GOALS from Stuart Lewis, Inih Effiong and Josh Passley handed Whites a routine home win in their final match of the National League season on Saturday lunchtime.
Lewis fired in Reason’s flick in the first half and Effiong hammered in a second after the break as Andy Hessenthaler’s men registered a fourth consecutive victory.
Josh Passley converted a penalty with the last kick of the game as Whites’ ended the season unbeaten in nine league games to finish 14th on the National League ladder, missing out on a top-half finish by virtue of goal difference.
In a slow start, Alfie Pavey blazed well over after Stuart Lewis’ initial shot was blocked.
Pavey was on target with his next effort, heading Bobby-Joe Taylor’s free-kick straight at visiting keeper Ross Worner.
Worner was called into action again moments later, tipping over Mitch Brundle’s cross.
But Sutton’s keeper was helpless when Stuart Lewis’ fired the hosts ahead on 17 minutes.
Dover’s midfielder latched onto Jamie Allen’s pass and smashed the ball into the bottom corner for his second goal in three matches.
Anthony Jeffrey lashed one just wide after cutting inside and Pavey was denied a seventh National League goal of the season by the assistant referee after heading in Jeffrey’s cross.
Brundle went for glory from a free-kick, with Worner dropping down to palm away the skipper’s goalbound effort.
Brett Williams was just off-target with a fierce drive in a rare Sutton attack and the striker’s next shot was on target, but lacked the power to trouble Walker.
The away side went close to equalising shortly after the restart as Tom Bolarinwa smacked the crossbar with a curling effort.
Walker made his first save of the match, tipping away Williams’ bottom-corner bound strike.
Taylor went close to scoring his first goal for Dover, blasting Jeffrey’s cross inches over.
Worner prevented Allen from heading into the bottom corner but was left rooted to the spot when the home side doubled their lead on 76 minutes.
Sub Inih Effiong sprinted clear and slammed his ninth National League goal of the season into the top corner.
Williams almost pulled one back for United but was unable to get the better of Walker.
And Jeffrey’s went close to added gloss to the scoreline in injury-time as Worner scraped his drive wide.
However, the scoring was not over as Passley netted from the spot in injury time after being fouled in the area.
Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made one change to the side that started at Ebbsfleet on Bank Holiday Monday with Mitch Walker, making his final appearance for Athletic, replacing Lee Worgan in goal.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
SUTTON UNITED REACTION
A LATE goal by Stuart Lewis handed Whites’ back-to-back victories in the National League at Crabble on Saturday.
Midfielder Lewis followed up after visiting stopper Jake Cole spilt out Anthony Jeffrey’s ball across goal to extend Dover’s unbeaten league run to seven matches.
The victory lifts Andy Hessenthaler’s men to 17th in the league table on 54 points, with boss Andy Hessenthaler setting a revised target of 60 points by the end of the season.
Earlier, Rollin Menayese headed over from John Goddard’s cross as the game’s first meaningful chance went the way of the already relegated Shots.
Inih Effiong then went for glory, exchanging passes with Anthony Jeffrey before forcing visiting goalkeeper Jake Cole into a low save from the edge of the area.
Effiong then slipped in Jamie Allen, but Dover’s forward slipped at the crucial moment and sent his shot sailing over the crossbar.
The home side continued to create chances and Bobby-Joe Taylor, playing in a more advanced role for Whites, headed Jeffrey’s pinpoint ball back across the goalmouth and out for a goal-kick.
Aldershot’s first attempt on target arrived shortly after the restart when Goddard took aim, however, Worgan was equal to the long-ranger and parried the ball away.
Effiong swivelled in the area, only to see his strike bravely blocked by the visiting defence, while Jeffrey had Cole scrambling along his goalline with a dipping 30-yarder.
Kevin Lokko then glanced Taylor’s corner off-target and the away side went even close five minutes before the hour mark.
Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong found Reece Grant in the area, but the striker was unable to hit the target as the ball deflected off Joshua Debayo and onto the foot of the post before being cleared the safety.
Athletic and Effiong were left looking to the skies with their next opportunity.
Taylor slipped in Dover’s top scorer at the far post, only for Cole to somehow deny Effiong with a spectacular block from point-blank range.
Goddard stabbed McDonnell’s pass just wide and sub George Elokobi volleyed past the far post from distance.
Cole continued to thwart the hosts, somehow palming over Nortei Nortey’s deflected top corner-bound strike.
And the Shot’s stopper was not finished there.
Referee David Rock ushered play on following a foul on sub Alfie Pavey, but while the Aldershot defence remained motionless, Cole was out quickly to deny Allen.
Stuart Lewis had an effort cleared off the line and moments later the Aldershot backline denied Athletic.
Jeffrey outsprinted his opponent out wide, finding Allen to thump the ball goalwards, only for Rollin Menayese to acrobatically clear the ball off the line.
Sub Kadell Daniel nearly scored his first goal of the season, firing inches wide, while Cole gathered Jeffrey’s long-distance effort at the second attempt.
Agyepong raced through to steal the win late on, only for Worgan to make a sprawling save.
