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Dover Athletic manager Chris Kinnear is without defenders Tyrone Sterling and Tom Bonner for the Vanarama Conference game with Forest Green Rovers

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Dover Athletic boss Chris Kinnear said he wanted to turn Crabble into a fortress this season.

Four consecutive Vanarama Conference victories and two FA Cup wins – all with clean sheets – suggest it is becoming that.

But Kinnear knows that stunning run of form in front of the home fans will come under threat on Saturday against Forest Green Rovers.

Chris Kinnear Picture: Gary Browne
Chris Kinnear Picture: Gary Browne

And especially with Whites missing two of their impressive defensive back line, Tom Bonner and Tyrone Sterling. Both are suspended, Bonner for picking up five yellow cards, while Sterling will miss out after his red card in last Saturday’s win at Alfreton.

Another defender, Sean Raggett, who would have come into consideration, is also suspended following his red card in the Kent Senior Cup tie against Folkestone earlier this month.

Kinnear said the loss of Bonner and Sterling was going to test the strength of his squad.
He said: “They are a huge loss but their absence does give others in the squad the opportunity to come in and a stake a claim.

“This game will test the depth of it (his squad) – that comes with the territory when you lose players to injury or suspension.

“We’ve just got to make sure that we work harder and give a little bit more to keep our stunning record at Crabble of late intact.”

Forest Green fought back from 3-1 down with 15 minutes left to earn a draw at Torquay United last Saturday and are currently seventh, 10 places above Dover.

Kinnear said he was surprised by the Gloucestershire side’s start to the season.
He said: “They spent a lot of money to get their squad together. I thought they would be doing a lot better than they are.”

Matt Lock is still battling a back injury while winger Christian Nanetti (ankle) hasn’t been able to train since he got injured against Folkestone on November 4.

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