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Dover Athletic going all out for the win at Crabble in FA Trophy tie against Harrogate

By Mark Stokes

Dover will look to continue their impressive form at Crabble when they host National League rivals Harrogate in the Buildbase FA Trophy second round on Saturday.

The Whites are unbeaten in six home matches since losing 2-0 to Dagenham and Redbridge on October 30.

Boss Andy Hessenthaler has previously said the trophy is not the club's priority this season but that does not mean they will be taking the tie lightly.

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

Dover had hoped their opponents would agree to the game being settled on the day, but they declined meaning there will be a replay in the event of a draw.

Hessenthaler explained: "I don't think either side would really want a replay and we'll certainly be going all out to win on the day.

"It won't be easy because Harrogate are a good side, but we're on a good run of form at home and it's important we keep the momentum going, whatever the competition."

Dover's only defeat in the last 11 matches was at Barnet on December 22, since when they won four and drawn with title hopefuls Orient.

Whites earned their place in the last 32 of the Trophy with Tuesday's 1-0 win at Havant & Waterloovile where Alfie Pavey scored the decisive goal against his former club.

Hessenthaler described his side's performance in the first round replay as near faultless.

He added: "Performance wise it was good. We felt we dominated the game in most areas and were in control. They threw everything at us in the last 10 minutes but we kept another clean sheet which was excellent.

"People say winning 1-0 away from home is the perfect result so in that respect we were pleased. If I did have a complaint it was that we didn't score more but that's just nit-picking."

Hessenthaler rotated his squad for the tie with Lee Worgan, Kadell Daniel, Joe Bedford, Anthony Jeffrey and Mousaa Diarra all starting.

Midfielder Nortey Nortey switched to right back freeing skipper Mitch Brundle up to swap to centre-half where he has already played with success this season.

Hessenthaler added: "We used a few players who have been on the fringes of the side and they all did well.

"We've got a number of versatile players who can play in different positions and that's great for me as a manager, because it gives me options."

Hessenthaler planned to give his players a couple of days off before having them in again on Friday.

Bedsente Gomis misses the Harrogate game though suspension but there is a chance Josh Passley could be back in the squad after his hamstring problem.

The winners of Saturday's game will receive £7,000.

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