Category: First Team News

FROM THE CHAIRMAN

I can announce that I have now submitted our full application for membership to the English Football League (EFL) as I believe we now meet all of the required criteria and await their response in the near future.

The position we are in is the culmination of 12 years hard work and major investment into our Crabble stadium.

In the last two years you have seen a new Family Stand, containing dressing rooms and official’s facilities that fully meet requirements, as well as the safety control room, the installation of over 50 cameras, renewal of our public address system and the inclusion of our disabled viewing platform with lift.

This was followed by new floodlights to provide the LUX values required by the EFL and a new executive lounge with a new entrance behind the Centre Spot to provide much needed VIP facilities.

The latest addition, finished only last week, are new safety barriers required because if promoted we will not be able to use the flat standing areas behind the goals.

The barriers were required to increase capacity to the terraced areas in order to meet minimum membership requirements for the EFL.

With the exception of the grant for the family stand, these improvements have been largely financed by myself and my wife Sally with a little help from sponsors, but could not have been achieved without a great deal of practical help from,  in particular, Neil Cook and John Heath – my sincere thanks to them.

I would also like to thank our Consultant Engineer Simon Oakley and Mark Duly from Kent Fire and Rescue for their assistance.

It has also been a challenge to ensure we have medical staff with the required qualifications and we welcome back to the Club Paul Wilson as head Physiotherapist.

Paul is eminently qualified and comes to us having obtained Football League experience.

We now have a fantastic team of three Doctors led by Dr Cox and my thanks go to him Dr Gregory and Dr Cardwell for their support.

I also welcome Chris Fudge who is now assisting us in the requirement for a trained Paramedic.

Many of these requirements will no doubt be a surprise to the majority of supporters but the rules for membership are stringent and are rigorously enforced.

Without compliance we would not be eligible for the play-offs, let alone promotion.

Of course we are only in this position because of the fantastic exploits of our team on the pitch and the Management Staff.

They deserve many accolades and these will be forthcoming as the business end of the season progresses.

But most of all they deserve the support of the Town, so please get your friends up to Crabble to roar the Team over the line.

It is a great pity that we now read that Chester FC are reporting financial difficulties and that they join Hartlepool United in facing an uncertain future.

It is a mystery to me how a club receiving an £800,000  plus parachute payment can be in this position, but there we are.

It is important to remind supporters of the financial reality of running Clubs at this level particularly when competing with the Clubs with larger bankrolls.

In our case, we do not have the largest budget, nor do we have the smallest, but we have moved into a phase where some players are full-time and require 52-week contracts.

We have to keep, our feet on the ground and not let the “red mist” descend or we will soon be in the same position as the Clubs mentioned above.

So please, when discussing which player we should sign this week or next week try and consider where the money is coming from.

There is no point having players to win things if the facilities mean that you can’t be promoted, several Clubs will experience that pain this year.

To put into context the cost of watching football at our level and Dover Athletic in particular, an average gate receipt after deducting V.A.T. at 20% and match day costs will pay approximately half of that week’s wages, so all the other running costs plus a great deal of the wage bill rely on sponsorship and frankly my support.

We want success and I know our supporters want success, but without income and people coming through the gates on a match day that task requires a massive leap of faith on my part.

I ask everyone to try and do their bit you can all make a big difference if you can get just one person to join you on match days.

Thanks for reading and best wishes to you all.

Jim

WHITES STRIKE LATE TO BEAT LIONS

DOVER 2-1 GUISELEY

(Brundle 7) (Southwell 63)
(Pinnock 88)

MITCH Pinnock struck late to hand Whites a valuable three points against a determined Guiseley side at a wet and windy Crabble on Saturday.

The midfielder collected Femi Ilesamni’s pass and after cutting inside Jack Sheppard, fired through the body of visiting keeper Luke Coddington as Chris Kinnear’s side registered back-to-back league victories for the first time since September.

Captain Mitch Brundle had given his side an early lead with a scorching 30-yard effort, but Dayle Southwell levelled midway through the second half in equally stunning fashion from a free-kick.

