Jake Leberl is insistent Dover can get a result away to Eastleigh tomorrow night in spite of two recent defeats by the Hampshire team. ‘Let’s make no mistake, they are a big strong experienced side with players that are still good enough to play in the league, but we showed in both games that we can compete with them and in the two matches we conceded in the last minute!’
Whites’ latest loss to their Conference South promotion rivals came in the trophy on Saturday. Whites stunned temporarily stunned their hosts by coming from behind to lead 2 – 1 thanks to goals from Michael Kamara and a Barry Cogan penalty even though top scorer Nathan Elder saw red for violent conduct mid way through the first half. However the home team fought back and two goals in the last 10 minutes swung the game back in their favour and sealed their progression into the quarter finals of the Trophy.
According to Jake, the heroic efforts of the ten men were scant consolation after coming so close to achieving a replay. ‘It is so disappointing after all the hard work, especially as the winner came from what was a poor corner and Mitchell Walker had not been making save after save. But the lads did everything that was asked of them.’
Nathan Elder will miss three matches due to suspension, with Jake admitting his surprise to the giant striker’s red card. ‘Nathan is one of the most placid guys you will ever meet and it was completely out of character. Red cards in recent games have cost us; even though we stressed how important good discipline is the minute we walked through the door.’*Lpic1*
Jake pointed out the makeshift attack of Liam Bellamy and Tom Murphy for special praise after the loss of the main focal point of attack. ‘We asked them to close down and push back the full backs and they are both super fit lads. Ricky Modeste was not ready to play and the other two lads on the bench could not have done the job they were doing’.
Whites have conceded six in the last two games, but this is something Leberl is not duly concerned about as he explained ‘What with Sean Raggett and Craig stone suspended recently and Tom Wynter injured, the defence has been very unsettled and the nature of the goals that we conceded on Saturday were very unlucky.’
Whites get another attempt against Eastleigh tomorrow night with the team in desperate need of a positive result to get their promotion push back on track after two disappointing defeats. ‘We are not where we want to be, but no one here is downbeat and we were on a decent run not so long ago. There are lots more games to go between now and the season.’
Dover welcome back Chris Kinnear Junior and Sean Raggett to the fold after suspension, whilst also Moses Ademola could feature after his recent loan spell with Canvey Island. Ricky Modeste is also in the squad, but is unlikely to start as he continues his recovery from injury.