PLENTY of friendships will be set aside come kick-off when Dover host Kent rivals Maidstone United in the National League at Crabble on Boxing Day.
Players and officials on both sides know each other well, but with three valuable points on offer on the day and another in the return fixture at The Gallagher on New Year’s Day, there will be no room for any sentiment.
Dover boss Chris Kinnear, who spent ‘four or five’ seasons as a player with Maidstone, insists his emotion will be no different to any other matchday – a massive desire to win, like he has for every game.
Kinnear said: “I have a lot of fond memories of my time there and it will be good to see a lot of the old faces from those days again.
“I got to know a lot of people well in that time and we are still friends, well, we won’t be for 90 minutes on Monday.
“I’m really looking forward to the game and it should be played in a cracking atmosphere.”
But it’s not only some of the Maidstone fans that Kinnear knows.
Stones manager Jay Saunders played under Kinnear and alongside now Dover assistant boss Jake Leberl at Margate.
Kinnear said: “Jay and I go back a long way, but he’s got a job to do with Maidstone and I’ve got a job to do too.
“There is no doubt he will want the three points just as much as me – that goes without saying.”
Tickets are not available in advance. Pay at the turnstiles for both home and away supporters. The fixture is segregated.
MAIDSTONE UNITED’S RECENT FORM
The Stones have lost their past two National League games, losing 2-1 at home against North Ferriby United last Saturday and 2-0 at Bromley.
Half-time substitute Jack Paxman was on target for the hosts after North Ferriby led 2-0 at one stage.
Maidstone had ended a four-game losing streak before the loss at Bromley by beating Eastleigh 2-1 at the Gallagher.
Midfielder Dan Sweeney, who joined League Two Barnet this week , got the first goal before Bobby-Joe Taylor scored a penalty to secure three points.
The last time Dover played Maidstone United they beat today’s visitors 6-3 in a Kent Senior Cup match at Sittingbourne in October 2011.
The last league meetings between the sides was in the Isthmian Premier during the 2008-09 season.
Dover won both contests, 3-0 at Crabble, and 2-0 at Sittingbourne.
Whites’ top scorer in the National League this season is Ricky Miller with 24.
Miller’s strike partners Ross Lafayette and Moses Emmanuel both have nine each.
Bobby-Joe Taylor is Maidstone’s leading man with six league goals.
Assistant boss Jake Leberl said after training on Friday that Leyton Orient loanee Sammy Moore is back in contention after his hamstring injury.
The midfielder has missed the past four games.
The game starts at 3pm but if you are unable to make the trip up the hill to Crabble, we will have live updates on Twitter – @DAFCLiveText – follow us and get all the news as it happens!
TODAY’S OTHER NATIONAL LEAGUE FIXTURES
Aldershot Town v Woking
North Ferriby United v York City
Barrow v Gateshead
Braintree Town vs Dagenham & Redbridge
Bromley v Sutton United
Guiseley AFC v Lincoln City
Solihull Moors v Chester FC
Torquay United v Forest Green Rovers
Tranmere Rovers v Macclesfield Town
Wrexham v Southport
The Supporters Club are running a coach to the National League games at Maidstone United and Macclesfield Town and details are as follows:
MAIDSTONE UNITED (Sunday, January 1)
Coach leaves Crabble at 4.15pm and the cost is as follows:
Adults Members £10, Adult Non Members £15 and accompanied child (under 16) £5.
MACCLESFIELD TOWN (Tuesday, January 10)
Coach leaves Crabble at 12.45pm and the cost is as follows:
Adults Members £30, Adult Non Members £35 and accompanied child (under 16) £10.
Please call or text Andy on 0793 4300335 to book your seat or see him in the Centre Spot on Monday.