|DR. MARTENS LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION||Friday 26 December 2003||Hoverspeed Stadium|
|Dover Athletic||2 - 0||Eastbourne Borough|
|Wilkins (11, 47)||Att: 1103|
Dover Athletic: Hyde, Browne, Davies, Arnott, Crofts, Chapman, Day, Spiller, Wilkins, Tyne, Carruthers
Substitutes Not Used: Hickman, Rogers, Humphrey, Patterson, Postma
Dover extended their recent winning run to seven consecutive victories with a comfortable win over Eastbourne Borough at the Hoverspeed Stadium on Boxing Day. Craig Wilkins moved to the top of the division's goal scoring charts with another brace as the visitors offered little to worry Richard Langley's side.
With Darren Davies replacing Jimmy Jackson, who has returned to Dagenham & Redbridge, Dover took the initiative early on. It was from Davies' 12th minute corner that Wilkins gave Athletic the lead, the ball coming off his shoulder at the near post to beat Lee Hook in the Eastbourne goal.
Dover continued to ask questions of Eastbourne. In the 22nd minute Tommy Tyne's fancy footwork took him past two defenders but his shot was parried at the near post by Hook. A minute later Matt Carruthers' deflected free-kick fell to Andy Arnott four yards out at the near post but Hook was alert and made a good block.
The latter stages of the first half were uneventful but the Whites were ahead and never looked likely to surrender their advantage. Paul Hyde had little to do to record his sixth cleansheet in seven matches.
A second Wilkins goal early in the second half, his 18th of the season, put the game beyond the reach of an Eastbourne side lacking in ideas. Matt Carruthers' cross was headed half clear but Andy Crofts nodded the ball back into the six-yard box for Wilkins to power a header over Hook, who had little time to react, from close range.
Lee Spiller went close to powering through for a Dover third only to be denied by an unfortunate ricochet and Jamie Day's latest attempt at goal-of-the-season, a powerful swerving shot from 25-yards after Tyne had gathered the ball from a half-cleared corner, was well saved by ex-Sittingbourne keeper Hook.
Seven wins and only one goal conceded in the last month has put Dover's season back on track. Athletic finish the year in seventh place, their highest position of the season. Next up is a trip to Billericay to take on out-of-form Chelmsford on New Year's Day.
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