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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

26 April 2022 Venue Crabble Athletic Ground Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Match Reports

Dover 0-3 Notts

Francis, Roberts and Rodrigues earn dominant win

26 April 2022

Ed Francis, Cal Roberts and Ruben Rodrigues were on target as we produced a display of total dominance on the Kent coast.

After failing to capitalise on a host of first-half chances, it took what appeared to be an overhit cross from Francis, which nestled in the top corner with 60 minutes on the clock, to set us on our way.

The goal came shortly after Myles Judd had been given a second yellow card but, in truth, Dover had never been in the game as they failed to register a single shot all night.

We made sure of the points late on when good hold-up play from Rodrigues allowed Roberts to score a lovely goal as he weaved past a couple of defenders before calmly slotting the ball home.

And Rodrigues deservedly got himself on the scoresheet in injury time as his deflected free-kick found its way beyond the keeper.

Ian Burchnall saw fit to rotate his starting XI, making four changes to the side that beat Weymouth three days prior.

The first change came in goal, with Sam Slocombe replacing Vit Jaros, and in front of him Alex Lacey came in for the bench-bound Connell Rawlinson.

Ed Francis replaced the rested Harry Arter in central midfield, while Elisha Sam took the injured Kyle Wootton’s place in an attack which was spearheaded by Rodrigues.

We started the game well and truly on the front foot and had our first chance on 7 minutes when Dover keeper Alexis Andre’s clearance came straight to Rodrigues, who tried to send it straight back past the stranded stopper. He connected well with his shot but could only fire it straight at him.

It was to be a busy half for Andre, who a minute later produced an excellent save to deny Cal Roberts after he was brilliantly played into the area by Matt Palmer.

The keeper had his hands on the ball again from the resultant corner – but Rodrigues should really have done better with his free header from six yards.

We kept up our relentless pressure and drew yet another important save from Andre, who pushed Roberts’ low effort away in unorthodox fashion.

Elisha Sam tried his luck from 20 yards two minutes later, bending an effort over, before Roberts squandered a huge chance by missing his kick from Rodrigues’ cross on 22 minutes.

Our frustration continued four minutes later with the home side again having Andre to thank for an excellent save from Rodrigues following good work by Richardson down the right.

The hosts managed to stem the tide somewhat thereafter and, after Richardson had seen a shot diverted wide by a defender, the referee called time on the first half.

But three minutes into the second half, Dover’s seemingly unlikely chances of keeping a clean sheet were dealt a major blow as Judd scythed down Nemane and headed straight for the tunnel as the referee pulled out his second yellow card.

Two minutes later we finally had the ball in the net through Richardson, but he was adjudged offside.

But, shortly after Rodrigues had seen a shot deflect inches wide, we had the breakthrough on the hour when Francis delivered the ball into the area from a deep crossing position and watched on as the ball flew across goal and into the far corner.

Rodrigues should really have doubled our lead two minutes later, lifting Richardson’s cut-back over from point-blank range, before Andre made a good save to keep Connell Rawlinson’s effort out after he had replaced Lacey earlier in the half.

We did finally put the game to bed on 83 minutes, however, as Roberts showed lovely feet to score, before Zak Brunt hit the post and Jim O’Brien couldn’t convert a free header after the pair came off the bench.

The third goal eventually came in stoppage time, though, as Rodrigues picked himself up after winning a free-kick to fire a deflected effort home from 25 yards.

Victory sees us move up to fifth in the table, seven points clear of eighth and four points behind Halifax in third.

STARTING XI: Slocombe; Chicksen, Lacey (Rawlinson 62'), Graham, Richardson; Francis, Palmer; Sam (O'Brien 84'), Nemane (Brunt 71'), Roberts; Rodrigues

UNUSED SUBS: Kelly-Evans, Mitchell

BOOKINGS: Rodrigues 30', Chicksen 38', Lacey 55'

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