Challenge for Dover to turn the tide

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The Independent Online
Non-League notebook

RUPERT METCALF

When your side is stranded at the bottom of the table and has lost nine games in a row, a trip to the league leaders is a tough prospect. That is what faces Dover Athletic tomorrow, when they travel to Kidderminster Harriers.

The Kent club made a good start to their GM Vauxhall Conference campaign, winning at Northwich Victoria, but have lost every league match since. Peter Taylor, previously in charge at Southend United, succeeded John Ryan in the manager's office last week and wasted little time in reinforcing his squad. In came Martin Hayes, the former Arsenal and Celtic forward, and Tony Rogers, back from Chelmsford City for his second spell at the club.

"This job is a challenge, but it's not impossible," Taylor said last night. "I've seen good signs since I came here, despite the results. I think we'll have things sorted out within a month."

Dover found no change of fortune in the FA Cup - they were beaten by Bognor Regis in the first qualifying round last month - and there are opportunities for further upsets in tomorrow's third qualifying round. There are seven Conference teams involved and all have home ties, with Telford United, who face Halesowen Town, perhaps the most vulnerable.

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