1st round of the Kent County Cup we hosted Medway youth league side Real 60 Panthers, an unknown quantity at this level but within 5 minutes we knew that they were up for the occasion. Real 60 possibly had the better of the opening action with pace and power up front they broke quickly and tested our defence twice early on without really troubling Dan Smith in goal. Dover soon found their feet though and began to dominate the match playing some superb football all over the park. The midfield pairing began to run the game spreading pass after pass to wide areas where Max Spurr and Wes Chadwick had the beating of their full-backs. Chance after chance was created by Dover in the 1st half but we just couldn’t put one away, Alfie Smith-Bainbridge was pushed upfront to partner Lewis Saunders and the pair caused havoc in the Real 60 defence but the ball just wouldn’t go in…………Real 60 somehow held on until half time but looked a tired side.
The half time team talk was calm and simple, keep doing what you are doing and it will come……………inspired words as within 2 minutes of the restart Dover took the lead, Lewis Saunders ran onto a through ball , won a 50/50 challenge with the keeper before heading the ball into an empty net . Celebrations were minimal as the boys and the crowd knew there must be more to come now. Alfie Smith-Bainbridge soon doubled the score with a calm finish and the game was surely done, Real 60 had little attacking threat now and it was surely a matter of how many Dover could get. Alfie Smith-Bainbridge then added a third before Lewis Saunders right footed strike from 15 yards was the fourth. Charlie Brown got the fifth with a cool finish before Alfie Smith-Bainbridge completed a deserved hat-trick. Charlie Brown then completed the scoring with a deft finish in front of the keeper from a Markus Goebe header.
The match finished 7-0 but their keeper made a string of super saves to keep the score down and on another day the score could have been even more. Credit to Real 60 for keeping going till the finish and they will have a decent season in their league i’m sure. Great performances all over the park for Dover and onto the next round, a tough trip to London away at SC Thamesmead.