Dover almost made the ideal start as Pinnock crashed an effort onto the bar with the match barely five minutes old.

But Brundle was able to better his teammates’ effort, driving a 30-yard scorcher into the top corner after Anthony Jeffrey played the ball into the skipper’s path.

Ryan Bird thought he had doubled the lead after burying Brundle’s cross, but the linesman’s flag denied the forward his thirteenth National League goal of the campaign.

And Athletic’s top scorer went close again moments later, this time heading Jeffrey’s cross narrowly wide.

Whites were almost made to pay for their missed chances as new Lions recruit Harry Flowers nodded over Callum McFadzean’s corner.

The former Burnley defender then blazed wide of a static Mitch Walker moments after his previous chance.

Giancarlo Gallifuoco nodded off target from Pinnock’s corner as the home side searched for a second goal and Walker was called into action twice in succession at the other end, firstly tipping away McFadzean’s low drive and then producing a similar save to deny James Roberts.

Brundle almost had his first brace of the season, flashing Bird’s pass just past the post after the restart.

Walker punched away Roberts’ ferocious drive as the visitors seeked to end a run of three defeats on the spin away from home.

And it looked like one of Guiseley’s recent new signings had rescued a precious point for Paul Cox’s strugglers shortly after an hour.

Dayle Southwell, signed from Wycombe earlier in the week, curled a sumptious 20-yard free-kick past an onlooking Walker.

Cheers from the 2327 strong crowd, in attendance for the club’s third Community Day of the season, were short-lived after the linesman ruled out Pinnock’s curling shot after Bird had allegedly strayed offside.

And midfielder Pinnock almost made the controversial decision irrelevant as he blasted a set-piece past the wrong side of Northampton loanee Coddington’s post.

But the midfielder finally got his just rewards two minutes from time and Femi Ilesanmi almost wrapped up the points in injury time, but he was he was unable to find the finish needed following a lung-busting run from his own half.

Earlier, Kinnear kept with the same side that started away at Boreham Wood last weekend.

The win sees Whites move up one place to sixth in the table, five points off current leaders Macclesfield Town.

Dover next host Leyton Orient in the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday 3rd February. Kick off 3pm.

Dover: Walker, Gallifuoco, Essam, Parry, Passley, Nortey (Bellamy 78), Pinnock (Okosieme 90), Brundle (c), Ilesanmi, Bird, Jeffrey (Daniel 79).

Subs not used: Richards, Fazakerley.

Guiseley: Coddington, Sheppard, Flowers, St Ledger, Crookes, McFadzean, Lenighan, Harvey (c), Southwell, Odejayi (Fondop-Talom 62), Roberts (Liburd 88).

Subs not used: Palmer, Purver, Haworth.

Attendance: 2327

Referee: Sam Purkiss

COMMUNITY DAY TODAY

We will host our third Community Day of the season today.

We’ve given 50 tickets to every school in the Dover district to allow students to attend the day and savour the Crabble experience during the National League clash with Guiseley.

The game kicks-off at 3pm but Community Day sees the turnstiles open at noon.

There will be goody bags, flags and balloons for the children.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Crabble.

COYW!!

JEFFREY LOAN DEAL EXTENDED

Dover Athletic have extended winger Anthony Jeffrey’s loan from Sutton United until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old arrived at Crabble from our National League rivals in November and has made eight league and two FA Trophy appearances for Chris Kinnear’s side in that time.

Before joining Whites, Jeffrey, who started his career as a trainee with Arsenal, made 11 appearances for the U’s this season.

PREVIEW: WHITES V GUISELEY

Dover will be aiming to secure a third consecutive victory when they take on Guiseley at Crabble on Saturday.

Chris Kinnear’s men won at Boreham Wood last weekend to end a winless streak of five National League matches.

And Athletic’s boss will be confident of three points against a Guiseley side on a run of three straight defeats on the road.

The Lions, currently bottom of the away league table, have turned to a man with international experience to help turn around their current plight.

Former Republic of Ireland defender Sean St Ledger signed for Paul Cox’s side last week. The 33-year old has 37 caps and scored his country’s only goal at Euro 2012.

