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A bittersweet point

A good draw but could have been more, says Ardley

5 October 2019

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Neal Ardley had mixed reactions to our 2-2 draw at Dover on Saturday afternoon.

Mitch Rose and Kristian Dennis were both on target as we twice came from behind to take a point, with the latter netting a 90th-minute equaliser.

And although the boss was happy to take something from the game after trailing late on, he felt we could have left Kent with more.

“When you’re 2-1 down and chasing the game in the last 10 minutes you’re happy with the point, but I also feel like we’ve dropped two,” admitted Ardley.

“I felt we controlled large spells of the match and worked our way through the pitch using the patterns we like to get into great areas.

“Any point away from home is a good one but conceding twice is a concern because that makes it very difficult to win the game.

“Their second goal was particularly disappointing because we got away with one like that in the first half and told the boys about it at the break, so it was frustrating to see it happen again.

“That being said, some of our football was excellent and we created great chances, and the spirit to come back and earn a point was fantastic.”

A couple of those openings fell to Wes Thomas who was unable to find the target for the second game in succession, but Ardley is pleased to see the forward getting into the right areas.

“It’s happened a couple of times for him but you have to be there to miss them,” said the boss.

“We were going to keep Wes on and go with three strikers when we brought Kristian onto the field, but we felt the way we were moving through the thirds was giving us joy in that shape.

“Denno is a ‘fox in the box’ and came on and thrived when we created that moment for him – it was a great finish.”

Ardley says the players were showing the right kind of reaction in the changing room after the game and hopes our unbeaten run continues after being extended to three in Dover.

“The lads were going nuts at themselves and each other following the full-time whistle,” he explained.

“That’s not pointing fingers, though, because we don’t have a blame culture – we’re all in this together.

“I enjoy watching us now and I hope the fans do as well, but we still have a lot to prove.

“We need to develop that consistency and if we pick up a good amount of points from our next few games it’ll be four, five or six unbeaten – that’s progress.”

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