Category: Match Report



Storer (29)    (Bird pen 22)
Thomas (75) (Pinnock 60)
(Reid 84)

WHITES promotion hopes were dented by Alex Reid’s late winner at Damson Park on Saturday.

The substitute collected Darren Carter’s pass and fired past Mitch Walker to give his side the lead after Whites had twice gone ahead thanks to Ryan Bird’s penalty and Mitch Pinnock’s finish. Moors twice hit back via Kyle Storer and a Kwame Thomas spot kick.

The hosts started brightly and test Walker early on with Dover’s stopper saving from Carter.

But it was Athletic that had the lead midway through the first half following Storer’s clumsy challenge on Anthony Jeffrey.

Bird slotted the ball into the middle of the goal from 12 yards and though home stopper Max O’Leary initially stopped the ball with his legs, the Bristol City loanee was unable to prevent the ball from trickling over the line.

But Mark Yates’ side were level just seven minutes later through Storer.

The midfielder volleyed a loose ball into the bottom corner after following up on Jamey Osborne’s blocked shot.

Walker then prevented his side from going behind, turning behind Adi Yussuf’s close range shot with his foot.

Osborne tried his luck from range after the restart, curling a deflected effort just past the wrong side of the post. Nortei Nortey then chested the ball off the line following a corner, with the subsequent cross from Storer clipping the top of the bar.

And a defensive mix up in the Solihull defence handed Whites the lead once more.

In going for the same ball, Liam Daly and Fiacre Keheller headed the ball into the path of Pinnock, who strode onto the ball and slotted into the net, in spite of Daly’s last-ditch attempt the clear the winger’s effort off the line.

Osborne blasted wide and Yussuf fired into Walker’s arms as the away side searched for a second leveller.

And that equaliser arrived with fifteen minutes remaining as Whites gave away their first penalty of the season.

Manny Parry fouled Thomas in the area and despite the centre half protesting the ball had gone out of play, winger Thomas picked himself up to slam the ball into the middle of the goal, through the already diving Walker’s outstretched hand.

Pinnock’s spectacular long ranger flew straight down the throat of O’Leary as Chris Kinnear’s men looked to go in front for a third time, but it was Moors who grabbed a winner six minutes from the end.

A counter attack saw Carter escape down the left wing and the midfielder passed inside to sub Reid, who checked inside and fired past a statuesque Walker in goal.

The hosts held on to condemn Whites to their second consecutive league defeat and keep Kinnear’s side ninth in the standings, one point outside the play-offs.

Dover next host Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday 20th February. Kick off 7:45pm.

Solihull: O’Leary, Williams, Keleher, Carter, Daly, Reckord, Osborne, Storer, Yussuf (Edwards 90), Hylton (Reid 69), Thomas.

Subs not used: K.Green, P.Green, Carline.

Dover: Walker, Ilesanmi, Nortey (Bellamy 61), Brundle, Parry, Okosieme, Essam, Pinnock, Gallifuoco, Jeffrey (Daniel 83), Bird.

Subs not used: Fazakerley, Alabi, Passley.

Referee:  Peter Gibbons


(Cadogan 26)

WHITES promotion hopes were dealt a blow as Kieron Cadogan struck a first half winner for 10-man U’s in wet and muddy conditions at Crabble.

The midfielder collected Tommy Wright’s cross and placed the ball past home keeper Mitch Walker into the net, via the far post, as Chris Kinnear’s men fell out of the top seven for the first time this season.

The game sparked into life instantly, with visiting stopper Jamie Butler turning away Ryan Bird’s snapshot. A ricochet then saw Harry Beautyman run clear through, only for Walker to deny the midfielder with his legs.

Butler then tipped over Femi Ilesanmi’s 20-yard rocket from the edge of the box and Bird was unable to slip the ball past the visiting goalie when the striker went through one-on-one .

After watching a Cadogan effort deflect just wide, Walker tipped away Wright’s ricocheted angled strike and then turned behind Simon Walton’s long range curler.

But there was nothing Athletic’s goalie could do about Sutton’s opener, although his teammates almost levelled instantly.

However Butler palmed over Giancarlo Gallifuoco’s backwards header from a free kick.

And Walker produced a similar save from Terell Thomas to stop the away team doubling their advantage.

