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Dover v Eastleigh - Guest of Honour


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Arrived in Deal last night for a well deserved Easter respite break.


Promised mrs h that there would be minimal football talk following the last couple of months almost blanket Saints coverage.


Apart from obviously sitting with Spuds supporting BiL to watch the demolition of Pompey and subsequent slagging off of Redknapp and lolling at Pompey fans cheeering him and the 'in denial' Spuds fans cheering him in the knowledge that he is in the process of messing them up royally. Football WAS off the agenda.


Little did I know that my nephew-in-law-to-be is a main sponsor of Dover Affletic! And tomorrow The Whites are playing host to the mighty Spitfires! And guess who has been invited as 'guest of honour' with full rights to any alcoholic beverage FOC from the executive lounge? Yep, tis I, Le Hamster...


Who should I pledge my allegiance to though? The club who play just around the corner from where I live and drive past their ground every day en route to work, or Dover Athletic, managed by Andy Hessentaller and shored up on the field by the legend that is Nicky Southall? The Gills connection is very strong with me, their play-off win at the old Wembley being my last visit to the lovely stadium watching a team that included both of these gentleman of the lower leagues.


I think that my mind is made up but what do people advise?

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being an old Dovorian I suggest the whites ;)


remember playing on the crabble pitch years back, terrible playing surface :lol:



Being a Deal boy it's a little awkward as Dover are Deal's natural local rivals. By the same token Eastleigh could be considered Saint's and ergo neither deserve my support. Trouble is though that beer does funny things to me and I don't wish to embarass my host. Surely I would be wrong to lambast both teams?


The Gills links are tempting yet I can't help wanting Eastleigh to be right up there waiting to play AFC Pompey if and when they drop down. I most certainly would cheer them on on that day as i am sure many thousand more Saints fans will.

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I'd go with Dover, seeing as they're fighting for a position in the playoffs and Eastleigh are mid-table and pretty much playing out the season.


Been to the Crabble with Maidstone twice and had a couple of cracking days out - quality ground and nice people, I even pretended not to notice who they've got as manager ;) all the best to them.

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I think Eastleigh were right up with the playoffs at one point after finishing 3rd last season I think?

I think I read in the paper that they have had bad injury problems recently.


They got to the PO final last season, took a decent lead back to 10 acres then fluffed it iirc. Any ex-Saints in their squad at the mo?

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Lost in play-off semi final to Hayes & Yeading. 4-0 up after an hour of the away leg. Final 4-2. Then played carp at home and 2 down after 90 mins, then in extra time, missed a pen and lost 4-0 to royally screw it up.


H & Y won the final and last week were 7-0 down to Luton after 35 mins.

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Well, I was quite impressed with the standard in parts but tbh the match was spoilt by a very poor reffing display and the linos weren't that much better tbh.


Dover won it in the second half with a lovely shot from outside the area after the ball had been whacked twice into Easrleigh defenders and fell well for the Dover lads pressing forward. They ah dtook a first half lead only for Eastleigh to level with a fine long free-kick into the 6 yard box which was put away by one of the two Dover defenders tangling with each other on the line.


Nicky Southall is clearly a talisman in the team and although a lot slower than in his haydays his experience showed. He was often so ahead of the game that he had to hold the ball up whilst they caught up with him, top pro. A few times rather than run forward with the ball he had to pass back thus ending a good move.


Anyway, the win puts them in second and according to the chairman 1 more point from the reamaining 4 gams will clinch a placeoff spot.


Pre-match we had a guided tour which included 10 minutes in the changing room with the assistant manager (very insightyul. The smell of liniment was quite overpowering and took me right back to way back when...


Eastleigh brought a couple of dozen fans and a 3 foot cuddly kangaroo which I assumed was their mascot. I have to pay credit to the home fans as the siging and range of songs was as impressive as some visitors to SMS thus far. N-I-L-T-B reckons that it's always like that down there.


Only negative from the match was that they have a drummer, nuff said.



Than you Dover FC and al invilved with the club.

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Guest Dark Sotonic Mills

Nice report Hammy. Glad to see that you took advantage of their hospitality so well...:D

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