Aldershot Town were without a National League game Saturday, following the sad demise of Macclesfield Town, but instead, hosted a friendly with a Brentford ‘B’ side at the EBB Stadium, which resulted in a 3-2 victory for Danny Searle’s men. On Tuesday evening Shots’ travel to Kent to take on a Dover Athletic side at The Crabble.
Rob Worrall previews the game:
Shots’ boss Danny Searle gave striker Ross McCormack 45 minutes in the Brentford friendly, as the former Leeds United and Aston Villa forward gradually steps up his match fitness prior to his first competitive involvement. Lewis Kinsella remains side-lined long term with an MCL injury and Chike Kandi is close to a return following his pre-season hamstring issue.
Name: Dover Athletic
Nickname: The Whites
Manager: Andy Hessenthaler
Stadium: The Crabble Athletic Ground
2019/20 Final League position: 12th (when season ended), Awarded 11th on PPG (1.42)
The dissolution of Dover FC in 1983 saw the formation of a new club, Dover Athletic, who took up the vacant place in the Southern League. Athletic won the title in 1990, but failed to gain promotion to the Conference due to the ground not meeting the required standard. Three years later, the same feat was repeated and resulted in promotion to Non-League top tier. Dover remained there for nine years before relegation. Restructuring of the league saw them transfer to the Isthmian League in 2004, from which they were relegated in their first season. Successive promotions in 2008 and 2009 took them to the Conference South. Three play-off seasons in five years eventually saw them regain their Conference status in 2013-14 after a twelve-year absence. Since then, they have always finished in the top half and their fifth-place finish in 2015-16 remains the highest placing in the club’s history.
54-year-old Andy Hessenthaler took over as Dover Athletic manager in October 2018, following the sacking of long term boss Chris Kinnear. It is Hessenthaler’s second spell in charge of The Whites, having won 101 of his 154 games in charge in his first spell with the club (2007-2010).
A former player himself, that made almost 500 combined appearances at Watford & Gillingham, Hessenthaler has also managed Gillingham, Leyton Orient and Eastleigh.
Several players have left Dover over the course of the close season and also during pre-season. Key departures include Bobby-Joe Taylor (Ebbsfleet), Inih Effiong (Stevenage), Michael Woods and goalkeeper Lee Worgan.
11 players remain at Crabble, including Central Defender Will de Haviland, Midfielder Oscar Gobern and Striker Steven Rigg.
8 players have signed for Dover including; Bromley Left Back Sam Wood, Midfielder TJ Bramble (Gillingham) and 21-year-old Jamaican Striker Akheem Rose (Grimsby Town).
Tuesday evening’s referee is Alan Dale, who refereed 15 National League matches last season, showing 44 Yellow Cards and 5 Red Cards.
BBC Surrey Sports Rob Worrall will be summarising online commentary alongside Matt Gerrard on BBC Radio Kent on Tuesday evening from the Crabble. Look for BBC Kent coverage via the BBC Website or BBC Sport App. Dover Athletic will also be offering a live stream of the game for £8 (see the Dover Athletic website)