Wright showed some clever skill to beat Mitch Brundle on the wing, but fizzed his shot just past the wrong side of the post.

And Kane Richards almost had Athletic level at the break, but Butler was out quickly save the winger’s close range effort.

After the restart, Louis John headed just wide from a corner and Josh Passley’s last-ditch block denied Tom Bolarinwa a tap-in after the winger had rounded Walker.

Sub Kadell Daniel almost made an immediate impact, but connected with fresh air rather than Ilesanmi’s pass with the goal gaping.

Goalkeeper Walker then produced his best save of the night to deny John.

The 26-year old dived low to somehow keep out the defender’s bullet header from a corner, collecting the ball at the second attempt.

And Whites received a boost on the hour mark when Beautyman was shown a red card.

The midfielder’s rash challenge on Connor Essam saw the former Peterborough man receive his marching orders.

Dover looked to make their man advantage count as Gallifuoco inadvertently blocked Essam’s goalbound shot.

Butler then clawed the ball away from underneath his own crossbar following a melee in the penalty area.

And Sutton’s keeper twice stopped Athletic from equalising in injury time.

Firstly, he beat away Brundle’s near post header from Pinnock’s corner and then blocked Bird’s close range strike with his face.

Earlier, Kinnear made one change to the side that started last week’s game against Leyton Orient as Kane Richards replaced Anthony Jeffrey, who was ineligible to face his parent club.

The result sees Dover drop three places to ninth in the table.

Athletic next travel to Solihull on Saturday 17th February. Kick off 3pm.

Dover: Walker, Gallifuoco, Essam, Parry, Passley, Nortey (Alabi 75), Brundle (c), Ilesanmi, Richards (Daniel 55), Bird, Pinnock.

Subs not used: Fazakerley, Okosieme, Bellamy.

Sutton: Butler, Collins (c), John, T. Thomas, Bolarinwa (A.Thomas 78), Walton, Bailey (Downer 86), Davis, Cadogan (Dundas 70), Beautyman, Wright.

Subs not used: Hudson-Odoi, Coombes.


Referee: Thomas Bramall



(Bird 57, 82)   (Elokobi 35)
(Pinnock 81)   (Bonne 48)
(Harrold 53)
(Mooney 90)

AN impressive comeback was not enough for Whites as they were knocked out of the FA Trophy by Leyton Orient at Crabble on Saturday

Sub David Mooney chipped in an injury-time winner after a brace from Ryan Bird and a stunning lob from Mitch Pinnock had seen the hosts overturn a three goal deficit.

George Elokobi had headed the visitors ahead in the first half, with further strikes from Macauley Bonne and Matt Harrold putting the O’s  in control.

Dean Brill had to be alert early on, tipping over Giancarlo Gallifouco’s looping header from Nortei Nortey’s ball.

Brill then expertly turned away Anthony Jeffrey’s fierce drive and Connor Essam stabbed Pinnock’s cross wide.

Home keeper Walker denied Harrold with his legs after the striker was put through by Ebou Adams.

Walker was left motionless as Bonne dragged Lemar Reynolds cross narrowly wide and Whites’ goalie was then called into action to acrobatically turn away a long range drive from Reynolds.

There was a melee in the penalty area from the resulting corner with Harrold, Bonne and Coulson all unable to breach the Dover backline before Essam was finally able to clear the danger.

The action was soon at the other end as Brill dived to catch Gallifouco’s header from Pinnock’s free kick.

But the visitors had the lead ten minutes before the break as George Elokobi powered in McAnuff’s corner.

It was almost an instant reply through Nortey’s low shot, but Brill was down quickly to palm the midfielder’s effort wide.

Mitch Brundle then nearly added to his repertoire of spectacular goals, volleying inches past the wrong side of the post from the edge of the area.

Harrold was within a whisker of doubling Orient’s lead, just missing Jake Caprice’s ball across the goalmouth.

And there was still time for one more chance in a breathless first half as Josh Passley slid in to clear Harrold’s clever finish off the line.

Bird almost continued his record of scoring in each round of the competition so far, heading Pinnock’s cross straight at Brill.

