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Dover Athletic 0 Havant & Waterlooville 0 match report: Goalless at Crabble in National League South despite visitors having defender Devante Stanley sent off in second half for two bookings

There was nothing to separate the bottom two National League South sides as Dover played out a goalless draw at home to Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday.

Whites looked the more likely to win it and maybe should have done so after away defender Devante Stanley was dismissed for a second booking on 75 minutes.

Dover boss Jake Leberl – saw his side unable to find a way through against second-bottom Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday despite the visitors finishing with 10 men. Picture: Randolph File
Dover boss Jake Leberl – saw his side unable to find a way through against second-bottom Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday despite the visitors finishing with 10 men. Picture: Randolph File

But basement boys Dover remain 10 points adrift of their visitors, who are seven points from safety, despite a four-match unbeaten run.

Havant & Waterlooville had the first opportunity of the match in the fifth minute at Crabble when striker Ryan Seager shot wide after a poor pass by home midfielder George Wilkinson.

Seven minutes later, Whites left-back Roman Charles-Cook sprung the offside trap and had acres of space, only to be denied by goalkeeper Ross Worner when clean through.

Jake Leberl’s side continued to have the better of the first-half chances, with the Hawks’ backline not exactly covering themselves in glory.

Worner got down low to deny Wilkinson after a sliced attempted clearance before fellow young Dover midfielder Freddie Oliver also failed to hit the target, as Oliver volleyed John Oyenuga’s right-wing delivery towards goal.

At the other end, home debutant goalkeeper Matthew Rowley got well behind a long-range shot from Callum Kealy on the half-hour mark.

The visitors were forced into an early substitution, which saw Alfy Whittingham - the son of ex-Portsmouth striker Guy Whittingham - unable to continue after he had gone down. He was replaced by James Roberts on 42 minutes.

Dover right-back Oyenuga found himself in a central position in first-half stoppage time. His long-range effort was comfortably held by Worner.

Three minutes into the second period, Havant & Waterlooville skipper Jake McCarthy saw his shot on the turn clip against Rowley’s right-hand post and go just wide.

It was a similar story with 53 minutes played. Rowley made an acrobatic save to thwart McCarthy but, soon after, Whites captain Jacob Mensah fired inches wide of Worner’s right-hand post from about 30 yards out.

Wilkinson curled wide under pressure after good work by namesake George Nikaj midway through the half while Worner denied forward Nick Dembele, who perhaps would have been better off passing to Nikaj, rather than going for goal.

With 15 minutes to play, Dover brought on Luke Baptiste for Wilkinson with their first substitution.

The 78th minute saw the away team reduced to 10 men. Right-back Stanley could have few complaints with the second booking he received from referee Tom Ellsmore, as he brought winger Iffy Allen to ground.

And from the free-kick, the ball deflected against the crossbar, with Worner beaten, while Allen shot just over in spectacular style.

Reading loanee Rowley made a fine fingertip save at the start of five minutes of stoppage time to steer wide a shot by Kealy.

Both teams have conceded 140 goals in the league this season so far – but none were added to that particular tally in the game.

The hosts had made two changes from their 1-1 draw at third-bottom Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday as experienced defender Oyenuga and Dembele replaced Dontai Stewart and Dylan Pepe.

Stewart was initially on the substitutes’ bench but dropped out with an injury in the warm-up, being replaced by fellow forward Destiny Oladipo.

New winger Kamon-Sherrell Assidjo and fit-again left-back Bailey Akehurst were on the substitutes' bench, the former making a cameo debut appearance.

When the two teams met in early December in Hampshire, the hosts won 4-3.

Relegation-bound Dover will have their fate sealed by next Saturday night – unless they beat Farnborough at home.

Dover Athletic: Rowley, Charles-Cook, Mensah, Holding, Oyenuga, Naylor, Wilkinson (Baptiste 75mins), Oliver, Dembele (Assidjo 89mins), Nikaj, Allen. Subs not used: Oladipo, Young, Akehurst.

Havant & Waterlooville: Worner, Stanley, Innocent, Mcnerney, McCarthy, Carlyle (Jebb 61mins), Seager, Willson, Jewitt-White (Beckford 79mins), Kealy, Whittingham (Roberts 42mins). Subs not used: Mukuna, Woolston.

Referee: Tom Ellsmore.

Attendance: 552.

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