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Dover Athletic boss Andy Hessenthaler on Inih Effiong, Bobby-Joe Taylor and 'selection headache' after late win at Barnet

Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler will continue to rotate his team after seeing his changes pay off in Tuesday night's 1-0 win over Barnet.

Inih Effiong came off the bench to turn in the rebound from Jai Reason's volley in stoppage time and open his account for the new National League season.

There were meanwhile maiden starts for summer signings Kurtis Cumberbatch and Bilel Hinchiri as Hessenthaler exhibited the depth at his disposal.

Dover forward Inih Effiong. Picture: Alan Langley
Dover forward Inih Effiong. Picture: Alan Langley

Hessenthaler said: "He (Effiong) has occupied the centre-halves very well so far this season and he hasn't got his rewards, he keeps going, he keeps working.

"I decided to go with one striker down the middle tonight in Alfie (Pavey), he's scored three in three. It just shows the squad depth we've got this year.

"I left Oscar Gobern and Jack Munns out tonight, there's nothing wrong with them. I just left them completely out of the squad to refresh them. They took it absolutely outstandingly.

"I think the dressing room realises we've got such a good squad of players. They're all together and they understand it. It was a real tough call.

"I felt Oscar looked a little bit tired on Saturday, I just thought I'd make the change.

"If you don't win the game people say 'why did you change it?', but we won the game. We've now got two fresh players for Saturday who will probably come back in. Will we change it? Yes we will.

"Kurtis was outstanding, he's got great energy. I think Bilel is just starting to adjust to this level and the English game, he'll get better.

"I thought he (Hinchiri) started a bit slowly but he grew into it. In the end we decided to make that change and drop Kurtis back and bring on Jai Reason for some good experience.

"They were excellent. It's not easy for your first start.

"Massive selection headache. The most difficult thing at times is getting the balance of the bench.

"We've got two defenders out in Paul Rooney and Scott Doe, we had Aaron Simpson on there today so we're just getting the balance right. It's a tough call but they're all buying into it."

Hessenthaler believes his side were worth their late goal in light of the attacking intent they displayed over the final quarter-of-an-hour at The Hive.

"It's always nice to score as late as that, for the last 15 minutes I thought we was the only team that looked like scoring," he added.

"I thought if we could find that bit of quality something could happen for us, in the end we did and it was a fantastic volley from Jai and it was great that Inih has got off the mark and scored his goal.

"To be fair there wasn't a lot in the game at all, I don't think Lee (Worgan) had a shot to save in the first half.

"Second half we were okay, I felt we were comfortable.

"They did grow into it and Worgs was there to make a couple of fantastic saves and you think perhaps a draw would have been a fair result.

"But then in the last 15 minutes we stepped it up, we looked fit, we looked strong, we kept going and believing and in the end we finally got the goal."

Effiong may have stolen the headlines with his late winner, but Bobby-Joe Taylor proved a standout performer on the night as he contained the pace and trickery of Barnet's Ephron Mason-Clark.

Hessenthaler said: "The back four were brilliant.

"People say Bobby isn't a left-back, at times he defended unbelievably. The boy on the right-hand side (Mason-Clark) is very quick, you don't get many quicker than him and in the end they took him off so credit to Bobby.

"He's growing into that role. People say he should be playing further forward, but not for me. He's probably getting the most football in his career now playing at left-back and he's very consistent."

Dover now head into Saturday's clash with Torquay at Crabble in fourth place in the league.

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