A 1-0 loss to Dover Athletic sees the Shaymen make the long journey north on a sour note. Town once again face a tough battle of their hands to escape the perils of the relegation zone, with even more importance put on the home fixture against Boreham Wood next Tuesday. A goal by Nick Deverdic put Town on the back foot with less than 10 minutes played. The Shaymen put in a good shift, coming close multiple times in the second half, but were just unable to find the back of the net.
Town went into the fixture on the back of a 4-1 loss to Barrow on Easter Monday and knew that today’s game would not be easy, despite Dover’s defeat from Boreham Wood. There were two changes to the side following Monday with James Bolton returning from suspension to feature in the starting line-up and Jordan Burrow started whilst Shaquille McDonald dropped to the bench.
The Whites proved exactly why there are in the playoff places, causing problems for Town from the get go. It was the home side who won the first corner of the game and ultimately the first and only goal, as the ball came into the box to find the feet of Deverdic who fired home a powerful left footed shot past Shaymen goal keeper Sam Johnson. It came as a heavy blow to the Yorkshire visitors who found themselves 1-0 down with less than 10 minutes played.
Just a few minutes later, Dover’s goal scorer tested Johnson once more and came close to a second goal, just sending his cross inches wide of the post. For the next proceeding minutes, Dover peppered the Shaymen’s net as Johnson pulled off some cracking saves to deny the home side from increasing their lead.
Town had their first real chance at goal through Connor Hughes who ran the length of Dover’s half to fire a shot on the edge of the area, but Dover’s keeper Mitch Walker was quick to claim the ball and send it back out to his side.
Town faced another dangerous moment as Dover looked to break through the centre of the pitch, and with a mix up between Hamza Bencherif and Johnson as to whose ball it was, it was a close call with the home side baring down on goal.
Both sides had chances to increase the score line before the half time whistle, Scott McManus found Bencherif on the wing who set up Burrow in the box, but Sean Raggett was quick to beat his man to the ball, gifting Dover possession once more.
Just a few minutes before half time, the Whites looked to make it 2-0 with Stefan Payne breaking down the centre, but a last ditch tackle by Connor Hughes ensured the score line remained 1-0 going into the break.
Kevin Roberts got the second half well under way stealing the ball on the edge of the area to fire a thunderbolt of a shot towards Walker who could only watch and the ball flew just inches wide of his post. It was a brilliant chance for the Shaymen and marked a turning point in the game as Town looked to up the pressure on their opponents.
Ricky Miller was set up shortly after by the corner flag in Town’s half and was able to beat three Shaymen players to take a shot on goal, but Johnson’s hands were ready and waiting as he confidently collected the ball.
With just over 10 minutes left on the clock, substitute Josh MacDonald found himself baring down on goal from a long ball by Bolton but Walker managed to get to it in time before the Shayman was able to get a foot to it.
MacDonald proved his worth once again, laying the ball off to Shaquille McDonald on the edge of Dover’s area who a pin point cross into the box to meet the head of Jordan Burrow, but he couldn’t keep his header down, hitting the woodwork.
It was a hard fought second half with Town putting in a very good performance despite the full time result. Tuesday’s game against Boreham Wood has just become an even bigger fixture and the Shaymen continue to fight to stay in the National League.