A wet & windy afternoon at Tilmanstone producer the U14s best football of the season so far and their first league win. With an already depleted squad, early injuries to Lewis Saunders, Sam Hanson and goalkeeper Dan Smith were the last thing we needed but all 3 soldiered on to play their part in the victory. Dover had the better of the first 20 minutes with the midfield dominating Sheppey’s and good chances created from both flanks. Against the run of play Sheppey took the lead soon after, a through ball split the centre-backs and their striker was in on goal, a great save from Dan Smith was in vain as the rebound was slotted in from a tight angle.
Heads remained high though and Dover continued pressing and creating the better chances. The equaliser came from a set-piece. Alfie Smith-Bainbridge curling home a free kick from 25 yards into the top corner for his second goal of the season. Dover went in 1-1 at half time knowing they were against the wind in the second half but playing the better football.
The second half followed the same pattern , Dover looking the superior side and creating the better chances even against the wind. The eventual winner came 15 minutes from time, strong hold up play from Lewis Saunders led to him breaking down the right channel and putting a great ball in for man of the match Ethan Warman to finish from close range. Sheppey tried everything in the last 5 minutes to equalise but the Dover back 4 remained strong with the injured Smith having little to worry him in goal.
It was no less than Dover deserved and Sheppey’s travelling fans and half of their coaching team commented on the high standard of football that we played and we deserved the 3 points. Onto the cup next week.