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Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler reacts to home National League draw with Notts County

Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler admitted he was gutted for his players after Notts County's 89th minute equaliser at Crabble on Saturday.

Returning skipper Kevin Lokko's 57th minute goal looked to have given Whites the points only for County substitute Kristian Dennis to head home and salvage a draw for the visitors.

Bobby-Joe Taylor's superb 35th minute free-kick had earlier given Dover the lead but the full-back then conceded the penalty from which Mitch Rose brought County level four minutes later.

Dover celebrate Bobby-Joe Taylor's stunning free-kick against Notts County Picture: Alan Langley
Dover celebrate Bobby-Joe Taylor's stunning free-kick against Notts County Picture: Alan Langley

The result extended Dover's winless run at home to six National League matches, but boss Hessenthaler – whose side are down to eighth – said he could not be too critical on this occasion.

The performance was a big improvement on the previous week's 2-0 home defeat to Halifax.

Hessenthaler said: "We're gutted to be fair because we should have put the game to bed.

"At 2-1 we should be 3-1, 4-1 with the opportunities we created and I think that's the frustrating thing.

"I can't fault their effort, they had a right go and for a neutral it's probably been a very good game, end to end at times and they're one of the better teams in this league.

"Neal (County boss Neal Ardley) is now getting them going and that does not surprise me, but it's so disappointing to concede in the 89th minute.

Dover keeper Lee Worgan made an outstanding double save in the second half against Notts County Picture: Alan Langley
Dover keeper Lee Worgan made an outstanding double save in the second half against Notts County Picture: Alan Langley

"It happens in football, but we could have won it in the 90-plus minute, Kurtis (Cumberbatch) should score but he's hit it straight at the keeper.

"For me he's got to score and he knows that, Inih (Effiong) should score the one before half-time, he should do better with the one that goes over the bar and Kurtis has had the headerthat's gone past the post.

"It's numerous chances, like last week against Halifax. Second half we created a lot of chances and did not take them, but it was a positive performance.

"We've got to keep going, we're disappointed but from where we've come from this time last year we're doing all right."

Hessenthaler made four changes – one of them enforced by Michael Woods being suspended.

Lokko, Josh Passley Jack Munns and Nassim L'Ghoul were the players to come in with Cumberbatch, Ricky Modeste and Aaron Simpson dropping to the bench.

He explained: "We changed the shape slightly, just because we're trying to find that way, maybe that might be the way and we started the game really well, but then they got the penalty, which was a penalty.

"Bobby, he knows he's got to do better and we lost our way, gave them a bit of confidence and they're a good side.

"Their movement off the line, the lad (Enzio) Boldewijn is a handful.

"I think every one of their players has played in the league, and we've got about six who have played in the league, but they've been in a game today and credit to our players.

"They'll be up there come the end of the season, they're a massive club but I'm proud of my players and the way they worked and I'm disappointed and gutted for them because overall I think we deserved to win the game on chances."

Whites travel to Aldershot on Tuesday and will take checks on striker Steve Rigg and full-back Josh Passley, both of whom picked up injuries against County.

Modeste is ruled out as he has a game for Grenada next weekend.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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