WHITES battled back from a goal down at half-time to draw 1-1 at Folkestone Invicta in their third pre-season friendly of the campaign.
A triallist, one of six introduced after the restart, slotted the ball past the outstretched arm of substitute home keeper Nick Shaw to level matters after Johan Ter Horst had put the hosts ahead before the break.
Early on, Connor Essam volleyed over Kadell Daniel’s corner from six yards and Inih Effiong saw his close-range shot from Josh Passley’s cross blocked by Invicta stopper Tim Roberts.
But it was the hosts who went ahead on 24 minutes.
A mistimed tackle from defender Ejiro Okosieme allowed Kieron McCann to cross for the waiting Ter Horst to fire past a helpless Mitch Walker in the Athletic goal.
A similar error at the other end almost saw Effiong equalise, but the burly forward was unable to connect properly with the ball.
And Dover’s summer signing felt he should have been given a free shot on goal just before the restart.
Effiong burst through and appeared to be felled in the area, however, the referee thought otherwise and waved play-on, in spite of the visitor’s protests.
Boss Chris Kinnear made ten changes after the restart and two of the triallists almost made the breakthrough for Whites after Folkestone’s Ian Draycott blazed over substitute keeper Chris Lewington’s bar.
Firstly, one of the triallists saw his curling effort from the edge of the box tipped away by Roberts and Kinnear’s men went even closer to restoring parity on 77 minutes.
Another of the triallists turned smartly and fired on target, only to see his shot cleared away by the Folkestone defender back on goalline.
But in hot conditions, Dover were able to muster an equaliser a minute later to continue their unbeaten pre-season run.
Athletic next travel to Chelmsford City on Wednesday 18th July. Kick off 7:45pm.
Whites XI: Walker (Lewington 45), Triallist, Passley (Fazakerley 45), Essam (Adebowale 45), Lokko (Diarra 45), Okosieme (Triallist 45), Gomis (Triallist 45), Brundle (Triallist 45), Jeffrey (Triallist 45), Effiong (Triallist 45), Daniel (Triallist 45).
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
DOVER proved too strong for their Bostik Premier League neighbours after winning Saturday’s friendly 5-1 at the Fullicks Stadium.
Tobi Sho-Silva netted a brace, with Kane Richards, Mitch Brundle and substitute Ryan Bird also on the scoresheet.
Athletic went close early on as Brundle struck the post with a low effort after winning the ball in midfield.
First to the rebound was Sho-Silva and the former Bromley man sent the ball back towards Dover’s captain, who headed straight at Folkestone keeper Scott Chalmers-Stevens.
Invicta’s stopper had to be at his best minutes later, tipping away Sho-Silva’s drive after the striker had been put clean through by Mitch Pinnock.
Brundle’s resulting corner almost flew straight in, but Scott Heard was on hand at the back post to head off the line.
Another Pinnock pass saw Richards run clear of the home defence, but his delicate chip sailed harmlessly over.
The first goal came on 33 minutes. An error from Folkestone skipper Kwabena Osei saw the ball run into Sho-Silva’s path and the forward fired home his first goal for Dover via a slight deflection.
The lead was almost doubled prior to the break, Femi Ilesamni crossing towards a lurking Richards at the far post, but the winger aimed his header wide of the upright.
But the summer signing from Chester bagged his first for the club 15 minutes after the restart.
The pacy winger made no mistake from five yards, slotting home a cross at the near post.
Brundle then opened his own account for Dover in stunning style a minute later. The midfielder’s 20-yard chip from Bird’s lay-off sailed over a helpless Chalmers-Stevens and into the top corner.
Sho-Silva grabbed his second on 75 minutes, taking Brundle’s smart pass in his stride and calmly slotting into the bottom corner.
Invicta grabbed a late consolation when a cross from Salvin Kisitu went straight in with nine minutes remaining.
Bird had the last say though, latching onto a long ball and smashing home with the last kick of the match.
Earlier, boss Chris Kinnear had made three changes from Tuesday night’s defeat to Charlton.
Pinnock, George Essuman and a triallist came in for Jamie Allen, Connor Essam and Bird, who started on the bench.
Dover visit Tonbridge Angels on Monday (7.30pm) before hosting Welling on Tuesday (7.45pm).
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION