The Crabble Stadium, down in Dover, has a capacity of 5,745. It has always been the home to Dover, with them playing their as Dover United, Dover FC and Dover Athletic. It was initially on the bottom of the hill, before in 1931 they built up the hillside, as the ‘Upper Ground’. This is where the stadium now lies and has played host to teams such as Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.
LAST SEASON’S MEETINGS
Chelmsford City 0-0 Dover Athletic (7th November 2022) – Just over 48 hours after the dramatic 1-1 draw with Barnet, Dover were in Essex for a Monday night fixture. In a game which saw numerous chances, neither side could hit the back of the net as a crowd of 881 witnessed a scoreless draw.
Dover Athletic 0-0 Chelmsford City (18th February 2023) – In mid-February, the Clarets headed down to the Crabble to look to take points from the struggling Dover. However, the game followed a similar fate to the one in Essex, as neither side could find a way through, proving a tough nut to crack for both sides. Once again, they took a clean sheet and a point each.
A FEW CLUB LINKS
Last season, both Reece Grant and Arjanit Krasniqi departed Dover and joined the Clarets. Grant failed to hit the ground running at Dover, but scored 2 goals in his first 2 games at the Clarets. His form dipped, but he was still able to make a move to Hemel Hempstead before the season ended. Krasniqi was a key part in the Clarets’ promotion push as he scored 3 times. At Dover, Arjanit featured in the National League as well as the South when they were relegated. A past link is Peter Taylor. The winger had 2 spells at Chelmsford in the late stages of his career. Then, he took on the job as manager of Conference club Dover Athletic in 1995–96 season and guided them to 20th. This was one of his 24 managerial positions, of which he has been caretaker manager of England, manager of Leicester and now manages Maldon & Tiptree.
Dover have the youngest manager in English football, Mitch Brundle. Formerly, he was a player at Dover, before Andy Hessenthaler departed after 5 years of service. Hessenthaler mutually agreed to leave to become head of recruitment at Gillingham in League 2. Brundle was initially in a caretaker role, before on January 16th, 2023, he was appointed on a permanent basis. This was his second spell at Dover, having played 91 games scoring 12 gaols between 2017-2019. His second spell saw him play 17 times before a change to the dugout.
After being relegated with financial issues, Dover struggled again. Surprisingly, they managed to survive, but by the skin of their teeth. Both Dover and Dulwich finished on 48 points, but Dover had a goal difference of -26, with Dulwich being -28. Surviving just about, the 20th place finish was their worst for 14 years.