Category: DAFA Match Report

Dover Athletic Football Academy Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: DOVER 1-2 WEYMOUTH

By Alex Hoad

The National League chapter of Dover Athletic history came to a close – for at least one year, anyway – with a cruel defeat to Weymouth on the season’s final day.

Despite a barnstorming second-half performance which saw them hit the woodwork on four occasions, Whites were stung by a controversial late winner as the Terras snatched the points with a 2-1 win at Crabble which saw boss Andy Hessenthaler and midfielder George Wilkinson each shown the red card.

Keeper Alexis Andre saved a stoppage-time penalty from Tom Blair – awarded by referee Tom Bishop despite furious appeals for offside – only for Blair to turn in the rebound to break Dover hearts in the 95th minute.

The lively Brandon Goodship had already struck the inside of the Dover post when he stepped-up to fire the visitors ahead from the penalty spot inside 10 minutes after Danny Collinge was adjudged to have fouled Portsmouth loanee Haji Mnoga as he tried to clear the ball.

It was the 100th goal Dover have conceded in the National League this season.

Henry Woods flashed a low cross-shot across the face of goal before Andy Hessenthaler was shown a red card by the referee after his protests about a free-kick awarded against Michael Gyasi for an apparent shirt-pull on half-way on 16 minutes.

Woods saw an effort deflected into the arms of debutant Terras keeper Tommy Scott but despite some encouraging approach play from Gyasi and Arjanit Krasniqi there were no further attempts on goal before the break.

All that changed after the interval as Dover produced what was perhaps their best half of any match in any competition this season.

They flew out of the blocks like a changed side and Krasniqi saw a shot blocked almost immediately by Matt Buse while long-throws from Collinge and a succession of in-swinging corners from George Wilkinson and Krasniqi caused havoc in the Weymouth goalmouth.

Gyasi fizzed the ball across the six-yard box while Collinge saw a 20-yard strike destined for the top corner deflected just past the upright on 53 minutes.

The increasingly influential Gyasi and Luke Baptiste each saw an effort blocked and Collinge fired over from range before Andre Jr was called into rare action at the other end to stop a shot from Goodship just before the hour.

Scott tipped a swerving Krasniqi shot onto the crossbar with Baptiste unable to scramble in the looping rebound while the incessant pressure continued and Scott almost spooned Woods’ shot over his own shoulder and into the net, with Gyasi penalised for his attempts to force the ball over the line.

With 20 minutes remaining Gyasi picked the ball up on the left and drove inside before curling a powerful shot which thudded the base of the far post. He came even closer to a deserved goal four minutes later when sub Jack Nelson (pictured) latched onto a Woods through-ball and played a superb cross across goal where Gyasi recovered and curled a higher shot against the same post from an angle.

The bombardment eventually paid off 15 minutes from time when Jake Goodman flicked on another Collinge long throw and Nelson was lurking at the back post to head home his first Dover goal to spark great scenes in the River End.

Whites could smell blood in the water and Gyasi saw another attempt blocked by Buse and later fired in a low cross which Scott did well to hold at his near post, while with five minutes remaining the imperious Collinge rose highest to meet a Wilkinson corner only to see his header hit the crossbar.

Wilkinson went into the book after appearing to poke the ball away to thwart a Weymouth counter-attack with three minutes of normal time remaining and he was refused treatment and ordered onto his feet by referee Mr Bishop after going down with apparent cramp in the box in the dying seconds.

It was Wilkinson who conceded the crucial penalty deep into the four added minutes, adjudged to have hauled down Blair, despite frenzied appeals from his teammates for an offside in the build-up.

Andre Jr flung himself to his right to deny sub Blair, only for the big forward to tuck home the loose ball to seal Weymouth’s first win in 15 matches, and first on their travels since October, and deny Dover the point they deserved as a bare minimum.

After the final whistle the players and fans joined together in a period of mutual appreciation as the curtain came down on this challenging campaign which nobody associated with the club will ever forget.

Dover: Andre Jr, Moses, Goodman, Ransom, Woods, Collinge, Byford (Nelson 64’), Wilkinson, Baptiste (Nikaj 86’), Krasniqi, Gyasi. Subs not used: Bexon, Wratten, Agbebi.

Scott, Greenwood, McBurnie, Goodship (Bearwish 83’), Mnoga, Robinson, Mampala (Blair 82’), Murray, Buse, Harfield, Carlyle. Subs not used: Mussa, Ash, Bruton.

GOAL OF THE SEASON

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LEWES 2-7 DAFC ACADEMY

MATTHEW Robinson scored a hat-trick as Dover Academy bounced back from their first home defeat of the season with an impressive win at Lewes.

Coach Mike Sandman’s side put the disappointment of the 2-1 loss against Hastings behind them in style in East Sussex.

Dover led 5-0 at one stage thanks to first half doubles from Ben Cardwell and Robinson as well as an own goal.

Robinson (pictured above) completed his treble in the second half before substitute Jack Cussen added the seventh to complete the rout.

Earlier, Dover opened the scoring in the 15th minute after Cardwell slotted home Jordan Bartlett’s corner.

Robinson added a second five minutes later with a clinical finish following Connor Miller’s fine run and cross.

Cardwell turned provider to set up Robinson for the third before Robinson’s corner was deflected into his own net by a home defender.

Dover’s fifth came from Cardwell, who picked the ball up on the halfway line and completed a magnificent run with a clinical finish.

Lewes pulled one back just before half-time and another from the penalty sport after the restart, but there was to be no more joy for the hosts.

Robinson completed his hat-trick with a stunning half-volley before Cussen scored the seventh.

