AN INJURY-TIME leveller from Tyrone Williams saw Athletic denied a third straight win in the National League at 10-man Solihull Moors.
The right-back bundled in late on to cancel out Scott Doe’s volley just before the break. Alfie Pavey had tapped Dover into an early lead, with Danny Wright equalising for the hosts.
Wright nearly handed the hosts the ideal start, curling just off target within a minute of the kickoff.
Instead, it was the visitors who made the early breakthrough thanks to their in-form striker.
Bobby-Joe Taylor sent in a low cross which the Solihull defence were unable to clear, leaving Alfie Pavey the simplest of finishes for his fifth goal in six matches for Athletic.
Nathan Blissett almost latched onto Taylor’s misplaced pass, but Doe was on hand to clear the danger.
Wright then went down in the area, only for the referee to wave away the forward’s claims for a spot kick.
Darren Carter had sight of goal from the edge of the D but fired straight at visiting stopper Lee Worgan.
Athletic’s keeper then had to be at his agile best to deny Wright.
The target man headed a corner goalwards, only for Worgan to pull off a flying save to divert the ball over the bar.
Former Cheltenham striker Wright was not to be denied when his next chance arrived on 38 minutes.
Worgan could only parry Jamey Osborne’s fierce 20-yard drive as far as wright, who stabbed in the equaliser.
Dover’s keeper was insistent Moors’ scorer was in an offside position as he put the ball in the net, but his pleas to the linesman were in vain as the goal stood.
However, the visitors were ahead once again six minutes later.
Ryan Boot could only punch Taylor’s swirling set-piece as far as the lurking Scott Doe and the defender made no mistake with a volley that flew past the home goalie and into the back of the net.
Tim Flowers’ side found themselves a man light five minutes after the interval when Liam Daly was shown two yellow cards in quick succession, the second for an elbow on Pavey during an aerial challenge.
But the 10-men nearly restored parity when Jermaine Hylton fired wide of the mark from Jamie Reckord’s ball into the area.
And Whites nearly extended their lead after some calamitous goalkeeping from Boot.
The stopper miscontrolled Williams’ backpass and had the scramble the ball off the goal line with his feet.
Hylton tried again from distance, only for Worgan to get his body behind the ball.
There was then a heart-in-mouth moment for Dover’s stopper after spilling Osborne’s low shot, however, a foul was given against Hylton for his challenge on Worgan when trying to pounce on the rebound.
Substitute Anthony Jeffrey went close, blasting inches past the far post from fellow sub Ricky Modeste’s pass.
Hylton, Blissett and sub Adi Yussuf all had efforts, but none were able to trouble Worgan as the clock ticked towards full time.
And Moors were rewarded for their pressure as Williams tucked the ball between Worgan’s legs three minutes into injury time to ensure the points were shared, although Yussuf also claimed he got the final touch before the ball crossed the line.
The draw sees Dover drop one place to 20th on the league ladder, however Havant & Waterlooville’s draw at Sutton United means the Kent side remain eight points clear of the bottom four.
Earlier, boss Hessenthaler named the same side that started at Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night. Ricky Modeste replaced Kadell Daniel on the bench.
Whites next host Chesterfield on Saturday 6th April in the National League, kick-off 3 pm
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
SOLIHULL MOORS REACTION
WHITES’ promotion hopes were dented by Alex Reid’s late winner at Damson Park on Saturday.
The substitute collected Darren Carter’s pass and fired past Mitch Walker to give his side the lead after Whites had twice gone ahead thanks to Ryan Bird’s penalty and Mitch Pinnock’s finish. Moors twice hit back via Kyle Storer and a Kwame Thomas spot kick.
The hosts started brightly and test Walker early on with Dover’s stopper saving from Carter.
But it was Athletic that had the lead midway through the first half following Storer’s clumsy challenge on Anthony Jeffrey.
Bird slotted the ball into the middle of the goal from 12 yards and though home stopper Max O’Leary initially stopped the ball with his legs, the Bristol City loanee was unable to prevent the ball from trickling over the line.
