to Yeovil Town, who sit one place above the relegation zone.

Hessenthaler made four changes to the side that lost against Solihull three days earlier, with Wood, Travis Gregory, Marvel Ekpiteta and Ade Azeez coming in for TJ Bramble, Marshall Wratten, Jack Munns and Bayli Spencer-Adams, with the latter returning to parent club Watford earlier in the week.




Dover Athletic v Solihull Moors

Whites remain bottom of the National League as a goal in each half condemned them to another defeat.

Nathan Cameron’s header in the first half put Solihull Moors ahead before Kyle Hudlin doubled the visitors lead early in the second half.

Dover looked the better team early on, but it wasn’t until halfway through the first half where they had their first opportunity, but Harry Ransom couldn’t connect on a good Oscar Gobern free kick, with the centre back heading it wide.

This missed proved to be costly as on the half hour mark The Moors were ahead. Jamie Ward’s long corner was nodded back into the danger area by Tyrone Williams towards Cameron who headed home.

Whites’ new keeper Ollie Webber then did well to deny Kyle Hudlin after Ward sent the 6ft 9in centre forward through on goal.

Ward then looked to double Moors’ lead after receiving a quick free kick down the line but his shot flew just over the bar.

Webber then denied Hudlin once again, as the attacker saw the Northern Irish u21 international palm away his shot.

Omar Mussa then had an opportunity to get Whites level, but his free kick went wide of the goal.

It proved to be third time lucky for Hudlin as he doubled Solihull Moors’ lead inside 10 minutes of the restart. The tall attacker found Ward out wide, with the Northern Irish international’s cross deflecting off Will De Havilland leaving Hudlin with a tap in from a couple of yards out.

Whites continued to struggle to create chances in the box, which both Ahkeem Rose and Gobern shooting wide from outside of the box.

Hanson almost got one back on the stroke of full time, when Ryan Hanson rose highest from a free kick but his header was cleared off the line.


Wrexham v Dover Athletic

Two second half goals condemned Dover to their ninth National League loss of the season.

Ahkeem Rose headed Andy Hessenthaler’s side back into the game at the break after Reece Hall-Johnson’s individual strike had put the home side ahead.

However, Wrexham retook the lead in the second half through Fiarce Kelleher before Luke Young sealed victory in added time from the penalty spot.

Chances were hard to come by early on, with it taking over 25 minutes for either goalkeeper to be tested with Hall-Johnson’s shot easily caught by Yusuf Mersin.

Ade Azeez then went close to putting Whites ahead, but after holding off the defenders well, he shot into the side netting.

Shortly after, Wrexham were ahead as Hall-Johnson’s shot from the edge of the box beat Mersin who didn’t see the ball till late.

Whites were almost level immediately through Rose, but after rounding the goalkeeper, his shot was blocked by Theo Vassell.

Rose continued to look dangerous and just before half time he nodded Dover level as he leapt highest to head home Jack Munns’ dangerous free kick.

Wrexham upped the tempo as the second half got underway and almost retook the lead within minutes of the half getting underway, but for Mersin who did well to catch Jordan Ponticelli’s powerful shot.

The Dragons continued to pressurise the Dover defence and retook the lead on the hour mark through Kelleher who flicked the ball on from a cross into the box, finding the net as Mersin was left wrong footed.

Young then looked to double the host’s lead, but his powerful shot from outside the box was well saved by Mersin.

Wrexham sealed victory from the penalty spot through Young in the fifth minute of added time after Mersin took down Kwame Thomas in the box.

Earlier in the day, Hessenthaler named an unchanged side from Whites’ midweek draw against Boreham Wood.


Dover Athletic v Boreham Wood

TJ Bramble’s first National League goal ensured the points were shared on a chilly Crabble evening.

Boreham Wood went ahead early in the first half through Kabongo Tshimanga’s strike, however Whites levelled midway through the second half through Bramble.

Gus Mafuta was sent off late on for Boreham Wood, however the scores stayed level in an evenly matched game.

