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Dover Athletic boss Andy Hessenthaler says the club were priced out of deal for a new striker as the Whites aim to bolster their squad


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Andy Hessenthaler has revealed he tried to sign a striker to freshen up Dover’s squad - but was priced out of a deal.

Dover were beaten 3-1 by promotion-chasing FC Halifax Town in the National League on Saturday as their wait for a first win of the season goes on.

Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Andy Jones
Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Andy Jones

The basement boys remain cut well adrift, 20 points from safety.

But the Whites manager doesn’t think their poor form is affecting his reputation in the game as he was asked more questions about his future at the club.

He said: “I have taken a challenge on. Listen, I could walk away.

“We have had conversations, me and the chairman (Jim Parmenter), but I’m a football man.

“Listen, I’ve done enough in the game so I’m not worried about that.

"It’s not great when you are losing football matches but I believe I have a decent reputation in the game.

“We all get highs and lows - and at the moment, this is a real low. But I love football. I’m doing as much as I can as a manager and we all are as coaches with what we have got.

“At the moment, we are not winning games. What can you do?

“Only the chairman can answer whether he wants to make things different. I can’t answer that. But I think he is probably as frustrated as anybody, but also understands the situation.

“We need to freshen it up but we can’t. We probably needed to freshen it up a few weeks ago to do something a little bit different.

"We have seven players out at the moment (through injury) - three younger ones, and four senior ones. That little freshen up might just help us. But it’s difficult.

“To be fair, the chairman said ‘Go and see if you can find a target-man type’.

“I have phoned so many managers this week that I know to find one that is A) Available with a bit of experience because we have got a young one up there in Aaron (Cosgrave) and B) Financially affordable.

“We, actually, did speak to one who has a good pedigree but he wanted more money, and we can’t afford to do that. Then you are looking at the lower leagues and is that going to help us?

“So it’s been a frustrating week.

“But to be fair to the chairman, he did say ‘Go and see if you can freshen it up with maybe a big’un up there’.”

Halifax’s top scorer Billy Waters broke the deadlock early on before captain-for-the-day Ben Williamson gave the home fans hope as he equalised at Crabble as the game headed towards the final stages.

But a goal from Kieran Green after a corner and a second for Waters in the last 10 minutes consigned the Whites to a 12th league loss in 15 matches this term.

Hessenthaler bemoaned: “To get back to 1-1 and then concede a goal from a corner, where it’s not about shapes, it’s about players doing their jobs.

“It’s up on the board and it’s a free header. It’s so frustrating because it’s not good (defending) for the first goal, it’s a mistake and they punished us.

“It’s a mistake for the second, and they punished us. Even for the third goal, the ball has dropped and instead of going to press the ball, we have dropped off, let the lad turn and then they score.

“It’s another game that, for 75 minutes, we were in it and we got the goal, and you are thinking we can get something out of this game.

“But then we do what we do.”

Dover will face fellow part-time club, Wealdstone, at Crabble on Tuesday night.

Playmaker Koby Arthur (calf strain) and defender Seth Twumasi (knee) both remain injury doubts.

French midfielder Yannis Drais, who had been at Dover on a non-contract basis, has left the club.

Winger James Caton came off the bench against Halifax, though, having not featured since his club's 4-1 defeat to Eastleigh in September due to injury.

Read more: All the latest sports news from Kent

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