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Dover Athletic boss Chris Kinnear says side can now focus on getting to the Football League

By Josh Fordham

Dover Athletic boss Chris Kinnear believes his side can now focus on trying to win promotion to the Football League after they crashed out of the FA Trophy on Saturday.

The Whites face a tough test against fifth place Sutton United this weekend, who are just one point and a place above Kinnear’s side.

A last-minute goal from Leyton Orient’s David Mooney sent Dover out of the cup competition at Crabble.

Kinnear believes there are positives to take despite the defeat.

Chris Kinnear. Picture: Andy Payton
Chris Kinnear. Picture: Andy Payton

He said: “We just have to now focus on what we have to do. The positives are we don’t have to travel all around the country rearranging games and playing mid-week. We can focus on what we are trying to do in the league.

“We have Sutton the next game and they lost on Saturday as well. All the top sides are not in the trophy now.

“Our focus will be the league and I’m sure that’s why a lot of the top sides are not in it. A lot of sides lose to sides not in their league in the trophy and at least we have gone out to a big club.”

In their previous league meeting in October, Dover scored a last-minute equaliser to grab a point at Sutton.

Chris Kinnear is expecting an equally tough game as both sides look to cement their position in the National League play-off places.

Mitch Pinnock challenging for the ball against Leyton Orient. Picture: Tony Flashman
Mitch Pinnock challenging for the ball against Leyton Orient. Picture: Tony Flashman

He said: “It won’t be easy. They have signed a lot of players. They have invested well and are a club who have been in the conference for a lot of years in the past.

“For 70 minutes at their place we were the better side then they scored twice. Manny got the equaliser at the end. It’s a big game for both of us but it is not the be all and end all.”

Despite a 4-3 defeat in the FA Trophy on Saturday, Kinnear believed there were positives to take from the match after his side got themselves back into the game after going three goals down.

He added: “I’m very proud of the character my players showed and I don’t expect anything different.

“We were trying to push on and win but we probably should have managed the game until the end but it wasn’t our day today and were behind.

“We were trying 100% to get to Wembley.

“We have just got to get on a focus ourselves and the players will as well.”

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