Season: 2019-2020

Dover Athletic v Hartlepool United

Nassim L’Ghoul’s injury-time goal rescued a point for Whites at Crabble on Saturday.

With time running out, the substitute slotted into the bottom corner as the home side made their second-half pressure pay off.

Kevin Lokko’s first-half own goal had given the away side the lead until Frenchman L’Ghoul struck late on.

Earlier, Anthony Jeffrey blasted an effort straight at home keeper Mitch Beeney and Hartlepool’s giant keeper had to do more to keep out Ricky Modeste’s header moments later.

Athletic’s winger directed Bobby-Joe Taylor’s corner goalwards, only for Beeney to stick out a giant paw to prevent his header from going in.

At the other end, home keeper Lee Worgan was powerless to stop the visitors from taking the lead.

Gavan Holohan’s swirling ball into the area caught out Lokko and Dover’s skipper nodded into his own net.

Worgan fared better when he was next called into action, saving Gus Mafuta’s low drive with his legs.

Ryan Donaldson dived to meet Mark Shelton’s driven cross, only to miss the target.

Will De Havilland went close, nodding Taylor’s cross just wide of the mark.

Jeffrey curled wide of the wrong side just after the restart and Gobern

volleyed into the arms of Beeney as Whites searched for a leveller.

Pool’s former England Under-19 keeper then dived low to turned Effiong’s fizzing shot behind for a corner.

With time running out, Pools almost doubled their lead when Shelton smashed a free-kick just over Worgan’s crossbar.

That miss proved costly for the north-east team as Dover equalised after the clock had struck 90 minutes.

L’Ghoul ran onto Effiong’s nudged pass and stroked the ball into the bottom corner via the far post, his second league goal of the season.

Dover almost won it in dramatic fashion, Taylor’s swirling corner ricocheted off sub Steven Rigg and inches over Hartlepool’s crossbar and Whites avoided an eighth home defeat of the campaign.

Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made three changes to the side that lost at Bromley on New Year’s Day with Jeffrey, Worgan and Oscar Gobern all coming into the starting line-up.

Whites next travel to Notts County on Saturday 18th January, kick-off 3 pm.






Faversham Town v Dover Athletic

Whites advanced past the second round of the Kent Senior Cup with a convincing win against their Isthmian League South East Division opponents on Tuesday evening.

Early goals from Nassim L’Ghoul, Ade Yussuf and a brace from Steven Rigg sent Andy Hessenthaler’s men into the final eight of the County competition.

Faversham had twice pulled goals back, but struggled to deal with their National League opponents on the night.

L’Ghoul thundered home an effort in off the crossbar as Dover went ahead on 15 minutes and Rigg then saw his strike at the back post ruled out for offside.

However Athletic did not have to wait long to double their lead.

Ade Yusuff beat his man out wide and fired a low effort under the arms of Faversham’s keeper.

However, Town were back in the game from the spot after academy youngster Harrison Pont fouled an opponent in the penalty area.

L’Ghoul drilled an effort into the side-netting, but Athletic’s two-goal cushion was restored when Rigg blasted into an empty net after Town’s keeper had parried Yusuff’s fierce shot.

Frenchman L’Ghoul sent a long-distance curler whizzing just over the crossbar, however, Dover sealed their win just after the break when Rigg headed in Aaron Simpson’s cross.

Rigg almost netted a hat-trick when his stabbed effort struck the goalkeeper.

Faversham pulled one back with a fine finish from their striker, but it was too late for any comeback as Dover moved into the third round with ease.

Whites next host Hartlepool United in the National League on Saturday 11th January, kick-off 3 pm.


Bromley v Dover Athletic

Whites started the New Year with a disappointing defeat at promotion-chasing Bromley on the opening day of 2020.

Frankie Raymond’s penalty on the stroke of half-time and further strikes from Josh Rees and Michael Cheek saw Andy Hessenthaler’s men lose a third match of the campaign on the road.

The 3-0 score was an exact reversal of Dover’s win at Crabble on Boxing Day against Neil Smith’s team.

Earlier, Dover players cried out for an early penalty for a handball against Sam Wood, but referee Carl Brook waved away their protests.

