Dover put in a courageous performance against full time League 1 Colchester on Friday night in a thrilling 2-2 draw. Craig Stone scored early on before Colchester hit back with two goals before half time. Nathan Elder struck late on as both teams shared the spoils.
Boss Chris Kinnear was happy with the result, but still clearly fully aware that term ‘friendly match’ means nothing in terms of points. ‘It was a good exercise and was played in the right spirit with no unpleasantness between the two sides. It was tough, but we want tough tests at home like this and the one coming up on Tuesday night against Gillingham. It is not just about pre season, you have to learn things, whether you win or lose. If we had every pre season game I would be saying the same, we would still be learning.’ *Q1*
He also added. ‘I learnt how fit we are, but we are still a little way from sharpness. We have a fair old squad now and there are a few new ones that we are learning about.
One player that Chris feels he has learnt enough about is Jake Reid, with the former Bath man penning a contract prior to the game after a fine pre season so far. Chris said of his new signing. ‘He has done well and scored goals and I really think he can help the squad. We are still looking to sign players if they can improve the squad.
Reid’s strike partner on the night, Stefan Payne, who signed from Hornchurch and was well known to Chris from his times at Ebbsfleet, Sutton and Fulham, has also impressed fans with his determination, effort and clever forward runs. His manager however, believes he may be working too hard at the moment. ‘He is still getting a bit tired when he is playing, but it is because he is working so hard and is doing a lot more than the training we provide. He just needs to work a bit smarter and he has been talking to John the fitness guy to work on some things.’ *Lpic1*
Another player worth mentioning is Chris Nanetti, who followed up his goal on Tuesday night with another blistering cameo performance, delivering at least three quality balls into the penalty area within minutes of coming off the bench. ‘He is a blinking good player. He is not quite fit yet, but you can see in one game he scored one goal and in the next he put in some great crosses. The crowd will love him as he is different to anyone else we have here.’
One player that has moved on though is the Lloyd Harrington, much to the disappointment of the fans who are clearly saddened to see the versatile youngster leave. Kinnear explained the reasons behind his departure. ‘He had gone down to Ebbsfleet without telling me as they said they would take him on and loan him out. We told him he needs games, but financially loaning him out is not something that we can afford to do. If he had said that he wanted to stick at it a bit longer, then I would have been happy to, but he wanted a decision right now. Unfortunately anyone would take time to recover from an injury like that, even someone like Messi. That is the way football is and I hope there are no hard feelings.’ *Lpic2*