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Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler reacts to home National League defeat to Torquay United

Andy Hessenthaler admits Dover got exactly what they deserved in Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Torquay.

Starting the day in fourth, and bidding for a third straight National League win, Whites were undone by two goals inside three minutes at the start of the second half.

Headers from skipper Asa Hall and Jamie Reid earned the visitors a 2-0 lead before Inih Effiong's 87th minute penalty gave Dover late but forlorn hope.

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Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler gives his players some instructions Picture: Alan Langley
Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler gives his players some instructions Picture: Alan Langley

Defender Will de Havilland headed wide from the last play of the game, but Hessenthaler had few complaints about the result on the day he turned 54.

The defeat – their second in three matches at home –saw them drop to seventh.

Hessenthaler said: "It's unlike us but we just didn't really turn up, and Torquay deserved to win the game.

"We're at home and we needed to take it to them, but we didn't do that.

"We did not play quick enough, our set plays were poor, just everything about our game. throw-ins, everything.

"The one thing we did do last year was play with a really high tempo, but we played today as if we'd lost three out of four (rather than having won three our of the previous four).

"It wasn't just a couple I think they were all off their game for some reason, (it's) hard to pinpoint but ultimately it came down to the set play they scored from.

"If that doesn't go in it still keeps the game tight and hopefully we can make the changes and improve."

Hessenthaler revealed he tried to 'get into' the players at half-time, but it made little difference and he was disappointed with the manner in which Dover conceded the opening goal.

Full-back Bobby Joe Taylor had just gone off with an Achilles injury but the Whites boss refused to use that as an excuse.

Inih Effiong bears down on the Torquay goal Picture: Alan Langley.
Inih Effiong bears down on the Torquay goal Picture: Alan Langley.

He added: "The goal's come from a set play but Bobby Joe doesn't pick up on set plays, he's on the post so you've got thegoalkeeper, Bobby Joe is on the post and everybody else is picking up but Inih (Effiong) wasn't picking up (scorer Hall).

"He's got to take that on the chin, he made a mistake, but players make mistakes and we got punished for it.

"The first goal's the killer because we're chasing the game (after that), but we didn't get anything out of the game because we didn't deserve to."

Hessenthaler was critical of referee Alan Dale's performance, particularly when he denied Whites a penalty after substitute Ricky Modeste looked to have been clipped in the area by Jean Yves Koue Niate.

Mr Dale awarded Dover a free-kick outside the box.

Hessenthaler said: "We can't hide behind the referee but it's a clear penalty, it's in the box, my chairman can see it, we've had a look at the video, it's in the box.

"My players are incensed by that. I'm going to pop in and see him just to state my case a little bit."

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