Three second half goals saw Whites’ win all three points in the Boxing Day Kent derby – though Andy Hessenthaler’s made the worst possible start.
A poor backpass on seven minutes let in Jake Robinson to hand Stones the lead, but Whites rallied with goals from Mitch Brundle, Bedsente Gomis and Inih Effiong in front of Athletic’s biggest crowd of the season.
Earlier, Effiong fired goalwards from Anthony Jeffrey’s cross, but the striker saw his effort blocked by the away defence.
It was the Stones who took the lead in bizarre fashion.
An underhit back pass from Stuart Lewis was seized upon by Robinson, who toe poked the ball past Mitch Walker, injuring himself after colliding with Dover’s stopper.
The visitors then almost doubled their lead through Robinson’s replacement Elliott Romain, who fired a 25-yarder fizzed narrowly past the post.
Ross Worner then denied Whites with a spectacular save.
The keeper, on loan from Sutton United, was at full stretch to tip away Bobby-Joe Taylor’s accurate free-kick.
With half-time looming, Romain flicked a Stones corner wide of the far post and seconds later, Jeffrey sprinted clear of the visiting defence, only to blast his shot wide of the mark.
Seconds before the break another defensive lapse by Dover almost handed the away side a second of the afternoon.
Romain picked the ball off Kevin Lokko in the area, but lacked any composure to trouble Walker.
Following the restart, Sean Shields was unable to beat Walker from an angle and a corner at the other end saw Athletic restore parity on 58 minutes.
Captain Brundle headed Taylor’s set piece across Worner and into the back of the net for his fifth league goal of the campaign.
The game was almost turned on it’s head when both Jai Reason and sub Alfie Pavey forced Worner into a successive blocks.
And the Stones stopper was at it again from another corner, this time stooping low to tip away Effiong’s firm header.
But Worner was powerless to stop Andy Hessenthaler’s going ahead on 75 minutes.
Reason’s lofted ball into the box was met perfectly by Gomis at the far post much to the delight of the 1,600 home fans in attendance.
And Whites’ supporters were cheering once again five minutes later.
With Harry Wheeler’s side pushing forward, Effiong sprinted onto Brundle’s through ball and placed the ball out of Worner’s reach for his eighth of the season.
Dover’s chances of a league win against Maidstone at the third attempt was handed a boost by Rob Swaine’s dismissal on 84 minutes.
The defender was shown a straight red card for a nasty tackle on Lewis by the corner flag.
Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made one change to the side that started at Barnet on Saturday with Reason replacing Jamie Allen.
Whites next host Leyton Orient in the National League on Saturday 29th December, kick off 3pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
|Date||Time||League||Season||Full Time||Attendance||Man of the Match|
|26th December 2018||3:00 pm||National League||2018-2019||90'||1,937||Mitch Brundle|
|Crabble Athletic Ground|
|40 Crabble Rd, Dover, Kent CT17 0QJ, UK|
|Referee||Referee's Assistants||Fourth Official|
|Josh Smith||Christoper Myatt|