Whites lost their unbeaten league home record after a 2-1 loss to Eastleigh. James Constable, who had not scored in the league since August, opened his account with a deflected shot past a helpless Andy Rafferty. He soon doubled his tally, following up on a Ben Strevens penalty miss, the ball falling to him in spite of a superb double save from Rafferty. Ricky Modeste had briefly levelled the scores, taking advantage of a mix up in defence to run clear and slot home.*Q1*
Manager Chris Kinnear was full of praise of the players and questioned the official’s decisions. ‘We were much better than we were Saturday and really did not deserve to lose tonight, but we beaten by a little bit of experience’, said a defiant Kinnear. ‘We really did not get much from the referee today as well and the their penalty was not a penalty, Jai Reason used his experience to win it by falling over and James Constable was encroaching when the ball was kicked.’
Andy Rafferty also received special mention from the boss following his first league appearance of the season. ‘He may have only had two saves to make, but overall he did well. He talked and kicked well and had good command of his area – He really made the most of his opportunity.’
Kinnear opted not to make any substitutes believing that on another day, Whites would have scored more goals. ‘Miller and Payne are the two top goalscorers and Modeste was doing great out there. We were creating lots of chances and the players on the pitch were the most likely to score, but if we had not been making opportunities then I would have changed things.’
Kinnear insisted the players would be instantly focused on Saturday’s crucial clash at Forest Green. ‘The lads are disappointed to lose the home record, but they will not sulk and are in good spirits. Yes, it will be a difficult game on Saturday, but I would like to think we will also make it difficult for them.
With still over half of the season to go, it is all still to play for according to the Dover boss. ‘If someone had offered us third place in the middle of November, we would have snapped their hands off.’ He concluded by adding. ‘There are still four months of the season to go and the lads will be giving 100% to finish as high as they can.’*Lpic1*