However Athletic should have been ahead moments later when Inih Effiong was found in space in the penalty area.

Earlier, Dover’s top scorer Inih Effiong collected Bobby-Joe Taylor’s pinpoint cross, but curled the ball around the wrong side of home keeper Ryan Huddart’s goal.

Cheek connected with Chris Bush’s long throw-in, only to direct his header straight at visiting keeper Yusuf Mersin.

Wood’s slip let in Ricky Modeste out wide, but the winger’s cross into the area was just behind Effiong.

Dave Winfield blasted Luke Coulson’s ball goalwards, only for the ball to strike a Bromley teammate a fly over the crossbar.

At the other end, Whites went closest to opening the scoring.

Nassim L’Ghoul headed Jack Munns’ set piece high towards goal, with the bouncing off the top of the bar and bouncing behind for a goalkick.

With Ravens centre-back Winfield forced off with injury, Jai Reason sent a teasing cross into the penalty area, a cross that Rees nearly flicked into his own net.

Rees was almost scoring at the right end just before the break.  Spinning his man and shooting into the side netting via a deflection.

However, there was still time for the hosts to take the lead from the penalty spot.

Following Effiong’s push on Joe Kizzi in the area, Raymond fired past the outstretched arms of Mersin to give Bromley the lead.

Following the restart, Taylor’s wicked cross almost caught out Huddart with the giant Bromley stopping the ball from flying into the top corner.

That save proved crucial as the home team doubled their lead.

A swift counter-attack ended with Rees slotting the ball past Mersin and the midfielder almost added to his tally moments later as Dover’s keeper dived low to keep out the attacking midfielder’s 25-yarder.

With the away side seemingly shell-shocked, Billy Bingham sent a effort from the edge of the box over.

The home team were off target again when Rees volleyed into the ground and narrowly above the bar.

With Dover looking to halve the deficit, Taylor’s deep cross bounced off Modeste and into the arms of Huddart.

Will De Havilland stayed forward from a foraying run and headed Taylor’s centre wide.

Rees blazed over sub Reeco Hackett-Fairchild’s pass over, however, the Ravens didn’t have long to wait before sealing their win.

Cheek latched onto Wood’s ball over the top and placed the ball past Mersin to confirm the home side’s win.

Jeffrey fired a late effort at Huddart, but it was too little too late as Whites started the New Year with a loss to drops them two places in the table to 13th..Earlier, boss Hessenthaler named the same side that started at Ebbsfleet on Saturday, with Oscar Gobern named as a substitute following an injury.

Whites next host Hartlepool United on Saturday 11th January, kick-off 3 pm.




Ebbsfleet United v Dover Athletic

Michael Woods’ stunning first-half goal gave Dover a hard-fought Kent derby win on Saturday.

The midfielder found the top corner from 25-yards as Andy Hessenthaler’s men registered back-to-back league wins, a victory that moves Athletic to within two points of the play-offs.

Earlier, Inih Effiong headed past home keeper Jordan Holmes’ far post from Josh Passley’s deep cross in the game’s first chance.

Woods then sent a curling shot from the edge of the box into the home support behind Holmes’ goal as the visitors dominated the early stages.

Woods would make no mistake with his next chance.

The midfielder lashed in from 20-yards to give Dover a deserved lead, his first goal of the season.

Ayo Obileye, who scored Ebbsfleet’s opener at Crabble in the reverse fixture, fired well over from distance.

Gozie Ugwu then let fly from a similar distance, an effort that narrowly cleared away stopper Yusuf Mersin’s crossbar.

Myles Weston sent a warning strike straight at Mersin and Dover’s stopper had to turn away Andre Blackman’s angled drive just moments later.

Marvel Ekpiteta then missed a glorious chance to level, prodding wide at the backpost from a corner.

Ebbsfleet continued to look dangerous from set-pieces and Myles Weston sent a free-kick whizzing narrowly wide.

With minutes to go before the break, another United set-piece ended in Mersin diving onto Jack King’s header.

Following the restart, Bobby-Joe Taylor’s attempt to clear a cross almost saw the left-back put into his own net, however Mersin was able to stride across his goalline and clutch onto the ball.

