Dover Athletic hit by striker blow ahead of Posh clash as first round goal hero Sotiriou recalled by Leyton Orient

Dover Athletic have been hit by the news that they have lost the services of striker Ruel Sotiriou ahead of Sunday's FA Cup second round clash against Peterborough United.

Thursday, 28th November 2019, 12:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th November 2019, 12:17 pm
Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler

Sotiriou scored the Whites' winner in their 1-0 first round win over Southend United, but the 19-year-old has been recalled by parent club Leyton Orient on the conclusion of his one-month loan on the south coast.

The decision by the Os is a big blow for Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler, with the player having netted three goals in his three games for the Kent club, and he confirmed he had tried to extend the loan further.

“Ruel has been fantastic is his short time with us and we really tried to keep him, but it wasn’t to be," said the Dover boss.

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“We are very grateful to Leyton Orient for letting us have him in the first place and we’d certainly have him back if the opportunity presented itself.

“I’d like to thank Ruel for everything he’s done for us and wish him all the very best for the future.”

Sotiriou was one of the few shining lights for Dover in their 4-3 home defeat to Maidenhead, scoring twice, but it was a performance that left Hessenthaler fuming.

And he has warned his players that their places in the team to London Road are up for grabs, admitting that if his team's defending is as 'embarrassing' as it was in midweek, they could be in for a long afternoon on Sunday.

"That was rubbish, simple as that," said Hessenhtaler after the National League defeat.

"I don't think anybody saw that coming after the performance at the weekend, and that is probably where there is a problem, in that we told them they were good.

"It was unacceptable, and we can't just turn up and think we are going to beat teams."

And he added: "We looked like novices at the back, nobody sensed danger and we got bullied.

"We are not going to win matches if you defend the way we did, at times it was embarrassing and we have things to think about.

"It certainly makes things harder for the team selection at the weekend.

"We have a free hit on Sunday so it is a good game to be involved in, it's the second round of the FA Cup and the players should be excited by it.

"That's why I was disappointed on Tuesday, because nobody has got the right to wear that white shirt on Sunday yet, they have to keep performing.

"There are a lot of them haven't done themselves any favours if they think they will be getting on the teamsheet on Sunday.

"Any one of those players on Tuesday, if they don't start on Sunday then they will disappointed, but they have to understand you can't have one bad game with this group of players, as we have so much competition for places.

"We should be going into the game against Peterborough confident, and looking forward to it, and being excited about it.

"Now it's about putting Tuesday behind us, because we have a game to prepare for and if we turn up and defend like that as a group of players against Peterborough then it could be a tough Sunday for us."