Dover 2 Leamington 0: Green and O’Neill see red as Brakes’ Trophy run comes to an end at Dover
Josh Green had been booked towards the end of the first half for clearing the ball after the whistle had gone and his indiscretion came back to haunt him as he was shown a second yellow card for pulling back Nathan Elder as the Dover player looked to race through on goal.
The Kent side were already a goal to the good through James Rogers at this point and with Brakes’ assistant manager Liam O’Neill sent from the bench in the aftermath, the home side exacted further punishment from the free- kick awarded after Green’s dismissal, with Rogers scoring from the dead ball to ultimately put the tie out of reach.
The afternoon was full of incident if nothing else.
A partial loss of power just before the teams re-emerged for the second half led to the PA system going down along with some of the floodlights, but a sensible agreement was reached that the remaining lighting was adequate enough for the game to continue, some of the light being restored in the meantime.
The first half was relatively tame in comparison, the two sides looking pretty evenly matched as the game was played out in midfield, with very few clear-cut chances.
Elder headed an early cross over the Leamington bar and Dover skipper Craig Stone was allowed to run at goal, his shot skimming the woodwork.
Liam Daly saw his header saved at the other end, while Barry Cogan and Matt Dodd both drove shots across goal and wide of the target.
Tom Murphy’s driven cross just evaded the outstretched leg of the dreadlocked Ricky Modeste but Brakes forged the clearest opening for either side minutes before the interval.
A half-cleared corner was picked up by Dodd and laid back to Craig Owen, whose ball into the middle found the head of the diving James Mace, Mitch Walker reacting sharply to beat the ball away.
The hosts had the ball in the net shortly before half- time but the referee’s whistle had blown for an infringement before the ball hit the back of the net.
The sudden partial loss of power moments before the game was due to resume caused brief concern, but it was evident that with only a couple of bulbs out on each of the floodlight pylons at the River End of the ground, there was enough light to enable the second half to begin.
Dover began in menacing fashion, with Breeden forced to beat away two dangerous balls to the near post before making a superb double save, parrying a powerful effort from Modeste before springing up to block another shot from the loose ball.
The Brakes keeper was powerless to stop the opening goal in the 50th minute, though, a half-cleared corner falling to Rogers just inside the box and his first-time strike fizzing low into the net.
O’Neill was then ordered from the dugout after protesting that Breeden had been fouled in the build-up to the goal.
Just past the hour-mark things got a whole lot worse for Leamington when Green was sent off, Rogers compounding the agony by firing in superbly from the resulting free-kick.
To their credit, Brakes made a decent fist of it in the closing stages, Dodd forcing Walker into a save with a curling shot and Stefan Moore driving past two defenders before firing across goal and wide.
Overall though it was an afternoon to forget and leaves Paul Holleran’s side to focus on the task of earning enough points to remain in the Conference North, beginning at home to Workington tomorrow.
Dover have been drawn away to fellow Conference South side Eastleigh in the third round.
Dover: Mitch Walker, Craig Stone, Tom Wynter, Chris Kinnear, Sean Raggett, Terrell Forbes, Ricky Modeste (Liam Bellamy, 60), James Rogers, Nathan Elder, Barry Cogan, Tom Murphy.
Subs not used: Elliot Charles, Richard Orlu, Michael Kamara, Lee Hook.
brakes: Tony Breeden, James Mace, Stephan Morley, Joe Magunda, Liam Daly, Josh Green, Matt Dodd (Will Green, 87), Craig Owen (Ricky Johnson, 84), Stefan Moore, Josh Hawker, Kieron Morris (Lee Moore, 80).Subs not used: Luke Bottomer, Lewis Fenney.