Whites draw blank as Chelmsford prove a tough nut to crack.
Dover began the first half like they ended the last game, on the front foot. Within a minute Josh Ajayi had warmed the hands of Ed Beach in the Chelmsford goal with a side footed volley that the visiting keeper did well to push away.
Tyrone Sterling had hearts in mouths moments later when a pass back to Stuart Nelson had the Dover stopper scrambling back to his line to clear with the visiting support behind the goal cheering as they thought it had crossed the line. It was a real let off for the Whites.
In the 13th minute, Jordan Higgs nearly opened the scoring when he tried to bundle the ball over the line after a volleyed cross by Wanadio seemed to evade everyone in the six yard box.
Minutes later and Jack Paxman shot agonisingly wide of the post after twisting and turning away from his marker. The Whites had been pushing hard for the opener and they thought had it on the half hour mark.
With neat build up play on the edge of the Chelmsford penalty area, the ball finally made its way to George Nikaj who’s first time shot looped over the stranded Beach, only for the ball to come back off the crossbar. Lee Martin reacted the quickest to head into the net but the celebrations were cut short as the flag was raised for offside.
Ajayi and Wanadio were terrorising their full backs and the latter fired over the crossbar after a cross by Ajayi. Dover certainly deserved more for their endeavour at the halfway stage.
It was a better opening of the second half than the first for the visitors with the away team showing a little more purpose. Khale Da Costa was acrobatic with an overhead kick that flashed wide as Chelmsford tried to get a foot hold in the match.
Jack Paxman went into the referee’s notebook after an accumulation of fouls and the resulting free-kick was fired straight into the body of Nelson. Arjanit Krasniqi was the next offender to be brandished a yellow card as the game began to get a little tetchy from both sides.
Dover still tried to play the way that the manager wanted and even though some of the passing was a little off, it was plain to see that there was a pattern of play in place.
Substitute Tom Blackwell nearly opened the scoring for the visitors but his shot was scuffed safely into the hands of Nelson when he really should have found the net. It was the first real scare for the Whites as Chelmsford looked to gain some momentum.
It wasn’t for the want of trying but it was just one of those days for Brundle’s side who just couldn’t maintain the high levels from the first half but it was a clean sheet and another positive performance.
Dover Athletic: Nelson, Paxman A, Goodman, Higgs, Wanadio, Martin, Sterling, Nikaj, Ajayi, Paxman J, Boateng
Subs: Moses, Carney, Baptiste, Byford, Oliver
Chelmsford City: Beach, Barnum-Bobb, Trotter, Winfield, Jackson, Da Costa, Alfa, Grant, Terry, Brooke’s, Krasniqi
Subs: Marsden, James, Blackwell, Jones, Yila.