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Dover Athletic boss Andy Hessenthaler admits FA Cup tie against Yate Town is a huge match for the club


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Manager Andy Hessenthaler admits Dover Athletic's home FA Cup tie against Yate Town is a huge match for several reasons.

Hessenthaler hopes a win against the Southern League Premier Division South outfit, which would be their first this season, can help kick-start their campaign.

Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Andy Jones
Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Andy Jones

Whites have had well-publicised financial problems and have also gone part-time this season.

So the £9,375 in prize money up for grabs this Saturday would be a welcome boost, as would a spot in the first round which could result in a draw against a Football League team that could provide a further boost to the club’s coffer.

Hessenthaler and assistant Nicky Southall were in the Gillingham squad which reached the quarter-finals of the competition in 2000 before losing 5-0 to Chelsea.

When asked how much of a boost the prize money would provide, Hessenthaler said: “It’s important, especially for a club like ours at the moment with the problems that we have had.

“It’s a massive game but it’s a massive banana skin.

“I have got to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup so I know what that’s all about, but I have also gone out to a team like Yate.

“I have experienced that. Some of the boys probably haven’t. But I have and my staff have.

“It’s a big game.

"We have got to get a result, we have got to get through and, hopefully, that might just give us a lift.”

Hessenthaler, who has said he won’t walk away from his role, admitted he didn’t know much about Yate but was due to watch them play Weston-Super-Mare last night. Yate won that match 2-1 thanks to goals from Olly Mehew and Joe Tumelty.

They have beaten Dorchester 3-1, Gosport 2-0 and Redhill 3-0 to reach this stage.

David Sims-Burgess has scored four goals during that run while ex-Forest Green and Bristol Rovers striker Mehew has netted twice.

Dover went out at this stage to Yeovil on penalties last season.

Hessenthaler also hopes some of his injured players will be back to boost his squad.

“Harry Ransom is looking at seven to 10 days out but he can’t play in the FA Cup anyway because they (parent club Crawley) wouldn’t give us permission,” the Whites boss revealed.

“But I think he would have missed it anyway through injury. I think he will be back for Southend (Dover’s next league game on October 26).

“Seth Twumasi, fingers crossed, it's just bruising to the knee and hopefully he will be back for Saturday.

“Koby Arthur played against Barnet but he had to come off, so that’s a bit of a worry. There was a bit of soreness and fatigue in the thigh for him.

“Henry Woods is doubtful for Saturday with an abductor problem and Ryan Hanson started running last Saturday.

“It was good to see Travis Gregory back, although he was forced to play at right-back, and Marshall Wratten did all right when he came on. He has only had two days’ training.

“I had to throw him on because Woodsy (captain Sam Wood) was getting tired.

"It’s nice to see Marshall back but we would like to think that we will have a few more options this weekend.”

It will be a welcome break from league action for Dover, who have lost eight of their first 11 National League matches.

They were beaten 2-1 by Barnet and Aldershot in their two most recent home games, top scorer Aaron Cosgrave netting both of bottom side Dover’s goals.

Hessenthaler thinks his squad are giving their all.

He said: “I think against Grimsby (in a 6-0 loss) and Eastleigh (in a 4-1 defeat), we competed and worked but, perhaps, not to the levels we had done in the other games.

“But other than in those games, it’s the odd goal (Dover are losing by) pretty much all the time.

“We just need to score first and that might settle us down.

“We have only scored two at home but we have got to keep going.

"I’ll keep going, and the players have got to keep going.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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