Home   Dover   Sport   Article

Dover Athletic 1 Torquay 0 - match report

Ryan Bird's second-half penalty earned Dover a vital National League win against nine-man Torquay at Crabble on Saturday.

The Whites top scorer made the visitors pay after Giancarlo Gallifuoco's shot had been handled by Connor Lemonheigh-Evans 10 minutes after the restart.

Relegation-threatened Torquay had to play the final 29 minutes with 10 men after Rhys Healey collected two yellow cards – his first, in the first half, had been for simulation.

Ryan Bird Picture: Tony Flashman
Ryan Bird Picture: Tony Flashman

The visitors were then reduced to nine in added time when Elliott Romain was shown a straight red for a high challenge on Gallifuoco.

Dover's win was their fourth in a row at home without conceding and kept them very much in the play-off hunt, with four games remaining.

The Dover side showed three changes to the XI which started Monday's 2-1 defeat at Ebbsfleet with Josh Passley, Anthony Jeffrey and Nortei Nortey all starting and Liam Bellamy, Mitch Pinnock and Ade Azeez dropping to the bench.

Chris Kinnear's men made a bright start, winning four corners in as many minutes with defender Kevin Lokko misdirecting his free header from the last.

With 11 minutes played Torquay's Healey went down in the home box with Gallifuoco nearby but instead of winning a spot kick he was booked for simulation by referee Carl Brook. Only later would we appreciate the significance of that decision by Mr Brook.

Healey then had a half-chance when Aaron Barnes picked him out 12 yards out but he steered his lofted effort well wide.

Torquay's Cardiff loanee continued to be heavily involved for his side, forcing the first save of the game from Mitch Walker who went down comfortably to his left to gather his low drive from 22 yards.

Just after the half hour Healey created and missed the half's best chance when he showed great skill to tee up a shot only to stab it wide of the upright

Dover had to work hard to create openings with Jeffrey looking threatening. Their best chance emanated from their best move, on 25 minutes, when Gallifuoco picked out Femi Ilesanmi from whose pass Jeffrey crossed for Bird to head wide.

Wing backs Femi Ilesanmi and Passley both got into good crossing positions without being able to deliver the telling ball and on 33 minutes Mitch Brundle had Ryan Clarke flapping from a deep curling free-kick which the Torquay keeper got just enough on to divert the ball for a corner.

The second half began slowly but sprang into life on 54 minutes when the lively Jeffrey cut inside two defenders before hitting a fierce right-foot shot which beat Clarke only to come back out off the foot of the post.

Moments later Whites had the breakthrough as Lemonheigh-Evans handled Gallifuoco's shot in the box and top scorer Bird confidently sent Clarke the wrong way from the spot to claim his 19th goal of the season

It was went from bad to worse for Torquay five minutes later when Healey was guilty of a rash challenge on Connor Essam and picked up his second yellow.

Whites had conceded late goals in their two previous matches but rarely looked like letting Torquay in until, in the 86th minute, Walker had to beat away Luke Young's well struck volley from 20 yards.

Moments later the Whites keeper had to arch his back to keep out Romain's looping header.

The final incident on a miserable afternoon for the Gulls came in the fourth of seven added minutes when Romain caught Gallifuoco high and was given his marching orders.

Dover: Walker, Passley, Essam, Parry, Lokko, Ilesanmi, Gallifuoco, Brundle, Jeffrey (Azeez 81mins) Bird, Nortey; Subs: Marsh-Brown, Bellamy, Pinnock, Daniel.

Torquay: Clarke, Davis, McGinty, Gowling, Young, Barnes (Reid 76mins), Romain, Balatoni (Efete 63mins), Healey, Evans, Williams; Subs: Pittman, Klukowski, Osborn

Attendance: 1,128.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More