Can Dover Secure An Early BT Sport Survival Boost?

It’s always good getting your hands on a Christmas present nice and early.

Those family members off out of the country swinging by a week or so before the big day offer a tempting reminder of what’s around the corner as they leave something nice under your tree.

For Dover Athletic fans, the biggest gift they received this year actually arrived in October.

They could now be about to get another a few days before Father Christmas is due to pay a visit.

Andy Hessenthaler swapped a promotion tilt with an Eastleigh side who were really coming around to the way he was thinking for a battle at the bottom of the table.

Anybody who didn’t know his history would have wondered why. Not too many people are still asking questions now.

The 53-year-old took over for a second time and straight away made a bold decision. If Dover were to survive against the backdrop of their worst start for many, many years then they had to go full-time.

There was a cost involved, but the risk taking is already paying off.

Having arrived with the team marooned, second from bottom and 11 games without a win this weekend could provide a landmark moment.

The Whites will be out of the bottom four for the first time this season if they win the live lunchtime fixture at Barnet.

The BT Sport game, kick-off 12.35pm on Saturday, could see a major box ticked for the boss.

“We’ve won three of our last four games and it’s given us a great opportunity to rise up the table,” the manager said.

“We have spoken about it as a squad and to get out of the bottom four would give every single person at the football club a lift.

“That’s the positive going into the weekend. We kick off earlier than the others around us so we know the chance is there.

“Now it’s about taking it and if we can get another three points on the board then it would be such a boost to us.”

Hessenthaler knows how to win at the Hive - he has already done it this season!

A 2-1 victory back in August with the Spitfires showed the boss how to do it, but Barnet got the better of his new club by the same scoreline back in September in Kent.

“We know it’s going to be a very difficult game,” added the 53-year-old, who was in charge in his first spell between 2007 and 2010.

“But we also know we’re on a really strong run of form at the moment and that Barnet will be wary of that.

“We know how big the three points on offer are and hopefully we can keep moving in the right direction.”

Where next?

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