Dover U16s had to battle for a hard-fought victory against a very organised and resolute Bredhurst side.
In the opening minutes Dover almost took the lead when a Will Giles shot was blocked after a fine run and left-wing cross from Henry Mileham. This did not set tone for the remainder of the first half as Dover struggled to create clear cut chances against a strong defensive unit, and as the visitors grew in confidence towards the end of the half they created a few half chances themselves.
The start of the second half saw a similar pattern and a goal looked unlikely until a perfectly timed Ed Muddiman header found the net from a Dylan Hammond free-kick. The match was fiercely contested and Dover were perhaps guilty of not using the width enough, as when they did get the ball out wide they created chances, with a couple of Mileham crosses from the right, and some good attacking play from impressive Finlay O’Shea down the left looking the likeliest way to break down a packed and organised defence. Despite not being at their best offensively Dover matched Bredhurst in the physical battle, with Dylan Tubb and man of the match O’Shea particularly strong in winning some key challenges, as Dover secured the victory.
This was not a match where Dover managed to play some of the free-flowing football they have played earlier in the season, but they demonstrated they are a strong unit even when not at their best, as the win took them to the top of the table.
Dover: Ryan Tyler, Oliver Griffiths, Dylan Hammond, Joe Muddiman, Charlie Dale, Finlay Jarman-Hume, Dylan Tubb, Henry Mileham, Hector Duppre, Ed Muddiman, Will Giles. Subs Finlay O’Shea, Dwayne Kattah