Terras held at home by Dover

We share the points with last-place Dover Athletic after David Aziaya kept the visitors in the game at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

The young shot-topper produced a string of saves throughout the match, frustrating Brandon Goodship and newcomer Alfie Rutherford in particular.

The final result marks another 1-1 draw on a Saturday, our 10th of the exact same outcome this season.

This now leaves us in 20th place, albeit two points above the drop zone with a game in hand on Eastbourne Borough, our nearest challengers.

Goodship was the man in form once again, scoring his third in his last eight matches 10 minutes before halftime.

However, the visitors drew level one minute before the hour mark, Scott Holding tapping home after a classic goalmouth scramble.

From then on, Dover managed to stay in the game largely thanks to their goalkeeper David Aziaya.

The teenager was the point-earner for his side, keeping out multiple strikes as the match drew its close.

Making his debut for us was new signing Alfie Rutherford, who joined on Monday on a month-long loan deal from fifth-tier Dorking Wanderers.

Also added to the line-up was Tom Bearwish, the skipper returning to the XI following his place on the bench at Chippenham last week.

The match began without any major clear-cut chances for either side, although George Nikaj attempted an audacious effort 35 yards from goal after 14 minutes.

His strike came after Gerard Benfield, who was off his line, kicked the ball straight towards the Dover forward.

Goodship then came close just four minutes later when his free-kick flew towards the top corner.

Aziaya, however, had other ideas, tipping the in-form player’s effort over the bar.

Goodship again proved dangerous from set-piece after 20 minutes, only for Joe Cook to head wide.

The wide man’s hard work would eventually pay off 10 minutes before halftime.

Our players, who had been producing some liquid football, spotted Teddy Howe bombing down the right-hand side.

The full-back then picked out Goodship with a pinpoint accurate cross, who powerfully struck past Aziaya, giving us a 1-0 lead.

As the half came to an end, we would have doubled our lead, had newcomer Rutherford not fired just wide of the goal.

Our forward would then find himself facing Aziaya once more following Goodship’s pass, one minute into stoppage time.

However, he was unable to direct the ball past the young shot-stopper, as we marched down the tunnel a goal ahead.

The second half began with a case of déjà vu, Rutherford once more being denied by the fearless Aziaya from close-range.

Harry Parsons would then have a pop at goal, although luck didn’t go his way as he fired just past the post.

These missed opportunities would prove even more infuriating just before the hour mark.

After George Wilkinson’s shot was deflected behind, full-back Bailey Akehurst would swing in a corner to a sea of players inside the box.

What followed next was a classic goalmouth scramble, where our players were unable to clear towards safety.

The ball was eventually kicked into Holding, who was able to strike past Benfield, resulting in the score being one goal apiece.

It would only be three minutes before we looked to put ourselves back in front, with Goodship again finding himself up against Aziya.

However, the human forcefield once-again denied our goalscorer, keeping The Whites level.

Meanwhile, Dover had plans of their own, Nick Dembele firing towards goal after 70 minutes, who would have put his side ahead had he not been flagged offside.

Seven minutes later we would come close again, only to be denied in the same manner as we had been all afternoon.

Rutherford walloped the ball towards Aziaya, who stayed strong.

Then only seven minutes before stoppage time, Cook would again be handed a chance with a potential header towards goal.

However, the defender’s effort looped just over the bar as the game came towards the end.

There would be time for Aziaya to deny one of our players one more time, this time Goodship again being the unlucky Terra.

The star keeper somehow tipped Goodship’s strike behind for a corner with just four minutes left of regular time to go.

This would be our final clear chance of the game, as both sides would end up sharing the points.

After the game, Bobby Wilkinson expressed frustration towards his side conceding after halftime.

“I felt we lost our shape a little bit in the second half,” Wilkinson added. “Everyone was trying to score.”

We next have the chance to win on Boxing Day, away to Weston-Super-Mare [15.00 GMT].

Match report
by Jack Webb

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