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Dover Athletic 1 Yate Town 1 FA Cup match report: Ricky Miller earns Whites replay while player-coach Reda Johnson is sent off

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Dover fought back to earn an FA Cup replay against Yate despite seeing player-coach Reda Johnson sent off on Saturday.

Lower-league underdogs Yate broke the deadlock through an Olly Mehew goal in the first half before substitute Ricky Miller equalised for the hosts at Crabble after the restart.

Striker Ricky Miller scored for Dover against Yate. Picture: Andy Jones
Striker Ricky Miller scored for Dover against Yate. Picture: Andy Jones

Another Dover substitute, Johnson, was then dismissed in the second half but Whites survived late pressure to earn a draw and a replay at Lodge Park.

The home team had started really brightly as Matt Bentley fired wide inside the opening minute after good play by Aaron Cosgrave.

Two minutes later, skipper Sam Wood’s free-kick was met by striker Ben Williamson who nodded over from a matter of yards out.

Dover’s early dominance continued when away goalkeeper Andy Hannah made a fine save to deny Wood who was playing in a more advanced role in midfield.

But Yate opened the scoring on eight minutes with their first attack.

Skipper Dave Sims-Burgess crossed from the right and found Mehew who tapped into the empty net at the back post to spark big celebrations from the away contingent.

As Andy Hessenthaler’s National League strugglers looked for a response, Cosgrave tested Hannah who beat away the powerful drive from Dover’s top scorer in the 13th minute.

The visitors looked comfortable and the home team were struggling to create clear-cut openings, although midfielder Yannis Drais did force a straightforward save from Hannah just after the half-hour mark.

With 36 minutes played, Mehew went close to getting his second for Southern League Premier Division South side Yate when he latched onto a Joe Tumelty pass, but Whites goalkeeper Adam Parkes was equal to the effort.

Things got worse for Dover at the end of the first half, with Drais being forced off the field after a collision with Yate defender Will Tunnicliff. Ryan Hanson came on in his place.

Hessenthaler made a half-time change, with striker Miller coming on for Bentley.

But it was Paul Michael’s men who had the first opportunities after the restart.

They both fell to the dangerous Mehew. He was denied by a fine last-ditch tackle by Danny Collinge before, seconds later, the same man blasted over from inside the penalty area when he should have hit the target.

Wood tried his luck for the home side on 51 minutes, firing narrowly over the bar from distance.

But just after the hour mark, Whites equalised.

Cosgrave did well down the right, his cross was deflected towards goal by midfielder TJ Bramble and Miller stabbed home his first goal since his return to the club in the summer from close range.

As Yate looked to re-establish their lead, visiting midfielder Jamie Adams drove forward from midfield and let fly, only for Parkes to manage to get himself well behind the strike.

The away side again went close 19 minutes from time, as Sims-Burgess drove forward from midfield and forced a big stop from Parkes.

After a fine ball by Hanson from midfield, Miller cut in from the right at the other end but Hannah was behind his left-footed shot.

But nine minutes from time, the hosts were reduced to 10 men. Johnson was given a red card by referee Aji Ajibola, having already been cautioned, after allegedly elbowing a Yate man to earn a second booking.

In the third minute of stoppage-time, Yate came agonisingly close to getting a goal to win the fourth qualifying round tie. Tumelty set up Sam Kamara who drove inches wide of Parkes’ post from the edge of the box.

Dover manager Hessenthaler had made one change to his starting line-up, with Millwall loanee Junior Tiensia coming in for Koby Arthur.

Johnson and Hanson were named on the bench, having recovered from calf and knee injuries, respectively. Both came on during the cup tie.

Dover: Parkes, Wood (Johnson 61mins), Bramble, Williamson, Cosgrave, Gregory, Tiensia, Collinge, Goodman, Bentley (Miller 46mins), Drais (Hanson 45mins). Subs not used: Bexon, Da Costa, Wratten, Carney.

Yate: Hannah, Turl, Tunnicliff, Adams, Angel, Lewis, Tumelty, Kamara, Sims-Burgess, Rees, Mehew (Harding 84mins). Subs not used: Thuo, Brabham, Hall, Rhodes, Allen, Egan.

Ref: Aji Ajibola.

Attendance: 568.

Read more: All the latest sports news from Kent

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