Gravesend & Northfleet 2 Dover Athletic 0 (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS)

Monday 06th February 2006

Luke Moore 29
Mark Rawle 80


John Ullman Kent Senior Cup Quarter-Final
Stephen McCartney reports from Stonebridge Road

Gravesend & Northfleet booked their place in the semi-finals of the John Ullman Kent Senior Cup following their comfortable 2-0 victory over last season’s finalists Dover Athletic.

The Nationwide Conference outfit joined Bromley and Ramsgate in the hat and Margate - who have won the competition three years running - or Folkestone Invicta will make up the quartet tomorrow night.

Fleet manager Liam Daish made four changes to his side that started their last game - a 1-1 draw at Cambridge United nine days ago.

However, he lost right-back Scott Gooding with a shoulder injury and was stretchered off the pitch after just 18 minutes tonight.

Daish saw his side take the lead in controversial circumstances after 29 minutes as a through ball played in Mark Rawle - but Bradley Johnson was clearly offside - and play was allowed to continue.

However, the striker, whose on loan from their league rivals Woking and making his home debut, raced into the area and squared the ball for youngster Luke Moore to tap in his third goal of the season.

Dover’s best chance of the half fell to James Rogers on the stroke of half-time but he skied his left-footed volley from the edge of the penalty area, after the home side headed Anthony Hogg’s free kick to him.

Clive Walker’s men, who drew 2-2 at Kingstonian at the weekend, enjoyed a good spell halfway through the second half.

Substitute Dale Skelton stroked a 20-yard shot wide of the right upright and Rogers’ 20-yard shot sailed just over Aaron Kerr’s crossbar but their best effort of the night came in the 71st minute.

Hogg was desperately unlucky when his left-footed free-kick from 28-yards clipped the top of the crossbar before going out for a goal kick.

Another Dover substitute, Darren Braithwaite drove agonisingly wide of the far post from just inside the penalty area.

But Gravesend sealed their passage, in front of a crowd of 352 who took advantage of reduced admission prices, when Rawle opened his goalscoring account for his new club, heading home Andy Drury’s corner from close range with ten minutes left.

Daish, however, explained why he decided to field such a strong side. “I didn’t really have an option,” he said. “We had to play what I had and that was my strongest side.

“Credit to Dover they had a right go at it We had to be disciplined and did the right thing, got the result and just disappointed that we’re always liable pick up a few injuries.”

Daish was pleased that Gravesend & Northfleet star Steve McKimm played half an hour tonight. “It’s good to have him in a competitive game - so another step along his comeback,” he said.

Fleet’s next home game is against Accrington Stanley on Friday, 17th February, but before that they travel to Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday.

“Tough game. Going to be hard work,” admitted Daish. “I can see it’s going to be a battle.

I just hope we can get something back from there - go there and get something.”

Speaking about their second Friday night game at Stonebridge Road this season, Daish added: “It worked against Canvey. Accrington like the Friday nights as well, so it gives us little bit of a break between them and the Tuesday game against Forest Green Rovers (away) so we have a little bit more trying to recover.”

Daish has set his sights on securing a play-off place and winning the Kent Senior Cup.

“We’ve done allright,” he admitted. “I’m getting a lot out of the players work ethic wise and I’d like to see us really have a go at it, push on and try to get up into the play-off positions. We’ve got games in hand, but it’s winning them.”

And on their last cup competition of the season, he adds: “We’re in it now to win it. We want to win it, we’re in the semi-finals so we’ll try to win it.”

Whites boss Walker, meanwhile, was satisfied with his side’s showing against full-time opposition.

“I thought we did allright,” he said. “We’ve got a few out, four or five out. We weren’t much of an attacking force until the end but we stuck at it well.

“I’ve got a couple of players back from broken legs, which is a bit of a bonus. They’re starting to play a bit now. It’s not been too bad. A good work out for us.

Looking ahead to their home clash with Croydon Athletic - a side they drew 0-0 with at the end of last month - Walker said: “They're not a bad side. They're up there for a reason, not a bad side, got good forward players - we’ll have to match that.”

And on Gravesend, he said: “They're a strong, full-time side, got some good players at this level.”

* In tonight’s other match, Ashford Town, who won 1-0 at Banstead Athletic on Saturday, won their second away game of the season, 4-2 at Kingstonian to move three points clear of the Ryman League Division One drop zone.

Gravesend & Northfleet: Aaron Kerr, Scott Gooding (Lee Protheroe 18), James Smith, Robert Watkins, Andy Drury, Danny Slatter (Steve McKimm 58), Bradley Johnson, Jimmy Jackson, Luke Moore, Mark Rawle, Paul McCarthy (Ross Smith 73) Subs: Craig Holloway (GK), Ashley Fuller,

Dover Athletic: Paul Hyde, Sam Vallance, Tony Browne (Daniel Braithwaite 45), Craig Wilkins, Craig Cloke, James Rogers, Shane Hamshare (Dale Skelton 45), Lee Spiller, Buster Smissen, Tommy Tyne, Anthony Hogg (Kevin Lott 75).
Subs: Tom Hickman, Lee Scott

Attendance: 352
Referee: Mr M Yerby
Assistants: Mr I Regan & Mr D Wyatt

We are also providing you with LIVE COVERAGE from Tuesday night’s Southern League Division One East clash between Dartford and Uxbridge from Stonebridge Road.

To sponsor this service, please call Stephen McCartney on 07979 418 360 or email