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Dover Athletic 0 FC Halifax Town 1 match report

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Dover take on FC Halifax in their season opener. Picture: Roger Charles
Dover take on FC Halifax in their season opener. Picture: Roger Charles

FC Halifax defender Scott McManus ensured there was no dream start to Dover Athletic's Vanarama Conference campaign after he scored the goal in his side's 1-0 win at Crabble.

The left-back fired home low past Dover goalkeeper Mitch Walker from 20 yards two minutes into the second half.

But Dover, playing in non-league's top flight for the first time in 12 years, missed a great chance to level things up in the 65th minute.

Tom Wynter's cross found Barry Cogan but the midfielder fired over from 16 yards when he really should have scored and Dover's best opening of the match had gone.

Three of Chris Kinnear's summer signings, Jake Reid, Nick Deverdics and Christian Nanetti, came on in the second half and Nanetti showed glimpses of his ability to run at defenders at pace and beat them.

But it was to no avail as the visitors, who had to wait 11 games before registering an away win last season, held on, despite having defender Simon Ainge sent off in stoppage-time after he collected his second yellow card.

Earlier, boss Kinnear showed his faith in those who got his side promoted, naming a side which included nine of those who started the play-off final against Ebbsfleet. Cogan, who had been suspended for the play-offs, and new signing, Tyrone Sterling, were the men to come in.

Dover are away to Braintree on Tuesday.

Dover: Walker, Stone, Raggett, Orlu, Sterling, Bellamy (Deverdics 75mins), Kinnear, Cogan (Reid 71mins), Wynter, Modeste (Nanetti 81mins), Elder. Subs not used: Murphy, Francis.

Attendance: 1,321.

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