Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler is relishing the visit of league leaders Leyton Orient on Saturday. The Whites moved out of the bottom four on Boxing Day after a win over neighbours Maidstone United and Hessenthaler is hoping it can give them boost going forward. Speaking to kentonline.co.uk “the players look at the table and hopefully psychologically it can give them a real lift before we go into a real tough game against Leyton Orient”.
- Sit 20th on 24 points – outside relegation zone on Goal Difference
- Lost one of last seven in all competitions – W4 D2 L1
- Taken 13 points from last 18 available
- League Record – P26 W6 D6 L14 F28 A46
Dover came from behind against Maidstone after Jake Robinson put the away side ahead in the first half. Mitch Brundle equalised before goals from Bedsente Gomis and Inih Effiong secured the win. Hessenhaler was thrilled with the response from his side after falling behind, stating to kentonline.co.uk “credit to the boys, they were excellent in the second half, we got the goals and deserved to win the game”.
- Only Braintree and Maidenhead (49) have conceded more goals
- Kept three league clean sheets
- No clean sheet in last five games – conceding eight
- One clean sheet in last nine games
- Two clean sheets in last 16 league games
- No clean sheet in last four home games
Half time substitutes proved crucial for Hessentahler’s men with Scott Doe and Alfie Pavey introduced from the bench. The 53 year old revealed why he changed his personnel at the break. Speaking to doverathletic.com “half time we thought we needed another body down the middle. We pushed Brundle into midfield, we felt that the way the game was going, we had to play a little more direct and squeeze them in. We got the goal and went on from there”.
- Failed to score in 10 league games
- Scored in six of their last seven games
- Scored in last five home games and six of their last seven at home
- 19/28 goals scored have been in second half (12/17 home goals)
- Dover’s last eight have been scored in second half
Hessenthaler returned to the Crabble in October from Eastleigh to try and turn the Whites fortunes around. Dover have been steadily improving since his return and have slowly adapted to going full time. The victory over Maidstone was a perfect response to defeat against Barnet four days prior and saw Dover pull themselves out of the relegation zone. Speaking to doverathletic.com “we all look at the table, I do keep an eye on it. I’m sure the players will look tonight and see we are out of the bottom four and kick on. We now look above not below”.
Important to any side fighting to avoid relegation is their home form and Hessenthaler has called on side to continue their fine form at the Crabble. Speaking to kentonline.co.uk “we’ve won our last four home games so I don’t think anybody wants to come to the Crabble at the moment. It’s going to be an interesting game Saturday and a good atmosphere”.
- Home League Record – P13 W5 D1 L7 F17 A22
- Only Braintree and Maidenhead (27) have conceded more goals
- Unbeaten in last five games – W4 D1
- Won last four league games – scoring at least two in all four
- Only lost one of six home games under Hessenthaler – W4 D1 L1
Saturday game against the O’s is their last home game of 2018 and Hessenthaler is hoping that the fans can give them a boost against the league leaders. Speaking to doverathletic.com “The fans are right with us and can see what we are trying to achieve. They play an important part. It will be a massive atmosphere on Saturday, Leyton Orient are going well, they will bring a lot of fans. They are well supported but hopefully we can keep bring the fans back here”.
- Conceded 24/46 league goals in second half
- 13 have been after 75th minute – most in league
- Only Maidenhead 1049 have trailed for minutes in league
- Eight of their 14 losses have been by two or more goals
Inih Effiong is struggling with a dead leg picked up against Maidstone while Alfie Pavey and Scott Doe are pushing for starts. Moussa Diarra, Joe Bedford and Kadell Daniel are all looking for a recall to the squad after missing out against Maidstone.
Hessenthaler on his squad to doverathletic.com “I have always got a selection problem. We don’t switch off over Christmas and I have had to disappoint a few players. I can’t keep everybody happy. Every game brings a different challenge, we’ve got good players, will they be changes? There could well be”
Head to Head – Dover Athletic 1, Draw 1, Leyton Orient 2
Last Time Out – 3-1 win over Maidstone, 26/12/2018
Prediction – Dover Athletic 1-1 Leyton Orient