New Dover Athletic boss Chris Kinnear praised his side’s character as they held on for a 3-2 home win over Truro City on Saturday.
It was Kinnear’s first game back at the helm of the Whites since replacing Nicky Forster last month and his 601st in charge of the first team after a previous spell at the Crabble from 1985 to 1995.
The hosts were in the driving seat early on thanks to goals from Tyrone Sterling (6) and Ian Simpemba (27), with Calum Willock adding a third on the stroke of half-time.
However, the loss of midfielder Daryl McMahon through injury just before the break impacted the Kent outfit, and City hit back with two quick-fire goals from Cody Cooke (54) and Kieffer Moore (56) early in the second half to set up a tense finish to the Blue Square Bet South clash.
Kinnear was pleased with the way his charges coped for the last half-hour as a number of his troops played out of position as a lack of fitness took its toll – Dover had not been in competitive action since January 15 due to the recent inclement weather.
He told This Is Kent: “That’s what we wanted, a win. In the first half I was really, really pleased. We ran out of legs a bit and ran out of players really. Players kept coming off – but the lads have got good spirit.
“I could see 4-3 happening there. To be fair they scored three goals against Salisbury and three against Welling but in the first half we could have had five or six.
“Again there’s that little bit of fitness. There’s not been a game for a while. They’ve not played with a lot of confidence lately but it’s fine. You win a game, stop the rot and you’ve got to move forward.
“Fitness is a worry. It’s been hard and they’ve had lots of illness as well. Billy Bricknell was ill, Thommo [Steven Thomson] was laying at home in bed. There’s been a lot of sickness in the camp and a lot of sides would have laid down but I’m pleased for them.
“Lloyd Harrington is usually a left-back, usually a centre-half but he’s had to play on the left side of midfield and in centre midfield and I thought he was brilliant. In the end we had Ricky Modeste having to go right-back and it was all hands to the pump and that’s what we expect. It was all hands to the pump.
“We ran out of defenders and midfield players but it shows character to hold on. It doesn’t matter where players play as long as they give 100 per cent and are doing it for the team and that’s exactly what they’ve done.”
McMahon will undergo a scan on his foot on Monday, and Kinnear is hoping the injury won’t keep him out for an extended period.
He said: “McMahon’s got to have an x-ray on Monday. It’ll be a big loss and there’s a possibility it’s long-term.
“He’s been struggling all week and most players would not have played but he said he’d take painkillers because he wanted to play. That’s great for him and great for the side and hopefully it won’t be too long.”
Posted: Monday , February 04, 2013