Dover Athletic 2-0 Hampton & Richmond Borough
Saturday, 9th April 2005, Isthmian League Premier
Scorers: None. Att: 719
The Beavers lost their first league game in a month at relegation threatened Dover Athletic, but a fortunate sequence of results led to Hampton retaining their fifth placed spot as none of the contending sides could manage a win so no great damage was done to the promotion chase.
They say there is no rest for the wicked, well, Hampton are a side that are definitely in need of a rest but with matches coming thick and fast there is no respite if a place in the promotion play offs is to be maintained.
Dover are a much better side than their position dictates, they are only one place above already relegated Kingstonian but are a much better all round team.
Dover were spurred on by a massive crowd of 719 (what Hampton`s directors would give for a regular attendance half that size!) and responded with a physical, battling performance as they sought the win to push them to safety (unfortunately for Dover all the teams around them also picked up valuable points).
Kieron Drake was in early action, he made a tremendous double save in the 3rd minute, a point blank block from Craig Wilkins and then followed it up immediately with a great catch.
A few minutes later Wilkins decided to catch the ball as it was going out of play and was rewarded by a booking! Hampton didn`t have much luck in front of goal, a couple of shots were snatched at and went wide. In the 13th minute Ryan Ashe set off with the ball at his feet, fired a shot in that Dover`s keeper Paul Hyde tipped over for a corner, that was probably Hampton`s only effort on target during the game. A marvellous jinking run by Obinna Ulasi nearly paid off, but a defender just got to the cross before Andy Morley could get his header in.
Dover went ahead in the 28th minute with a freakish goal. A long throw from the right, Wilkins stuck his left foot out and the ball looped up and over Drake into the net, the sort of shot you can`t defend. Late in the first half Dover`s Victor Rennes curled a shot onto Hampton`s cross bar.
Dover made it 2-0 five minutes into the second half. A corner on the left was headed on to Nick Humphrey at the far post and he headed the ball down and in. Hampton tried desperately to get back in the game, Richard Pacquette fired over, Morley hooked a shot over and Dudley Gardner curled one past the upright.
Midway through the second half Matt Elverson won a header from a Dean Wells long throw, Elliott Godfrey sent in a low cross across the face of the goal but the Dover defence was able to get the ball away. Late in Luke Fontana got himself a yard or two of space but stabbed his shot over.
Written for the official website and reproduced here.