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Dover 0 Forest Green 1 - match report

Dover suffered a first defeat in seven matches against Forest Green - meaning the two teams now meet again in the Vanarama National League play-off semi-finals.

The first leg takes place at Crabble on Wednesday (7pm), with the return in Gloucestershire next Saturday. (7.30)pm. Both games will be screened by BT Sport.

Dover's Tyrone Marsh and Forest Green's David Pipe challenge for the ball Pic: Gary Browne
Dover's Tyrone Marsh and Forest Green's David Pipe challenge for the ball Pic: Gary Browne

The visitors came into the game on the back of a winless seven-match run, at the end of a week which saw ex-Gills defender Ady Pennock sacked on Wednesday, followed out of the club by former Welling and Ebbsfleet manager Jamie Day who resigned.

Brett Williams' 52nd minute effort decided this tea-time contest in front of a crowd of nearly 1,700.

Williams beat two challenges before shooting low past home keeper Andy Rafferty into the far corner.

Chris Kinnear made wholesale changes for the game - with Dover's play off place already assured.

Only three of the team on duty in the 1-1 draw at Kidderminster - Connor Essam, Tyrone Sterling and Liam Bellamy - were named in the side.

Brothers Jack and Alfie Paxman, two products of the Dover Academy, were on the bench.

Action from Dover v Forest Green Picture: Gary Browne
Action from Dover v Forest Green Picture: Gary Browne

Rafferty, back in goal for Dover for the first time since February, made a sprawling save to deny Elliott Frear early-on.

He then pushed another Frear effort onto his left-hand post

Tom Murphy then put a free header wide from Duane Ofori-Acheampong's flick-on, following a throw-in

Dover's best chance of the half fell to Tyrone Marsh after 26 minutes, but he missed his kick under pressure from experienced Forest Green defender David Pipe.

Williams broke the deadlock seven minutes after the break, picking up Kurtis Guthrie's pass before racing past two challenges to fire home.

Ofori-Acheampong was booked but Dover didn't create too much as Kinnear sent on all three substitutes, Mitchell Pinnock, Harry Crawford and Alfie Paxman, given his first taste of National League action.

Pinnock went close and young Paxman headed wide late-on.

Dover; Rafferty, Essam, Grimes, Sterling, Thomas, Diallo, Kinnear (A.Paxman 77mins, Bellamy, Murphy (Pinnock 67mins), Ofori-Acheampong (Crawford 72mins) Marsh.

Subs not used: Hook, J. Paxman,

Forest Green: Arnold, Pipe, Clough, Racine, Jennings, Stokes, Kelly, Carter, Williams (Jefford 76), Frear,(Marsh-Brown 66mins) Guthrie (Parkin 69mins). Subs not used: Pidgeley, Moore, Jefford

Attendance: 1651

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