And that miss proved costly as Bonne doubled his side’s lead

The Zimbabwean international collected the ball 30 yards from goal and curled a stunning effort into the top corner, beyond Walker’s despairing grasp.

And the tie was seemingly over once Harrold stabbed in Elokobi’s knockdown to make it 3-0.

But Dover and in particular Bird had other ideas as the striker fired Pinnock’s shot into the bottom corner to reduce the arrears.

And the Dover fans were celebrating once more shortly afterwards.

But the cheers soon faded when they realised Jeffrey’s 20 yard rocket had flown into the side netting.

Walker kept Athletic in the tie, firstly denying Harrold after Adams teed up the attacker.

Whites’ keeper then produced a magnificent save to stop Bonne after Gallifuoco miscued a clearance, then denied the same striker after Bonne returned his weak kick out with interest, with Walker sprinting back to his own area and landing on the goalbound ball.

With ten minutes left, Pinnock stylishly pulled his side back into the tie.

The winger took advantage of some miscommunication between Coulson and Brill, lobbing over the stranded Orient keeper from distance.

And the turnaround was complete just one minute later thanks to Bird’s 16th goal in all competitions this season.

The striker slotted his second of the game, following up after Brill tipped sub Kadell Daniel’s angled shot his way.

But Orient sub David Mooney had the final say with a classy finish, with Dover unable to muster a leveller in the final moments of the tie.

Earlier, boss Kinnear kept with the same side that started last weekend’s win against Guiseley.

James Alabi and Chris Lewington returned as substitutes in place of Loui Fazakerley and Kane Richards.

Dover: Walker, Gallifuoco, Essam, Parry, Passley, Brundle (c), Nortey (Bellamy 61), Ilesanmi, Jeffrey (Daniel 72), Bird (Alabi 86), Pinnock.

Subs not used: Lewington, Okosieme.

Leyton Orient: Brill, Caprice, Coulson, Elokobi, Widdowson, McAnuff (c), Adams, Clay, Reynolds (Brophy 67), Harrold (Mooney 80), Bonne.

Subs not used: Sargeant, Koroma, Happe

Referee: David Rock

Attendance: 1,016



(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



(Parry 6)      (Mitchley pens 9, 76)
(Bird 29)      (Brewster 83)
(Pinnock 54)
(Brundle 80)

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:  Walker, Gallifuoco, Essam, Parry, Passley, Nortey (Bellamy 75), Brundle (c) , Ilesanmi, Richards (Jeffrey 76), Bird, Pinnock (Daniel 60).

Subs not used:  Fazakerley, Lewington.

Marine: Fearon, Strickland, Hughes, Baker, McGrath (Lomax 75), Smart, Bailey (Donaldson 81), Brewster, Da Silva (Tongue 56), Mitchley (c)

Subs not used:  Wylie, Mendes.

Referee: Christopher O’Donnell

Attendance: 565



(Parry 45) (Kellerman 45)
(Kabamba 67)

TWO defensive errors saw Whites lose for the first time in six league matches as they were beaten 2-1 by promotion rivals Aldershot at a wet Crabble on Saturday.

Jim Kellerman capitalised on home keeper Mitch Walker’s error to give the visitors the lead and though Manny Parry restored parity seconds later with his head, the Shots won the game after a mix-up at the back between Parry and Walker saw debutant Nicke Kabamba claim the three points.

Giancarlo Gallifuoco had the first shot of the match, but his effort lacked the power needed to beat visiting keeper Lewis Ward after sprinting onto Ryan Bird’s lay-off.

And fellow centre-back Parry will feel he should have done better as he headed Femi Ilesanmi’s deep cross straight at Ward when unmarked.

Seconds later Nortei Nortey, following a flowing move on the right wing, fizzed a ball into the box which evaded all of his teammates.

Whites top scorer Bird went close to adding to his 12 goals this season. The striker firstly saw a shot blocked by the visiting defence following Mitch Pinnock’s corner and then headed over when well-placed at a long throw-in.

The away team almost had the lead five minutes before the break. Bernard Mensah’s perfectly weighted pass set Shamir Fenelon through on goal, only for the winger to stab wide with the onrushing Mitch Walker coming out to meet him.

And it was a rare calamity from Walker that gave the Hampshire side the lead on the stroke on half-time.

