WHITES tonight crashed out of the FA Trophy after losing 3-2 against Dartford at Stonebridge Road.
It was inevitable that after having two perfectly good goals disallowed in the first match at Crabble, as well as having three players CROCKED long-term, that Dover would probably lose.
But Dover’s mixture of young reserve players, who have been plying their trade in the Surburban League, and surviving first-teamers, who were fortunate enough not to have been injured, put on a brave show against a physical Dartford side.
Anthony Hogg fired Whites ahead only for Darts to hit back soon after.
However, reserve striker Buster Smissen restored Dover’s lead with a 20-yard screamer – but again the hosts hit back just before the break.
Then Steve Hafner fired in a wonder goal one minute into the second half for the Darts.
And, if Saturday was not enough, with Craig Cloke, Daniel Braithwaite and Danny Chapman all picking up long-term injuries, a fourth player joined the casualty list.
Shane Hamshare was pole-axed by Hafner, who was booked, and taken off on a stretcher.
Reports, yet to be confirmed, suggest the injury may not be as bad as first feared. But doverathletic.com will bring you an update as and when we get it.
It must be said that Dartford fans sang, with gloating tones, “another one bites the dust” as young Shane whinced in pain following the x-rated tackle.
The club is fast running out of players after having the heart of its team ripped out in the space of just three days.
One piece of good news is that Tommy Tyne returned to the side, coming on as a sub in the second half. It is also hoped that top-scorer Craig Wilkins will be back in the side for the match against Met Police on Saturday.
Chairman Jim Parmenter has already pledged the board’s full support to boss Clive Walker if he feels the squad needs bolstering, even just for the short-term, while the club tries to get its key players back to full fitness.
PICTURE ABOVE: Dale Skelton in action for Whites at Stonebridge Road.