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Dover Athletic's former Hartlepool United keeper Andy Rafferty plays down his heroics in the FA Cup defeat to Premier League Crystal Palace

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Andy Rafferty produced three stunning saves to keep Premier League Crystal Palace at bay before the visitors beat the Dover goalkeeper for the first time in the 10th minute on Sunday.

Until then, Rafferty, who joined Whites in September after Mitch Walker got injured at Dartford, admitted he thought it was going to be his day.

Rafferty said: “After I had made those saves, well, I just thought it was one of those days we sometimes have as goalkeepers when everything goes your way. Unfortunately Palace ensured it didn’t turn out that way.”

Andy Rafferty Picture: Martin Apps
Andy Rafferty Picture: Martin Apps

But the modest Rafferty, who has played in the Football League with Hartlepool, played down his heroics.

He said: “Making saves is what I am there for and to be honest, the lads have been giving me a bit of stick of late during our unbeaten run. After the game they were saying it was about time I did something after I’ve had an easy life of late!”

But Rafferty didn’t leave Crabble empty-handed – his Crystal Palace counterpart, Welsh international Wayne Hennessey saw to that.

“He gave me his shirt, which I must admit was spotless (Hennessey didn’t make a save in the game, apart from catching a few crosses), which was great but I wasn’t about to let him go without getting it.” Rafferty said.

"I did offer him mine but he threw it back at me, no, not really, just joking there.

“I had to keep hold of mine as our kit manager Robin (Hastie) would have come looking for me otherwise!

As for the game Rafferty said: “I loved it and it was a great experience. I just think we gave a bad account of ourselves so that’s disappointing. But we’ll bounce back – I am sure of that.”

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