But Mark Yates’ side were level just seven minutes later through Storer.
The midfielder volleyed a loose ball into the bottom corner after following up on Jamey Osborne’s blocked shot.
Walker then prevented his side from going behind, turning behind Adi Yussuf’s close-range shot with his foot.
Osborne tried his luck from range after the restart, curling a deflected effort just past the wrong side of the post. Nortei Nortey then chested the ball off the line following a corner, with the subsequent cross from Storer clipping the top of the bar.
And a defensive error by Tyrone Williams handed Whites the lead once more.
A wayward header from the centre back fell for Pinnock, who strode onto the ball and slotted into the net, in spite of Daly’s last-ditch attempt the clear the winger’s effort off the line.
Osborne blasted wide and Yussuf fired into Walker’s arms as the away side searched for a second leveller.
And that equaliser arrived with fifteen minutes remaining as Whites gave away their first penalty of the season.
Manny Parry fouled Osborne in the area and despite the centre half protesting the ball had gone out of play, the referee awarded the spot-kick and Thomas slammed the ball into the middle of the goal, through the already diving Walker’s outstretched hand.
Pinnock’s spectacular long ranger flew straight down the throat of O’Leary as Chris Kinnear’s men looked to go in front for a third time, but it was Moors who grabbed a winner six minutes from the end.
A counter-attack saw Carter escape down the left wing and the midfielder passed inside to sub Reid, who checked inside and fired past a statuesque Walker in goal.
The hosts held on to condemn Whites to their second consecutive league defeat and keep Kinnear’s side ninth in the standings, one point outside the playoffs.
Dover next host Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday 20th February. Kick off 7:45 pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
MILLER MAGIC SPELLS TROUBLE FOR MOORS
Ten-man Dover stun Solihull after Ricky bags three
RICKY Miller’s third hat-trick of the season secured 10-man Dover a sensational win at National League newcomers Solihull Moors on Saturday.
Miller struck three times in the second half as boss Chris Kinnear’s side turned a 1-0 deficit at half-time into a memorable victory in the West Midlands.
And they did it after playing a man short for more than an hour after defender Jack Parkinson was given a straight red.
Last man Parkinson slipped while trying to deal with a back pass and brought down striker Andy Brown.
Brown headed his side ahead just before the break and the home side looked set to take full advantage of having that extra man – Dover had other ideas.
While Miller, the leading scorer in the league with 18 goals, will get all the plaudits for his stunning effort, it was a real team effort that deserves the praise.
And assistant boss Jake Leberl agreed.
He said: “We are obviously delighted with the win and the three points especially after losing Jack so early.
“We also conceded at such a bad time just before half-time, so full credit to the boys for their second-half effort.
“Everyone put in a massive shift, so hopefully they can recover in time for three games in six days now.”
Dover had started the game brightly and went close to opening after that man Miller saw his shot crash into the bar following Ross Lafayette’s headed flick-on midway through the half.
But minutes later, Dover were reduced to 10-men after Parkinson’s dismissal and Solihull made them pay.
Mitch Walker turned Eddie Jones’ swerving 25-yarder away for a corner before the Moors scored from the resulting kick after Brown headed home.
The second half started with Walker saving Jean-Yves Koure Niate’s header as the Moors looked to press home their advantage – Miller ensured they didn’t.
He stunned the home crowd by firing low beyond the diving Danny Lewis to put his side back on level terms.
Seven minutes later Whites were ahead after Miller raced on to captain Jamie Grimes’ long ball before shooting past Lewis.
Miller then hit the base of a post with a powerful free-kick before completing his treble from close range.
Lafayette’s effort crashed into the woodwork and Miller was first to react, sliding home the ball from close range to leave the Solihull fans shaking their heads in disbelief.
No sooner had Miller finished celebrating his was substituted – he had ensured it was going to be a miserable first game in charge for new Solihull boss Keith Bertschin.
Substitute Akwasi Asante reduced the deficit with the final kick of the game in stoppage time, but it was too little, too late to deny Dover.