Dover finally made the breakthrough on 89 minutes thanks to Lewis’ first goal for the club.
Lewis tucked the ball into the bottom corner after Cole parried out Jeffrey’s ball.
Earlier, boss Andy Hessenthaler four changes to the side that started at Barrow last week. Adebowale, Jeffrey, Debayo and Allen came in for Scott Doe, Josh Passley, Pavey and Jai Reason with the latter two named as substitutes.
Whites next travel to Ebbsfleet in the National League on Bank Holiday Monday 22nd April, kick-off 3 pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
ALDERSHOT TOWN REACTION
WHITES moved nine points clear of the drop zone following a goalless draw at Crabble on Saturday.
In a game of few chances, Athletic held on to extend their unbeaten run in the National League to five matches.
Inih Effiong jinked through the visiting defence early on, however, both he and teammate Alfie Pavey both tried to shoot at the same time and the ball rolled harmlessly through as a result of the mix-up.
Chesterfield, with seven changes from their 2-0 win against Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend, forced the first shot on target with home stopper turning away Jack McKay’s stinging volley.
Bobby-Joe Taylor’s swirling free-kick had Joe Anyon scrambling, but the ball flew over the visiting goalie’s far post.
Jai Reason’s long ball set Alfie Pavey clear, but Spireites skipper Will Evans recovered in time to make a last-ditch challenge.
Stuart Lewis then sent a 25-yard effort into the side netting for Athletic.
Worgan then dived low to grab onto Marc-Antoine Fortune’s low drive following a one-two with Charlie Carter on the edge of the area and at the other end, Mitch Brundle sent a piledriver just over.
Lewis sent another shot from distance over after Taylor’s free-kick struck the Chesterfield wall and Fortune scuffed well wide from a right angle after Lee Shaw had played in the ball from out wide.
Dover’s best chance came midway through the second half.
Kevin Lokko headed Reason’s pinpoint delivery goalwards, only for the ball to cannon off both Pavey and Bedsente Gomis and away after both players tried to head on target.
Andrew Kiwomya blazed over from a few yards after Worgan’s parry from Fortune fell kindly for the substitute.
Kiwomya saw his shot strike Lokko and though Lawrence Maguire sent the rebound goalwards with venom from the edge of the box, Lokko bravely blocked the ball with his body to keep Dover’s clean sheet intact.
Earlier, boss Andy Hessenthaler made one change to the side that started at Solihull last week, with Effiong replacing the injured Jamie Allen.
Whites are in National League action again next weekend when they travel to Barrow on Saturday 13th April, kick-off 3 pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
A GOAL in each half eased Dover’s relegation fears as Andy Hessenthaler’s men won in windy conditions at Crabble on Saturday.
Alfie Pavey’s close-range finish and a goal direct from Anthony Jeffrey’s cross had Whites in control just after the hour mark.
Matty Kosylo headed home to set up a nervy last 25 minutes for the hosts, however Athletic held on to move five points clear of the National League drop zone.
Town’s Nathan Clarke took an early shot on from a corner but volleyed narrowly over.
Dover went for goal twice in quick succession, with long-range efforts from Bedsente Gomis and Jeffrey going straight at visiting keeper Sam Johnson.
Town’s stopper then beat away Mitch Brundle’s fiercely struck free-kick and then grabbed onto Stuart Lewis’ follow-up volley from the edge of the box.
Home keeper Lee Worgan dived low to tip away Devante Rodney’s bottom-corner bound drive and Jeffrey was off target at the other end with a curling effort over the crossbar.
Pavey, in search of his third National League goal of the season for Athletic, saw Johnson pat down a 30-yard strike.
And the striker made no mistake with his next chance on 25 minutes.
Jai Reason weaved past two defenders and laid the ball off for Pavey to fire past Johnson from inside the penalty area.
The Halifax defence were clearly aggrieved by the opener, but their claims of handball against Reason were waved away by the referee.
The midfielder then nearly turned goalscorer, sending a scorching volley just wide before the break.
Hessenthaler’s team were nearly made to pay for missing their chances 10 minutes after the restart.
Danny McNamara’s stumble allowed Kosylo to break clear, however, Worgan blocked the winger’s shot with his legs.
Pavey poked wide after Bobby-Joe Taylor’s free-kick struck the wall, but Athletic had the lead in fortuitous circumstances on 61 minutes.
Taylor surged forward and passed to Jeffrey to whip in a cross which passed a stunned Johnson and into the bottom corner.
However, the points were not safe as The Shaymen pulled a goal back three minutes later through dangerman Kosylo.
A long kick by goalkeeper Johnson made it’s way all the way up to Dover’s penalty area for Kosylo to head over the onrushing Worgan and into the net.
Kevin Lokko almost restored the two-goal advantage, heading over Taylor’s corner.
Cameron King robbed McNamara and set Manny Duku clear, only for the substitute to slip at the crucial moment and send the ball wide of the mark.
There were cries of disbelief from the home crowd when the fourth official showed six minutes of injury time on the board, but Whites held on to extend their unbeaten home run to three matches.
