*IS*Match highlights courtesy of Butler Sports TV*IF*
*BS*Dover Athletic secured an astonishing result at Gateshead as they defeated last season’s play-off finalists thanks to Stefan Payne’s 11th goal of the season and another header from Sean Francis.*BF*
Payne’s excellent finish was cancelled out by Alex Rodman’s equaliser but the winner came from defender Francis who headed home to stretch their unbeaten Vanarama Conference run to six games.
It was arguably the most complete performance Whites have produced this season as their amazing transformation and run of form continues, and manager Chris Kinnear was clearly delighted with the result.
*Q1*Speaking to Butler Sports TV after the game, Kinnear said: “It took us a while to get into the league, we got a bit of a shock from the strength of it, there’s some great clubs in there but now we’ve got away in there, the players know what to do and we’re getting some good results.”
The interviewer also acknowledged how well the Dover defence were organised but the manager was quick to also praise his strikeforce: “We’ve been scoring a few goals lately; five on Tuesday, today we’ve got two and had a few other chances against Gateshead, who are a great side.
“I saw them in the play-off final as well at the end of the season and they are unlucky not to be playing in the league theirselves – a great side and unless you are against these, you struggle and they run you ragged.
“We did the job, didn’t play great at times but it’s about results.”
When asked when Payne’s 8th league goal of the season was a good time to score, Kinnear replied: “Anytime’s a good time. That did give them a bit of a knock but they got back at 1-1 and it shows the character of the lads that they didn’t feel sorry for theirselves and they came back.
“We hit the bar straight afterwards so we could have been two up and we could have been 3-1 up at one stage, Taiwo is quite upset with himself that he couldn’t make it [3-1], we could have had a penalty I thought as well but again, against an exceptional side, we’re pleased to get three points.
“They’re definitely the best footballing side [in the league] and if they had taken their chances it may have been different but you just make the most of it.”
Kinnear also urged his side to not switch any attention to next Sunday’s FA Cup Second Round tie at Cheltenham Town as they host Torquay United next in the league: “That is the immediate thing, you can’t worry about next Sunday, we’ve just got to go and keep it going and try and focus for Tuesday.”
*BS*OTHER VANARAMA CONFERENCE RESULTS*BF*
AFC Telford United 1-1 Grimsby Town
Altrincham 2-1 Kidderminster Harriers
Barnet 3-1 Macclesfield Town
Bristol Rovers 2-0 Welling United
FC Halifax Town 2-0 Alfreton Town
Forest Green Rovers 2-1 Dartford
Lincoln City 1-0 Southport
Nuneaton Town 3-2 Chester
Torquay United 2-0 Eastleigh
Woking 1-0 Braintree Town
Wrexham 3-1 Aldershot Town