GUISELEY’S RECENT FORM

13/01/18:  AFC FYLDE 2-1 GUISELEY

Fylde bagged the three points late on thanks to Danny Rowe’s stunning free-kick.

The striker fired in from 30 yards to extend his side’s unbeaten run to ten matches and codemn the visitors to a second consecutive defeat.

Jonny Smith slotted in on 18 minutes to give the hosts a deserved lead.

But the Lions hit back 12 minutes later as James Roberts headed in Liam Hughes’ cross.

Visiting keeper Joe Green kept the home side at bay with a string of fine saves, but was powerless to prevent National League top scorer Rowe’s thunderous set piece two minutes from time.

PREVIOUS MEETING

23/09/17:  GUISELEY 1-1 DOVER

Whites drew at Guiseley thanks to a stunning first-half equaliser from Nortei Nortey.

The midfielder curled home a sumptious 20-yard effort in the 40th minute to cancel out John Rooney’s deflected free-kick 11 minutes earlier.

The home side started strongly and Rob Atkinson nodded Rooney’s free-kick narrowly wide.

The forward then tried himself moments later, but could only strike the top of the crossbar with a thunderous effort from close in.

But shortly after Mitch Walker tipped over Kayode Odejayi’s header from a corner, Rooney had better luck with his next effort.

The playmaker’s set-piece struck the visiting wall and spun into the net past a stranded Walker to put the hosts ahead.

Dover’s stopper then somehow denied Jake Lawlor on the half-hour mark, tipping the defender’s header onto the post with his defence able to clear the danger afterwards.

And that save proved crucial as Athletic levelled moments later with their first shot on target.

Nortey, who had already blazed two shots from distance over, collected Kadell Daniel’s pass and fired home.

The hosts almost won the match late on after Reece Thompson robbed Connor Essam, but the striker could only find the side-netting when shooting towards the near post

The draw saw Whites drop one place in the table to third, one point behind then leaders Sutton United.

OTHER MEETINGS

25/03/17:  Guiseley 0-4 Dover
19/11/16:  Dover 2-0 Guiseley
19/03/16:  Guiseley 0-1 Dover

TICKET NEWS

Prices are as follows:

Adults – £17
Over 60’s – £14
Under 18’s – £8
Under 11’s – Free (With an accompanying adult)

COVERAGE

The game starts at 3pm but if you are unable to make the trip, we will have live updates on Twitter – @DAFCLiveText – follow us and get all the news as it happens!

Coverage starts from 2pm.

SATURDAY’S OTHER NATIONAL LEAGUE FIXTURES

BARROW V SUTTON UNITED
BROMLEY V FC HALIFAX TOWN
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE V SOLIHULL MOORS
EASTLEIGH V HARTLEPOOL UNITED
EBBSFLEET UNITED V BOREHAM WOOD
GATESHEAD V MAIDSTONE UNITED
LEYTON ORIENT V ALDERSHOT TOWN
MACCLESFIELD TOWN V TORQUAY UNITED
MAIDENHEAD UNITED V CHESTER
WOKING V AFC FYLDE
WREXHAM V TRANMERE ROVERS

AWAY TRAVEL

There is a coach travelling to Solihull Moors on Saturday 17th February and it is not too late to book your space on it.

It departs Crabble at 9:15am and the the prices are as follows:

Adult members £25, adult non-members £40 and accompanied child (Under 16) £10.

Please call or text Andy on 0793 4300335 to book your seat, or see him in the Centre Spot after the matches against Guiseley, Leyton Orient or Sutton.

Please note you are now required to pay for your seat in advance by cash or via bank transfer.

CHESTER FC DATE SET

Our National League game at Chester FC has now been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 6th at 7.45pm.

The game against the Blues was scheduled to take place on Saturday February 3rd but had to be re-arranged due to our progress in the Buildbase FA Trophy, which sees us host a Third Round tie against Leyton Orient at Crabble on that date.

VIDEO: PLAYER REACTION

Goalscorers Manny Parry, Kadell Daniel and Femi Ilesanmi all speak to the camera following Dover’s 3-2 win at Boreham Wood on Saturday.