Another tough away trip for Cards on Tuesday
8:21am, Sun 22nd Oct 2017
Dover Athletic v Woking
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 24 October 2017
The Cards will need to recover their recent defensive solidity if they’re to get anything from this trip. Crabble has rarely been a happy hunting ground for Woking sides and the current Dover team looks as though it will present the usual strong, determined physical challenge.
Two uncharacteristic defensive lapses were Woking’s undoing on Saturday at Bromley, but the straight red card given to Kane Ferdinand early in the second half effectively scuppered any chance of a comeback.
The defeat meant Woking dropped a place to fourth in the table.
With players such as Joey Jones and Richard Orlu returning from injury, it looked as though Anthony Limbrick was going to have some welcome selection problems, but with other players apparently replacing them on the injured list and Ferdinand’s absence, the squad is beginning to look a little threadbare, presenting Anthony with a rather different set of problems.
Dover’s manager, Chris Kinnear, is once again confounding the bookies. As at the beginning of last season, the Whites looked this summer as though they might struggle to cope with an exodus of accomplished players. In summer 2016 they waved goodbye to top scorer Stefan Payne, Nicky Deverdics and Sean Raggett amongst others. This summer the departures lounge seemed to be even more crowded, with last season’s top scorer Ricky Miller, Moses Ademola, Ross Lafayette, Richard Orlu, Aswad Thomas and Tyrone Sterling amongst a host of well-known non-League players heading off elsewhere. But Kinnear seems to have made light of these difficulties, virtually completely constructing yet another successful Crabble side.
At the back, he brought in keeper Chris Lewington, Welling’s ‘player of the season’ last year, to compete with regular keeper Mitch Walker. Three new fullbacks arrived in the shape of Josh Passley, who made 45 appearances for Dagenham and Redbridge in League 2; Femi Ilesanmi, another former Dagger, with over 130 appearances over four years, but who was a regular choice for Boreham Wood last season; and Loui Fazakerley, familiar from his time at Welling. In central defence, Connor Essam, who was on loan last season from Eastleigh, has signed on for his second spell at Crabble. Joining him were Australian U23 international Giancarlo Gallifuocu, who impressed for Torquay United last season; Manny Parry, who made 23 appearances for Braintree last season but who was previously at Maidstone and Margate; George Essuman, an interesting capture from Bostik South side VCD Athletic but with League experience; and 6’5” Manny Adebowale, originally with West Ham and Sheffield United but with loan spells at Goole and Sheffield FC.
In midfield Kinnear looks to have done well in signing Mitch Brundle, a key figure in the Braintree side which reached the play-offs before joining Gateshead last season; Nortei Nortey, who shone for Welling United before signing for Wrexham and who then turned out for Solihull Moors last year; and Academy player, Chris Barnard.
Ricky Miller is probably impossible to replace, but Kinnear has brought in several promising additions, including Kane Richards, who made 69 appearances for Chester; Tobi Sho-Silva, who scored 11 goals for Bromley last season in 38 appearances; Jamie Allen, signed from Southport for an undisclosed fee and the scorer of 10 goals in 35 appearances last year; Ryan Bird, a 6’4” striker from Newport County who was previously with Portsmouth, Cambridge United and Yeovil; and ex-Card Kadell Daniel, who, after leaving Woking, had spells with Welling, Dulwich Hamlet and Leatherhead. Mitch Pinnock survives from last season.
Other more recent arrivals are Paul Lewis, a midfielder on loan from Cambridge United; defender Aziz Deen-Conteh; central defender Ejiri Okosieme; and James Alabi, Chester’s top scorer last season but who is on loan from Tranmere Rovers.
The Whites’ form has been very steady, with some notable wins away from home over Hartlepool United, Tranmere Rovers and Aldershot Town, while at home they have beaten Wrexham, Chester and Solihull Moors. Home reverses have come at the hands of Bromley in their first home game and Boreham Wood. On Saturday Dover were held to a 1-1 draw as a result of Maidenhead United’s late equaliser, and are now unbeaten in their last six league games. They sit in second place in the table with 29 points, one more than Woking.
In the FA Cup, Dover drew at home against Bromley but were surprisingly well beaten, 3-0, in the replay last Tuesday.
Crabble Athletic Ground
Official website: www.doverathletic.com
The Cards Trust plans to run a coach to this match if there are enough ‘takers’. Ring (01483 772470) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) the Club Shop on Monday to check the position
The directions on Dover’s official website are as follows: make your way to the M25 and then take the M2/A2 (following the signs to Canterbury and then Dover) as far as the Whitfield roundabout (there is a McDonald's Drive-Thru on the left).
Take the fourth exit at this roundabout, down Whitfield Hill. At the bottom of the hill turn left at the roundabout and follow this road until the first set of traffic lights. At the lights turn right (180 degrees down the hill) and follow the road under the railway bridge; the ground is a little further up the road on the left.
There is no parking for supporters within the ground itself, although parking is available in the rugby ground, which is just inside the main entrance.
The main railway station in Dover is Dover Priory, which is about two miles from Crabble and would take you about 30 minutes on foot. The closest station to Crabble is Kearsney, which is about a 20-minute walk from the ground. 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 will see the entrance to the ground.
Getting down to Dover Priory is reasonably straightforward: make your way to St Pancras International and catch the 17.37, arriving at 18.38, or, cutting it fine, the 18.07, arriving at 19.18. Returning, there is a train at 22.12 from Dover Priory but, with a change at Ashford International, this arrives at St Pancras only six minutes before the direct 22.37 from Dover Priory, which gets in at 23.41.
Trains down to Kearsney, usually from Victoria, are generally much slower. But possibilities are the 16.37 from Victoria, arriving at 18.38, or the 16.57 from Victoria, which, via a change at Rochester, gets in at 19.03. There is also the 17.08 from Cannon Street, arriving at 19.03. Going back, there is a train, if you’re very quick, at 22.04 to Dover Priory, where you could catch the 22.37 to St Pancras (see above), but the 22.09 doesn’t reach Victoria till 00.36.
A careful study of www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.thetrainline.com is advisable for anyone thinking of travelling by train.
Over 60's: £14
Under 18's: £8
Under 11's (accompanied): FREE
On Saturday 28 October the Cards are at home to Guiseley. The following Sunday (5 November at 2pm) they take on League One side Bury in the First Round Proper of the Emirates FA Cup.
Come on, you Cards!