Dover’s number one confidently claimed Cheye Alexander’s free-kick, but collided with Parry as he fell backwards, dropping the ball for Kellerman to slot the ball into an empty net.

However the keeper’s blushes were spared by Parry’s leveller seconds later.

The centre-back headed Pinnock’s set-piece into the bottom corner of the net, out of reach of Ward’s despairing dive.

Shortly after the restart, Ward tipped over Gallifuoco’s headed effort from Brundle’s corner and with the rain teeming down, The Shots goalie caught Pinnock’s 25-yard free-kick at the first attempt.

Dover pressed forward to end their current run of four consecutive draws and Bird went close just after the hour mark, flicking Josh Passley’s ball into the box agonisingly wide.

But Chris Kinnear’s men were unable to get a much-needed win as debutant Nicke Kabamba grabbed a winner after coming off the bench with just over 20 minutes remaining.

A ball into the area from sub Bobby-Joe Taylor was grabbed by Walker, but an accidental kick in the head from Parry meant White’s keeper was unable to keep hold of the ball, allowing the Portsmouth loanee to round the goalie and chip the ball home.

A sweeping home move saw Brundle flick the ball for Bird to pull the trigger, however George Fowler recovered well to tackle the forward.

With time running, Gallifouco lashed Pinnock’s driven pass wide and the visitors almost sealed the win late on with a lightning counter-attack.

Kellerman slid in Mensah and though the midfielder appeared to have tucked the ball home, Nortey was on hand to acrobatically clear the ball off the line.

Athletic were unable to find an equaliser and the loss sees them drop one place in the table to fifth.

Earlier, Kinnear made one change to the side that started away at Maidstone. Kane Richards replaced Kadell Daniel, who started as a substitute.

Whites next host Marine in the FA Trophy on Saturday 13th January. Kick off 3pm.

Dover: Walker, Gallifuoco, Essam, Parry, Passley, Brundle (c), Nortey (Bellamy 87), Ilesanmi, Richards (Daniel 64), Bird (Alabi 76), Pinnock.

Subs not used: Dean-Conteh, Fazakerley.

Aldershot: Ward, Alexander, Evans, Fowler, Kinsella (McClure 80), Gallagher, Oyeleke, Fenelon (Joe-Taylor 45), Kellerman, Mensah, Rendell (c), (Kabamba 60)

Referee: Joseph Johnson

Attendance: 1,237


(Wraight 69) (Ilesanmi 27)
(Anderson 90) (Nortey 76)

SUBSTITUTE Joe Anderson’s injury-time strike denied Whites a winning start to the New Year in a Kent thriller at the Gallagher Stadium.

The right-back collected fellow sub Jack Paxman’s clever through ball and slotted past visiting stopper Mitch Walker to ensure the scoreline matched that of the reverse fixture on Boxing Day.

Femi Ilesanmi had stunned the home crowd midway the first half with an unbelievable 30-yard strike, only for Tom Wraight to head in an equaliser after the break.

Nortei Nortey’s brilliant solo goal seemed to have won the match for Athletic, but Anderson struck late on to make it four consecutive draws for Dover.

The hosts fashioned the first chance early on as Walker parried behind Wraight’s swirling free-kick.

From the resulting corner, Joe Pigott powered Wraight’s ball towards goal, but Walker was able to pluck the ball out from underneath his own crossbar.

On ten minutes, Giancarlo Gallifouco headed Dover’s first chance wide from Mitch Pinnock’s set piece.

All the chances were coming from free-kicks and one from Piggot flew into the side-netting.

But the best Stones chance of the half fell the way of Jamar Loza.

Josh Hare’s delivery found the attacker in space, but Walker was equal to his effort and collected the ball at the second attempt.

The home pressure continued as Wraight curled wide via a deflection off Mitch Brundle.

A lightning counter-attack by the away side ended with Pinnock finding Kadell Daniel at the back post, but the home defence were able to block his effort.

Ryan Bird went close to adding to his 12 National League goals this campaign, but headed wide from Pinnock’s accurate cross.

Instead it was a player yet to register for Whites that opened the scoring with a sensational strike midway though the first half

Ilesanmi picked up a loose ball and after striding forward, unleashed an unstoppable 30-yard effort into the top corner.

