Tranmere Rovers v Dover Athletic

RYAN Bird’s 79th-minute penalty stunned a 4000-strong home crowd as Dover won 1-0 in front of the BT Sport cameras at Prenton Park on Saturday.

The striker rammed the ball down the middle of the goal after being fouled in the box by Ritchie Sutton.

The visitors started brightly with Mitch Pinnock’s 30-yard strike narrowly clearing home keeper Scott Davies’ bar.

The home team were first to register a shot on target as Ollie Norburn curled a free-kick into the arms of Mitch Walker.

And Dover’s stopper was in the thick of the action as Rovers pushed forward.

He dived onto Sutton’s drive at the second attempt after initially parrying the defender’s effort, then blocked Hughes shot after Jay Harris’ cross-field ball found the midfielder in space.

Andy Cook then tried his luck with a twenty-yard rocket that fizzed past the post much to the relief of a diving Walker.

Jamie Allen latched onto a goal-kick, but his first-time shot was too weak to trouble Davies.

Pinnock went close before the break after robbing Steve McNulty but aimed his shot just wide.

Walker had to be alert to block Cook’s close-range header from a Harris cross and at the other end, Femi Ilesanmi’s shot whistled past the far post after Mitch Brundle found the winger in space.

Sub Tobi Sho-Silva forced Davies into a smart save late on with a clever turn and strike from the edge of the box.

Ilesanmi then went even closer to giving Whites the lead, heading sub Loui Fazakerley’s cross against the bar.

James Norwood’s flick from sub Liam Ridehalgh’s set-piece went agonisingly wide for the hosts.

But the away team did go ahead ten minutes later thanks to Bird’s penalty.  The forward was felled in the area after sneaking in ahead of Sutton as the defender went to clear the ball, leaving Peter Wright no choice but to award a spot-kick.

With the clock ticking towards full-time, Walker pulled off two fine saves to confirm Dover’s second win in three games at Tranmere.

The keeper firstly blocked Ridehalgh’s effort with his legs, with Connor  Essam on hand to clear the ball off the line as it rolled towards goal.

Walker then somehow pawed behind Norwood’s volley following good work from Sutton.

Earlier, Chris Kinnear made one change from the side that drew with Ebbsfleet on Monday. Fit-again Jamie Allen replaced Tobi Sho-Silva, who started on the bench.

The win sees Whites rise three placed to sixth in the table, two points of leaders Dagenham & Redbridge.

DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION

TRANMERE ROVERS REACTION

MATCH GALLERY

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Tranmere Rovers v Dover Athletic FC

NOT even goalkeeper Mitch Walker’s heroics could prevent Dover from leaving Prenton Park empty-handed on Tuesday.

Walker saved a second-half penalty to deny second-placed Tranmere taking the lead before finally being beaten by substitute Cole Stockton’s header.

The defeat sees Whites drop to eighth on the National League ladder ahead of Gateshead’s visit to Crabble on Saturday.

It was a quiet start to the game and it wasn’t until the 13th minute there was an attempt on goal from either side – and it came from Dover.

Joe Healy’s powerful 25-yarder sailed well wide of Scott Davies’ goal and that sparked the game into life.

Tranmere responded with Andy Cook volleying Liam Ridelagh’s cross into the side netting.

The same pairing combined minutes later with Walker turning Cook’s header over.

Dover had a penalty shout waved away after Moses Emmanuel went down after a Stephen McNulty challenge.

Ricky Miller, jeered every time he went near the ball, almost silenced the home fans with a stunning effort in the 39th minute.

He burst between two defenders before seeing his thunderous strike tipped onto the bar by Davies.

Richard Orlu headed the resulting corner wide before an outstretched Miller just failed to get on the end of Emmanuel’s cross with the goal at his mercy.

Tranmere went on the attack immediately after half-time and Cook’s powerful charge from just inside the Dover half ended with Walker saving the striker’s effort at his near post.

Walker came to the rescue again moments later, keeping out James Norwood’s penalty after Loui Fazakerley had bundled Connor Jennings over.

It was the third consecutive spot kick Tranmere had missed.

Walker was soon back in business again, rushing out bravely to deny an onrushing Norwood in a one-on-one.

Miller was denied by a last-ditch tackle by Adam Buxton before Stockton finally found a way past Walker in the 68th minute.

Ridehalgh’s free-kick found the striker free at the back post and he headed powerfully past Walker.

Lee Vaughan forced Walker into another save seven minutes from time after the defender tried his luck from distance.

Dover almost created something out of nothing deep in stoppage time after Healy robbed Vaughan near the corner flag and the midfielder sent in a cross which led to a mad scramble – but no equaliser.

Earlier, boss Chris Kinnear named the same starting side following the win at Guiseley on Saturday.

He made two changes on the bench with Sam Magri returning from international duty replacing Peter Skapitis.

The other saw Aswad Thomas return from suspension in place of Chris Kinnear jnr.

DOVER ATHLETIC 

TRANMERE ROVERS REACTION

MATCH GALLERY

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