DAFC ACADEMY 1-2 HASTINGS

CONNOR Miller’s goal was not enough to prevent Dover Academy from suffering their first home defeat of the season after losing 2-1 against Hastings on Wednesday.

Dover made a promising start to the game with Kyran Connolly having his diving header ruled offside.

But coach Mike Sandmann’s young side did finally break the deadlock through Miller in the 25th minute.

A great run into the box and cross from Ben Cardwell ended with Miller (pictured above) firing home.

Dover were in control now and were creating plenty of chances but couldn’t make them count, so they had to settle for a slender lead at half-time.

It was Hastings who started the stronger side after the break and they equalised from close range 10 minutes into the half.

Once again Dover created plenty of chances and again failed to put them away.

The best chance of the second half saw Cardwell fail to put away a cross from man-of-the match Matty Robinson.

Dover continued to pile on the pressure and Connolly had another goal disallowed in the 65th minute after Josh Spencer was ruled to have fouled the goalkeeper.

The young Whites kept working hard and tried to counter through Jordan Bartlett, which was cut out by the Hastings defence.

But those missed chances came back to hurt Dover when Hastings netted the winner after a ball across the Academy’s box was slotted home.

Match report by James Belcher and Rohullah Habibi.

DAFA 4 – 2 Eastbourne

Dover Academy enjoyed yet another comfortable win over the same opponents as last week, Eastbourne Borough. Dover ran out 4-2 winners on what was a bitter cold day.

Dover started on the front foot, scoring after just 2 minutes, when Matthew Robinson delivered a sublime cross which found the head of Chris Barnard. 3 minutes later and Barnard had double the score line for Dover and his own personal tally for the game when he nodded in his second from a delightful cross assisted by Connor miller.

Domination continued throughout the first half from Dover, however on the 35th minute of the game against the run of play Eastbourne pulled a goal back following a long ball to the corner of the box which was bought down well by the Eastbourne player who beat Stan Waller at his near post from the edge of the box.

Moments before the whistle was blown for half time, Connor Miller restored Dover’s two goal lead with an elegant volley which found the bottom corner, after Robinson deliver a pin point free kick. Dover ended the half leading 3-1 after a sumptuous first half performance.

The second half began and yet more pressure was piled onto the Eastbourne defence which was struggling to cope with the Dover attacks. Finally on the hour mark Ben Cardwell put the game to bed when he grabbed his first of the game following a corner whipped in by Robinson, flicked on at the near post by Marshall Wratten and fell kindly for Cardwell who never looked like missing from 3 yards out.

Again Dover’s defence was breached in the 62nd minute after a long range shot flew into the top corner, Waller was nowhere to be seen.

Following the slight scare of Eastbourne potentially getting themselves back into the game, Dover saw off the last 15 minutes comfortably creating more chances to extend there lead. The game finished 4-2 in what was a great afternoon for Dover Academy who jump up to second place in the league.

Man of the match: Christopher Barnard
Goal scorers: Christopher Barnard x2
Connor Miller
Ben Cardwell
Match report by: Tom Bond

DAFA 6-2 Eastbourne

Dover Academy enjoyed a comfortable 6-2 win over 2nd place Eastbourne at the Crabble. Dover started the half brightly by dominating possession and in the 10th minute Matty Robinson split the Eastbourne defence and Jordan Bartlett scored his first of the day by calmly slotting the ball underneath the keeper and into the net.

Not long after this Dover added more pressure in the Eastbourne final third and that resulted in Kieran Smith putting in an inch perfect cross for Bartlett to get his second 5 minutes later.

For the next 10 minutes Dover again was dominant but unable to make the score 3-0 and were punished as Eastbourne won the ball on the left flank and were able to put a cross in and it resulted in the Eastbourne centre forward just getting in front of Dover goalkeeper Stan Waller and he directed the ball into the goal to make it 2-1 half an hour into the first half.

Dover quickly responded with Marshall Wratten playing in Ben Cardwell down the left who puts a ball in back post which allowed Bartlett to complete his first half hatrick as he volleys into the back of the net. Dover had opportunity’s to make it 4-1 but were unable to convert and this allowed Eastbourne to nearly come back into the game when they have a free kick that gets crossed in and an Eastbourne player gets a free header that goes just wide, Dover go into the break up 3-1.

The second half started much like the first with Dover being the better team and controlling the ball with quick passing, and eventually Dover managed to break down the wing with Jack Smith and Chris Barnard linking up to set Bartlett free who cuts it back for Cardwell to finish and make it 4-1 on the hour mark.

The Dover centre backs Ollie Roberts and Kyron Connelly came under pressure for 10 minutes after the Dover 4th goal in which they defended well with a lot of clearance’s from the Eastbourne crosses, Waller also helped by pulling off two fine saves from a cross and free kick.

The Dover midfield consisting of Connor Miller and Chris Barnard battled well throughout the whole game winning every one of their duals as Miller got his reward from working hard as he wins back the ball just inside his own half and realises Cardwell who calmly chips the on rushing Eastbourne Goalkeeper on the 75th minute mark. Eastbourne battled on and soon after the goal won themselves a corner which Dover managed to clear, but not far enough as they get another chance to deliver which they took and found an unmarked Eastbourne head who nods into the bottom corner.

Dover were the team who finished on the high as they managed to make it 6-2 when Cardwell plays through the substitute Shusanta Rai who places the ball into the bottom corner and raps off a fine day for the Dover Academy.

Goals from Jordan Bartlett x3 and Ben Cardwell x 2
MOM Jordan Bartlett

Match report by Ben Cardwell