Goals from Inih Effiong and Steven Rigg handed Dover victory in hostile conditions against nine-man Hartlepool at Victoria Park on Saturday.
Andy Hessenthaler’s men were subjected to racial abuse by a small section of the home support after Effiong had fired the visitors ahead from the penalty spot.
Rigg sealed the win shortly after Ryan Donaldson and Nicky Featherstone were both red-carded for dissent.
And home manager Craig Hignett was also given his marching orders after his side were denied four separate penalty shouts.
The first shot of the match came from the hosts as their talisman Liam Noble sent a 25-yard set-piece sailing over the bar.
Aaron Simpson was on target with an effort from similar distance for Dover, but home keeper Ben Killip kept with ball out with a sprawling save.
Ricky Modeste then went close for Athletic, heading Jai Reason’s swirling corner off target.
The visitors did go ahead when Effiong netted from the penalty spot having himself been fouled in the area, however, there was trouble shortly after Dover’s striker had sent the ball into the top corner.
As visiting players celebrated, racist comments appeared to have been shouted from within the home support, causing outrage among both sets of players and resulting in at least one home fan being ejected from the stadium.
Play resumed 11 minutes later and following the restart Killip saved well from Effiong’s close-range effort, with the ball rebounding back off Dover’s striker and away from goal.
Visiting keeper Lee Worgan was called into action to divert Nicke Kabamba’s shot wide after the forward went clear on goal.
And the home team went even closer with their next attack.
Gime Toure waltzed past three defenders, only to dink his effort over Worgan and against the inside of the post with sub Bobby-Joe Taylor on hand to send the ball away to safety.
Peter Kioso then fired in a dangerous cross that was beaten by Worgan towards Luke James. The substitute’s attempt was off target until Kabamba diverted the ball goalwards, however, Scott Doe was on hand to block the ball on the line.
But that was not the end of the drama as Doe’s clearance landed at Michael Raynes’ feet, but Doe threw himself in the way of the defender’s strike and though Rayne had a second attempt at scoring, it was Worgan’s turn to perform heroics as Dover’s goalkeeper somehow blocked the centre-back’s shot from point-blank range.
Effiong then hit the bar with a half-volley at the other end Donaldson was shown a red card after his side were denied a penalty after Kabamba went down in the area from Simpson’s challenge.
And Athletic made the extra man count by doubling their lead.
Effiong rolled the ball across goal for Rigg to tap in his first goal for Dover and Pool were reduced to nine men before the restart with substitute Featherstone given his marching orders, also for dissent.
Dover held on for their fifth away win in six matches and moved three places up to fifth on the National League ladder.
Earlier boss Hessenthaler made two changes to the side that started against Chorley last week. Kurtis Cumberbatch returned from suspension, with Rigg also coming in for the injured duo of Jack Munns and Oscar Gobern.
Whites next travel to Maidenhead United on Tuesday 24th September, kick-off 7:45 pm.
(Photo Credit: Mark Fletcher – Shutter press)
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION