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Dover Athletic keeper Andy Rafferty keen to keep a clean sheet at home to Gateshead

Dover keeper Andy Rafferty has lifted the lid on the frustration at Whites’ inability to keep a clean sheet.

The Whites No.1 was beaten again on Saturday as his side were held 2-2 in the FA Trophy by Guiseley, which made it 15 games without a clean sheet – a run stretching back to the 1-0 win at Tranmere in October.

Guiseley’s second goal from Gavin Rothery came after the 27-year-old keeper spilt a high cross under pressure from big striker Emile Sinclair, with Rafferty’s protests to referee John Busby that the challenge was a foul continuing long after the final whistle.

Dover goalkeeper Andy Rafferty
Dover goalkeeper Andy Rafferty

Rafferty claimed there was disappointment in the Whites dressing room after the poor display but ahead of Saturday's home game with Gateshead, he insisted: “Their goal was a foul – I certainly think it was – but the lads showed
a great amount of character to come back.

“I can’t put my finger on why we haven’t been keeping clean sheets. I’m so frustrated and I know Mitch (Walker) was the same when he was playing.

"It’s so frustrating to concede because people look at the results and teams are now thinking they can come here (and compete) because we will concede.

“I wouldn’t say they are well-worked goals, either. Sometimes it’s down to lack of concentration.”

Rafferty admitted he feels the record reflects badly on him, adding: “You feel the pressure. People comment on it, it does wind me up but it’s something we need to work on as a team.”

Rafferty took over between the posts after Walker was sent off in the FA Cup defeat against Stourbridge in November, although Rafferty admitted he has sympathy for his rival for the No.1 shirt.

He said: “We get along well, me, Mitch and Lee Hook. I was (on the bench) at the start of the season and it’s a frustrating job – you don’t know if you’re going to be in the squad or not, you’re travelling all the way just to take part in the warm-up then take a shower.

“I have a lot of sympathy for Mitch but all the while I’m playing, I want to keep the shirt and keep some clean sheets.”

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