Tony Rickson previews Dover Athletic v Sittingbourne

Written by Tony Rickson on 17th September 2017

Away to the holders is a tough draw in any cup competition, but that’s what Sittingbourne face on Tuesday night.

They travel down the A2 to play Vanarama Conference pace-setters Dover Athletic in the second round of the Kent Reliance Kent Senior Cup.

Sittingbourne were able to rest some key players in the previous round but still returned from Faversham with a 2-1 win thanks to Bola Dawodu’s late winner.

Manager Nick Davis will be tempted to do the same again at Dover though all his squad will be keen to be involved in a match against prestigious opponents on a leading non-league ground.

Dover, who stand second in their league after a 4-0 thumping of Chester on Saturday, are bound to shuffle their own squad even though they’ll be keen to repeat their cup success of last year when they won the final against Welling United 2-0.

Sittingbourne have had mixed success since that win over Faversham in the Kent Cup a fortnight ago, drawing one (at Thamesmead), losing one (when they went back to Faversham for a league match) and winning one

(3-2 over VCD Athletic on Saturday).

They led three times in that latest game – all three from headers – with substitute John Coker getting the winner near the end on his home debut, having replaced injured captain Ben Gorham.

Dawodu scored again in that game, making it three goals in the last four games for him – a vital contribution from midfield.

Sittingbourne last played at Dover in 2008 and won 2-0, though Dover had already clinched the Isthmian League Division One South title by the time that game was played.

In the Dover defence that day was Sittingbourne’s currently injured defender Laurence Ball, who must have been about 12 years old then judging by his still boyish looks.

The Dover ground was also the scene for a famous Sittingbourne win back in the ‘glory’ days of the early 1990s, a 2-1 FA Cup replay win thanks to a late winner by Kevin Mudd.

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