*BS*DOVER ATHLETIC boss Andy Hessenthaler says his aim now is to qualify for the end-of-season Blue Square South play-off lottery.*BF*
The Whites were held to a 1-1 draw by St Albans City at the weekend, the only non-league game to be staged in Kent due to the wintry conditions, and go into Christmas period sitting in second place in the table.
However, league leaders Newport County scored late to seal a 1-0 win over FA Cup heroes Staines Town, and are now 12 points clear of the Kent side, with a game in hand.
Hessenthaler takes his side across the border to struggling Lewes on Boxing Day, and admits that winning the title, at present, is out of the question due to the Welsh side’s form.
“We’ve got to go to Lewes and win now,” Hessenthaler told BBC Radio Kent. “We’re six games unbeaten now and we’ve got to get three points.
“We may be able to forget about St Albans if we get three points there then we play Chelmsford (at home on 28 December) and then Lewes again (1 January). If we can go unbeaten over Christmas, I’d be delighted with that.”
He added: “Newport, now, are looking really, really strong, they’re not slipping up. It’s a battle for those play-off places. There’s still a lot of football to be played yet.
“Our aim was to get into the play-off’s at the start of the season. We’ve got two promotions, it’s a club that is on the way up.
“We haven’t been in the Conference for quite a few years now so we’re in the Conference South at the moment so our aim was to get into the play-off’s this year and I do believe that will be the case.
“We’ve just got to keep going. If we can go on a decent run of not being beat – and we’re in the FA Trophy as well, which is going to be a tough game – hopefully we can get players back after Christmas.”
Meanwhile, Lewes manager Steve Ibbitson has announced that the east Sussex club – second-from-bottom in Blue Square South – have re-signed Jean-Michel Sigere, following his release from Tonbridge Angels last week.
The Martinique born striker, 32, who arrived at Longmead Stadium in July, spent most of the season on the bench, due to Tommy Warrilow keeping faith with the strike partnership of Carl Rook and Paul Booth.
“Christmas has come early for Rooks fans following the shock return of Lewes legend Jean-Michel Sigere to the Dripping Pan,” said a Lewes statement.
Quotes courtesy of BBC Radio Kent: *Link1*
*IS*Article by Stephen McCartney on Kentishfootball.co.uk: *Link2**IF*