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Goalkeeper Daniel Jinadu saves penalty on eventful Dover Athletic debut in 1-1 National League South draw at Taunton Town after joining on loan from Maidenhead United

Goalkeeper Daniel Jinadu enjoyed an eventful weekend Dover debut.

Former Dartford and Margate keeper Jinadu joined on loan from Maidenhead and featured in the 1-1 National League South draw at Taunton last Saturday. He replaced another loan keeper, David Aziaya, who has returned to Bromley.

Striker George Nikaj – scored for Dover in their 1-1 draw at Taunton on Saturday. Picture: Stuart Brock
Striker George Nikaj – scored for Dover in their 1-1 draw at Taunton on Saturday. Picture: Stuart Brock

Jinadu, on an initial two-month loan, conceded early and gave away a first-half penalty - only to save the spot-kick - as striker George Nikaj’s equaliser earned basement boys Dover a hard-fought point.

Boss Jake Leberl said: “Dan’s one that hasn’t played competitive football all season, but I’ve heard good things about him.

“Obviously, he had been at Maidenhead so [manager] Alan Devonshire took him. That says a lot to me.

“He’s a local lad and lives not too far from our training ground. We could have taken another keeper out of a Premier League club or another club, but Dan has a bit of experience.

“It was his first game on Saturday and you can see his attributes already. As he plays more games, hopefully he will get better.”

Taunton struck in the fourth minute through a goal which was initially flagged for offside before the call was overturned.

Whites player makes team-of-the-week

Jinadu then denied winger Ross Stearn from the spot before Nikaj nodded in left-back Bailey Akehurst’s free-kick to ensure they left for the long trip home with something for their efforts.

“I was happy with a point,” Leberl reflected.

“Going into it, we were looking for a little bit more with the current (financial) situation down there. But they still had a good core of players and a good bench.

“We started like we had just travelled for five hours - which we had - but then we got into the game.

“I was pleased to see George Nikaj get a goal. We felt he deserved it.

“Obviously, we started relatively well in our first four games in charge - and then lost two on the bounce. We couldn’t afford to lose another one.

Scott Holding has extended his loan at Dover from Championship club Watford until the end of the season. Picture: Watford FC
Scott Holding has extended his loan at Dover from Championship club Watford until the end of the season. Picture: Watford FC

“We could have gambled and tried to get the three points but the next week we could do the same and get beaten by four.

“If we were to do that, we would be gambling and I don’t think gambling pays off.”

Another new face in Dover’s squad at Taunton was Destiny Oladipo. The striker made his bow in the second half as he came on for Nick Dembele.

Leberl noted: “He has been around a little bit and he hasn’t had a home, as such. I’m not sure why that is but he has been in training. He has something we have not got.

“He’s a presence and a big boy but he can get around the pitch.

“There are a few older professionals that we cannot afford anyway, if I’m honest, but I want to work with these boys who we can build with.

“Destiny hasn’t been playing a lot so he will need to be patient and we will need to be patient with him.”

The club have also extended young Watford defender Scott Holding’s loan until the end of the season after he impressed in an initial one-month stint.

“It’s good for us to have him,” said Leberl. “Hopefully, we can make him a better player and he can make us a better team.”

Whites’ next league match is at play-off chasing Torquay this Saturday, a team Dover drew 2-2 at home with on the opening day, before Tuesday’s home derby against Tonbridge.

On Torquay, Leberl, who has allowed defender Fuad Sesay to leave while striker Luke Pearce’s loan from Southampton has also ended, said: “It’s always nice to go down there.

“For a club like Dover to be competing against a club like Torquay is crazy. They’re in a league that they shouldn’t really be in and they’re desperately trying to get out of it.

“It’s a great day out, for the younger players especially. It will be tough but I’m confident we can give a good account of ourselves.”

Their Kent Senior Cup tie at Isthmian South East Beckenham last night was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Ex-Dover boss Mitch Brundle has made a playing return with Southern Counties East Premier Division Lydd.

Brundle helped the Lydders to a 3-1 win at Stansfeld on Saturday.

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