*BS*CRAIG CLOKE will be missing from Dover’s line-up this Saturday. The dynamic defender-cum-midfielder is suspended for one match after picking up five bookings this season.*BF*
Replacing Cloke in midfield is likely to be Andy Hessenthaler, who hasn’t started a game for three weeks. Hessenthaler is close to suspension himself and many teams will be relieved at the end of this month when players are given a clean slate in terms of bookings.
Title rivals Tooting are also suffering a suspension on Saturday against Whitstable. Striker Paul Vines will miss out after being sent-off for over-celebration against Worthing.
It’s a time of year when every yellow and red card can count for or against you. For instance, Sittingbourne keeper Chris Lewington was dismissed on Saturday at Met Police and will therefore miss Bourne’s trip to Tooting a week on Saturday.
Dover, however, need only focus on their own fortunes. Currently four points clear, two wins in the next two matches would see Whites go at least seven points ahead of Tooting but having played a game more than the Surrey club. That game in hand for Tooting will be away to Burgess Hill.
Horsham YMCA worked their socks off at SeaFrance Crabble on Monday night, putting in a performance that belied their position in the table. Had they been able to take one of their chances, it could have been a great night for them.
Dover were somewhat fortunate, despite dominating much of the game, but perhaps this kind of victory shows their mental strength. After a tough afternoon at Dulwich last Saturday, a low-tempo performance was perhaps unsurprising. All that matters at this time of year is points though and Monday’s win could end up being viewed as crucial come the end of the season.
Hess’s men have gained 35 points on home turf so far this season (2.4 points per game), only three points short of last season’s overall haul of 38 points at home (1.8 points per game). A win against Croydon Athletic on Saturday would see last season’s home total equalled with six matches at Crabble still to go.
More pertinently, since the Chatham match three weeks ago Whites have conceded just one goal (a penalty) in five games. All the more impressive considering the number of youngsters in Dover’s back-line recently. If the team can keep this defensive form going in the next four matches, Dover should travel to Tooting on Saturday, March 1 in a strong position.
*BS*Facts about Saturday’s visitors Croydon Athletic:*BF*
– Reggie Savage: top-scorer in Ryman South earlier in the season, Savage left Croydon for spells at AFC Wimbledon and Bromley. Has since returned, however, and scored against Whyteleafe last Saturday. Croydon won the game 2-0.
– They have won just three times on the road this season. However, two of those three victories have come from their last five away games.
– Croydon have scored more goals away than any other side in the bottom half but have also conceded more than any other team in the division on their travels.
– They were involved in the highest scoring match in Ryman South this season, a 6-2 home win against Chatham.
– Croydon will be missing right back Adam Wadmore on Saturday, after he was sent off last week.
*BS*Facts about Tuesday’s opponents Molesey:*BF*
– The Moles are yet to win on home turf this season. However, they did take a point from their match against Kingstonian on Saturday.
– Goalscoring has been the main issue for Molesey this season. Luke Edghill is top-scorer with five goals. Moles have averaged exactly one goal per game.
– Their last win came against Dover’s opponents on Saturday, Croydon Athletic.
– Molesey’s average attendance this season is 122.