King’s Lynn Town v Dover Athletic

Whites remain rooted in the bottom four of the National League following their loss at newly-promoted King’s Lynn Town on Saturday.

Rory McAuley headed in a corner just before half-time to open the scoring, with substitute Adam Marriott converting from the penalty spot to confirm a third consecutive defeat for Andy Hessenthaler’s men following debutant Ryan Hanson’s foul on Kairo Mitchell in the penalty area.

The away side’s misery had just been compounded further when Hanson, signed on loan from from League One Hull City the day before, was shown a straight red card having been deemed to be the last man when hauling down the burly striker in the box.

The loss keeps Dover 23rd on the National League ladder, two places and one point from safety.

However the visitors might have been thinking a first win away from home this campaign was on the cards had Steven Rigg headed Travis Gregory’s cross anywhere other than into the home stopper Archie  Mair’s midriff.

Athletic restricted their hosts to half-chances, with Sonny Carey blazing over Mitchell’s pass from just outside the area.

Mitchell then fashioned his own chance, turning past Sam Wood, only to fire narrowly over the crossbar.

Dover continued to frustrate their Norfolk opponents, but their gallant defending was undone two minutes before the break from a corner.

A cross from the left was powerfully met by McAuley, wearing a head bandage, with the ball floating out of away stopper Yusuf Mersin’s reach and into the top corner.

Sam Kelly fired off target after the restart and at the other end, Rigg saw his 20-yard shot tipped around the post by Mair.

Dover players were unable to convert Wood’s cross-cum-shot across the face of goal, with Rigg seeing his header from Jack Munns’ cross plucked out of the air by Mair.

Mersin had to then be alert to deny Marriott as the striker sprinted through one-on-one, but the striker was not to be denied his next goalscoring opportunity when Town were awarded a penalty late on following Hanson’s foul on Mitchell.

Marriott sent Mersin the wrong way from 12 yards to leave Whites with an unwanted record of having lost every match on the road in the league this season.

Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made five changes to the side that started against Woking in midweek.  Mersin, Gregory, Akheem Rose, Bayli Spencer-Adams and Hanson started with Kurtis Cumberbatch, TJ Bramble, Tom Smith and Ade Azeez named as substitutes and Oscar Gobern serving a three-match ban following his sending off in the 5-1 defeat.

Dover next travel to Maidenhead United on Tuesday 1st December, kick off 7:45 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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King’s Lynn Town v Dover Athletic

Whites were knocked out of the FA Trophy on penalties following a 2-2 draw at the Walks Stadium against the current National League North leaders.

Despite trailing at half-time on Saturday afternoon in freezing temperatures, Athletic fought back to lead the first round tie until injury time.

Sam Kelly fired the home side ahead in the first half, but goals from sub Jai Reason and skipper Kevin Lokko had seemingly completed an impressive turnaround against a side unbeaten at home since October 2018.

However Aaron Jones preserved Linnets’ record deep into injury time, firing a free-kick into the bottom corner to send the game into extra time.

And with no goals in the additional 30 minutes, the match went to a shootout, with misses from Steven Rigg and Kurtis Cumberbatch seeing Whites miss the chance to go into Monday’s second round draw.

The tie had moved into extra time after both sides agreed to decide the game on the day and avoid any midweek replay.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the hosts when Michael Gash headed Ryan Hawkins’ cross over the bar.

Anthony Jeffrey sent a 20-yard strike wide of the mark in a scrappy opening 20 minutes.

Will De Havilland’s header from Nassim L’Ghoul’s cross was too close to home keeper Alex Street.

Adam Marriott then somehow skied over with the goal gaping after away keeper Yusuf Mersin had denied Ryan Hawkins.

There was then confusion when the home side had a goal controversially disallowed.

Gash sprinted clear on goal and despite the linesman raising his flag, the referee waved play on with the Linnets’ striker going on to fire home.

Dover players protested, prompting the main official to speak to his assistant and the goal was finally disallowed.

Athletic boss Hessenthaler was also shown a yellow card amidst the protests.

Rigg then his struck the underside of the crossbar from another L’Ghoul corner and King’s Lynn did go ahead just before the break.

Aaron Jones’ low cross was not properly dealt with by the Dover defence and the ball fell for Kelly to fire in from close range.

Lynn almost doubled their lead before half-time as Marriott forced Mersin into a smart save and Kelly lashed wide from the edge of the area.

After the restart, Mersin’s wild slice almost let in Gash, but the striker could only strike the outside of the post from a few yards.

Whites were level with 18 minutes remaining thanks to one of their substitutes.

Reason lofted the ball into the net after Street had fumbled Jeffrey’s driven cross into the midfielder’s path.

Dover were soon level when Lokko notched his second goal of the season.

Reason’s corner was not dealt with by Street and after Rigg’s initial shot was blocked by Ross Barrows, Lokko blasted in to complete the turnaround.

However the Norfolk sight levelled with nearly the last kick of the game thanks to Jones’ free-kick.

At the start of extra time, sub Jack Munns nearly poked Dover ahead again, but was unable to connect to Jeffrey’s cross.

Munns then found fellow sub Michael Woods in space, but the midfielder blazed just wide of the Street’s near post.

Despite dominating the first 15 minutes, Whites were indebted for Mersin for a stunning save.

The giant stopper somehow clawed away Marriott’s header after the striker was left unmarked to connect to Jordan Richards’ ball into the area.

Marriott sprinted through as the fourth official put up one minute added time right at the end of extra time, only to tiredly place the ball wide at the crucial moment.

But that miss from National League North’s top scorer did not affect the outcome of the game as all four of the home side’s elected penalty takers scored in the shootout, with only Munns and Jeffrey successful from 12 yards for Dover.

Earlier, Hessenthaler made eight changes to the side that started against Boreham Wood last week, with Lokko, Rigg and Passley the only players to keep their place.

Dover next travel to Chorley in the National League on Saturday 21st December, kick off 3 pm.

DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION

MATCH GALLERY

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