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Day's spot kick clinches Dover victory

Dover Athletic 2 Cambridge City 1

ONLY once this season - in the 3-0 victory at Crawley back in September - have Dover managed to score more than two goals in a league game.

Their scoring record, the worst in the division, has been a source of frustration for manager Clive Walker and Whites’ supporters alike, but Saturday’s win at Crabble delivered cause for optimism that goals will be in more plentiful supply next season.

Tommy Tyne, showing the benefits of an extended run in the team after a stop-start first two-thirds of the season, sent Whites on their way to victory with his fifth goal in six games.

And Walker also drew encouragement afterwards from the fact that his side had created plenty of chances, saying: “I thought we looked like scoring goals today for a change. Everybody moans about Tommy but his scoring record is good considering the number of matches he has missed this season.”

Tyne’s goal was the first of two in two minutes Dover scored to snatch the lead just before half-time after Cambridge had gone in front against the run of play with 35 minutes gone. Stuart Niven’s long throw was flicked on by Kevin Wilkin for Robbie Simpson to ram a fierce volley into the roof of Paul Hyde’s net from just inside the area.

Walker praised the quality of Simpson’s strike but felt his players should have reacted more quickly to the danger. He had no complaints, however, with how they reacted to falling behind, saying: “We just changed pace after their goal and moved into another gear.”

Eight minutes later Dover were level following a clever piece of play on the left flank by Jamie Day. The midfielder teased two Cambridge players before whipping in a left-foot cross to the near post which Tyne despatched with a flick of his head into the far corner.

And within two minutes Day was again involved as Whites took the lead. He was bundled over in the box by Jack Wignall as he chested down a free kick from Lee Spiller, and then got up to plant the penalty kick low past ‘keeper Martin Davies.

It gave Whites a half-time lead they just about deserved after making a bright and lively start, with Tyne prominent up front alongside ‘Buster’ Smissen, who was given his first starting appearance in the senior side by Walker.

Smissen did himself no harm with a hard-working 90 minutes, and it was a shame that the youngster was unable to convert either of the two chances that came his way, the first from a 20th-minute cross by Spiller, and the second with 20 minutes left when he nudged a cross from substitute Simon Glover inches wide.

A third goal then would have ‘killed’ the game off, but Dover have become well accustomed to defending one-goal leads this season and they did it again thanks to some resolute defending by the back three of captain Andy Arnott, Danny Chapman and Dean Readings.

Chapman made one vital header clearance from an inswinging free kick by Adie Hayes, while Arnott must have run Day close for the supporter’s man of the match nomination.

Walker’s only real concern, however, was that his side had moved another three points closer to achieving the 70-point target he has set them this season.

Dover Athletic: Hyde; Readings, Arnott, Chapman; Browne, Spiller (Dent 75), Day, Dyer (James 53), Norman; Tyne (Glover 69), Smissen.

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