21st April 2024

It was a clash between top and bottom for the final game of the National League South season, and it was the Glovers who comfortably took all three points. A Dylan Morgan double followed by an own goal, which Jay Foulston will try to claim, was enough to push the Glovers to 95 points.

A couple of changes to the lineup saw Josh Owers and Jordan Young start, with Jake Hyde and Will Dawes also returning to the bench after spells on the sideline. It was Young who linked up well with Brooklyn Genesini down the right wing, setting up the Glovers’ first chance of the afternoon on 13 minutes. A cross from Genesini found the head of Sam Pearson, but his goalbound effort went over the crossbar.

It wasn’t long, though, until the Glovers did go in front. Sam Pearson made a strong run down the left wing before driving towards goal and cutting back to Dylan Morgan, who was waiting on the edge of the area to find the net with the inside of his right foot.

The Glovers continued to press following the goal and almost immediately doubled the lead. Jordan Young linked up well with the goalscorer, Dylan Morgan, before taking a shot, but his effort was collected by Matt Rowley in the Dover Athletic goal. Young and Morgan worked together to create another chance moments later. This time Jordan Young drove into the area from the right before playing a low pass out to Dylan Morgan, who produced a cross into the area from the left wing, but it was collected by Matt Rowley.

After continuing to cause chaos for the Dover defence, Dylan Morgan managed to find the net for the second time. In a similar style to his first, this time from the right wing, Alex Fisher cut back to Dylan Morgan, who was poised on the edge of the area to place the ball past Rowley and into the net, making it 2-0 on 29 minutes.

Following the goal, Sam Pearson had a chance on 37 minutes, which was saved by Rowley. George Nikaj had headed an attack for Dover, who looked to try to get a hold of the game, but his long-range strike was over the crossbar. Pearson then had a chance just before the break as he squeezed through a challenge inside the box before shooting, but his effort was deflected over the bar.

The second half was similar to the first, with the Glovers piling immediate pressure on the Dover defence. Matt Rowley had to be on high alert to come out and clear two balls out of the ground, with the pace of Dylan Morgan and Sam Pearson beating the backline. On 50 minutes, Jordan Young weaved his way into the penalty area but after skipping two tackles was unable to get a shot away as Rowley bravely claimed the ball.

Matt Rowley’s heroics soon became undone as the Glovers netted their third of the afternoon. An inswinging corner from Jay Foulston looked set to be a comfortable one for Rowley to collect, but it broke through his hands and deflected into the net. The Welsh defender looked to claim the goal, but I’m sure the dubious goals panel would have one or two things to say about that.

Then the changes came rolling in as Mark Cooper looked to the bench. Alex Fisher was replaced by Jake Hyde, which marked Hyde’s first appearance since January following an injury. He was straight into the action on 61 minutes when Hyde neatly flicked the ball into the path of Sam Pearson, who saw his shot saved by a sprawling Matt Rowley.

The final two changes saw Will Dawes and Charlie Cooper replace Sonny Blu Lo-Everton and Sam Pearson, who had both put in strong shifts. The last 10 minutes were quite end-to-end, with Will Dawes adding an injection of pace down the left wing. However, it was Dover who managed to get a goal back in injury time. An awkward deflection off of Jake Wannell was parried away by Joe Day, but only into the path of Baptiste who buried it into the net.

Despite the late goal, there was no stopping the Glovers from ending their season on a high with all three points and a National League South total of 95 points.