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Dover Athletic manager Chris Kinnear says they remain in promotion race

By Alex Hoad

Dover manager Chris Kinnear warned ‘don’t write us off yet’ despite seeing their grip on a National League play-off place loosened on Easter Monday.

A penalty in the final 20 minutes saw Whites lose 1-0 at Aldershot who leap-frogged Kinnear’s side into fifth – the final play-off place – with a one-point lead with two games left.

Dover, however, have an extra game to play and after seeing wild celebrations at the Recreation Ground at full-time on Monday, Kinnear said: “They’re not there yet. It’s in our hands. If we win our games, we’re there and they’re not. Do not write us off yet.”

Chris Kinnear in the thick of the action against Solihull. Picture: Alan Langley
Chris Kinnear in the thick of the action against Solihull. Picture: Alan Langley

Dover host Torquay – a point from safety with two games remaining – on Saturday (3pm) before their game in hand at home to Macclesfield on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Two wins would see them go to Barrow on the season’s final Saturday in the driving seat again and Kinnear said: “Of course I’d have taken this situation if you’d offered it to me at the start of the season.”

Torquay are still fighting for their lives and Kinnear said: “We just have to go out and do the best we can do. That’s all we can do. The lads have always given 100%, sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t but to be where we are is amazing.

“There are a lot of clubs who would love to be where we are. I don’t know if overachieving is the word but for a club like ours to be right up there is quite something.

“We are a young club at this level but we’re competing with the likes of Aldershot.”

Kinnear admitted the players were ‘fed-up’ with the defeat but added: “We’ve got to get our heads around it. If you lose a game, you lose a game, but we’ve been on a great run and could have nicked it at the end.

“For us to even be this close to them is an achievement but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to really go for it in the next three games.”

He added: “You have got to bounce back, the lads have shown they can do it in the past. It’s up to us.

“We’ve taken it a game at a time all the way and it’s got us to the position where we are and that’s what we’ll do for the final three games.”

“It’s nice to be in April and still got a chance of getting into the play-offs which is amazing. We’re going to give it a heck of a go.”

Joe Healy and James Hurst will be assessed ahead of the Torquay game after limping off at Aldershot but Jim Stevenson has been recalled from his loan at Southport.

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