Boreham Wood v Dover Athletic
Monday 30th August 2021, 3.00pm
Meadow Park, Vanarama National League
Match Preview written by Aaron Bennis (BWFC Media Assistant)
This Monday, Wood look to build on their strong start to the season with a trip to Dover Athletic.
The Whites, unfortunately, had all of their results expunged during the previous campaign due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and began the 2021/22 season with a points deduction, meaning they will face a monstrous effort to maintain their place in the highest level of National League football.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
An experienced head at the centre of defence, Jake Goodman came through the ranks at Millwall where he was able to learn the rough, physical side of the game under manager Kenny Jackett. He signed a professional contract in 2012 having turned down an offer from Premier League side Newcastle United, showing this was clearly a player with a bright future. He enjoyed loan spells in the non-league, first with Staines Town and then joining Luton Town and Aldershot Town before moving up a level with AFC Wimbledon, who were playing in League Two. He dropped into the lower leagues permanently, however, signing for Margate ahead of the 2015/16 campaign and made 37 appearances, before joining Braintree Town after just a season with the Gate. Spells with Maidenhead United and Bromley followed over the next two seasons, being a mainstay at the spine of both teams but was forced to miss a season while playing for the latter, owing to an anterior cruciate ligament injury that put him out of the entire 2019/20 campaign. He was fortunately able to recover and joined Ebbsfleet United last season, but signed for Dover during the summer after failing to nail down a regular place in the Fleet’s starting line-up.
The 21-year old midfielder is a Gillingham academy graduate, turning professional in the summer of 2018 and gaining valuable experience with loan spells at Sittingbourne and Concord Rangers. He was due to be released at the end of the 2019/20 season, but renewed his contract by a year and made his league debut for the club as a substitute in a 3-1 victory over Oxford United. Having played a handful of times for the Gills over the last two seasons, 13 in total in the EFL Trophy, EFL Cup and League One, he has since extended his contract again and arrived at Dover on a loan deal that lasts until January. He made his debut in their recent defeat to Maidenhead, playing 90 minutes.
A non-league veteran, Ricky Miller has plied his trade for Dover on three separate occasions, having joined initially in 2014. Born in Hatfield, Miller began his career in Charlton Athletic’s youth academy before leaving for Woking’s and eventually signing for Stamford in 2006. He made his debut in a defeat to Lincoln United in an FA Cup first qualifying round replay and had three brief loan spells with Cottesmore Amateurs, Bourne Town and Rothwell Town, the former two of which being on a dual basis. Fleeting stints with Corby Town, Hitchin Town, Fleet Town, Spalding United, Boston United as well as a brief return to Stamford followed, with 14 goals during the first half of 2009/10 for the latter impressing manager Gary Roberts, who signed him for Cambridge City. This was followed by short stints with Aylesbury and Wealdstone as well as a loan with Hemel Hempstead, before returning to Corby Town after scoring six goals during a pre-season trial. He then signed for St Ives Town.
A fourth spell with Stamford during 2012/13 ended with him scoring the winning goal in the play-off final against Chasetown to help the club win promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division, and after a loan with Arlesey Town, he had another spell with Boston United. He finished 2013/14 with 46 appearances and 28 goals as the club narrowly missed out on the play-offs and was named as the Conference North Player of the Year as well as being included in the Team of the Year. His form for Boston attracted the interest of League Two club Luton Town, who signed him on a one-year deal. He was soon loaned out for his first spell with Dover, being recalled after just over a month having scored five goals in ten appearances and ended the season with 15 appearances for Luton, topping off a successful introduction to professional football. Despite this, he was released in the summer of 2015 and soon returned to the non-league with a return to Dover, this time on a permanent basis. The Crabble Athletic Ground proved to be where he started to find his feet as a footballer, ending the 2015/16 season with 21 goals and ten assists in all competitions, helping to confirm Dover’s place in the play-offs. Although they were unable to make it into League Two, Miller soon did after an unbelievable 2016/17 season in which he scored an astonishing 46 goals in 43 games in all competitions. This included a hat-trick in a 4-3 victory over Forest Green Rovers as well as four in a 6–1 victory over Braintree Town, in a run of ten goals in five matches. This was followed by ten goals in seven matches which included a hat-trick in a 3–2 win away at Solihull Moors. Two further hat-tricks in wins over Eastleigh and Barrow confirmed his place in the National League Team of the Year, as well as deservedly being named as the National League Player of the Year, Dover Players’ Player of the Season, Dover Supporters Player of the Season, as well as winning the Golden Boot.
His form earnt a move all the way up to League One with Peterborough United, although it proved to be a turbulent time. After receiving a £250,000 bid before his contract had even officially began, he was handed a six-match ban by The FA for a ‘biting incident’ during his time at Dover and was transfer-listed after failing to score in his first 13 matches. He joined Mansfield Town on loan and left for Port Vale permanently at the end of the season, although he left after just a season with his contract being terminated by mutual consent. He returned to the National League with Aldershot Town, but recently re-joined Dover, motivated with helping the club he found most of his success with, avoid relegation despite their points deduction.
LAST TIME WE MET
Dover Athletic 1-1 Boreham Wood
Tuesday 12th January 2021
Crabble Athletic Ground, National League
A second half goal from TJ Bramble cancelled out Kabongo Tshimanga’s opener as a 10-man Wood were held to a stalemate
It took just 14 minutes for Wood to break the deadlock through Tshimanga as they looked to build on their early pressure. Bramble had previously missed a golden opportunity which they would prove to rue, when Corey Whitley sent through Wood’s number nine to slot past Yusuf Mersin moments later. Sam Woods had a chance to equalise with a free kick but was unable to keep his effort on target before Whitley nearly doubled the lead. The pressure continued to build with Kane Smith going close, but Mersin was equal to it. Dover began to find their way back into the game just before half time though; Will De Havilland almost levelled, however his shot hit the side netting following a Jack Munns free kick. This breathed a new lease of life into the hosts who took this upturn in their performance into the second half, with Bramble finally netting a deserved equaliser. The midfielder was able to connect with a great ball from Oscar Gobern to put the ball into the corner and level the score. It almost went one better for Dover when Munns rounded Ashmore, but he was unable to keep his shot down. They continued to push forward but this allowed the visitors to counter effectively and almost retake the lead, but Junior Morias’ looping shot went just over the bar. Tshimanga also went close to getting a second, but Mersin was able to deny the Wood top scorer and hold them to what would soon be the start of a run of three successive draws.
PRE MATCH WORDS
HOW TO WATCH
All spectators are to purchase their ticket at the turnstiles as Dover Athletic operates a pay at the turnstile policy for all league games. Please note: Entry prices on the turnstile do not include seating, there is an extra charge to transfer to a seated stand and is payable on entry to the stand.
You can keep up with the action via our Twitter and Instagram pages, where there will be regular updates throughout the course of the match.
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