Dover Athletic 1-1 Hartlepool United
Dover Athletic 1-1 Hartlepool United

A late Nassim L’Ghoul equaliser meant Dover came away from Crabble with a well-earned point in a tight affair. 

L’Ghoul cancelled out Kevin Lokko’s first half own goal to help Whites to the point which helps Dover avoid an eighth home loss of the season.

Earlier in the day, Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler made three changes from the Bromley defeat on New Year’s Day with Lee Worgan, Oscar Gobern and Anthony Jeffrey coming in for Yusuf Mersin, Jai Reason and L’Ghoul. 

Dover started strong and would have been infront if it wasn’t for a great save by Mitch Beeney to deny Ricky Modeste after Bobby-Joe Taylor’s corner landed at the head of Modeste. 

However, despite the early strong display by Whites, Hartlepool took the lead midway through the first half through an own goal from Lokko who was trying to clear Gavan Holohan’s floated ball into the box but inadvertently knocked the ball into the back of the net.  

Hartlepool had multiple chances to double their lead during the first half.  First, Worgan made a great save to deny Nicke Kabamba who shot from inside the area. Moments later, it was Ryan Donaldson’s turn to go close after a cross from Mark Shelton found the Pools captain who headed the ball into the side netting. 

Will De Havilland came closest to getting Whites level in the first half as he nodded Taylor’s corner just wide of the goal. 

Early in the second half, Jeffrey came close to equalising for Whites when Gobern burst through the middle and found the attacker, but his shot went wide of the goal. 

Michael Woods then won a free kick on the right hand side, which Taylor took, but his effort went straight into the wall.  

Gobern then had a chance to pull Whites level, but his volley from just outside of the area went straight down the throat of Beeney in the Hartlepool goal. 

Inih Effiong then had a glorious chance to draw Dover level. The ball was played to his feet with his back to goal, he turned the defender and shot towards the bottom corner but Beeney made a great save to tip the ball away and keep Hartlepool’s lead intact. 

Shelton almost confirmed the three points for Hartlepool with four minutes to go but his free kick floated over the bar.

That was to prove costly for the Pools as L’Ghoul slotted home into the far corner in added time after being played through by Effiong, to send the home faithful crazy.

Dover Athletic: Worgan, Passley, Lokko, De Havilland, Taylor, Woods, Gobern, Jeffrey(L’Ghoul 70”), Modeste(Yusuff 71”), Munns(Rigg 62”), Effiong 

Subs not used: Reason, Simpson

Hartlepool United: Beeney, Kioso, Liddle, Anderson, Kitching, Mafuta, Featherstone, Shelton, Holohan(Hamilton 85”), Donaldson, Kabamba(Cunningham 90”)

Subs not used: Killip, Kennedy, Molyneux

Attendance: 1023

Referee: Lewis Smith