Home   Dover   Sport   Article

Dover Athletic 0 Bath City 0 match report: New Whites boss Jake Leberl sees team go bottom of National League South despite first shut-out this season

New manager Jake Leberl watched Dover keep a first clean sheet this season as they played out a goalless draw with play-off chasing Bath in National League South on Saturday.

The impressive Charlie Naylor went closest, hitting the crossbar in the first half, but the result wasn’t enough to prevent Whites from dropping to the foot of National League South.

New Dover boss Jake Leberl – saw his side play out a goalless draw at home to Bath City on Saturday. Picture: Tony Flashman
New Dover boss Jake Leberl – saw his side play out a goalless draw at home to Bath City on Saturday. Picture: Tony Flashman

The hosts nearly made a dream start under Leberl at Crabble in front of a crowd of 506. George Nikaj cut off the right flank as part of a three-strong frontline and fired over the crossbar in the second minute.

Six minutes later, striker Cody Cooke headed over a corner at the other end.

But Dover had a couple of big chances in the 12th minute.

Defender Naylor lifted the ball over the top for Zidan Sutherland, only for the forward to be thwarted by on-rushing Romans keeper Will Buse. Naylor then nodded against the crossbar from recalled midfielder George Wilkinson’s corner, clashing heads with Luke Russe as he did so, although both were fit to continue.

Bath, coming into the game on the back of a four-match winless league run, should have taken the lead midway through the first period.

A right-wing cross looked destined to be slammed in by winger Ewan Clark but a fine last-gasp block by Dover defender John Oyenuga denied him.

Nikaj headed narrowly wide for the home side from a 30th-minute corner by left-back Bailey Akehurst.

Whites - starting with what looked like a somewhat unusual 5-2-3 formation - had a goal ruled out for offside with 41 minutes played. Sutherland fired home after an intricate pass by Wilkinson, although he had his celebrations cut short by the linesman’s flag.

But right on the stroke of the interval, the visitors almost went in front. Clark couldn’t quite squeeze the ball between post and loanee debutant Dover goalkeeper David Aziaya after a right-wing cross by the impressive Jordan Thomas.

An uneventful start after the break came to life somewhat on 52 minutes when Scott Wilson’s delivery flashed across goal before left-back Danny Greenslade blasted a long-range effort well over.

Dover made their first substitution shortly after the hour as Luke Baptiste replaced Nikaj in a like-for-like switch and he nearly instantly whipped in a dangerous right-wing delivery.

Away right-back Joe Paynes did well to find space with 19 minutes left but could only poke his shot straight at Aziaya and, three minutes later, substitute Tom Smith dragged wide a controversially-given free-kick awarded for a foul by Dover captain James Dunne.

The 78th minute saw the home contingent have penalty protests dismissed by referee Ayrton Hussey after a tussle between striker Nick Dembele and Bath defender Jordan Dyer.

Greenslade received the first caution of the afternoon for a late challenge on Oyenuga and was quickly followed into the book by substitute Oscar Thorn but there was to be no winning goal.

It was a first shut-out for Dover since April, although they remain without a home league win since February and are 10 points clear of safety, while Bath are without a victory in five league games.

New Whites boss Leberl had made five changes as he named his first starting line-up after a two-week break from competitive action.

Inexperienced teenage keeper Aziaya and defender Scott Holding, joining on short-term loans from Bromley and Watford respectively, came in with frontmen Nikaj and Dembele, alongside Wilkinson.

Out of the side went the recalled Bournemouth goalkeeper Billy Terrell, Roman Charles-Cook, midfielder Josh Anifowose - who has joined divisional rivals Hampton & Richmond - Dontai Stewart and teenage midfielder Henry Young, who dropped to the bench. Young was introduced as a substitute in stoppage time.

Dover Athletic: Aziaya, Oyenuga, Akehurst, Mensah, Holding, Naylor, Dunne, Wilkinson (Young 93mins), Nikaj (Baptiste 61mins), Sutherland, Dembele. Subs not used: Powell, Hatcher, Sesay.

Bath City: Buse, Raynes, Greenslade, Dyer, Parselle, Clark (Thorn 79mins), Hayfield, Cooke, Thomas (Smith 65mins), Wilson, Russe. Subs not used: Batten, Frear, Lines.

Referee: Ayrton Hussey.

Attendance: 506.

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