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Dover Athletic 0 Weymouth 2 match report: Whites survive on goal difference despite final-day defeat by a Terras side who also clinch safety

Dover dodged relegation on goal difference despite losing to Weymouth on the final day of the National League South season.

The Terras’ 2-0 victory saw them climb out of the drop zone but it’s Dulwich who go down instead of Whites after losing 1-0 at home to Chippenham.

Dover Athletic manager Mitch Brundle
Dover Athletic manager Mitch Brundle

Celebrations were muted at best, with Dover more than a touch fortunate to avoid a double relegation after taking only four points from their final 11 games.

Dover knew a draw would be enough to keep them up but were very much second-best against a Terras side who won their final three games of the season to clinch survival.

Goals from Brad Ash and ex-Whites man Akheem Rose put them in command and they should have had more.

Weymouth were in total control against a nervous Whites team who perhaps fell into the trap of setting their stall out for a point.

On the other hand, the Terras knew they had to win and set about their task with gusto from the off, backed by a big away following.

Whites were all over the place and lucky not to trail inside two minutes when a quick counter saw Tom Blair and Tom Bearwish combine to feed Rose but the finish didn’t trouble Stuart Nelson.

Bearwish nodded over from a couple of yards out minutes later after Alfie Paxman - one player definitely giving his all - tried to cut out Blair’s cross from the left.

Rose dragged wide before a confident Terras side broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute.

Keelan O’Connell was the provider with a right-wing cross that was swept home at the near post by Ash.

Weymouth doubled their lead in the 31st minute to leave Dover fans looking at their phones for news from Chippenham.

It was a lousy one to concede as Rose’s header from a corner to the back post squirmed under Nelson.

Rose should have made it three from Blair’s pass soon after but Dover at least finished the first half with a flourish.

A good run by Luke Baptiste almost resulted in a Nathan Carlyle own goal before Luke Wanadio smacked the bar from the edge of the box.

Ash bent the ball just wide for Weymouth in the opening moments of the second half.

Wanadio went on a couple of lively runs for Whites but ended up going down blind alleys and while Whites got the ball into lone striker George Nikaj, he wasn’t getting much change out of Carlyle and Brendan Willson.

It may have been a case of the Terras being happy to sit on a two-goal but Dover were more in the game in the second half.

However, they continued to struggle to create anything, all the time knowing their National South status was on a knife-edge.

By the last 10 minutes there was no doubt Dover would be reyling on a Chippenham win to keep them in the division.

Dover: Nelson, Judd, Paxman, Higgs, Wanadio, Martin, Sterling, Oliver (Wilkinson 55mins), Janjeva, Baptiste (Pierrick 46mins), Nikaj (Ajayi 65mins). Subs not used: Goodman, Brundle.

Weymouth: Benfield, Howe, Carlyle, Willson, Sesay, Bearwish, Hemmings, Blair, O’Connell (Slade 79mins), Rose (Monk 90+6mins), Ash. Subs not used: Proctor, McBurnie, Kyprianou.

Referee: Aaron Farmer.

Attendance: 1,509.

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