Earlier, boss Hessenthaler kept with the same side that drew 1-1 with Boreham Wood at Crabble on Tuesday night.
Whites next travel to Dagenham & Redbridge in the National League on Tuesday 26th March, kick-off 7:45 pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
MITCH Brundle’s first-half goal ensured the points were shared at Crabble on Tuesday night.
The defender headed in Bobby-Joe Taylor’s free-kick to cancel out Justin Shaibu’s opener for a Boreham Wood side wearing Dover’s away strip from the Skrill South 2013/2014 promotion-winning campaign after their kit man arrived late due to heavy traffic.
It was the visitors who went ahead on four minutes via top scorer Shaibu.
The Brentford loanee latched onto debutant Charlie Cooper’s through ball and slammed the ball into the far corner past home stopper Lee Worgan.
Dover’s misery did not last long and the Kent side were level just six minutes later thanks to Mitch Brundle’s seventh goal of the season.
The skipper rose highest to head in Bobby-Joe Taylor free-kick to restore parity.
Anthony Jeffrey almost had Dover ahead five minutes before the break, forcing visiting keeper Ryan Huddart to tip his low drive wide of the post.
Jai Reason was next to try from the edge of the box but scuffed off target from Jamie Allen’s pass.
It was almost 2-1 to the hosts just moments later when Alfie Pavey, searching for his third goal in as many starts, headed Danny McNamara’s accurate centre narrowly wide.
Following the restart, Allen was unable to connect with Pavey’s driven pass across the goal line and Kevin Lokko stabbed wide after Taylor’s set-piece fell kindly for the centre back.
Jamal Fyfield was left looking to the skies with Wood’s next chance.
The defender slammed the ball goalwards, only to see Worgan fling himself to turn the ball over in spectacular fashion.
A lightning Dover counter-attack ended with Huddart saving Allen’s curling effort and later on Pavey mistimed his volley after Reason found the forward in space.
Keiran Murtagh almost stunned the home crowd as he fired a long-range strike into Worgan’s mid-rift.
Substitute Inih Effiong nearly scored a stunning late winner but smashed well over after a sprint towards the box.
Luke Garrard’s men almost stole the win in injury time when Murtagh’s looping header struck the crossbar and bounced over for a goal kick.
Earlier, boss Hessenthaler kept with the same side that started at Hartlepool on Saturday.
Whites next host FC Halifax Town in the National League on Saturday 16th March, kick-off 3 pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
BOREHAM WOOD REACTION
GOALKEEPER Lee Worgan starred on his National League debut for Dover to help his side win a crucial three points against 10-man Braintree.
Worgan produced a string of fine saves, including a stunning fingertip save to push Cameron James’ goalbound free-kick onto the crossbar and a penalty save from Korrey Henry.
The visitors started strongly and Worgan was soon in action, blocking Callum Morton’s angled drive after the West Brom loanee had been sent clear by Ifeani Allen a couple of minutes into the game.
Things took a turn for the worse for basement side Town when Ricky Gabriel was given his marching orders after four minutes after an off the ball incident with Alfie Pavey as Dover prepared to take a free-kick.
Dover made the man advantage count 15 minutes later as Pavey scored his first league goal for Whites.
The striker saw his initial header from a Bobby-Joe Taylor corner blocked but slammed home the rebound after visiting stopper Ben Killip pushed Mitch Brundle’s follow-up shot into Pavey’s path.
Worgan dived onto Allen’s low drive and at the other end, Kevin Lokko had a headed goal ruled out for a foul during a corner.
The chances kept coming for Dover as Pavey headed Taylor’s cross straight at Killip and Bedsente Gomis blasted well over from outside the box.
Worgan then produced an exceptional save just after the restart – James’ set piece seemed destined for the top corner, but the former Wales under-21 international somehow tipped the ball onto the crossbar before clutching onto Morton’s follow-up shot.
Lokko then headed another chance wide and Worgan continued to impress when referee Josh Smith pointed to the spot after Henry’s shot cannoned off Scott Doe’s arm in the area.
Henry ignored his teammate Allen’s pleas to hand the spot-kick duties over to designated taker Morton and Worgan left the striker red-faced, diving low to his left and then grabbing the ball at the second attempt.
Andy Hessenthaler’s men duly punished their opponents as Jai Reason marked his return to the side with a goal on 57 minutes, cheekily nodding Brundle’s cross over the onrushing Killip.
Taylor almost grabbed his first goal for Dover but chipped wide of the mark after being put through by Gomis.
Instead, it was Brundle who sealed the win in the 74th minute, heading home Ricky Modeste’s inch-perfect cross after the winger had beaten two Town players out wide after collecting Jamie Allen’s pass from inside in own half.
Killip redeemed himself as full-time drew to a close, diving full-length to turn away Stuart Lewis’ half-volley from Tayor’s cross.
The final whistle confirmed Dover’s first home win of 2019.
Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made four changes to the side that started at Maidenhead last week with Reason, Pavey and Worgan replacing Danny McNamara, Inih Effiong and Mitch Walker.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION