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Opposition Report Dover Athletic, Salford City, Salford City vs Dover Athletic, Salford vs Dover, The Ammies, The Peninsula Stadium, The National LeagueSalford City return to The Peninsula Stadium on Saturday when Dover Athletic visit in The National League.

With 14 games to go, the race for promotion is gathering momentum, and after Tuesday’s FA Trophy exit it is all focus on the league for The Ammies.

Despite a surprise defeat away at Braintree Town last weekend, Salford will be hoping to keep amongst the sides around the top against a Dover side who are also desperate for points at the other end of the table.

Since appointing Andy Hessenthaler just after our trip to the South East in October results have picked up for The Whites, but a couple of defeats in their last couple of outings have held them back. They will be hopeful of avoiding a third straight defeat, with 53-year-old Hessenthaler saying that maybe there will be less pressure on his side to win away at Salford.

Season Summary

It’s probably fair to say that this season hasn’t gone as some Dover fans would have expected after four top-eight finishes in The National League, and Chris Kinnear left the club at the start of October when Dover sat 23rd with one win from 14 league games.

Replacement boss Hessenthaler started his second spell with the club after leaving Eastleigh, who were in 10th, and despite Dover still occupying a relegation spot – albeit on goal difference – he has definitely given Dover a fighting chance of survival.

One of the things that Dover have in their favour is that they have played most of the top seven and still have crunch games against the sides around them including Maidenhead United, Braintree Town and Aldershot Town.

Recent Form

A decent run from the end of November to the end of January saw Dover move clear of the relegation zone, and amongst seven wins in 14 games they took three points off both AFC Fylde and Wrexham, and earned a draw against Leyton Orient. They are unbeaten in four games on the road too, winning three and drawing one – their last away trip to Havant & Waterlooville (0-0).

However in February they have lost two of two, both at home against Gateshead and Harrogate Town with the latter being a particularly frustrating game as Dover led 2-1 in the 81st minute, only for two late goals to pinch a win for our play-off rivals last weekend.

One to Watch – Inih Effiong

The 6’3 striker was the first player to sign in the summer after joining from Ross County. He only moved north of the border in January 2018 after scoring 10 goals in 35 games for Woking, but after three appearances for the Scottish side moved back down south.

The 27-year-old has played widely in non-league for the like of St. Albans City, Boreham Wood, Chesham United and Biggleswade Town, and will be hoping to end a seven-game goal drought in the league.

Previous Meetings

We have only come up against Dover once before, in the reverse league fixture in October. Adam Rooney scored a hat-trick at the Crabble Ground, while Carl Piergianni scored his third of the season to make it seven wins in a row for Salford and keep us top after we made it to the summit the week before at Maidenhead.

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