the amount of rain that had fallen during the week, conditions at “Crabble”
were surprisingly firm. Moors, without the suspended Jack Byrne, gave both
Ashley Sammons and Oladapo Afolayan their first starts since joining the club.
It was an departure for the players of whom only Liam Daly, Omari
Sterling-James and Shep Murombedzi remained of the team who were beaten 2 – 3
at home by the “Whites” back in November.
At the start of play Dover had the last of the play off
positions in the National League
visitors made the best of the opening forages. Dapo Afolayan looked lively up
front and Moors could have taken the lead on five minutes when Sterling James
whipped in a corner which just needed a touch.
George Carline was proving a handful for the big Dover back four but his cross to Murombedzi
was thwarted by the alert keeper. Afolayan produced a delightful back flick for
Kristian Green to cross but again there were no Solihull heads to make it count.
Orlu has Dover’s first real threat on 14 minutes
but it sailed over the bar and Baxter was ready for Deverdics dangerous free
kick from all of 35 yards which he punched away to safety.
At the mid
way point in the half Sammons launched a 25 yarder just wide of the upright and
again Afolayan opened up the Whites defence as he screwed the ball back across
the 18 yard box but nobody had followed up.
League top scorer Ricky Miller had been well contained by Moors back four and
he had to wait until the 34th minute
before he finally created space on the edge of the box but Baxter was
equal to the shot pushing it over for a corner. It was the sharp shooter again
as the interval beckoned picking up a decent cross from Deverdics but Daly
cleared off the line.
at half time was a fair reflection - Moors probably the happier of the two
was tripped on the edge of the box but Arnold had no trouble with Sammons free
kick, whilst at the other end Lafayette pirouetted but fired wide. Miller
outrageously appealed for a penalty, not given, and then when he did get
through Daly was there to clear the danger.
minutes Sammon’s free kick from just outside the box was deflected for a corner
which was headed wide by George Carline. Regan Charles-Cooke, on for Sterling James, was denied by Arnold with 20 minutes remaining. Miller
had a rare pot on 76 minutes but skied the ball.
minutes left Liam Daly needed the physio – the away supporters held their
breath - the big man does not stay down unless there is something seriously
wrong. Although he gingerly got to his feet it was clear he could not carry on
and Liam McDonald quickly re organised the back four with substitute Nortey
swapping with Kristian Green and Calum Flanagan moving into central defence to
partner Joel Kettle. Sammons picked up the Captain’s arm band.
frustrations boiled over and he was booked on 83 minutes whilst Lafayette’s effort was well saved by Baxter
in the final minute of normal time. However, Moors almost snatched victory in
the last minute of added time when Simeon Maye put Nortey through but his low
drive towards the inside of the far post was pushed around for a corner by the
It was the
first time this season that Dover have failed to score at home – a testament to
the strength and team sprit of the mighty Moors. Liam McDonald could hardly
disguise his delight;
cannot describe how proud I am of the players.
It was always going to be tough at high flying Dover, especially when the journey started
at this morning! We stuck to our game plan and put in an
energetic performance which almost saw us take all three points right at the
end. This was a tremendous performance from such a young team.
contingent of very vocal supporters again made such a difference."
up to 14th place in the National League and face Braintree next Saturday at the Automated
Technology Group Stadium KO 3.00 pm
Supporters Man of the Match Dapo Afolayan
John Clothier Photos
Courtesy of Tom King
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