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Dover Athletic travel to Altrincham looking for their first National League points of the season

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Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler has told his players to be brave as they look to collect their first points of the season this weekend.

Whites travel to Altrincham in the National League on Saturday after losing 2-0 at Maidenhead last weekend and going down 1-0 at Crabble to Boreham Wood on Bank Holiday Monday.

Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler hopes his team can secure their first win this weekend Picture: Alan Langley
Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler hopes his team can secure their first win this weekend Picture: Alan Langley

“We’ve got to be positive and be brave, but brave in the right areas,” said Hessenthaler.

“Knowing Altrincham from last season they are a good footballing team. We lost 1-0 to them at home but they only had one chance and took it, we had chances and didn’t take them.

“We’ve got to believe a bit more at times. We didn’t do that enough against Boreham Wood for me. We have to be positive and stay solid – we can’t afford to give away two goals like we did against Maidenhead.

“I can’t ask for any more effort or desire in the first two games and we could have easily picked up one or two points.

“We created some good chances away from home, if you do that it’s a real positive. we need one of them to go in and be a bit more ruthless.

“We had a fantastic chance on Monday and once one of those goes in that will relax the boys.

“There’s a bit of tension out there, they know the situation we are in and want to give ourselves a chance to get out of it. But the only way to do that is by winning matches.”

Hessenthaler was disappointed that Whites got sucked into a more direct approach against Boreham Wood.

The hosts were missing Ryan Hanson through injury but without a bulky target man in attack, the Dover boss wants his team to be a bit more subtle in their play.

“The only real disappointment is that Boreham Wood are a big and strong team and they play in a certain way,” added Hessenthaler.

“We played into their hands a bit and went too long from back to front and that’s not our game, we don’t have that target man up there. We almost went too long too many times and we missed Ryan Hanson in that regard as he’s the one who gets us on the ball.

“It was a close game. We started pretty well and had a fantastic chance where their keeper made a fantastic save. They scored just before half-time when it’s gone in off Jake Goodman for an own goal.

“We can’t be too down on ourselves. It’s what I was saying before the season started, we can’t panic and I’ve told the players that again.”

Whites lost Jake Goodman to concussion and while he’ll be replaced by Reda Johnson at Altrincham this weekend, it did mean an opportunity for academy youngster Alex Green.

The teenager certainly impressed during the short time he was on the field.

“We brought Alex Green on, he stepped in and was fantastic,” said Hessenthaler.

“He was playing against Scott Boden and Tyrone Marsh and I spoke to his dad after the game and told him he should be proud of his son. He was fantastic when he came on in a difficult situation. He didn’t know he was going to be involved until half-one on Monday when he got to the ground but I thought he was a real positive.”

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