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Southall: Supporters not shabbily treated

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DOVER manager Neville Southall was unrepentant after Tuesday’s double fixture which left Whites fans claiming that they - and the Kent Senior Cup - had been shabbily treated.

Apart from meeting Ashford in the second round of the Kent Senior Cup, Whites were also involved in a friendly, arranged at short notice, at Deal Town.

Some fans travelled to Ashford expecting to see the first team in action. Instead, Southall fielded a reserve team for the cup game, which Dover lost 5-1, and took his first team squad - again with some trialists - to the Charles Ground.

Dover beat Deal 1-0, thanks to a thumping second-half header from Jimmy Strouts, and afterwards Southhall said: “This wasn’t a case of showing disrespect to our fans or the Kent Senior Cup. First, there are probably five or six players in the reserves who might have to do a job for me in the first team, and so they need to be tested in cup games like that. Second, I have got to try out new people as quickly as possible.”

Southall couldn’t have played any trialists at Ashford because they wouldn’t have been eligible, and from his point of view everything is geared to just one goal at present - keeping Dover in the Conference. He has signed four new players in the past week, three of whom were in action at Deal: Scott Ramsay, Kristian James and Leon Kelly.

Ramsay has joined on a free transfer from Brighton and ex-Wales U18 midfielder James and former Cambridge United striker Kelly have joined on non-contract terms. Southall has also landed Shrewsbury defender Kevin Seabury on the same terms. He is still interested in Millwall midfielder Rio Alderton, who played at Deal, and was also impressed b the performance of Luton left back Jude Stirling, but said: “Jude has got 18 months left on his contract left at Luton, and if they want any money for him we’ve got no chance.”

Ramsay was recommended to Southall by Phil Stant, who played with Ramsay last season at Brighton, and the Dover boss now believes that he has four strikers who are capable of improving Whites’ poor goal record.

With last Saturday’s game at Forest Green hit by the weather, Southall was extra grateful for Tuesday’s friendly, especially as Whites haven’t got a league match this Saturday either. But Southall has arranged a friendly with Gravesend & Northfleet at Stonebridge Road.

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