Despite going in front twice, Dover suffered a third successive National League defeat this season in an entertaining contest at Altrincham.
Koby Arthur opened the scoring with his first goal for the club, but Whites were pegged back just after 20 minutes through Dan Mooney.
Aaron Cosgrave put Dover back in front midway through the second half, but the home side equalised once again shortly after through A-Jay Leitch-Smith and with a few minutes to go Ryan Colclough won it for Alty.
Dover started bright and was almost ahead within five minutes when Ricky Miller collected the ball from a long kick from Josh Bexon, however his shot went just wide.
However, moments later Whites were ahead though Arthur who was in the right place at the right time to knock the ball home after Cosgrave did very well to get behind the home defence.
Cosgrave almost doubled Dover’s lead shortly after as he picked the ball up in the box, but his shot was blocked well by Brad Jackson.
This came back to haunt the away side as Altrincham levelled through Mooney when the midfielder was able to take Joel Senior’s ball under control before striking past the arm of Bexon.
Connor Kirby then went close to turning the game around, however, after getting the ball from Mooney, he couldn’t keep his shot down.
Alty continued to put pressure on the Dover defence and they would have been ahead if it wasn’t for Bexon who denied Marcus Dinanga with a great save after the striker did well to find a shot after a great cross.
Alty’s goalkeeper Tony Thompson – who was unbeatable when these two sides played at Crabble last season – then made a great save to keep the scores level as he made himself big to deny Ben Williamson’s header from five yards out.
Altrincham started to control the game during the second half, with chances coming from both Mooney and Matty Kosylo.
However, these missed chances looked to have proved costly when Cosgrave gave Whites the lead just before the hour mark with a brilliant strike from the edge of the area, turning the defender and striking into the top corner, giving Thompson no chance.
Despite going behind, Alty continued to control the game and got their just rewards through second-half substitute Leitch-Smith as he connected to a cross into the box to convert past Bexon.
With minutes left, the home side went ahead for the first time in the afternoon through Colclough who scored a penalty after the winger was fouled in the box by Danny Collinge.
By Alex Hoad
Dover slipped to a second consecutive defeat to begin their Vanarama National League campaign as Boreham Wood claimed a 1-0 win at Crabble on Bank Holiday Monday.
It was a third straight win for Wood, who have yet to concede a goal and climbed to third in the table. Whites remain on minus 12 points and rooted to the foot of the table after the League’s pre-season points penalty.
Despite being forced into two changes with Ryan Hanson and Reda Johnson picking up knocks in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Maidenhead, Andy Hessenthaler’s side began brightly and won a couple of early corners but the visitors always looked dangerous on the break.
Big Will Evans had already headed over the bar for the visitors when they came close to a breakthrough when Jamal Fyfield slashed a far-post volley over the bar – and River End stand – from six yards following a deep cross from Josh Rees on 11 minutes.
Dover really should have been infront at the other end just a minute later when Travis Gregory did superbly down the right, picking up a return pass from Ricky Miller and firing a low cross into the middle where Aaron Cosgrave lay in wait. His first-time shot back across goal was however too close to Nathan Ashmore and the former Ebbsfleet keeper was able to parry before the ball was hacked clear.
Scott Boden saw a shot blocked at his near post by Dover keeper Josh Bexon before, mid-way through the half, Miller gave Whites fans a reminder of his talent when he chased the ball down on the left and fizzed in a fierce drive from 25 yards which flew narrowly past the far post with the flying Ashmore beaten.
Kane Smith hooked a volley over Bexon’s bar and saw an inswinging free-kick from 40 yards fly inches past the far post after evading everyone.
The visitors took the lead four minutes before the break when Williamson’s pass in midfield was charged down. Mendy picked up the loose ball and was able to drive forward and spread to Smith on the right whose low centre was agonisingly turned in at his near post by Jake Goodman.
It was nearly 2-0 on the stroke of half-time when former Whites striker Tyrone Marsh reached a lofted through ball and lobbed Bexon, stranded in no man’s land after rushing off his line, only for his effort to bounce well wide.
The second half was a cagey affair with plenty of stoppages which eventually led to Whites boss Hessenthaler being shown a yellow card by referee Gary Parsons for his protests. Chances were few and far between as the visitors seemed largely content to run down the clock.
Mendy did flash a low cross in from the left five minutes after the restart but the sliding Marsh was unable to connect in the centre while Evans tamely headed a free-kick straight at Bexon.
Koby Arthur and James Caton were sent on by Hessenthaler to try to change the game while Academy youngster Alex Green came off the bench on 75 minutes to play in central defence after a nasty clash led to Jake Goodman walking off looking very woozy.
Caton stung Ashmore’s palms with a near-post cross-shot from the left byline with time running out but despite plenty of late possession and some set-pieces in dangerous areas, Dover were unable to muster their first goal of the campaign infront of a crowd of 1,517 – the first National League spectators at Crabble in 534 days.
Former Birmingham City midfielder joined us in August 2021.
The 25-year-old Ghanaian featured in our pre-season games against Watford and Tonbridge Angels, where he scored our first goal after just 17 seconds in the 4-0 win.
Arthur made 16 appearances in all competitions for Birmingham, including 12 in the Championship after making his debut against Wolves in April 2013.
During his time with the Blues, Arthur, who will wear the number 22 shirt for Andy Hessenthaler’s side, also spent time on loan with League 2 Cheltenham Town and Lincoln City in the National League.
After being released by Birmingham, Arthur joined Macclesfield Town and was a member of their National League winning team in the 2017/2018 season.
He featured in 20 League 2 games for the Silkmen the following season, making 25 appearances in all competitions, before leaving the club at the end of the campaign.
He joined National League North side Kidderminster Harriers ahead of the 2020/21 season making 12 appearances in all competitions before the season was cancelled.