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Braintree 1 Dover Athletic 0 Vanarama National League match report

Dover remain third in Vanarama National League despite their five-game winning run ending at Braintree on Tuesday.

And captain Jamie Grimes admits his side had only themselves to blame for the disappointing night in Essex.

Michael Cheek scored the only goal of the game in first-half injury time following an error by goalkeeper Mitch Walker.

Dover captain Jamie Grimes
Dover captain Jamie Grimes

Walker failed to deal with Richard Orlu’s wayward back pass and the ball fell kindly to Cheek, who slotted the ball home.

Grimes said: “It was a very poor goal to concede, especially at the time it happened – it was the last kick of the half.

"It cost us the game but, to be honest, we really weren’t on it all over the pitch.”

Midfielder Jack Parkinson went close to giving Dover the lead in the 28th minute when his header from Ricky Miller’s cross hit the bar.

Whites then had a penalty shout waved away after Miller appeared to be bundled over.

Striker Stefan Payne, who spent time on loan at Braintree in 2011 while he was on the books at Gillingham, went close to equalising in the 69th minute.

Winger Toby Ajala’s run ended with him passing to Payne, who fired into the side-netting.

Grimes then cleared a header off the line as the hosts looked to double their advantage.

A second goal never came, but in the end it didn’t matter as their first-half goal proved enough for the hosts.

Dover: Walker, Orlu, Grimes, Sterling, Thomas, Parkinson, Deverdics, Gibbs (Magri 57mins), Ajala (Murphy 79mins), Miller (Modeste 60mins), Payne. Subs not used: Ofori-Acheampong, Rafferty. Attendance: 637

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