Written by Rob Overfield Hits: 980
Beavers Heartbreak as Dover snatch ill-deserved point.
A dominant first half performance by the Beavers was only rewarded by a solitary point against a muted Dover squad who didn’t look like play-off chasing outfit writes Rob Overfield.
First half goals by Reece Jones and Dean Inman gave the Beavers a 2-1 half lead after Simpemba managed to reduce the deficit but keeper Craig Ross will not want to relive his part in the Dover equaliser.
Manager Mark Harper made just the one change, bringing in Nathan Collier in place of Karle Andrews.
From the opening, the Beavers took the initiative and Dave Tarpey was the first to make inroads as he chased a long through ball which Dover keeper Ruiz missed; luckily for him Cogan was there to tidy up before Tarpey could gather the ball.
Just three minutes later, a Hampton corner had the Dover defence in a panic as first Josh Huggins and then Dave Tarpey had shots blocked in quick succession; on 17 minutes there was no one to save Dover as Reece Jones gathered a poor clearance from a corner and struck a half volley that had Ruiz flat footed and helpless, the ball flying into the top corner of the net. There have been some quality goals scored in the last few games, and this ranked right up there with some of the best seen at the Beveree.
The Beavers had a further goal ruled out for offside before extending the lead on 27 minutes when Dean Inman rose unchallenged to meet a Jenkins corner and head the ball crisply past Ruiz to make it 2-0.
Majority of chances were falling to the Beavers but just before halftime, Dover gave themselves a glimmer of hope. A needless free kick was conceded close to the left touchline, Cogan's cross was met by Simpemba and his glanced header beat Ross.
HT HRBFC 2 DAFC 1
It was very much more of the same after the restart with the Beavers looking more likely to score; 2 minutes into the period, Dave Tarpey threaded a delicate pass through to Reece Jones whose shot was saved with some desperation by Ruiz.
Hampton were nearly made to pay for not converting these chances as George Purcell's howitzer of a shot had to be acrobatically turned over the ball by a flying Craig Ross at the near post.
The game was become a tense affair as Dover were looking for an equaliser against a stubborn Beavers back line that were allowing little for the Dover forwards, with Jenkins and Collier counter attacking where possible.
With just 15 minutes to go, Nathan Collier couldn't take advantage of a free header from a Jenkins corner, and the Beavers now looked like they could get a third as Tarpey then skied a volley well over.
Dover hadn't finished though and Craig Ross had to be alert to block and then gather a stinging Donovan Simmonds shot at close range as the game looked to go right to the edge. Tarpey was then wide with a hasty snapshot which drifted wide.
The referee was starting to pay close attention to his watch when the Beavers were undone. With just 2 minutes to go, an unthreatening low cross came quickly into the box, but the ball took a cruel hop, hit Craig Ross's wrists as he bent to gather it and it bounced a couple of metres to where Billy Bricknell was loitering; for a striker of his record, this was a gift which he accepted with some glee.
The draw was more than Dover deserved as the Beavers were clearly the better team on the night and for the vital win to be taken away in such a manner, bordered on highway robbery. However, 4 points from Truro and Dover are good points to gain and hopefully more can be picked up versus Maidenhead this weekend.
Jones 17, Inman 27
Dover Athletic 2
Simpemba 39, Bricknell 88
Ross, Ferrell, Jenkins, Jeffreys, Inman, Huggins, Collier, Jones, Tarpey, Simmonds, Moone.
Bench: James, Andrews, Hickey, Powell, Turner.
Substitutions: James for Simmonds, 88