Dover Athletic 0-3 Notts County (National League) 26.04.22
After two previous wet weather postponements it was third time lucky as the Crabble Athletic Ground tannoy system played out some conspicuous rain themed songs ahead of the match. Notts making changes to the team that won against Weymouth at the weekend, the Whites sitting bottom of the league having lost eleven of their last fourteen were hoping to cause an unlikely upset.
The visitors however, started well and were on the front foot from kick off, Rodrigues stretching onto a lofted pass on seven minutes unable to prod past the goalkeeper, a minute later Andre saved well from Roberts who was slipped in by Palmer.
Further saves, one routine from a Rodrigues header, and one brilliant again, as Andre denied Roberts for a second time, before Sam curled wide and Roberts fluffed his volley, all within the opening twenty two minutes of the match.
On 26 the home team goalkeeper was called into action again, another stop from Rodrigues, after good work by Richardson down the right, Andre flicking the Portuguese stars effort wide, before Richardson himself got in on the shooting act, his effort blocked by a defender and out for a corner.
Any chance of Dover coming out after the break with intention to push forward themselves were soon put to bed, within three minutes of the restart, Judd hacked down Nemane through on goal and was sent off, receiving a second yellow card. Richardson soon had the ball in the back if the net but that was ruled out for offside, the Forest loanee too eager following Roberts shot saved back into his path.
Notts pushed and probed as Rodrigues had an effort deflected wide before a slice of luck, on the hour, as a hopeful ball played in by Ed Francis found the corner of the net.
Rodrigues then went close to making it two, somehow sending the ball over the bar from close range following more good wide play by Richardson, as substitute Rawlinson was next to force a save from the Dover goalkeeper, heading down a Palmer corner towards goal.
The second goal however would eventually come, with seven minutes left to play, Cal Roberts receiving the ball before skipping past a couple of defenders and slotting home in true ‘Geordie Messi’ style.
90 seconds later, Brunt clipped a post with a fabulous first time curling effort before Ruben finally got his goal, a free kick all be it with a heavy deflection, but proof that persistence pays off, like trips to Dover in the past, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Dover Athletic: Andre. Wratten (Nikaj 63), Moses, Woods (Wilkinson 76), Baptiste, Collinge, Goodman, Krasniqi, Judd, Hanson, Gyasi.
Notts County: Slocombe, Chicksen, Lacey (Rawlinson 62), Graham, Richardson, Francis, Palmer, Nemane (Brunt 71), Roberts, Rodrigues, Sam (O’Brien 84).
Venue: The Crabble
*Main image @Official_NCFC opening goalscorer Ed Francis in action tussles for the ball.