Folkestone 0 – 6 Dover Athletic U18s
Today’s fixture saw high flying Dover Athletic travel to local rivals Folkestone looking to maintain their unbeaten league run. It was the perfect opportunity for the Dover squad to bounce back to winning ways, after a being knocked out at the quarter finals stage the previous week.
The line up saw several to the start eleven from last weeks mat, with Charlie Corrigan, Joe Hunnisett and Calvin Jaconelli all ruled out for this one.
First half – the opening 20 minutes was a scrappy affair, with both teams looking to establish the early their mark on the game. After this time Dover Athletic begun to settle down, keep the ball on the deck and looking to play their trademark possession based, attractive attacking football. On 25 mins a forward run into the Folkestone penalty area saw a foul given inside the box, the young referee not phased by clear protests from the folkestone bench. Liam Middleton stepped up to calmly slot the ball into the bottom left hand corner giving Dover the lead. For the next 25 minutes saw Dover push on, establishing a high line, looking to press their opposition well inside their own half. Folkestone were limited to the occasionally break away, when they did break the Folkestone Striker with his pace did create some problems for the Dover defence to deal with. the half was drawn to an end after quite an uneventful first half display.
Second half Dover came out of the blocks from the off, looking to finish the game off early. It was all Folkestone could do to deny a rampant Dover, who were now stringing some exceptional phases together, from defence – midfield to attack. it was now only a matter of time before the score line increased. On 55 minutes Liam Middleton burst into the box firing a fine effort beyond the diving keeper. On 60 Minutes Liam Middleton popped up again to finalise his hat trick again leaving the goalkeeper no chance in the process.
On 63 minutes a superbly weighed ball into the Folkestone box found Ben Cassingena between two towering defenders, with a great headed placement Cassingena directed the ball into the far left corner making the score 0-4 to the visitors.
Dover, now accelerating their attacks with speed and accuracy had several further opportunities to increase the lead, however, the final ball into the advanced areas was not quite good enough on several occasions. The folkestone team now looking tired after being run ragged by a far superior disciplined Dover side. On 75 minutes Liam Jones was on hand to score his first of the match, Dover’s 5th, with a well placed low drive into the bottom left hand corner, the result was finalised on 80 minutes when Alfy Braynt broke into the box from the left wing to fire a low drive, of which the Folkestone keeper managed to get a hand to, however, he was never going to stop Bryant on the follow up tiring the match up. A further break away in the dying minutes saw a great ball played in behind the folkestone defence, Striker Cody Allcock took a fantastic first touch setting himself up to run onto eh ball which by now had made its way into the box, 1v1 with the keeper from a tight wide angle, Allcock fired the ball just wide of the far post.
End score : Folkestone 0 – 6 Dover Athletic
The first half display was not what I have come to expect from this group of Athletic lads, we battled well, however, it took us far too long to get a foot hold int he game, however, once we had calmed ourselves down, we begun to show what type of quality we possess. We completely dictated the tempo and discipline in this game. The second half after a few choice words, saw an improved attitude, a desire to win, and the impact of smart simple football begin passed around at a high level at times. Folkestone were never going to be able to compete against us, but they did extremely well to keep us at bay the first half. It was great to see Liam Middleton get his hat rick, and another 3 points on the board, that takes us to a lead of 10 if we beat Hastings and then Chatham over the following weeks.
Todays man of the match was between two players, Liam Middleton having scored 3 and worked extremely hard for the team, and Harry Andrews who’s recent performances have consistently improved to a point where today the aware goes to him, his work rate, his desire to win the ball back after we had lost possession, his pass completion rate is getting better and better with every game he plays. Well done Harry.