*BS*MARTIN HAYES had to drag someone out of the stands to play 20 minutes of the second half to save Matt Fish from melting in the heat at Crabble.
*BF*Hayes substituted his entire team at the break during the 2-0 friendly defeat against Colchester with the exception of Fish.
Yet it was the intention to reintroduce one of the first-half players in place of the Whites full-back after 10 to 15 minutes.
But the referee in charge did not allow Hayes to make the change.
The Whites boss said: “Poor Matt played far longer than we intended. The ref told me he would not allow us to bring players on that we had already taken off.
“I was under the impression, because it was a friendly, that we could do that. The referee claims he had told the club this prior to the fixture – but I certainly had no knowledge of this rule.
“So we had to find a lad who was in the stands to come on, just so we could give Matty a breather!
“To be fair, the lad in the stands actually had been training with us this week. I don’t even know the name of the boy!
“If anyone wants a game at Faversham next week, by the way, just bring your boots, you’ll probably get on!”
*Q1*But, apart from the far from ideal build-up to the game and an over-fussy referee, Hayes was happy enough with what he saw from his Dover squad during their first tune-up match.
*BF*Whites – fielding several trialists and academy players – were far from disgraced against the League One club.
He said: “We didn’t look too bad to be fair. The opening goal was disappointing to concede. Our keeper Ross Flitney came from a cross, when he should have stayed on his line, and the header has come in.
“The gap between the two teams in the first half was not that massive and everyone worked hard, which was good to see.
“In the second half, I felt the team did not work as hard. I thought the young keeper Ben Humphrey did very well.
“Going into this game, we had only worked with the ball for about half an hour – so it was a tough game first up.
“Now we go to Faversham, which will be a step-up for us in regards to being able to play our game, attack more but on not the best pitch in the world. It will be a better match for us at this stage of our pre-season.”
Hayes says the squad he had to work with at the weekend would be good enough to mount a promotion challenge.
And he admits there was three or four trialists on display who he is seriously considering as new additions to the squad.
*Ppic1*Trialists on display were:
*BS*Ahmed Deen: *BF*Left-winger or left-back who Martin managed at Bishop’s Stortford. He went on to play for Macclesfield and Barnet.
*BS*Elliott Charles: *BF*Striker who has played for Barnet and Kettering.
*BS*Luke Medley: *BF*Right winger who has just been released by Barnet. Was on loan at Havant and Waterlooville last season.
*BS*Sam Cutler: *BF*Central midfielder or right back who has played for Weymouth and Grays. Finished last season at Welling.
*BS*Jordan Anderson: *BF*Centre half who has been with Charlton.
*BS*Jackson Ohakam: *BF*Centre-half or right-back who wanted a trial from Margate.
*BS*Aiden Davis: *BF*Been with Yeovil. Plays as a right-winger.
*BS*Mark Corneille: *BF*Central midfielder or right-back from Bromley.
*BS*Ben Hunt: *BF*Striker released by Bristol Rovers.
New-signing Rob Gillman did not feature as he was attending a family wedding but will now figure in the rest of the pre-season campaign.
Hayes said: “I just need to whittle the squad down to 18 to 20 players and then we’re ready to go.
“We’re having a good look at the trialists and there are a couple who are coming down to keep fit but are still exploring options with Football League clubs … so we’re waiting on a few things.
“However, we’re not in bad shape and I’m confident we’ll have a strong squad to go all guns blazing when the season kicks off.”