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Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler hoping to keep defender Danny Collinge at the club next season


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Boss Andy Hessenthaler hopes to keep hold of Dover defender Danny Collinge next season.

The former Colchester centre-back was an unlikely goalscoring hero last weekend as Whites drew 2-2 away to FA Trophy finalists Bromley in the National League.

Dover defender Danny Collinge. Picture: Andy Jones
Dover defender Danny Collinge. Picture: Andy Jones

Collinge scored twice, including a last-gasp leveller, as already-relegated Dover try to finish their awful season on a high.

“Danny has been good this season,” said Hessenthaler. “He has been very consistent.

“He’s somebody we would like to keep at the football club but we need to have a conversation about that.

"He was good on Saturday.”

In their last away league fixture of the season, Dover fell behind to Chris Bush’s effort before Collinge levelled at Hayes Lane.

Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Stuart Brock
Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Stuart Brock

It looked as if the home team had won the points when Corey Whitely struck in the final minute, but Collinge equalised again deep into stoppage time.

It was a point Whites boss Hessenthaler felt his troops had deserved.

The draw moves Dover to one point after they were handed a 12-point deduction before a ball was kicked this season.

He reflected: “It’s nice that we got a late equaliser to get something out of the game. That’s happened a lot against us this season so it was nice to have it the other way round.

“It’s a good point. We deserved it. It was a young team that we put out again.

“They made eight changes and we, obviously, cannot do that, but we did well Saturday.

“We are on plus [points] which is nice.

"Hopefully we can get a win on Sunday and get to four points.”

Whites will finally finish a dreadful campaign this Sunday having had relegation confirmed in mid-March and still only have picked up two league victories all season.

Since their fate was sealed though, far from throwing in the towel, they have drawn against King’s Lynn - as well as Bromley - won at Boreham Wood and only narrowly lost an 11-goal thriller to leaders Wrexham.

“That’s why they have got to get a lot of credit. They could have thrown the towel in,” Hessenthaler stated.

“But they’ve had very good attitudes towards the games, despite our situation, and I think that’s credit to all of them.”

Whites end their campaign by playing host to second-bottom Weymouth at Crabble.

If they don’t keep a clean sheet Dover will have conceded 100 league goals this season, but Hessenthaler says his troops will be out to finish on a high.

He explained: “I think it will be a tough game. It’s two teams that, unfortunately, have gone down out of the league.

“But we will try to put a performance on and finish on a high.

"It will not be an easy game but hopefully we can finish well.”

Regardless of the result, Dover will finish on the lowest points tally ever recorded in the National League.

They have, however, avoided another unwanted record having collected 13 points in total this term.

That is three more points than Hyde accumulated in the 2013/14 season when they went down.

Playmaker Koby Arthur (knee) could be back in contention and it’s hoped young Academy forward George Nikaj will have shaken off illness in time, but right-back Myles Judd (knee) will be assessed at training tomorrow.

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