7:45pm - TuesdayTue 24th OctoberOct 2017
Crabble Athletic Ground | Att: 1017

Dover Athletic
Dover Athletic
3 - 1


Another tough away trip for Cards on Tuesday

Brian Caffarey
8:21am, Sun 22nd Oct 2017
Dover Athletic v Woking
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 24 October 2017

The Cards will need to recover their recent defensive solidity if they’re to get anything from this trip. Crabble has rarely been a happy hunting ground for Woking sides and the current Dover team looks as though it will present the usual strong, determined physical challenge.


Two uncharacteristic defensive lapses were Woking’s undoing on Saturday at Bromley, but the straight red card given to Kane Ferdinand early in the second half effectively scuppered any chance of a comeback.

The defeat meant Woking dropped a place to fourth in the table.

With players such as Joey Jones and Richard Orlu returning from injury, it looked as though Anthony Limbrick was going to have some welcome selection problems, but with other players apparently replacing them on the injured list and Ferdinand’s absence, the squad is beginning to look a little threadbare, presenting Anthony with a rather different set of problems.


Dover’s manager, Chris Kinnear, is once again confounding the bookies. As at the beginning of last season, the Whites looked this summer as though they might struggle to cope with an exodus of accomplished players. In summer 2016 they waved goodbye to top scorer Stefan Payne, Nicky Deverdics and Sean Raggett amongst others. This summer the departures lounge seemed to be even more crowded, with last season’s top scorer Ricky Miller, Moses Ademola, Ross Lafayette, Richard Orlu, Aswad Thomas and Tyrone Sterling amongst a host of well-known non-League players heading off elsewhere. But Kinnear seems to have made light of these difficulties, virtually completely constructing yet another successful Crabble side.

At the back, he brought in keeper Chris Lewington, Welling’s ‘player of the season’ last year, to compete with regular keeper Mitch Walker. Three new fullbacks arrived in the shape of Josh Passley, who made 45 appearances for Dagenham and Redbridge in League 2; Femi Ilesanmi, another former Dagger, with over 130 appearances over four years, but who was a regular choice for Boreham Wood last season; and Loui Fazakerley, familiar from his time at Welling. In central defence, Connor Essam, who was on loan last season from Eastleigh, has signed on for his second spell at Crabble. Joining him were Australian U23 international Giancarlo Gallifuocu, who impressed for Torquay United last season; Manny Parry, who made 23 appearances for Braintree last season but who was previously at Maidstone and Margate; George Essuman, an interesting capture from Bostik South side VCD Athletic but with League experience; and 6’5� Manny Adebowale, originally with West Ham and Sheffield United but with loan spells at Goole and Sheffield FC.

In midfield Kinnear looks to have done well in signing Mitch Brundle, a key figure in the Braintree side which reached the play-offs before joining Gateshead last season; Nortei Nortey, who shone for Welling United before signing for Wrexham and who then turned out for Solihull Moors last year; and Academy player, Chris Barnard.

Ricky Miller is probably impossible to replace, but Kinnear has brought in several promising additions, including Kane Richards, who made 69 appearances for Chester; Tobi Sho-Silva, who scored 11 goals for Bromley last season in 38 appearances; Jamie Allen, signed from Southport for an undisclosed fee and the scorer of 10 goals in 35 appearances last year; Ryan Bird, a 6’4� striker from Newport County who was previously with Portsmouth, Cambridge United and Yeovil; and ex-Card Kadell Daniel, who, after leaving Woking, had spells with Welling, Dulwich Hamlet and Leatherhead. Mitch Pinnock survives from last season.

Other more recent arrivals are Paul Lewis, a midfielder on loan from Cambridge United; defender Aziz Deen-Conteh; central defender Ejiri Okosieme; and James Alabi, Chester’s top scorer last season but who is on loan from Tranmere Rovers.

The Whites’ form has been very steady, with some notable wins away from home over Hartlepool United, Tranmere Rovers and Aldershot Town, while at home they have beaten Wrexham, Chester and Solihull Moors. Home reverses have come at the hands of Bromley in their first home game and Boreham Wood. On Saturday Dover were held to a 1-1 draw as a result of Maidenhead United’s late equaliser, and are now unbeaten in their last six league games. They sit in second place in the table with 29 points, one more than Woking.

In the FA Cup, Dover drew at home against Bromley but were surprisingly well beaten, 3-0, in the replay last Tuesday.


Crabble Athletic Ground
Lewisham Road
CT17 0JB

Official website: www.doverathletic.com

By coach

The Cards Trust plans to run a coach to this match if there are enough ‘takers’. Ring (01483 772470) or email (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) the Club Shop on Monday to check the position

By car

The directions on Dover’s official website are as follows: make your way to the M25 and then take the M2/A2 (following the signs to Canterbury and then Dover) as far as the Whitfield roundabout (there is a McDonald's Drive-Thru on the left).

