Hessenthaler closing in on target
Hessenthaler closing in on target

Dover Athletic are almost there and boss Andy Hessenthaler is that close to delivering what he was asked to do when he took over at Crabble for a second time – keeping the club in the National League.

Following Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Dagenham and Redbridge took the Dover points tally to 46 with eight games to go. “It was great,” the Dover boss told us, “the boys were terrific on Tuesday and carried it on from our last game ten days before.”

“We had a little bit of a break before the Dagenham game and I thought that the performance was excellent! That’s back to back wins with the second one against a side where it’s always tough to go to.”

“For the first hour to go three nil was excellent – to be fair to them, they kept putting us under pressure and got their goal to make it a little bit difficult for us, but we held on for a deserved three points.

It was a good win – it keeps us going towards our points target of where we think we need to reach to be absolutely safe and stay up – the other results went for us as well to give us that important breathing space again.”

“It was strange not playing last Saturday, but at the same time I thought it was helpful to us as well because we’ve been looking a little bit leggy and leading up to the game on Tuesday, I thought we looked after the break over the weekend, we looked bright in training on Monday.”

“We had a couple of little knocks – Alfie Pavey definitely wouldn’t have played if the game had been on Saturday as he was pretty much ruled out even for Tuesday last Friday, but he had extensive treatment all weekend and passed a fitness test on Monday, and then he scores again in the game…

One player leaving Crabble this week was Millwall Loanee Danny McNamara. Hessenthaler explained, “His loan was up and we could have extended it, but Josh Pashley is now back and played the full ninety minutes on Tuesday night and so it was a case of why we brought young Danny in and he was excellent for the two months we had him – he was superb – and hopefully we’ve helped him; they’ve certainly helped us – got a good relationship with Neil Harris, I know him really well – Danny was excellent for us and has a good career in front of him.

Hessenthaler admitted that his side will travel to the Midlands on Saturday full of confidence after taking the points on Tuesday, “It takes a bit of pressure off Saturday’s game, but I still want to keep winning football matches and get fifty points and beyond and finish as high as we can.”

“People remember how you finish after all and if we could go unbeaten until the end of the season it would be superb. But we know it’ll be tough at the weekend as Solihull are going for promotion.”

“When you think about the way they were fighting promotion this time last year, Tim (Flowers) has done an incredible job there. We’ll go with confidence after winning the last two and unbeaten in three – they drew at Boreham Wood the other night but their home record is very good, so it’s another real test for us – one we don’t fear; indeed we’re looking forward to it and hopefully we’ll get a good result and be able to lead up to Chesterfield at Crabble next week,” he said.

We’ve got a couple of niggles going into Saturday after Tuesday – Mitch Brundle took a knock to his foot; Jamie Allen has a twisted ankle – the boys are back from the internationals and the only one definitely missing is Josh Debayo.”