DOVER A.F.C. - SEASON 1888-89 - No league
(Details not traced)
(1) Match lost - result not reported.
(2) Canterbury's equaliser was a "disputed goal".
Dover Express reports a 1-0 win for Dover, and the
Kentish Gazette reports a 1-1 draw.
Home matches were played on the Dover Cricket Ground, at
It seems to be generally reckoned that the first
Dover Football Club was formed in 1891, but my research has now discovered a club in existence in 1888-89. There was a rugby
club already established by then - Dover Avenue F.C.; their headquarters was in The Avenue pub in Snargate Street (now The
Arlington), and they played in Oxford and Cambridge stripes. Their ground was the Pier Recreation Ground.
The first Dover Association Football Club came into being in
October 1888, and the first match was against the Royal Irish at the Dover Cricket Ground (Barton Farm Meadow). The soldiers
won the match, but the score was not reported. Apparently there was a good attendance, and everyone enjoyed themselves. The
Cricket Ground was built on in the mid-1890s, and Millais Road and Leighton Road are now on the site.
The next match that was reported in the Dover Express was against
Canterbury; MacLean put us ahead in the first half, but Canterbury scored a disputed goal in the second half. The Canterbury
paper, the Kentish Gazette, reported a 1-1 draw, while the Dover Express reported a 1-0 win for Dover! Dover claimed the ball
had gone out of play before Canterbury scored, and the umpire didn't appear to have made a decision either way. I don't suppose
the result mattered that much, apart from pride, of course, but the Gazette reported that, "Dover was the only club that they
had not played a pleasant match with". It seems that Dover were intent on winning, almost at all costs!