Despite sitting behind the ball early on, it was Dover who almost took the lead but Bramble could not get his shot away after being put through on goal.

Whites were made to rue this miss almost immediately when a ball by Corey Whitely found Tshimanga who opened his body up well to slot past Yusuf Mersin.

Minutes later, Sam Wood had a chance to equalise from a free kick, however the ball flew over the bar.

Whitely almost doubled The Wood’s lead, but Mersin did well to deny the visiting player.

The Wood continued to put the pressure on, but Mersin did well to stop Kane Smith’s shot.

Just before the end of the first half, Will De Havilland almost put Dover level, however his shot from a Jack Munns free kick hit the side netting.

Whites piled on the pressure in the second half and got a deserved equaliser on the hour mark as Bramble was able to connect to a great ball from Oscar Gobern, slotting the ball into the corner.

Munns almost completed the turn around moments later, however after rounding the goalkeeper, he couldn’t keep his shot below the bar.

With Dover pushing forward, the visitors almost retook the lead on the counter attack but Junior Morias’ looping shot went just over the bar.

Mersin then did well to deny Tshimanga from getting his second, coming out well to deny Boreham Wood’s top scorer.

Earlier in the day, Hessenthaler made three changes from our Boxing Day defeat to Dagenham and Redbridge with Gobern, Bramble and Munns coming in for Paul Rooney, Steve Rigg and the suspended Josh Passley.


Dover Athletic v Dagenham & Redbridge

Dover remain bottom of the league as an early second half goal condemned them to their eighth loss of the season.

Angelo Balanta’s second half header sealed victory for Dagenham & Redbridge after Josh Passley was sent off for a dangerous challenge in the first half.

Andy Hessenthaler’s men bravely fought back, winning a penalty when Ade Azeez was felled in the area, but the forward saw his spot-kick well saved by visiting keep Elliot Justham.

Daggers dangerman Paul McCallum went close to putting the away side ahead early on, but his shot from the edge of the area went over the bar.

The striker went close again shortly after when a shot from ex-White Dean Rance found its way to McCallum who could only flick the ball into the hands of Yusuf Mersin.

Halfway through the first half, Mersin had to be alert to once again deny McCallum an opening goal after a cross from Andrew Eleftheriou found the head of the forward who headed the ball into the hands of the goalkeeper.

Darren McQueen then shot wide after being put through one on one, before Passley was given his marching orders for a dangerous challenge on the attacker.

McQueen then went close to putting the away side ahead two minutes into six minutes of first half added time, but his shot from outside the area went wide.

Daggers had another chance in added time and would’ve been ahead if it wasn’t for Paul Rooney who got in the way of Balanta’s effort.

However, it didn’t take the Colombian long to get into the action in the second half as he headed home a cross from Myles Weston within minutes of the restart.

Weston then went close to doubling the away sides lead but after running into the box from the right hand side, his shot was well saved by Mersin.

Whites then had their best spell of the game and almost got the equaliser on the hour mark when Elliot Justham was forced to make a save to deny Ahkeem Rose.

Dover were then awarded a penalty after Ade Azeez was fouled, but Justham made himself big to save from the Dover striker.

McQueen then went close to doubling the away sides lead but his shot was deflected onto the post by Mersin.

Daggers looked to seal victory towards the end of the game as both Callum Reynolds and Liam Gordon saw their efforts saved.

However, there was no way back in it for Whites who suffered their fourth consecutive loss in the National League.

Earlier in the day, Hessenthaler made two changes from last weeks defeat at Woking, with Ryan Hanson and Steve Rigg coming back in for Kurtis Cumberbatch and TJ Bramble.

Dover are back in action on Monday afternoon as they travel to Sutton United, kick off 3pm.


King’s Lynn Town v Dover Athletic

Whites remain rooted in the bottom four of the National League following their loss at newly-promoted King’s Lynn Town on Saturday.

Rory McAuley headed in a corner just before half-time to open the scoring, with substitute Adam Marriott converting from the penalty spot to confirm a third consecutive defeat for Andy Hessenthaler’s men following debutant Ryan Hanson’s foul on Kairo Mitchell in the penalty area.

