Next Match – Dover Athletic – Away

City face their longest trip of the season on Saturday when they make the 194 mile journey to Dover Athletic.

And with Tuesday’s fine win at Slough making it nine points bagged from their last three away matches, they will travel with much confidence.

Their Kent opponents lie two places below them in 14th position but are on a decent run themselves with three wins in their last four matches.

This suggests that they have now adjusted to life at this level following their relegation from the National League where they spent eight seasons.

Tuesday’s win against Havant was The Whites’ seventh at home and their last three appearances at Crabble have seen only one goal conceded.

Dover’s visit to Twerton in late October saw them win through a goal from Luke Wanadio in a match notable for the combined ages of the two goalkeepers being 81.

However their season has been ruled by inconsistency and home fans must be particularly frustrated that the six games played so far against the other four Kent clubs has seen just a single point won.

And there was nothing to get excited about in the knockout competitions either with exits at the first time of asking to Ebbsfleet in the FA Cup and to Uxbridge in the Trophy.

So it was perhaps no surprise when Mitch Brundle replaced Andy Hessenthaler as manager a few weeks ago.

The old Dover club first crossed paths with City in 1965 and their successors, Athletic, in 1988; in the 44 games played, the honours are fairly even with their seventeen wins just two more than City’s total.

There have been some memorable games in that sequence with none more dramatic than the last two which were played during our run to the FA Trophy semi-finals in 2015.

City were the underdogs when they travelled to Crabble for the quarter-final tie, but with only minutes left they led their higher level opponents 3-1, only to see two late goals take the clubs back to Twerton Park for another pulsating match.

Ross Stearn was the scorer of two of the goals in the first game with the third by Andy Gallinagh who certainly liked the ground as his effort three seasons before had dumped the Whites out of the FA Cup.

These recent successes at Crabble rather make up for our poor league record there with only three wins in our nineteen visits, the last coming in 1993.

The ground is noted for its picturesque location in River which is on the outskirts of Dover, set into a hillside on one side of a river valley.

At the base of this hill is the ‘lower pitch’ which is now used by Dover Rugby Club and it is a fair climb up to the well-appointed football stadium which has cover on all four sides.

A good atmosphere is usually created by the home faithful who have just about forgiven City for losing a promotion spot to them back in 1990 as the ground was not up to scratch.

Due to insufficient interest there will be no Supporters Club coach and those fans wishing to travel by train face a trip of around four hours with changes at Paddington and St Pancras before a twenty minute bus ride from Dover Priory station.

For those who do make the trip, the Royal Oak pub at River, a ten minute walk from the ground, is highly recommended.

Directions can be found on the Dover website, although it’s a safe bet that most City supporters will be logging in to Bath City Radio on Saturday hoping to enjoy a fourth consecutive away win!