Ugwu then found himself clear on goal, but seemingly stumbled on his way, allowing Mersin to grab the ball off his toes.

Taylor then came to his side’s rescue, sliding in front on Alex Reid as a wayward clearance bounced towards Athletic’s goal into the path of the pacy frontman.

Whites continued to cling onto their clean sheet with Mersin tipping over substitute John Goddard’s fierce volley.

Reid then somehow skied over Goddard’s swirling cross and Mersin then had to drop low to palm away Obileye’s skidding volley.

From the resultant corner, sub Steven Rigg headed Obileye’s goalbound header off the line.

Dover nearly doubled their lead when sub Adi Yusuff won his duel with Tyler Cordner, only to place his shot inches wide of the far post.

At the other end, Mersin saved Ugwu’s stabbed close-range effort following good work from Ekpiteta.

As five minutes injury time started, Yusuff dragged wide of the mark.

A last-gasp ball into the area found Obileye in space, however the midfielder blasted at Mersin as Hessenthaler’s men held on to make it a second consecutive clean sheet in the National League.

Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made two changes to the side that started against Bromley on Boxing Day.  Keeper Lee Worgan missed out on Doctor’s advice, with Oscar Gobern also sidelined with an injury.   Reason and Mersin came into the side.

Whites next travel to Bromley on New Year’s Day, kick-off 3 pm.





Dover Athletic v Bromley

Whites’ fans were given a belated Christmas present as Andy Hessenthaler’s men convincingly beat National League title challengers Bromley at Crabble on Boxing Day.

In soaking conditions, Ricky Modeste and Will De Havilland had Dover two goals ahead at the break, with Inih Effiong adding gloss to the scoreline with a cool finish in the second half.

The victory ended a winless league run of four matches for Dover as Athletic moved up four places to 12th in the table.

Earlier, Michael Woods’ sliding pass found Modeste well-placed at the back post, however Athletic’s winger scuffed wide.

Effiong was then denied by Ryan Huddart.

Whites’ striker was played in by Modeste, but Bromley’s goalie saved well with his legs.

Oscar Gobern, making his first appearance since the 4-3 home loss to Maidenhead in November, sprinted onto Bobby-Joe Taylor’s corner, but placed his back-post header wide of the mark.

Luke Coulson then curled Adam Mekki’s cross over.

Dover then took the lead in comical circumstances.

Gobern released Woods and the midfielder rolled the ball towards goal, however the ball stopped just before the goal line.

Thankfully for the hosts, Modeste was quickest to react, sliding home his fifth goal of the season.

Athletic then looked to set to end a run of three home league games without defeat by doubling their lead.

De Havilland headed Taylor’s corner into the net off the unfortunate Sam Wood on the goal line, with the Ravens defender unable to adjust his feet quickly enough.

Josh Passley then nearly had a heart-in-mouth moment when he directing a pass-back away from Worgan, but Athletic’s keeper scampered across his goalline line to rescue his teammate.

Huddart then plucked out Effiong’s header from Modeste’s pinpoint cross.

At Dover’s top scorer Effiong and Huddart would clash again moments later.

Both players went for a 50-50 challenge and with each man making contact, the ball spun away to a nearby Bromley defender.

Following the restart, Michael Cheek missed a golden chance to reduce the arrears.

The forward, currently on ten league goals for the campaign, look set to claim his 11th goal of the season, but completely miss-kicked when Ben Williamson’s ball landed at his feet.

Effiong then nearly scored a spectacular goal after running with the ball from his own half, but Huddart tipped his curling shot away for a corner.

The away side nearly found a way back into the game following a goalmouth scramble.

A corner from the left bounced around the penalty area, but substitute Josh Rees smashed the ball wide after at least two Dover players had cleared the ball off the line.

Dominant Dover then went close again as Jack Munns fired wide of the mark and at the other end, Worgan dived to palm away sub Andre Coker’s shot.

But the home team made the game save thanks to Effiong’s 11th goal of the season.

The burly forward dispossessed Jack Holland as Bromley’s captain tried to defend a long ball, before rounding Huddart and slotting into an empty net.

