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Dover Athletic midfielder Jai Reason reflects on National League draw with former club Eastleigh

By KentOnline reporter

Midfielder Jai Reason was delighted to get on the scoresheet for Dover against his former club Eastleigh on Saturday.

The only disappointment was that his 56th minute strike was not enough to earn the Whites their third successive National League victory.

Paul McCallum’s 86th minute goal salvaged a 2-2 draw for Eastleigh and Reason admitted the feeling in the away dressing room was that they’d been robbed of two vital points. The result left Whites 23rd but they now have the four teams immediately above them firmly in their sights.

Jai Reason puts Dover ahead at Eastleigh on Saturday Picture: Tom Mulholland
Jai Reason puts Dover ahead at Eastleigh on Saturday Picture: Tom Mulholland

The 28-year-old, who played more than 100 times for Eastleigh, said: “I spent a lot of time here and have some really good memories but I’m a Dover player now and we wanted to get the three points and we were unlucky at the end not to get them.

“It’s been coming, all our performances in the last three or four games have been up there.

“It was just a lack of concentration at the end but you can tell that in the second half half we were the more dominant team.

“It feels a bit like a loss, but if someone had said to us you’d take seven points from the last three three games (Hartlepool 2-1; Boreham Wood 1-0 and Eastleigh) I think we would have snapped their hand off."

Reason was playing for National League South side Chelmsford City when the call came from Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler to join Whites’ battle for survival.

Saturday’s goal was his second – the other coming in the 2-0 home win over Maidenhead – and the former Ipswich Town trainee admits he is relishing being involved in the survival battle.

He said: “I wanted the challenge, I wanted to get back up up into this league and test myself again.

"Hessy called and I was ready to go, ready for the battle. Anybody who knows me knows I don’t hide away from challenges, whether it’s at the top of the table or the bottom of the table.

“I give 100%, I took the challenge on and hopefully come the end of the season it will be well worth it.

“There’s been a lot of improvement since I first came, we’ve still got a lot of improvement to do but I think the club is going in the right direction.

“I think the lads are doing well under the gaffer here and I can only see positive things going forward now.”

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