There was mayhem in the other box as Pigott’s header from Wraight’s corner was cleared first off the line by Daniel, but rebounded off Piggot and rolled back towards goal, only for the well-placed Connor Essam to hoof clear.

Pinnock tried his luck with a long range shot soon after, but Lee Worgan punched his effort clear for a throw in.

And Manny Parry was inches away from doubling the visitors lead, however Reece Prestedge flicked away Daniel’s ball before the defender could score.

Walker confirmed Dover’s lead at the break, diving low to turn Stuart Lewis’ firm header around the post.

Following a quiet fifteen minutes after the restart, Loza almost lit up the game with a curling effort that flew wide of Walker’s far post.

But Maidstone did not have to wait long for their leveller.

Pigott swung in a ball from the right for the unmarked Wraight to bury a header past Walker.

Substitute Liam Bellamy almost had Athletic back in control.  The midfielder smashed well wide from Bird’s header back across the goalface.

However fellow midfielder Nortey did put Dover ahead with a fine individual finish.

Starting from his own half, some great skill saw the 23-year old beat three defenders before firing in off the post from the edge of the area.

Parity was almost restored instantly, but sub Delano-Yorke flicked Loza’s driven pass wide from a mere inches out.

But Anderson had the final say, rounding off a slick Maidstone move.

The drama was not over just yet as Whites almost won the game at the death.

Worgan reacted well to stop Parry’s point-blank header from Pinnock’s ball and then tipped behind a downward header from the centre back moments later.

But neither side were unable to force a late winner and the result keeps Athletic fourth in the standings, one point behind third-placed Sutton.

Earlier, boss Kinnear made one change to the side that started against Halifax.  Daniel replaced the injured Anthony Jeffrey, with the fit-again Kane Richards amongst the substitutes.

Dover next host Aldershot on Saturday 6th January, kick off 3pm.

Maidstone: Worgan (c), Twumasi, Wynter, Okuonghae, Hare (Anderson 81), Wraight (Paxman 81), Lewis, Prestedge, Ter Horst (Sam-Yorke 64), Pigott, Loza.

Subs not used: Reason, McKorkell.

Dover: Walker, Passley, Essam, Gallifuoco, Parry, Ilesanmi, Brundle (c), Nortey, Pinnock, Bird (Alabi 86), Daniel (Bellamy 68).

Subs not used: Richards, Deen-Conteh, Fazakerley.

Referee: David Rock

Attendance: 2,502



WHITES could not end 2017 with a win after being unable to break down ten-man Halifax Town at Crabble on Saturday.

Visiting keeper Sam Johnson pulled off two stunning first half saves, denying both Mitch Brundle and Ryan Bird in succession.

And Athletic were not able to capitalise after Jake Hibbs received his marching orders late on following a second bookable offence.

The home side went close early on as Mitchell Pinnock’s searching ball almost found substitute Kadell Daniel at the far post, but Josh Wilde cleared the ball behind for a corner.

And Connor Essam would have blasted the hosts ahead from the resulting set piece had it not been for Scott Garner’s brave block to deny the defender a second league goal of the season.

Shortly after the half-hour make, Sam Johnson brilliantly palmed away Brundle’s dipping 25-yard volley and though Ryan Bird pounced on the rebound, the giant goalkeeper was up quickly to deny Dover’s top scorer.

Brundle then spotted Bird had peeled off the visiting defence, however the forward was unable to stretch his legs enough to reach his skipper’s diagonal ball.

Danny Clarke seemed to be in disbelief after Essam’s mistake left him one-on-one with home stopper Mitch Walker, giving Giancarlo Gallifuoco enough time to track back and tackle the midfielder.

Australian Gallifuoco almost had Dover ahead just after the break, but powered Brundle’s corner just wide of the far post.

And the away side had their first shot on target on the hour mark as Josh MacDonald crossed for Tom Denton, but the tall striker could only direct his header straight into the arms of Walker.

Daniel also tried with his head minutes later, nodding Pinnock’s searching ball over the bar.

And Bird thought he had won the game late on, but fired wide after latching onto Jake Hibbs’ headed clearance.

