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Spiller heads Whites into third spot

LEE SPILLER: match winner
LEE SPILLER: match winner

Dover Athletic 1 Hednesford 0

DOVER last night moved into third place in the Dr Marten's Premier Division with a hard-fought win against a determined, if uncompromising, Hednesford side.

The match summed up the Whites' season as they played some nice, flowing football but failed to kill off the opposition and achieve a big win.

Manager Clive Walker made one change from the win against Cambridge 48 hours earlier, with Simon Glover in the starting line-up for the injured Kenny Dyer. That allowed Walker to move to a 4-4-2 formation, with Danny Chapman moving to the holding role in midfield.

And it was Glover who made the only goal of the game in the sixth minute. He danced down the left after the ball fell nicely for him and his pinpoint cross was met by the marauding Lee Spiller, whose bullet header from six yards gave the ‘keeper no chance.

This should have been the start of non-stop pressure but Dover failed to create any other real chances as their patient build-up play was wasted through the lack of a ‘killer’ ball.

Their only other real efforts of note were long-range efforts from Chapman and Jamie Day. The visitors' main hope was to try to hit on the break but Dover coped easily, with Andy Arnott and Dean Readings once again dominant at the heart of the defence.

The second half only got going in the final 20 minutes as both sides created chances as legs tired. Dover ‘keeper Paul Hyde was at his brilliant best with a couple of fine saves from long range as the Pitmen pressed while Tommy Tyne went close with a low drive which was held well by Hednesford 'keeper Michael Bingham as Buster Smissen and Glover looked ready to pounce.

It was Smissen who had the best chance in the 80th minute as the promising youngster beat the offside trap but was foiled by Bingham, and then moments later he struck the post after a scramble from a quickly-taken free kick.

The final 10 minutes were played in midfield as the defences continued to come out on top and to cap the visitors' night they saw lanky forward Kevin Francis shown a red card for clipping Readings around the ear.

Dover Athletic: Hyde, Browne, Norman, Readings, Arnott, Chapman, Day, Spiller, Glover, Tyne (Cloke 75), Smissen. Subs not used: Dent, Davies, Hafner, James.

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