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Dover Athletic 5 AFC Fylde 1 match report: Whites earn convincing win over AFC Fylde in National League encounter

Five-star Dover Athletic came from behind to claim a convincing 5-1 success over AFC Fylde.

Tom Walker had given the away side the lead early on but a Dominic Poleon effort and a Inih Effiong penalty put the hosts in front at half-time.

Celebrations as Dover midfielder Bobby-Joe Taylor makes it 5-1 in their win over AFC Fylde. Picture: Alan Langley
Celebrations as Dover midfielder Bobby-Joe Taylor makes it 5-1 in their win over AFC Fylde. Picture: Alan Langley

And after the restart, the Whites turned on the style with Effiong scoring twice - although there was much debate over his second goal - and Bobby-Joe Taylor also found the net during the National League game as Dover bounced back from their loss away to league leaders Barrow on Tuesday and moved into the play-off places.

The visitors had broken the deadlock in controversial fashion from the penalty spot with six minutes played.

Defender Aaron Simpson was ruled to have handled inside the box by referee Ryan Atkin, although some of the home contingent felt it was, in fact, an AFC Fylde striker who had handled the ball onto Simpson.

But Walker kept his cool to send Whites keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer the wrong way from the spot.

Five minutes later, Andy Hessenthaler’s team felt they should have been awarded a penalty of their own as Ricky Modeste went down after being challenged by away goalkeeper Sam Hornby, only for referee Mr Atkin to wave away the appeals.

Inih Effiong celebrates scoring one of his three goals for Dover against the Coasters. Picture: Alan Langley
Inih Effiong celebrates scoring one of his three goals for Dover against the Coasters. Picture: Alan Langley

Just before the half-hour mark, home striker Poleon turned smartly on the edge of the area and tested visiting keeper Hornby, forcing a good save from the Bradford City loanee.

But on 37 minutes, Poleon netted an equaliser to cap his first start for his team.

After good play between Simpson and Modeste on the right, the latter stood up a cross and the ball fell kindly to the on-loan Newport frontman who drilled into the bottom corner off Hornby's right-hand post.

The home side then took the lead, just before the break after winning a penalty of their own.

Fylde skipper Lewis Montrose hauled defender Paul Rooney to ground as the away team attempted to defend a Dover free-kick, and Whites striker Effiong fired the second penalty of the game right down the middle to put his side in front.

There was to be more drama before half-time at Crabble, too, with Modeste and Tyler French both going into the book after a melee.

Looking for a leveller at the start of the second period, the Coasters went close in the 54th minute when a Walker corner was flicked on by French and striker Jamie Proctor couldn't quite get enough on the ball to steer it towards goal.

Michael Woods tried his luck from outside the area just before the hour mark for Dover and stung the palms of Hornby.

Effiong went close to adding his second of the match midway through the second period when he latched on to a ball from Modeste, only to be denied by the legs of Coasters keeper Hornby.

With 16 minutes left to play, the hosts went 3-1 up after winning a third penalty of the match.

Dover’s second penalty came after Tom Miller was booked, having fouled Rooney who was trying to get on the end of a Jack Munns free-kick. Effiong missed the spot-kick but was on hand to stab home the rebound, although substitute Ade Yusuff also appeared to attempt to try to claim the goal.

Four minutes later, Effiong got his third of the afternoon and his 16th goal of the season, slotting into the bottom corner after a through-ball by Woods.

And in the final minute of normal time, substitute Taylor volleyed in Woods’ cross to make it 5-1.

The result leaves Whites sixth in the table, with Jim Bentley's team now nine points adrift of safety in 23rd.

Dover had made four changes after their midweek loss at Barrow.

Rooney, Modeste, Poleon and Frenchman Nassim L’Ghoul replaced Kevin Lokko, Jai Reason, Taylor and Steven Rigg while midfielder Woods took the captain’s armband.

Dover: Maynard-Brewer, Simpson, De Havilland, Rooney, Ogie, Munns, Woods, L’Ghoul (Taylor 79mins), Effiong, Poleon (Yusuff 71mins), Modeste (Rigg 83mins). Subs not used: Reason, Cumberbatch.

AFC Fylde: Hornby, Montrose (Yeates 62mins), Byrne, Whitmore, Croasdale, Proctor, Williams, Burke, Miller, Walker, French (Philliskirk 62mins). Subs not used: Lavercombe, Jameson, Kosylo.

Attendance: 1,027.

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