*BS*Whites travel to Hertfordshire on Saturday to face Boreham Wood, and will be looking to carry on the momentum gained from their victory at Dorchester last weekend. A win will keep the side in the hunt for a playoff place.*BF*
A comprehensive 4-0 win away at Dorchester Town last Saturday maintained Dover Athletic’s fantastic away record this season – in the league, the side have won seven of their eleven matches on the road and their goals against tally of six is the lowest in any division from the Premier League down to the Ryman League.
Jeff Goulding’s debut hat-trick has given fresh impetus towards Chris Kinnear’s promotion charge, and the striker will be looking to add to his goal tally as his new side make the trip to Meadow Park to face a Boreham Wood side who have, so far, struggled to match their league form from last season.
Their 2012/13 campaign saw the side finish in a respectable 9th place, but The Wood currently find themselves down in 16th, just two points away from the relegation zone. Their poor form at home goes a long way to explaining this position, with just two wins picked up all season. Defeats at Meadow Park have been suffered to Hayes & Yeading, Eastleigh, Bath City, Sutton United and Concord Rangers.
Wood’s overall recent form has seen them win three of their last six games, but at home they have been victorious in just one of their last six matches. That came in their last game, where they defeated Dorchester Town 5-0.
Anthony Jeffrey, on-loan from Arsenal, was instrumental in this victory but this week announced he had signed for Wycombe Wanderers and the 19-year-old winger will be a big loss for Ian Allinson’s side. Matthew Ball and David Moli, on-loan from Stevenage and Liverpool, have also been recalled to their parent clubs.
One player who remains at the club on-loan is Austin Lipman, who netted against Dorchester, and the England youth striker is likely to be the main goal threat for Whites to deal with on Saturday. Lipman has four goals for the side this season, making him the club’s joint highest goalscorer now that Jeffrey, who had netted six times, has moved on.
Wood have today announced that Wycombe duo Lee Angol and Junior Morias have joined the club on loan. Angol is a winger who came through the ranks at Tottenham Hotspur, whilst Morias signed professional terms for Wycombe in July 2012. The pair spent time on-loan at Hendon last season.
Dover currently sit in 9th place in the Skrill South table, in the middle of a congested pack of sides – just four points separate Sutton United in 4th and Eastbourne Borough in 11th – meaning that all three points on Saturday is vital if the side want to remain serious contenders for a playoff place.
Similar to last Saturday, Whites will enter the game confident of picking up maximum points considering their fantastic away record in comparison with their opponents’ sub-par record at home, however matches between the two have historically been closely-fought. In six Conference South meetings, Dover have been victorious in two, with Boreham Wood winning on three occasions.
Last season’s clash at Meadow Park ended in a 1-1 stalemate, with Barry Cogan’s opening goal being cancelled out by a strike from striker Michael Thalassitis. Dover goalkeeper Mitch Walker said of the game: “We went there last season and drew 1-1 in what was a very close game. They’re not as high as they would’ve liked, but they’ve got quality in their side. They have signed a couple of guys on loan from Arsenal, who are obviously talented players, so we’ll need to be at our best once more.”
The old adage of not changing a winning side should ring true tomorrow, with the eleven that started the match against Dorchester expected to keep their places in the side. That should mean a place on the bench for winger Ricky Modeste, now match-fit, who is eager to break back into the starting line-up but will need to remain patient.
Boreham Wood have failed to beat a top-half side at home this season – they have drawn three and lost three against this calibre of opponent – and have also failed to keep a clean-sheet in these six matches. Away from home against sides in the bottom-half sides, Whites have won four out of five matches and conceded just one goal.
Dover enter the match as favourites but will need to stay on their guard against a Boreham Wood side who have caused them problems in the past.