Take the fourth exit at this roundabout, down Whitfield Hill. At the bottom of the hill turn left at the roundabout and follow this road until the first set of traffic lights. At the lights turn right (180 degrees down the hill) and follow the road under the railway bridge; the ground is a little further up the road on the left.

There is no parking for supporters within the ground itself, although parking is available in the rugby ground, which is just inside the main entrance.

By train

The main railway station in Dover is Dover Priory, which is about two miles from Crabble and would take you about 30 minutes on foot. The closest station to Crabble is Kearsney, which is about a 20-minute walk from the ground. If you get off at Kearsney, turn right as you leave the station, go under the railway bridge and then take the first road on the left (Lower Road). Follow Lower Road all the way along, past a pond on your right and Crabble Corn Mill on your left. At the end you will see the Cricketers pub on the other side of the road. Turn right and you will see the entrance to the ground.

Getting down to Dover Priory is reasonably straightforward: make your way to St Pancras International and catch the 17.37, arriving at 18.38, or, cutting it fine, the 18.07, arriving at 19.18. Returning, there is a train at 22.12 from Dover Priory but, with a change at Ashford International, this arrives at St Pancras only six minutes before the direct 22.37 from Dover Priory, which gets in at 23.41.

Trains down to Kearsney, usually from Victoria, are generally much slower. But possibilities are the 16.37 from Victoria, arriving at 18.38, or the 16.57 from Victoria, which, via a change at Rochester, gets in at 19.03. There is also the 17.08 from Cannon Street, arriving at 19.03. Going back, there is a train, if you’re very quick, at 22.04 to Dover Priory, where you could catch the 22.37 to St Pancras (see above), but the 22.09 doesn’t reach Victoria till 00.36.

A careful study of www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.thetrainline.com is advisable for anyone thinking of travelling by train.


Adults: £17
Over 60's: £14
Under 18's: £8
Under 11's (accompanied): FREE


On Saturday 28 October the Cards are at home to Guiseley. The following Sunday (5 November at 2pm) they take on League One side Bury in the First Round Proper of the Emirates FA Cup.

Come on, you Cards!

Poor defending costs the Cards

Brian Caffarey
8:48am, Wed 25th Oct 2017
Dover Athletic 3 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
24 October 2017

Anthony Limbrick and Jason Goodliffe must be tearing their hair out after more calamitous defending at set pieces sent the Cards crashing to their second successive away defeat. Only five minutes had gone when the Whites’ top scorer, Ryan Bird, poked home from a corner. He added a second on 21 minutes when he was able to profit from a botched attempted clearance from a long throw, side-footing home, unmarked, at the far post. The Cards pulled a goal back early in the second half through Joe Ward but almost immediately conceded again from another corner, Parry arriving unchallenged at the far post to nod down and in. The win moved Dover top of the league while Woking dropped to fifth.

Anthony made three changes from the starting line-up at Bromley, bringing Josh Staunton into the back four to replace Richard Orlu, who wasn’t fit enough to even make the bench, and also starting with Regan Charles-Cook and Inih Effiong in place of the suspended Kane Ferdinand and Jason Banton, who was in the 16 though not apparently fully fit.

On a mild, damp evening the Cards had a great chance to take an early lead when Staunton, left free, headed narrowly wide from a corner. However, Dover quickly threatened, too, with Brundle unleashing a volley from distance, which Nathan Baxter had to help over his bar. It was from the resulting corner that Bird had the simple task of poking home after the ball came to him a couple of yards out; quite how it had managed to evade the Woking defence was a mystery.

Brundle had another attempt from distance in the 11th minute, side-footing just over the bar. Effiong, whose pace and power occasionally caused problems for the home defence, really ought to have equalised shortly afterwards. Put through on the right by Joey Jones, he dragged his shot wide of the far post with only keeper Walker to beat.

Dover continued to look the more dangerous side, playing in the usual Chris Kinnear mode, with pace, aggression and strength and getting the ball forward quickly whenever the opportunity arose. In contrast, Woking played neatly out from the back, often pleasing on the eye, but they were not usually able to get into dangerous areas, attempts to release Ward, Charles-Cook and Effiong usually breaking down, while Philpot was well shackled and rarely able to get into the game.

Alabi headed over from a Lewis cross and Baxter had to make a brave, diving header way out of his area to foil another dangerous home foray. The Cards coped with a couple of corners, the second wasted by Dover fortunately, before being undone in the 21st minute by a Pinnock long throw. Jones (I think it was) got underneath the ball, which skimmed off his head back to Bird, lurking unmarked at the far post. Baxter got a hand to his side-footed shot but couldn’t prevent it hitting the back of the net to make it 2-0 to the home side.

In spite of a good deal of possession and some attractive approach play on occasions, the Cards rarely looked like pulling a goal back in the remainder of the first half. Effiong had a decent run through the middle but shot straight at Walker. Ralph found space down the left on several occasions but decent crosses came to nought. As half-time approached there was a bit more by way of concerted pressure. Chez Isaac had a shot blocked and then Philpot did well to get in front of his marker to meet a Ralph cross but nodded wide of the near post. In added time Effiong and Ward combined in a nice one-two but Walker comfortably fielded the latter’s low drive.

