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Dover Athletic 1 Hartlepool United 1: Substitute Nassim L'Ghoul's late effort earns Whites point against Hartlepool

Substitute Nassim L'Ghoul grabbed a late leveller as Dover drew 1-1 against Hartlepool.

The away team broke the deadlock in the first period when Whites skipper Kevin Lokko headed into his own net.

Nassim L'Ghoul netted a late leveller in Dover's 1-1 draw with Hartlepool. Picture: Andy Jones
Nassim L'Ghoul netted a late leveller in Dover's 1-1 draw with Hartlepool. Picture: Andy Jones

It looked like the visitors, backed by 64 away supporters who had made the long trip to Crabble, would hold on for the points but French midfielder L'Ghoul struck at the start of second-half stoppage-time to earn Whites a share of the spoils from the only National League encounter of the day.

Dover had the first chance in the fifth minute. Oscar Gobern whipped in a cross from the left and Ricky Modeste headed wide, although the offside flag had been raised.

Four minutes later, the hosts created another good early opportunity as Modeste connected with Bobby-Joe Taylor's corner, only for Pools keeper Mitch Beeney to make a decent reflex save.

Pools threatened when Mark Kitching tried his luck with a free-kick on 16 minutes but Whites goalkeeper Lee Worgan, back in the starting line-up as Andy Hessenthaler made three changes, was behind the effort.

But with 22 minutes on the clock, Hartlepool drew first blood with Dover defender Lokko scoring an own goal.

Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Andy Jones
Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Andy Jones

The Whites skipper tried to get something on the ball with Nicke Kabamba looking to get on the end of a clipped delivery from Gavan Holohan but all Lokko was able to do was steer his header past Worgan, into his own net.

Kabamba went close to doubling the away side’s advantage shortly before the half-hour mark. He was denied by the boot of ex-Maidstone man Worgan, with Gary Liddle heading the resulting set-piece over the bar.

After a period of pressure from Hessenthaler’s men, Dover went close when Will De Havilland headed wide a Taylor corner late in the first half.

Pools keeper Beeney made a fine save with 67 minutes played to deny Inih Effiong as he tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area after being played through by Anthony Jeffrey.

Dover pushed men forward, attempting to get a leveller in the latter stages, but struggled to create any clear-cut chances, and they almost fell further behind three minutes from time when Mark Shelton fired a free-kick over the bar.

But Dover equalised as the game went into stoppage time when L'Ghoul burst forward from midfield and found the bottom corner with his left-footed effort.

That sparked a frantic final few minutes as both sides searched for a winner but, ultimately, the two teams had to make do with a point apiece.

The result means Hartlepool are 12th in the table, with Dover one place further back.

Dover: Worgan, Passley, Taylor, Lokko, De Havilland, Woods, Effiong, Munns (Rigg 63mins), Modeste (Yusuff 71mins), Gobern, Jeffrey (L’Ghoul 70mins). Subs not used: Reason, Simpson.

Hartlepool: Beeney, Kioso, Kitching, Donaldson, Featherstone, Kabamba (Cunningham 89), Holohan (Hamilton 87 mins), Mafuta, Liddle, Anderson, Shelton. Subs not used: Molyneux, Kennedy, Killip.

Attendance: 1,023 (64 away fans).

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