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Southall impressed despite defeat

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Dover Athletic 0 Doncaster Rovers 1

DOVER slipped back into the Conference relegation zone after their eighth home defeat in 14 league games on Saturday. Their vulnerability at Crabble, plus a continuing poor "goals for" record of exactly one a game, are the twin diseases which have bedevilled their season so far and which new manager Neville Southall must somehow try to cure in the remaining games of the campaign if Whites are to stay up.

But, despite this latest defeat, Southall felt able to draw some encouragement from Dover's performance, saying: "I think that's the best we've played since I have been here. The players showed a bit of passion, a bit of pride and a bit of commitment. I think a lot of them played at their maximum today, and you can't ask for any more than that.

"I honestly think that we aren't that far away, and I just need to bring in two or three more new faces. The big problem remains our lack of strength in depth. When I looked at our bench today we had a load of kids sitting there."

With Neil Le Bihan ruled out for two or three week with an ankle injury and Jimmy Aggrey dropping out on Saturday morning through illness, Southall was down to the bare bones selection-wise and had to fill his bench with youngsters.

The goal that won it came after just 13 minutes. Francis Tierney floated in a free kick to the far post where Paul Barnes' header took a slight deflection off Jake Leberl's shoulder as it looped into the corner of the net.

Dover: Hyde; Browne, Shearer, Leberl, Norman (Cloke 90); Day (Ovard 70), Strouts, White (Hickman 80), Allen; Stant, Scott.

Attendance: 1,1157. Referee: Mr Michael Thorpe (Ipswich)

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