Earlier boss Chris Kinnear kept with the same side that drew with Maidstone on Boxing Day. New signing Liam Bellamy was named on the bench, replacing the ill Kane Richards.

The draw sees Dover rise one place to fourth in the table, seven points of leaders Macclesfield Town.

Whites next travel to Maidstone on New Year’s Day. Kick off 3pm.

Dover: Walker, Gallifuoco, Essam, Parry, Passley, Brundle (c), Nortey (Bellamy 82), Ilesanmi, Pinnock (Alabi 76), Bird, Jeffrey (Daniel 12).

Subs not used: Dean-Conteh, Fazakerley.

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Moyo, Garner (c), Wilde, MacDonald, Hibbs, Clarke, Collins, McManus (Tomlinson 55), Denton.

Subs not used: Oliver, Nicholson, Morgan, Waring.

Attendance: 1,127

Referee: Adrian Quelch



(Nortey 58)  (Piggott (36,41)
(Bird 80)

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 3pm.

Dover: Walker, Passley, Ilesanmi, Gallifuoco, Parry, Esssam, Brundle (c), Pinnock, Bird, Nortey, Jeffrey (Daniel 54).

Subs not used: Richards, Fazakerley, Alabi, Dean-Conteh.

Maidstone: Worgan (c), Finney (Okuonghae 15), Wynter, Lewis, Loza (Prestedge 70), Anderson, Reason, Twusami, Hines, Piggott, Collins.

Subs not used: Hare, Paxman, Wraight.

Referee: Sam Purkiss

Attendance: 2,078




Whites continued their unbeaten run against Wrexham with a goalless draw at the Racecourse ground on Saturday afternoon.

Both teams led the way in the National League goals conceded column prior to kick off and that trend continued in a match of few opportunities.

The first chance of note fell to George Miller, but the Middlesbrough loanee sliced horribly wide after Connor Essam misjudged a long ball.

Minutes late, home keeper Chris Dunn was at full stretch to turn away Nortei Nortey’s speculative twenty-yard effort.

Dragons fans celebrations were cut short as Scott Boden was unable to connect to Miller’s dangerous cross.

And Miller almost gave the Welsh side the lead on the stroke of half-time with a header, only for Femi Ilesanmi to flick the ball away for a corner before the striker could make contact with the ball.

The resulting set piece saw a clash of heads between Essam and Manny Parry, leaving both defenders sprawled on the floor needing treatment after the referee signalled for half-time.

Both players eventually made their way down the tunnel to join the manager’s teamtalk, but only Parry returned for the restart with Essam unable to continue.  Loui Fazakerley came on to take the place of Dover’s sweeper.

Both Gallifuoco and Shaun Pearson flashed headers wide at the break, with Marcus Kelly curling a free-kick straight into the arms of Mitch Walker shortly afterwards.

And Dover’s stopper was then called into action as Wrexham fashioned their best chance of the match.

James Jennings’ pinpoint cross was directed goalwards by Miller, but his header lacked the power to truly test Walker, who comfortably dived onto the ball.

Athletic’s number one was far more concerned by Jennings’ drive, flinging himself across his goalline as the fullback fizzed a twenty-yard shot narrowly wide.

The home side fashioned one more chance late on, but Walker was well placed to hold onto Paul Rutherford’s volley after Kevin Roberts’ attempted shot cannoned towards the midfielder.

Earlier, boss Kinnear made one change to the side that beat Eastbourne in the FA Trophy last week.  Josh Passley returned in place of Ejiro Okosieme, who is injured.

The point sees Athletic rise one place to third in the table, three points behind current leaders Macclesfield Town.

Dover next host Maidstone on Tuesday 26th December.  Kick off 3pm.

Wrexham:  Dunn, Jennings, Smith, Pearson (c), Wedgbury, Holroyd, Miller (Massanka 88), Rutherford, Kelly, Roberts, Boden.

Subs not used:  Dibble, Mackreth, Hurst, Carrington.

Dover:  Walker, Gallifuoco, Essam (Fazakerley 45), Parry, Passley (Richards 85), Ilesanmi, Brundle (c), Nortey, Pinnock, Bird, Jeffrey (Daniel 65).

Subs not used:  Alabi, Deen-Conteh.

Attendance:  4,980

Referee:  Thomas Bramall