Sub Steven Rigg almost added a fourth when slotting wide from the edge of the box, but Whites’ held on to give their fans some much needed festive cheer in the biggest home win of the campaign so far.

Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made four changes to the side that started at Chorley on Saturday.   Munns, Taylor, Gobern and L’Ghoul came in for Jai Reason, Aaron Simpson, Paul Rooney and Anthony Jeffrey.

Whites next travel to Ebbsfleet United on Saturday 28th December, kick-off 3 pm.





Chorley FC v Dover Athletic

Kevin Lokko’s last-gasp equaliser salvaged a battling point for Whites at Victory Park on Saturday.

Athletic’s skipper volleyed into the bottom-corner in the fourth minute of injury-time after the home side had seemingly taken all three points when Alex Newby had tricked his way into the Dover penalty area and fired home earlier in the second half.

Lokko had other ideas and his well-placed finish ended a run of back-to-back league defeats for Andy Hessenthaler’s men.

Both sides went close early on.  Chorley struck first as Jai Reason headed Courtney Meppen-Walters’ stabbed effort from a corner off the line and at the other end Inih Effiong blasted over from inside the penalty area.

Visiting keeper Lee Worgan denied Marcus Carver from the byline and following a swift counter-attack, Ricky Modeste’s curling effort from the edge of the area landed on the roof of Chorley’s net.

Will De Havilland’s misplaced pass let in Carver, however captain Lokko sprinted to his teammate’s rescue and blocked the striker’s effort.

Newby then sent a vicious volley inches above the crossbar as Athletic withheld heavy pressure from the home attack.

With half-time looming, Reason’s floating set piece evaded every player in the opposing box, bouncing just past the wrong side of the  post.

Following the restart, Lokko nodded Reason’s corner narrowly off target.

The hosts then missed the best chance of the game so far.

Matt Challoner got the better of the away defence out wide, passing for the onrushing Chris Holroyd, however the former Wrexham man blasted straight at Worgan from six yards.

The National League strugglers did make their next chance count.

Newby jinked his way into the Dover area and blasted an effort straight through a crowded area and past an unsighted Worgan.

The visitors looked to hit back immediately and Urwin saved Michael Woods’ angled drive.

However Lokko struck with nearly the last kick of the game as Whites’ first-ever visit to Victory Park ended all-square.

Boss Hessenthaler made six changes to the side that started at King’s Lynn in the FA Trophy last week, with Worgan, Modeste, Woods, Effiong, Rooney and Reason all returning.

Whites next host Bromley on Boxing Day, kick off 3 pm.




King’s Lynn Town v Dover Athletic

Whites were knocked out of the FA Trophy on penalties following a 2-2 draw at the Walks Stadium against the current National League North leaders.

Despite trailing at half-time on Saturday afternoon in freezing temperatures, Athletic fought back to lead the first round tie until injury time.

Sam Kelly fired the home side ahead in the first half, but goals from sub Jai Reason and skipper Kevin Lokko had seemingly completed an impressive turnaround against a side unbeaten at home since October 2018.

However Aaron Jones preserved Linnets’ record deep into injury time, firing a free-kick into the bottom corner to send the game into extra time.

And with no goals in the additional 30 minutes, the match went to a shootout, with misses from Steven Rigg and Kurtis Cumberbatch seeing Whites miss the chance to go into Monday’s second round draw.

The tie had moved into extra time after both sides agreed to decide the game on the day and avoid any midweek replay.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the hosts when Michael Gash headed Ryan Hawkins’ cross over the bar.

Anthony Jeffrey sent a 20-yard strike wide of the mark in a scrappy opening 20 minutes.

Will De Havilland’s header from Nassim L’Ghoul’s cross was too close to home keeper Alex Street.

Adam Marriott then somehow skied over with the goal gaping after away keeper Yusuf Mersin had denied Ryan Hawkins.

There was then confusion when the home side had a goal controversially disallowed.

Gash sprinted clear on goal and despite the linesman raising his flag, the referee waved play on with the Linnets’ striker going on to fire home.

Dover players protested, prompting the main official to speak to his assistant and the goal was finally disallowed.