The away side’s misery had just been compounded further when Hanson, signed on loan from from League One Hull City the day before, was shown a straight red card having been deemed to be the last man when hauling down the burly striker in the box.

The loss keeps Dover 23rd on the National League ladder, two places and one point from safety.

However the visitors might have been thinking a first win away from home this campaign was on the cards had Steven Rigg headed Travis Gregory’s cross anywhere other than into the home stopper Archie  Mair’s midriff.

Athletic restricted their hosts to half-chances, with Sonny Carey blazing over Mitchell’s pass from just outside the area.

Mitchell then fashioned his own chance, turning past Sam Wood, only to fire narrowly over the crossbar.

Dover continued to frustrate their Norfolk opponents, but their gallant defending was undone two minutes before the break from a corner.

A cross from the left was powerfully met by McAuley, wearing a head bandage, with the ball floating out of away stopper Yusuf Mersin’s reach and into the top corner.

Sam Kelly fired off target after the restart and at the other end, Rigg saw his 20-yard shot tipped around the post by Mair.

Dover players were unable to convert Wood’s cross-cum-shot across the face of goal, with Rigg seeing his header from Jack Munns’ cross plucked out of the air by Mair.

Mersin had to then be alert to deny Marriott as the striker sprinted through one-on-one, but the striker was not to be denied his next goalscoring opportunity when Town were awarded a penalty late on following Hanson’s foul on Mitchell.

Marriott sent Mersin the wrong way from 12 yards to leave Whites with an unwanted record of having lost every match on the road in the league this season.

Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made five changes to the side that started against Woking in midweek.  Mersin, Gregory, Akheem Rose, Bayli Spencer-Adams and Hanson started with Kurtis Cumberbatch, TJ Bramble, Tom Smith and Ade Azeez named as substitutes and Oscar Gobern serving a three-match ban following his sending off in the 5-1 defeat.

Dover next travel to Maidenhead United on Tuesday 1st December, kick off 7:45 pm.








Dover Athletic v Woking

Ten-man Dover were made to pay for defensive errors as they were well beaten by a ruthless Woking on Tuesday evening.

Despite going ahead early on, Whites were hit for five at Crabble for a second time this season, having also conceded the same amount to Aldershot last month.

The home side’s misery was compounded by Oscar Gobern’s sending off for a dangerous challenge shortly after the hour mark.

The loss, Athletic’s sixth of the season, leaves Andy Hessenthaler’s men second-from-bottom on the National League ladder, one point from safety.

The hosts got off to a dream starting when Ade Azeez knocked the ball on for Steve Rigg to slot home for his first goal of the season.

The home side then went close to doubling their lead, but Azeez’s header from Sam Wood’s cross flew over the intended target.

Whites were duly punished twice in quick succession.  Josh Davison nodded in Josh Casey’s pinpoint cross to level matters, before Kane Ferdinand converted Charlie Cooper’s fizzing set piece.

Ferdinand doubled his tally just after the half hour mark as he headed home Woking’s third – another delivery from Casey.

Rigg then had two chances to haul Whites back in the game, only finding the side netting from close range and then seeing visiting keeper Craig Ross grab onto his drive from just inside the area.

Home stopper Tom Smith made a great save to deny Ben Dempsey from adding a fourth just before the break and Athletic’s task of avoiding back-to-back home defeats was dealt a blow shortly after the hour mark.

Gobern was given his marching orders for a dangerous tackle on Charlie Cooper when both players challenged for a 50-50 ball.

Woking sealed the three points as Davison broke on the counter attack and found Max Kretzchmar to slot home.

The Cards were not finished there and made it five late on from a corner as Cooper’s ball into the area was bundled in by Kretzchmar.

Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made two changes to the side defeated by Altrincham at the end of October.  Gobern and De Havilland replaced Bayli Spencer-Adams and Louis Collins, who were both named as substitutes.

Dover next travel to King’s Lynn Town in the National League on Saturday 22nd November, kick off 3 pm.