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Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler on the 2-1 win over Wrexham

Dover’s strength in depth is already paying dividends according to boss Andy Hessenthaler.

Substitutes Nassim L’Ghoul and Ricky Modeste combined to lead Whites to victory against 10-man Wrexham on Saturday.

It’s that quality from the bench which means Hessenthaler can continue to tinker with his squad during a busy start to the National League campaign.

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Dover's Inih Effiong holds off Wrexham captain Shaun Pearson. Picture: Paul Amos
Dover's Inih Effiong holds off Wrexham captain Shaun Pearson. Picture: Paul Amos

“It’s about a squad of players, and that’s what you have to do,” said Hessenthaler, who made three changes from the midweek defeat to Dagenham.

“I believe that whichever 11 we pick, the four or five that are on the bench can make a difference and are as good as what is on the pitch.

“That’s the key, we’ve got a bit of depth this year which is great.

“We had to do it at Chesterfield where Alfie Pavey didn’t start the game – he came on and scored two goals – and we’ll keep doing that if we feel we need to make changes.

“It’s about doing them at the right time and we gave them enough time to come on and change the game.”

It had been shaping up to be a frustrating afternoon for Hessenthaler.

Wrexham were stuck in traffic near en route to Dover after staying overnight in Ashford but it meant Whites had to halt their warm-up as well.

“I don’t think that went in our favour either really,” added Hessenthaler. “We were in at 1pm, we went out and warmed up, we had to come in, go back out again to warm up – so it wasn’t great preparation for either team.

“We’ve got to have a bit more belief and game intelligence and we’ll be alright.

Steven Rigg fires in a shot for Dover. Picture: Paul Amos
Steven Rigg fires in a shot for Dover. Picture: Paul Amos

“First half we were too predictable at times, we played two big ones up top with Steven Rigg just behind.

“We went a little bit too long at times but saying that we dominated for 30 minutes without finding that bit of quality.

“They scored which was a blow and a poor goal to give away. Then it was always going to get harder, like Dagenham the other night, they came and sat in and made it difficult for us.

“I didn’t see the sending-off, I had my back to it, all I saw was Lee Worgan down. It sounds like it was a little bit harsh but it happens in football.

“At half-time, we said to keep believing, keep working the ball wide and something will happen for us.

“We made the changes, we got that bit of width and the lad L’Ghoul can create something. For me the biggest thing was Ricky’s intelligence and movement to come across and get on the end of a great cross.”

Hessenthaler was growing increasingly frustrated as Whites struggled to get the ball wide to L’Ghoul late on, but he left Crabble a happy manager after an impressive return of two wins in an opening week against three sides all fancied to impress this season.

“We were getting frustrated on the line but I suppose that is because we demand so much from the boys,” added the Dover boss.

“We had players running out on the left wing – no, get the ball out to Nass, leave him one-on-one with their player and he will create something.

“At times he is going to frustrate us and not create something and give it away, we’re going to have to live with that.

“It’s when he does it in a deeper area that he’ll have a problem with me.

“He did great when he came on against Dagenham and then he has created the (first) goal (against Wrexham) and we’ve gone on and won the game.

“I’m frustrated at times with us but we’ve played two teams in the first three games that everybody believes are going to be pushing for promotion and we’ve taken maximum points off them. I couldn’t be happier really.”

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