Cards off to Crabble on Tuesday
9:51pm, Sun 14th Jul 2013
Dover Athletic v Woking
7.45pm on Tuesday 16 July 2013
Garry Hill’s side run out at Crabble on Tuesday evening for their second pre-season friendly game. The Whites should provide a good test for the Cards with Chris Kinnear having assembled a strong squad as they look to go one better than last season’s play-off final defeat.
Most football fans know that it doesn’t pay to take too much notice of the scoreline in pre-season friendlies, especially the early games when managers tend to play a lot of trialists and the established players are gradually finding their feet again. So, Cards fans won’t be too exercised by Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Staines Town. Of the players already on contract, Kevin Betsy, Adam Newton and Aaron Howe did not take part. Sam Beasant and Nick Jupp (formerly with St Albans) shared the goalkeeping duties. Also amongst the trialists were ex-Shot Louie Soares (released by Grimsby Town), Anthony McNamee, formerly with Macclesfield and Aldershot amongst a number of other clubs, and John Goddard, formerly with Reading and Hayes and Yeading, scorer of both Woking goals in the second half as the Cards came back from 3-0 down. Gavin McCallum also appeared.
Chris Kinnear’s return to Dover midway through last season sparked an upturn in their fortunes, propelling them into third place in the Conference South table. However, they were defeated by Salisbury City in the play-off final, having beaten Eastleigh in the semi-final.
The close season has seen quite an exchange of players between newly-moneyed Ebbsfleet and cost-cutting Dover, with former Dover assistant manager Steve Brown, now the new Fleet boss, taking Daryl McMahon (at a cost of £13k), Ben May and Billy Bricknell from Crabble. Going in the other direction were Nathan Elder, scorer of 15 goals last season, defender/midfielder Craig Stone and midfielder Liam Bellamy. Kinnear’s other new signing is striker Michael Bakare, previously with Bishop’s Stortford, Macclesfield, Southport and Chelmsford, who is expected to partner Elder up front when the season begins. Other familiar names include ex-Cards Moses Ademola and Michael Kamara and former Chelmsford winger Ricky Modeste.
Other players leaving Crabble included ex-Card Ian Simpemba, who’s moved to Eastbourne Borough, striker Calum Willock and Danny Webb, who’s joined Chelmsford.
Dover’s first pre-season game, in which Kinnear fielded a different side in each half, saw them lose 5-0 at home to a strong Dagenham side, while on Saturday they lost 1-0 at home to Kingstonian, Kinnear again fielding two different elevens. Kinnear admitted that he was disappointed by Saturday’s showing but is expecting a livelier performance on Tuesday evening.
Crabble Athletic Ground
Take M25, M26, M20 and then A20 into Dover. Go past the port, then at the York Street roundabout take the 1st exit onto York Street. Take 2nd exit at next roundabout onto Priory Road. Road then changes names to London Road and Crabble Hill. Take slight left turning onto Crabble Road, and the ground is then on the left.
Nearest station: Kearsney
The main railway station in Dover is Dover Priory, which is about two miles from Crabble. The closest station to Crabble is Kearsney, which is about a 15-minute walk from the ground.
Kearsney is the last stop before Dover Priory on the line from London Victoria (via Faversham and Canterbury East). Some trains on this line do not stop between Canterbury East and Dover Priory so if you are planning on getting off at Kearsney make sure that the train you are travelling on is a stopping service. There is a train at 17.27 from Victoria which gets to Kearsney at 19.25. Alternatively, the 17.42 from St Pancras would get you to Dover Priory at 18.48, where you could pick up the 19.05 to Kearsney, arriving four minutes later.
On the way back you’d have to make sure that you got the 22.21 from Kearsney to Dover Priory, then picking up the 22.45 to St Pancras, arriving at 23.51.
If you get off at Kearsney, turn right as you leave the station, go under the railway bridge and then take the first road on the left (Lower Road). Follow Lower Road all the way along, past a pond on your right and Crabble Corn Mill on your left. At the end you will see the Cricketers pub on the other side of the road. Turn right and you should see the entrance to the ground. If you get off at Dover Priory it is probably best to get a connecting train, bus or taxi to the ground as it is a long walk.
Saturday 20 July: Woking v AFC Bournemouth (k.o. 3pm)
Saturday 27 July: Woking v Gillingham (k.o. 3pm)
Tuesday 30 July: Eastleigh v Woking (k.o. 7.30pm)
Saturday 3 August: Woking v QPR XI (k.o. 3pm)
The Cards start their league campaign on Saturday 10 August at home to Lincoln City.
Come on, you Cards!