Dover’s fourth pre-season game ended in stalemate at the BuildKent Stadium on Saturday,
Manager Andy Hessenthaler continued to make changes to his starting line-up as he continues to give everyone minutes before the start of the National League season.
Hessenthaler’s side went close to opening the scoring in the 10th minute after Jack Munns rattled the bar with a free-kick.
The hosts replied with Kieron McCann’s header going wide.
Josh Passley was in the right place at the right time to clear Scott Heard’s shot off the line before Paul Rooney headed just over from a corner.
Dover made three changes at half-time with Steven Rigg and two trialists replacing Bilel Hinchiri, Akheem Rose and Louis Collins.
Rigg tried his luck from distance land his effort went just over the bar.
The striker went close once again with just over 15 minutes to go, seeing his effort from substitute Marshall Wratten’s cross go over the bar.
Andy Hessenthaler’s squad continued their pre-season campaign with a second successive win after coming from behind to win at Margate.
The manager made a number of changes from Whites’ win at Hythe Town on Tuesday night, with Josh Passley, Will De Havilland, Joe Bedford, Steven Rigg and Jack Munns all coming in.
New signings, goalkeeper Josh Bexon, TJ Bramble and Sam Wood also started.
Both teams kept the ball well early on, with the first chance of the game not coming until the 15th minute through Margate’s Jack Richards, who curled the ball just over the bar from about 20 yards out.
Home goalkeeper Bailey Vose came to the rescue to keep the score goalless after Munns’ brilliant strike from outside the box was palmed away for a corner.
From the resulting corner, Dover took the lead when the ball eventually found its way through to Rigg who hammered the ball into the top of the net.
Margate leveled immediately through Conor Evans, who took his chance well, curling home from 20 yards out.
The home side almost went ahead through Lewis Carey shortly after their equaliser, but his shot was well saved by Bexon.
Dover made a number of changes at half-time, one saw Yusuf Mersin replacing Paxon and the big stopper was in the action immediately, clawing away a deflected free kick which looked destined to be a goal.
With 15 minutes to go, Margate took the lead through a brilliant strike from John Ufuah, who picked up the ball and curled it over Mersin.
Ufuah almost got his second shortly after, finding space and smashing the ball against the bar.
A trialist got Dover back on level terms with five minutes to go after the ball got slipped through to him and he was able to slot home from inside the box.
A couple of minutes later, the same trialist doubled his tally to put Dover ahead for the second time in the game after the Margate goalkeeper smashed the ball against the head of the defender, with the ball ricocheting to the trialist who was able to walk it into the empty net.
One goal was enough for Whites as they started pre-season with a win at Hythe Town.
Manager Andy Hessenthaler used this game to find out more about trialists, with nine starting the game and more coming on in the second half.
Dover had most of the early attacks and could’ve been 1-0 up inside the first 10 minutes after good link up play between two trialists allowed one of them to get around the keeper.
However, he ran out of room in the box and although he was able to get the ball into the danger area, it was easily cleared away by the Hythe defence.
Whites were almost made to pay for a defensive calamity shortly after when a defensive trialist only found the Hythe attacker with a misplaced pass before captain Yusuf Mersin made the save.
Dover took the lead on the half hour mark through one of the trialists after he ran through on goal and kept his composure to slot home.
Dover went in search of a second and had a chance five minutes later after Mersin’s long ball found the furthest forward trialist, but he was taken down as he ran through on goal with the resulting free-kick going well over the bar.
Hythe almost levelled before half time but Mersin did well to stay alert as a corner was headed straight at him.
The second half started slowly, with the first clear cut chance not coming until close to the hour mark as Hythe almost levelled once again.
After some smart play between the Hythe forward put his effort into the side netting.
Dover had a shot well saved by the Hythe goalkeeper, before new Dover signing Louis Collins turned well and shot just over the bar.
Another new arrival, TJ Bramble came on for his debut late in the game, playing a right-back.
Whites ended pre-season in style by coming back from two goals down to beat Millwall at Crabble on Monday night.
Finishes from Tom Bradshaw and Dady Bovarsson had the Chamionship side in control, but a well taken goal before the break from Nassim L’Ghoul halved the deficit.
Will De Havilland levelled in the second half with substitute Inih Effiong scoring twice, including one from the penalty spot, to take his pre-season tally to six goals.
The win also see Andy Hessenthaler’s men go nine friendly matches unbeaten.
The visitors had the lead when Bradshaw fired into the roof of the net early on following a corner and that lead was doubled nine minutes before half-time.
After the away side hit the post, Bodvarsson was on hand to tuck in the rebound, but Dover responded minutes later with a well taken finish from L’Ghoul.
The Frenchman fired home from the edge of the area after beating two defenders and it was’t long before the scores were level.
