Whites lost Saturday’s crucial home league game in spite of holding a comfortable two goal lead at half time thanks to goals from Liam Bellamy and Tom Murphy, only for Bishop’s Stortford to hit back with recent departed Brian Woodall scoring the winner on his debut for the away side with five minutes on the clock remaining.
‘Very disappointed obviously as in the first half the pitch was in good conditions and we were coasting. It looked like it was going to be a case of how many are we going to get.’ Said Kinnear after the game whilst also adding ‘They gambled and perhaps because we are a young side and the pitch got a bit heavy, we panicked a bit and found it difficult to the ball forward in the difficult conditions. We did not really get going in the second half and in the end they nicked it – we definitely should have won the game and three points have been thrown away, no doubt about that.’
Home has not been where the heart is for Dover so far this season with the team losing 6 of their last 10 at Crabble; however Kinnear pointed to a bigger picture. ‘It is ridiculous that we have lost that amount of home games, but if you include the MK Dons game, we have lost 5 in 21 – Which is not bad form for such a young side.’*Q1*
A bit of nous and experience at any level is essential when defending a lead, of which according to Dover’s boss, is lacking from his youthful team currently. ‘Experience was lacking. We have seven lads under the age of 25 and when you are a young side, this sort of thing can catch you – It was one of those of things. I am sure Craig Stone would have made a difference talking to the lads with his experience, but he is only 24 as well.’
Whites remain four points off the play offs, but Kinnear is still optimistic despite this afternoon’s set back. ‘There is a long way to go and we can still reach the play offs. Our record this season in all competitions is still good considering that we have such a young side. We won’t be panicking, pointing fingers and blaming people as we are in it as a team. We cannot feel sorry for ourselves, we have to bounce back and have a go.’*Lpic1*
Kinnear also urged supporters to keep getting behind his young guns. ‘I understand it is disappointing for everyone involved with the club, but we all need to stick together as we are trying to build a team. There has been a high turnover of players in the last few years and a lot of good young players have left Dover and gone on to do very well. We have to keep our young players and teach them whilst also trying to win at the same time. We have the nucleus of a good side here.’