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Kick off 12:35 (UK)

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22 December 2018 Venue The Hive Stadium Attendance

Kick off 12:35 (UK)

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Preview | Dover Athletic (h)

21 December 2018

Vanarama National League – The Hive London – Saturday 22nd December 2018 – KO 12:35

The Bees are back in league action this weekend as they face Dover Athletic at the Hive London in front of the BT Sport cameras on Saturday.

John Still’s men go into tomorrow’s game off the back of a 3-2 victory over Bath City in the First Round of the FA Trophy last weekend. The Bees broke the dead-lock with only seconds on the clock after Wes Fonguck found the top corner. Their lead was then doubled nine minutes later when Manny Duku slid the ball home from close range. The hosts did look to be cruising when Ephron Mason-Clarke made it three on 24 minutes but Michee Efete pulled one back before the break. Barnet suffered another scare just past the hour mark when Adam Mann reduced the deficit to one goal. However, the Bees managed to hang on to book their place in Round Two.

Last Meeting:

The last time these two sides met was back in September at the Crabble Athletic Ground, the Bees winning 2-1 on that occasion.

Jack Barham opened the scoring on four minutes before Byron Harrison doubled their lead soon after, heading in from close range. Mitch Brundle netted for the hosts on 65 minutes but the Bees travelled back to North London with maximum points.

Manager: Andy Hessenthaler

Andy Hessenthaler was appointed Dover manager in October after leaving fellow National League side Eastleigh. Since his arrival, The Whites have clinched 14 points out of a possible 27, double the amount they picked up before his appointment.

This is Hessenthaler’s second spell as Dover boss after winning back-to-back promotions in his first stint that stemmed from 2007 to 2010, lifting the club to National League South as player-manager.

He then went on to manage his former playing club Gillingham and after leaving in 2012, he returned to the club for a third spell two years later as assistant boss.

He then took up the same role at Leyton Orient in 2015 before becoming manager the following year but was sacked after a matter of months.

Hessenthaler returned to football ahead of the 2017-18 season as assistant manager of Eastleigh before succeeding Richard Hill in the hot seat eight months later. He began this campaign with the Spitfires before returning to Dover two months ago.

Hessenthaler is also no stranger to Barnet. The Dartford-born manager made 40 league appearances for the Bees, scoring two goals in the year he spent at Underhill.

The former midfielder also played for Watford and Gillingham before making the move to Barnet and as a Dover player, made over 30 appearances, scoring on four occasions.

One to Watch: Inih Effiong

Inih Effiong is on fire at the moment, bagging five goals in his last four games for Dover.

That being said, it’s no surprise he’s the one to watch ahead of tomorrow’s encounter.

With seven goals in total to his name, the 27-year-old is the club’s leading scorer this season and will undoubtedly be hoping to add to his tally tomorrow afternoon.

Recent League Form:

Sitting 21st, two points from safety, a win for Dover tomorrow could lift them out of the relegation zone.

The Whites have picked up three wins in their last five league games. They fell to a 1-0 defeat away at Halifax Town on November 17th but returned to winning ways a week later, beating Hartlepool 2-1. They recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season days later when they found themselves on the right side of a 1-0 score-line away at Boreham Wood. The points had to be shared in their next game though as they drew 2-2 away at Eastleigh but go into tomorrow’s game off the back of a 2-1 victory over Fylde.

As for their away league form, Dover have only clinched one win out of their 12 on the road this season.

They have a better goal scoring record than Barnet though, bagging 25, three more than the Bees. However, it’s a different story up the other end of the field as they’ve conceded 43, 17 more than Barnet.

Last 5 league games: LWWDW

Connections:

Ricardo Santos spent time with Dover at the start of the 2013-14 season but it was short-lived as he signed for Thurrock shortly after. He failed to make a single appearance for the Whites.

Coach Junior Lewis spent three years with Dover from 1993 to 1996 after signing from Fulham, making 84 appearances for the club.

As for Dover, aside from manager Hessenthaler, midfielder Stuart Lewis also spent time with Barnet. The 31-year-old joined from Tottenham in 2007 but he was released less than two months later, making four appearances.

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Match Reports

Report | Barnet FC 2-0 Dover Athletic

22 December 2018

Early kick off on a crisp winter afternoon always promises much and for Mauro Vilhete it certainly did.

On his welcome return to the team after almost a year out, he finished the tie with a beautifully slotted goal as Barnet stormed to a 2-0 victory over Dover.

Barnet welcomed lowly Dover to the Hive at the start of a hectic Christmas period which sees them playing four matches in ten days. However, the finishing wasn’t as warm as the winter sun that shone brightly over the ground. A first half of few clear-cut chances.

Barnet were quicker out of the blocks between the two teams. Medy Elito back in the starting line-up, was the first to have a meaningful effort at goal.

His deflected shot squirmed just wide, and it was the closest the Bees came to testing Mitch Walker in the Dover goal. The battle between Dan Sweeney and Inih Effiong was the highlight of an uneventful first half.

The two giant’s aerial duals certainly offered Bees fans some good defending to cheer on. Dover grew throughout the half. Anthony Jefferey looked very lively down the left wing and it was his shot that was cleared off the line by Elliott Johnson.

Mark Cousins was certainly the busier of the two keepers saving two Dover shots well to his left-hand side. Dover should have taken the lead, a smart turn and snapshot by Effiong from about 6 yards out was the closest anyone came to breaking the deadlock.

It was clear that John Still had had some choice words with the players at the half; the bees stepped up a gear and had Dover all at seas. Barnet had a great number of chances, Ephron Mason-Clark could have had his name on the scoresheet twice, the better of his chances came as he brilliantly rounded the keeper but unfortunately couldn’t apply the finish that was required.

It took only ten minutes for the bees to get their reward for their early second-half pressure. Callum Reynolds playing a 40-yard Pirlo-esq ball over the top of the defence for Jack Taylor to expertly finish. He showed great technique with a cute side-foot volley. How it stayed 1-0 for so long was unbelievable. The bees kept knocking at the door. Wes Fonguck and Mason–Clark having their shots fizz past the post.

With 25 minutes to go Mauro Vilhete returned to the pitch despite not being in the initial matchday squad. An injury to Craig Robson in the warm-up allowed Vilhete to make his fairy-tale return. Dover pushed forward in search of an equaliser but in truth never looked like getting it. Again, had Effiong shown some composure Barnet may have been sweating but it always seemed more likely for the Bees to get their second.

Vilhete’s flick header from a corner tested the Dover keeper and Jack Taylor could have had his second of the day; his long-range effort whizzing narrowly over the bar. As Dover searched for an equaliser they left a lot a room at the back and it would be their downfall. Barnet caught them out on the counter in stoppage time.

Who else but Vilhete he slotted the ball into the bottom corner to a great roar from Bees fans to seal the deal on national television.

The win moves Barnet closer to the playoffs as they look ahead to Boreham Wood on Boxing Day.

BARNET - Cousins, Alexander, Johnson, Reynolds, Adams, J. Taylor, Fonguck, Elito, Sweeney, Mason-Clark (Vilhete 68), Duku (Harrison 45).

Unused - Matrevics, Coulthirst, Bettamer

Attendance - 1,011 (135 Dover)

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