Published: 08:28, 16 May 2022
| Updated: 21:37, 16 May 2022
Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler apologised to his players after he was sent off in their season-ending National League defeat to Weymouth on Sunday.
Hessenthaler was dismissed for the second time in the 2021/22 season as he was given two bookings in quick succession by referee Tom Bishop for dissent on 17 minutes, having been sent off in an 11-goal thriller at Wrexham in late March.
Brandon Goodship opened the scoring at Crabble with a penalty before the much-improved Whites equalised after the restart through substitute Jack Nelson, although he will now move to the United States and join the Eastern Florida State College.
But basement boys Dover’s miserable campaign was summed up in stoppage-time when home goalkeeper Alexis Andre Jr saved the Terras' second spot-kick of the match after midfielder George Wilkinson had been sent off but Tom Blair netted the rebound to give Weymouth - also relegated - the win.
"Firstly I apologised to the players at half-time," Hessenthaler revealed.
"I shouldn’t be getting sent off, I let them down and crossed the line in terms of what I said. So I apologised to the players but the main focus of the game was the referee again, and that’s unfortunate.
"I don’t know how many yellow cards were brandished but there wasn’t a bad foul in the game I don’t think, was there? For the penalty for their second goal, I’ve already seen the monitor and even the assessor said that it was offside. It’s all about the referee again unfortunately for us.
"How we haven’t won the game, I don’t know. Second half, we have hit the woodwork four times but that about sums our season up, really."
Dover assistant manager Nicky Southall took charge of the side after Hessenthaler's sending-off.
Southall said: "We are very frustrated there at the end but we couldn’t ask any more of the boys.
"They got momentum as we attacked towards our fans, second half, and it’s just unfortunate that it’s come against the post, gone across the box, hit the crossbar, deflections… We got everything you could ask for in the game but, unfortunately, it just wouldn’t go in.
"Unfortunately, we get sucker-punched. I have just been in there with the referee and the linesman apologised.
"He thinks he’s messed up but that doesn’t help us and I said that to him. It doesn’t help us in our situation.
"But they got that decision wrong, unfortunately."
Whites chairman Jim Parmenter has also agreed a new three-year sponsorship deal with Dover-based Megger Group.
Having started the campaign on minus 12 points, they finished the season on one point.