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Dover Athletic manager Chris Kinnear reacts to National League defeat at Eastleigh

Chris Kinnear admitted he was 'absolutely gutted' after Dover were beaten by two late goals at Eastleigh on Tuesday night.

Ryan Bird's excellent 20-yard strike after 22 minutes looked to have given the Whites a vital National League win, only for the home side's Paul McCallum to score twice in the final six minutes.

The 2-1 defeat ended Dover's four-match unbeaten run, and boss Kinnear said they definitely did not get their just desserts.

Dover manager Chris Kinnear
Dover manager Chris Kinnear

He explained: "For 80 minutes we were the better side by far, comfortable but we got a little bit carried away with ourselves.We were creating chances, getting at them and it looked like we were going to get more but that's what happens with a young side they all get a bit over enthusiastic.

"We tried to scream at them to sit there but give them their due (Eastleigh) they nicked two.

"I'm absolutely gutted because of the way we played, that was a different class to what we did on Saturday (in the 0-0 draw at Barrow), that's definitely not a game that we should have lost."

Mitch Pinnock and Ade Azeez both went close to adding to Bird's 14th league goal of the season but Whites were pegged by McCallum who then headed the winner in the final minute.

Kinnear felt that the home striker got a bit of luck with his opening goal.

He said: "That's luck and we didn't get that chance. We ran their defenders all over the place and had so many chances without really looking like we' were going to score that many.

"It was 1-0 going on 3-0 really but we can't we can't be too disappointed, we can't get too down because we've got still got quite a few games left."

The first of those is at home to promotion rivals Tranmere at Crabble on Good Friday and Kinnear says his team – who remain well placed in seventh – will be ready.

He added: "I am disappointed that we've lost when we've played so well – I'm less disappointed in that respect than Saturday because it wasn't really us, it was horrible and we didn't really look great but tonight we looked sharp and really up for it

"We'd done enough for 80 minutes but if you've got a side down you've got to go and kill them off which we haven't which is part of the learning process for this bunch.

"Tranmere are a massive club who really should have won the league by miles, but we'll be up for it."

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