BISHOP DEPARTS AS DOVER CHECKMATE SOUTHPORT
MODESTE STRIKES EARLY TO WIN MATCH FOR WHITES
WHITES were back to winning ways after Ricky Modeste’s early header secured victory over a battling Southport side on a bitterly cold and wet day on Merseyside.
There were two changes for Dover as Chris Kinnear Jnr and Moses Emmanuel made way for Ricky Miller and Sammy Moore. The latter had an instant impact, delivering an inch-perfect cross for Modeste to head over a stranded Ryan Crump after only three minutes.
The early goal seemed to give the visitors a lift and they continued to create chances. Miller’s curling shot was smartly saved by Crump, who then gifted the same player an open goal after fumbling a Modeste deep cross. Miller slammed the ball home, but no goal was given as Jamie Grimes was adjudged to have fouled the youngster on loan from Swindon.
Jim Stevenson was next to try his luck but skewed his volley wide when well placed following good work from Sam Magri and Moore.
Southport worked their way back into the match midway through the first half. James Caton fired a 25-yard effort over the bar and then a careless ball from Miller released Andrai Jones but aimed a tame effort straight down the throat of Steve Arnold in Dover’s goal.
The home side thought they had restored parity on 38 minutes as Louis Almond’s cross cannoned in off John Cofie, but the linesman ruled out the strike for offside.
Miller continued to trouble the Southport defence and had three great chances to extend Whites lead before half time. His first was a low effort stopped by the legs of Crump after an accurately threaded ball from Magri. Miller then went on a mazy run and fired just wide of the post before his best chance came as he beat Crump to a long ball, but could not get past the covering Neil Ashton on the line who was able to clear the ball away to safety.
The Sandgrounders came out fighting from the off in the second half and were almost level within minutes of the restart. An Almond corner was headed goalwards by Josh Thompson and Jon Royle diverted the ball just wide of the right-hand post. Minutes later Caton latched onto a long crossfield pass and though he got the better of Magri, was unable to beat the big frame of Arnold at his near post.
Dover had a glorious chance to put the game to bed with a third of the game to go. Substitute Emmanuel found an onrushing Modeste, who was able to flick the ball past Royle to leave himself one on one with Crump, however, his curled effort crept just past the wrong side of the post.
With time running out, Southport pressed harder for an equaliser. McCarthy almost connected to a fizzing cross from Almond and then Cofie found himself clear on goal but fired wide after checking back to shoot on his stronger right foot.
There was one last chance for the hosts as Gary Jones blasted wide from outside the area following a clever corner routine, but as they had all match, Dover defending stoutly until the referee signalled for the end of the game.
The win was Dover’s first over Southport in five league attempts and it cost home manager Andy Bishop his job after just 18 games in charge.
Whites move two places up to 10th ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime clash with table-topping Forest Green at Crabble.