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Dover Athletic striker Inih Effiong receives the backing of boss Andy Hessenthaler

Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler is backing striker Inih Effiong to rediscover his goalscoring touch.

The Whites striker scored seven times in the opening 12 matches of the season but has managed just two in his last 10 – both of them coming in the 3-1 home win over Eastleigh on October 29.

The 28-year-old former Ross County forward was guilty of missing a good chance in Dover’s excellent 1-0 televised win at Yeovil on Saturday, but Hessenthaler says the management team remain firmly behind their No.9.

Dover Athletic striker Inih Effiong Picture:Chris Davey
Dover Athletic striker Inih Effiong Picture:Chris Davey

He said: “Inih should score (the chance at Yeovil), he knows that and he’s had opportunities to put other games to bed but it’s not happened.

“He’s on a little bit of a barren spell at the moment but I’m not going to knock him.

“He contributes more than just his goals. You need a target man and that’s what Inih gives us, he occupies centre-backs and all the time he’s doing that he’s making openings for other people.

“He knows he needs to start taking more chances but he’s working hard to improve.

“He’ll get on a scoring run again, we believe in that.”

Dover’s victory at Yeovil extended their unbeaten run to four games and they have kept clean sheets in each of the last three matches.

Hessenthaler described the win at Huish Park as ‘the perfect away result’, but says that does not mean he won’t contemplate changes for the visit of in-form Solihull Moors on Saturday.

His only changes in the last two games have been enforced – due to Josh Passley’s injury (against Southend) and Jai Reason’s suspension (at Yeovil).

He explained: “I know what they say about not changing a winning team but sometimes you have to look at how the opposition play and how they might hurt you.

“Solihull are a big strong team, probably the biggest in this division, and Saturday is going to be a massive test.

“Tim Flowers is a very good manager, and they have some excellent players. I had Paul McCallum with me at Orient and Eastleigh, he’s a goal machine so we’ll need to keep him quiet.”

After going seven home games without a victory Whites have won the last two and Hessenthaler is hoping they can continue that momentum, especially with Maidenhead also due to visit Crabble on Tuesday.

He added: “We’ve played really well in the last two home games, creating a lot of chances, so perhaps we have turned the corner a bit in that respect.”

Skipper Kevin Lokko (ankle) and Passley (thigh) are both unlikely to figure against third-placed Solihull but Hessenthaler is more optimistic about Will De Havilland (ankle).

Winger Ricky Modeste, who missed out on playing for Grenada due to a hamstring issue, could also return while loan signing Ruel Sotiriou is available after international duty and Reason is back after suspension.

Whites moved up to 10th after the Yeovil win, but are just two points off seventh-placed Harrogate, and six behind leaders Barrow, who head the table on goal difference from Bromley.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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