Away stopper Ryan Sandford parried shots from Effiong and Steven Rigg, But he was powerless to stop De Havilland from tapping in at the back post.
Sandford then saved well from Effiong, but Dover’s striker was not to be denied after Ricky Modeste was felled in the area, smashing the spot-kick past Millwall’s goalie.
Effiong was not finished there and completed his brace by slotting in Aaron Simpson’s pass.
The forward nearly completed his hat-trick, but was well denied by Sandford late on.
Whites’ start their National League campaign with a trip to Chesterfield on Saturday 3rd August, kick off 3 pm.
Dover: Worgan, Simpson, Wratten, Doe (Lokko 46), De Havilland, Gobern (Hinchiri 46), Bedford, Reason (Effiong 46), L’Ghoul, Modeste (Passley 78), Pavey (Rigg 46)
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
Luke Norris’ late penalty saw Whites draw with their League Two opponents at a rain-soaked Crabble on Saturday.
The striker converted from 12 yards to cancel out Michael Woods first-half volley as Andy Hessenthaler’s men extended their unbeaten pre-season run to eight matches.
Inih Effiong had the first chance of note, but his shot from Josh Passley’s pass was well blocked by Luke Prosser.
Andre Hassanly and Luke Gambin both then went for goal for the visitors, but their efforts were no trouble for home stopper Yusuf Mersin.
Effiong went for glory from 30-yards, but his long-ranger held by visiting keeper Dean Gergen.
At the other end, Frank Nouble beat the offside trap, but Mersin turned his effort wide for a corner.
Gerken then dived low to paw away Passley’s strike, with the follow-up from Steven Rigg blocked by the away defence.
Colchester thought they had the lead on 36 minutes.
Harry Pell headed in Ben Stevenson’’s cross but was ruled offside by the referee’s assistant.
With half-time five minutes away, Mersin clutched onto Nouble’s rasping shot and it was instead the home side who took the lead just before the break.
Cries for a handball in the area were waved away, but the appeals quickly turned to celebrations as Woods volleyed the ball into the ground and into the net.
Nouble played in Hassanaly to round Mersin, but the Colchester youngster saw his shot blocked by Passley.
Mersin was called into action again, this time stretching to reach sub Luke Norris’ angled effort.
But Norris had the final say after Bilel Hinchiri fouled Courtney Senior in the area and the striker sent Mersin the wrong way.
Whites next host Millwall on Monday 29th July, kick-off 7:30 pm, in their final friendly of pre-season ahead of their National League campaign.
Dover: Mersin, Passley, Taylor, Lokko (c), De Havilland, Cumberbatch (Gobern 74), Woods (Hinchiri 46), Munns, Reason, Effiong (Modeste 70), Rigg (Pavey 62).
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
Alfie Pavey’s second half goal ensured it was honours even at Crabble on Tuesday evening.
The striker slotted in to cancel out two quick-fire second half goals from Elliott List and Brandon Hanlan after Inih Effiong had given Dover an early lead.
The draw sees Whites extend their unbeaten pre-season run to seven matches.
It was the ideal start for Andy Hessenthaler’s men when Effiong pounced on an goalkeeping error on three minutes.
Jack Bonham mis-kicked Pavey’s flick-on straight to Dover’s foward, who rounded the visiting stopper and placed the ball in an unguarded net for his fourth goal of pre-season.
The scores were nearly level, but Hanlon saw his shot deflect wide following good work from Mark Byrne out wide.
Dover nearly doubled their lead when Pavey rose to meet Aaron Simpson’s cross, but headed wide of the mark with Bonham beaten.
At the other end Mikael Ndjoli powered his header from Hanlan’s cross over the crossbar and Bradley Garmston’s fine ball into the box somehow evaded three of his teammates.
Michael Woods almost opened his account for Dover, cheating Simpson’\s floated pass straight into Bonham’s hands.
Pavey and Effiong combined once again with the latter lobbing over the bar from his strike partner’s header on.
The score was turned on it’s head within six minutes of the restart. List equalised by slotting in Lee Hodson’s pass and Hanlan vollyed in Byrne’s delivery just moments later to put Gills ahead.
Stuart O’Keefe then placed a shot wide from the edge of the area with the away team now in control.
But the lead was short lived as Pavey levelled on on 63 minutes.
The forward ran onto sub Nassim L’Ghoul’s ball and after Pavey’s initial shot was saved by Bonham, the striker made no mistake to slot in and make the score 2-2.
Gills captain Max Ehmer went close with a header late on, however neither side were able to find a winner.
Dover: Worgan (Mersin 46), Simpson, Taylor (Wratten 75), Doe, Lokko (c) (Passley 46), Gobern (Rigg 63), Hinchiri (L’Ghoul 46) Reason (Cumberbatch 45), Woods, Effiong (Munns 75), Pavey.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION