Dover Athletic v Southend United preview
Dover Athletic v Southend United preview

Dover Athletic will look to create some club history this weekend, when they face League One strugglers Southend United in the FA Cup 1st Round at Crabble on Sunday, a game live on BT Television.

Though the FA Cup has been kind to the Whites in the last few years, they famously reached the third round back in 2011 and 2015, they have only beaten sides at League Two level previously and victory over twice FA Cup winner Sol Campbell’s side will see the side achieve their highest ever league placed scalp in the famous competition.

Many are saying that Andy Hessenthaler’s men are favourites against the Essex side who have only picked up 5 points from their opening 17 league games, but Southend will desperate for a win to kickstart their season.

Whites come into the game unbeaten in the last two matches, with one of them being an important victory over Eastleigh at Crabble, which ended an 8 game winless run at home, which had derailed their play-off push as they slid down the National league, so they go into the clash pleased that the home hoodoo is over.

Hessenthaler – famously manager at Gillingham when Dover beat them back in this round in 2010 – will have to make one change as attacking midfielder Jai Reason sits out through suspension, which is likely to lead to pacy wingman Anthony Jeffrey coming into the side as they look to attack the side with the worst defence in the whole Football League.

Skipper Kevin Lokko will be missing through injury so former Chelsea starlet Michael Woods will captain the side, as they will look to get on the front foot from the off, against what is certain to be a fragile Shrimpers’ side.

Inih Effiong who with 9 goals to his name, level with the number he scored last season, will also be key to their chances, as on his day he can be unplayable with his strong physical presence, but will need to be more clinical in front of goal as the Whites will need to take their chances when they come.

The first round of the cup, is always a great day in the footballing calendar, and it could be one to remember for Dover if they can create a little bit of history on Sunday and become giantkillers once more.