Three first half goals enough to see off Truro - by Camilla Harvey
Dover Athletic 3 - Truro City 2
Chris Kinnear made his managerial return to Dover Athletic and on Saturday afternoon his new black and white army marked the beginning of the second “Kinnear era” with a gutsy 3-2 home win over visitors Truro City.
First half goals from new signing Tyrone Sterling, Ian Simpemba and Callum Willock were enough to keep the Cornish outfit at bay and earn the Whites their first home win of 2013, despite a resilient comeback charge made by the visitors which saw them grab two goals midway through the second half.
Kinnear made a few changes to his new squad following their last defeat away to Dorchester Town midway through January. The return of Chris Sessegnon from injury saw him take the place of Danny Webb in defence, whilst Moses Ademola replaced Billy Bricknell up-front to partner Ben May. New signing Tyrone Sterling also featured in the starting line up as Dean Rance completed his suspension.
Following Truro City’s defeat against Chelmsford City the previous weekend, various changes were made. With goalkeeper Luke McCormick being signed by league side Oxford United, Paul Hider took his place between the sticks. Calron Hall and Ben Gerring were favoured over Bobby Hopkinson and Barry Hayles respectively.
Whites got off to a successful start as a Daryl McMahon ball from a corner found its way into the box and Tyrone Sterling rose well to head the ball underneath keeper Paul Hider into the back of the net to give Dover a surprise early lead within the first five minutes of the game.
The visitors’ play from the off appeared scrappy, with several of their players attempting to move the ball up field, however once in the area a ball forced forward was easily collected by Mitch Walker.
Truro’s Paul Hider failed to clear the ball a few minutes later and a chance fell into the path of young Lloyd Harrington. He fired a cross in across the goal mouth however whilst it was too powerful for Moses Ademola to connect on to as he waited in space, it was another close chance for the home side as they looked to pressurise the league’s bottom side.
Ademola once again did well shortly after as he found himself striding forward into the area and supplied the ball on to Ben May. The Truro defence were in place to block May’s shot as he fired forward and once again the ball was cleared away.
Midway through the half, Barry Cogan fired a free kick in to the box. Ben May narrowly missed the ball as he lay in place to fire home and as Truro’s defence failed to clear, Ian Simpemba slid the ball in to the back of the net past keeper Hider to extend Dover’s lead to two goals.
Moses Ademola continued to cause havoc following Dover’s second goal as he delivered a superb ball in from the left however Martin Watts headed out for a corner close to the post.
As the Whites applied considerable pressure on the visitors, it was Ademola yet again who strode forward and supplied in a ball through toward Barry Cogan. Left on his own to drill the ball home, Cogan took his shot however Paul Hider saved well to prevent Dover’s lead from being extended further.
Calum Willock replaced Daryl McMahon towards the end of the first half following an injury sustained to McMahon.
Truro’s Les Afful burst forward however Walker pushed the ball away just as Afful looked to set himself up for a chance.
Lloyd Harrington’s cross in to the area in the final minutes of the first half was met by the head of Ben May who quickly nodded the ball in to the feet of Calum Willock. Willock converted from close range to hand Dover a comfortable cushion of three goals going in to the second half.
As the game progressed from the re-start, Whites again found themselves terrorising Truro’s defence. Hider produced a great save to prevent a close range header by Willock falling into the back of the net, with the home side looking for a fourth goal.
Moments later however the Cornish visitors pulled a goal back through Cody Cooke after clever play from Truro saw Cooke slide the ball past Walker into the back of the net.
Truro clawed a second goal back barely minutes later despite the efforts of Mitch Walker performing a double save, the visitors piled on the pressure and Kieffer Moore converted as Dover’s defence appeared to have momentarily fallen asleep.
The visitors continued to play well, enjoying a brief decent spell of play midway through the second half following their goals as confidence appeared to have been lifted. Showing fight amongst their ranks they eyed a third goal as they persisted in moving forward, gaining several corners however the Whites’ defence were in place to clear.
Whites were awarded a free kick shortly after following a pull on Calum Willock’s shirt by Jake Ash. The resulting free kick by Barry Cogan was then cleared yet moments later Ben May powered forward and struck the ball wide of goal.
Les Afful burst through the defence and linked up well with a team-mate only for Walker to collect as Truro looked to stage a late charge forward.
Calron Hall almost guided the ball into the back of his own net after a failed clearance following a tame shot by Ademola on goal, however Hider was quick to push the ball away out of danger.
Tyrone Sterling received the ball on the edge of the area but could only fire his shot over the bar as the game was nearing on 90 minutes.
Willock surged forward late on however his hesitation allowed a defender to bide his time and tackle to clear any impending danger of the Whites bagging a fourth.
Truro had a few late chances and their final corner of the game was met by Mitch Walker standing his ground and collecting the ball first time to prevent the visitors from claiming a very late equaliser.
Manager Chris Kinnear will be pleased to have started his second term as Dover Athletic manager with 3 points in the bag as his new squad displayed determination and resilience against a Truro side that sprung to life in the second half.
Kinnear, assistant Jake Leberl and the team will now look ahead to next weekend’s home game as they host fellow promotion hopefuls Welling United, as they will no doubt hope to continue their winning ways further.