Nine-man Dover bravely held on for a point against Kent rivals Bromley at Crabble on Saturday.
Kevin Lokko headed Andy Hessenthaler’s men ahead in the first half, before Adam Mekki restored parity nine minutes later.
Both Lokko and Bedsente Gomis were both sent off just after the hour mark following a fracas in the Bromley penalty area, though Athletic held until the final whistle, including ten minutes of injury time, to stay unbeaten in the National League in 2019.
Earlier, Inih Effiong evaded the offside trap from Gomis’ lofted pass, only for David Gregory to palm the striker’s curling effort into the air with defender Marc-Anthony Okoye on hand the clear before the ball could bounce over the line.
The visiting keeper was then called into action twice in quick succession, firstly pushing Joshua Debayo’s shot after the left-back’s burst into the box, then patting down Jai Reason’s 25-yarder.
Bromley were then centimetres from taking the lead.
George Porter collected Frankie Sutherland’s through ball and smacked the inside of the post from the edge of the box.
Gregory spilled Nortei Nortey’s drilled effort, however was able to clasp onto the loose ball before the onrushing Jamie Allen could score.
But Whites were ahead on 30 minutes thanks to Lokko’s fifth goal of the season.
The defender, who was yet to score since Dover’s 2-0 home win against Maidenhead in November, powerfully headed in Mitch Brundle’s accurate free-kick.
But the away side were level just nine minutes later with a goal from a former Dover player.
Frankie Raymond’s free-kick found it’s way to Mekki via the glove of Mitch Walker and the winger volleyed home.
Gregory grabbed Effiong’s low shot and following the restart, penalty cries for a handball against Dover after Stuart Lewis’ sliced clearance were waved away by the referee.
It was Athletic’s turn to strike the woodwork next.
Lokko headed a deep corner towards Effiong, but the striker’s thunderous shot struck the underside of the crossbar and down onto the goalline.
The game then changed when Dover were reduced to nine men.
Following a fracas in the Bromley penalty, including Jack Holland going to ground following an off the ball incident, both Gomis and Lokko were given their marching orders.
Mekki almost made the two-man advantage count, thrashing across the face of goal and then was unable to make any contact on sub Omar Bugiel’s cross.
And Bromley’s scorer then contrived to miss twice more, firstly seeing his close range shot blocked by Mitch Brundle on the line before blazing over the rebound.
Walker came to the rescue as the clock moved into ten minutes of injury time, tipping away Richard Brindley’s low drive.
However Athletic resolutely held on to make it five league matches undefeated.
Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made four changes from the home defeat to Harrogate Town in the FA Trophy last week. Scott Doe returned after being cup-tied, while Gomis, Lokko and Jai Reason also started. Alfie Pavey, Moussa Diarra and Anthony Jeffrey began as substitutes.
Whites next travel to Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday 26th January in the National League, kick off 3pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
|Date||Time||League||Season||Full Time||Attendance||Man of the Match|
|19th January 2019||3:00 pm||National League||2018-2019||90'||1,216||Mitch Walker|
|Crabble Athletic Ground|
|40 Crabble Rd, Dover, Kent CT17 0QJ, UK|
|Referee||Referee's Assistants||Fourth Official|
|Adrian Quelch||Damith Bandara|