Half-time: Dover Athletic 2 Woking 0

The Cards started the second half with a bit more urgency. Charles-Cook drove forward and shot strongly but Walker again was not really tested, while Effiong bundled his way along the right flank to fire in a potentially dangerous cross.

On 54 minutes a fine move enabled the Cards to pull a goal back. Effiong slid the ball left into the path of the fast-moving Ward, whose acceleration took him past the Dover defence. His first attempt was blocked by Walker but the ball reared up nicely and Ward was able to side-foot into the far corner.

This ought to have been ‘game on’ for Woking but their frailty at set pieces soon scuppered any thoughts of a come-back. First, though, Pinnock went close with a low drive after he picked up a loose ball from a clearance and then Jordan Wynter nearly conceded an own goal as he tried to block Alabi’s cross. The resulting corner was swung to the far post, where Parry arrived unchallenged to head down and in and past Baxter’s despairing dive.

Not surprisingly, the Cards looked somewhat deflated to find themselves two goals adrift again – a deficit which they never looked like recovering. Charles-Cook, always looking to get on the ball, twisting and turning, went on the offensive with a couple of bursts down the right, with Walker surprisingly dropping a deflected cross, the ball being scrambled away before a Woking attacker could benefit.

Declan Appau came on for Joey Jones, who seemed to have a recurrence of a nose bleed. Appau looked strong and eager as Woking tried to create some real momentum. Staunton headed over the bar from a corner and Charles-Cook again shot fiercely, but straight at Walker. As the Cards pressed forward, Dover threatened several times on the counter-attack, with Baxter punching more or less clear on three occasions and Staunton getting in a fine blocking tackle on the edge of the area.

In the 82nd minute Ward, on the right, latched onto a ball over the top from Isaac but couldn’t hook it far enough round his body, as Walker closed in on him, to find the target. With the game now clearly way beyond recovery, the only remaining incident of note occurred when Ward went down as he neared the Dover area, the Dover players feeling that he had dived or at least gone down far too easily.

It is clearly worrying to see five goals conceded in two successive games from free-kicks, corners and a throw-in. Moreover, all the goals were poorly defended, being virtually gifted to the opposition. It was even more frustrating since, last night at least, the defence played pretty well the rest of the time, with both Wynter and Staunton looking composed on the ground and winning a good share of balls in the air. Somehow, too, although there were flashes of good play from Ward, Effiong and Charles-Cook, it never seemed to add up to a coherent team performance. With the unsurprising exception of Effiong, the attack looked lightweight at times, outmuscled by a typically obdurate Dover midfield and defence. The Cards look in danger of flattering to deceive after a laboured win over Concord Rangers and consecutive away defeats and will be anxious to put in a winning display on Saturday against Guiseley, who, under Paul Cox, will be sure to test Woking’s defensive resolve.

Dover Athletic: Mitch Walker, Josh Passley, Femi Ilesanmi, Giancarlo Gallifuocu, Manny Parry, Connor Essam, Mitch Brundle, Mitchell Pinnock, Ryan Bird, James Alabi (Kadell Daniel 58), Paul Lewis

Unused subs: Kane Richards, Loui Fazackerley, Nortei Nortey, Aziz Deen-Conteh

Goals: Ryan Bird 5 and 21, Parry 56

Booked: Ilesanmi, Pinnock, Lewis, Daniel

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Matt Young, Jordan Wynter, Josh Staunton, Nathan Ralph, Joey Jones (Declan Appau 69), Chez Isaac, Joe Ward, Regan Charles-Cook, Jamie Philpot, Inih Effiong

Unused subs: Lazar Stojsavljevic, Fabio Saraiva, Jason Banton, Ryan Mason

Goal: Joe Ward 54

My MOTM: Not an easy choice on a night when no one really shone but Joe Ward’s ability to turn away quickly at pace always seemed to offer the best chance of making an impact.

Dover Athletic LINEUP
1Mitch Walker
2Josh Passley
3Femi Ilesanmi
5Manny Parry
6Connor Essam
4Giancarlo Gallifuoco
8Mitch Brundle
21Paul Lewis
11Mitchell Pinnock
17Ryan Bird
19James Alabi ('58)
12Loui Fazakerley
27Aziz Deen-Conteh
18Nortei Nortey
23Kadell Daniel ('58)
7Kane Richards
1Nathan Baxter
21Matt Young
3Nathan Ralph
5Josh Staunton
15Jordan Wynter
8Chez Isaac
4Joey Jones ('69)
23Joe Ward
11Regan Charles-Cook
20Jamie Philpot
9Inih Effiong
18Sam Mason
24Lazar Stojsavljevic
17Declan Appau ('69)
14Fabio Saraiva
10Jason Banton

Dover Athletic 3 - 1 Woking (Anthony Limbrick Interview)

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