Athletic boss Hessenthaler was also shown a yellow card amidst the protests.

Rigg then his struck the underside of the crossbar from another L’Ghoul corner and King’s Lynn did go ahead just before the break.

Aaron Jones’ low cross was not properly dealt with by the Dover defence and the ball fell for Kelly to fire in from close range.

Lynn almost doubled their lead before half-time as Marriott forced Mersin into a smart save and Kelly lashed wide from the edge of the area.

After the restart, Mersin’s wild slice almost let in Gash, but the striker could only strike the outside of the post from a few yards.

Whites were level with 18 minutes remaining thanks to one of their substitutes.

Reason lofted the ball into the net after Street had fumbled Jeffrey’s driven cross into the midfielder’s path.

Dover were soon level when Lokko notched his second goal of the season.

Reason’s corner was not dealt with by Street and after Rigg’s initial shot was blocked by Ross Barrows, Lokko blasted in to complete the turnaround.

However the Norfolk sight levelled with nearly the last kick of the game thanks to Jones’ free-kick.

At the start of extra time, sub Jack Munns nearly poked Dover ahead again, but was unable to connect to Jeffrey’s cross.

Munns then found fellow sub Michael Woods in space, but the midfielder blazed just wide of the Street’s near post.

Despite dominating the first 15 minutes, Whites were indebted for Mersin for a stunning save.

The giant stopper somehow clawed away Marriott’s header after the striker was left unmarked to connect to Jordan Richards’ ball into the area.

Marriott sprinted through as the fourth official put up one minute added time right at the end of extra time, only to tiredly place the ball wide at the crucial moment.

But that miss from National League North’s top scorer did not affect the outcome of the game as all four of the home side’s elected penalty takers scored in the shootout, with only Munns and Jeffrey successful from 12 yards for Dover.

Earlier, Hessenthaler made eight changes to the side that started against Boreham Wood last week, with Lokko, Rigg and Passley the only players to keep their place.

Dover next travel to Chorley in the National League on Saturday 21st December, kick off 3 pm.




Dover Athletic v Boreham Wood

Boreham Wood condemned Dover to their seventh home defeat of the season on Saturday.

Sorba Thomas fired the away side from the penalty spot and Justin Shaibu doubled Wood’s lead after the break following a defensive howler from the home team.

The defeat was a third consecutive loss for Andy Hessenthaler’s men in all competitions.

Earlier, Modeste and Rigg fired over for the hosts early on and visitors Boreham Wood thought they had opened the scoring on 13 minutes.

Justin Shaibu’s wayward shot fell to the feet of Kabongo Thsimanga, but after slotting in, the striker’s celebrations were cut short by the offside flag.

Tshimanga, the visitor’s top scorer with 12 league goals this campaign, then collected Sorba Thomas’ pass and sent an effort onto the top of the crossbar and over.

However, Wood’s pressure paid off just after the half-hour when they took the lead from the penalty spot.

After Kurtis Cumberbatch had fouled Kane Smith in the area as the wing-back went to shoot, Thomas sent home stopper Lee Worgan the wrong way from 12 yards.

Paul Rooney sprinted half the length of the pitch and found Steven Rigg in space, but Dover’s forward could only aim his shot straight at Nathan Ashmore in the Boreham Wood goal.

Tyrone Marsh sent a 20-yard shot fizzing past the far post shortly after the restart.

But the Hertfordshire side’s lead was doubled on 58 minutes, a goal of the home side’s own doing.

As Scott Doe tried to shepherd the ball out for goal kick, Tshimanga robbed the ball from Athletic’s centre back, passing for Shaibu to fire into an empty net.

Worgan denied Marsh from the angle with his feet after taking advantage of Rooney’s slip.

Tshimanga then raced through again, only to be denied by Worgan’s sprawling save.

An uninspired Dover were unable to get back into the game, making it three league matches without a win at Crabble.

Earlier, Hessenthaler made two changes to the side that started at Peterborough last Sunday, with Lokko and Passley returning from injury in place of Jack Munns and Will De Havilland, who were both named as substitutes

Dover next travel to King’s Lynn Town in the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday 14th December, kick-off 3 pm.