DOVER missed climbing into the play-off places after being held to a 1-1 draw by Maidstone United in the Kent derby at Crabble on Boxing Day.
Ricky Miller had put Whites ahead from the penalty spot in the opening half with his 25th National League goal of the season before Jamar Liza equalised for Stones in the second half.
The point keeps Dover sixth, one point out of the play-offs and they would have been in them after three of the five clubs above boss Chris Kinnear’s side lost.
Dover started brightly and Aswad Thomas volleyed just over shortly after kick-off before Ross Lafayette saw a goal bound header deflected wide.
Steve Arnold’s first piece of action saw him deny Yemi Odubade before Whites took the lead in the 16th minute.
Miller went down after a challenge from Tom Mills and got up to send Maidstone keeper Lee Worgan the wrong way.
Moses Emmanuel curled an angled effort just wide before Maidstone replied with Kevin Lokko going close with a header and Arnold produced a stunning save to turn over Loza’s shot.
At the other end, Miller was denied by Jamie Coyle’s brave block following a one- two with Lafayette. He then skewed wide Thomas’ pass from inside the box.
Alex Flisher should have levelled matters just before the interval, but blasted Vas Karagiannis’ free kick well over the bar from close range.
Lokko was almost left red faced after his lapse in concentration let in Lafayette, but Worgan intercepted the ball ahead of the target man.
After the break, Arnold was the busier of the goalkeepers, saving from Karagiannis, Flisher and Loza.
Loza was not to be denied though, his stunning lob from out wide in the 60th minute flew over Arnold and into the goal off the post.
Miller almost won the game at with a deflected shot that spun just wide before Lafayette’s free kick at the death flew just wide.
Earlier, Kinnear named the same starting side from the 1-1 draw at Forest Green Rovers.
The only changes came on the bench where Sammy Moore and Jim Stevenson replaced Mitch Walker and Joe Healy.
Moore had missed the past four games with a hamstring injury while Stevenson had been ill on the trip to The New Lawn.
Dover and Maidstone meet again at he Gallagher Stadium on New Year’s Day at 6pm.
Dover: Arnold, Magri, Thomas, Grimes, Orlu, Sterling, Modeste, Parkinson (Stevenson 75mins), Miller, Lafayette, Emmanuel (Moore 79mins). Subs not used: Pinnock, Kinnear, Marsh
Maidstone: Worgan, Driver, Mills, Coyle, Lokko, Rogers, Karagiannis (Taylor 81mins), Paxman, Loza, Odubade (N’Guessan 83mins), Flisher. Subs not used: Evans, Acheampong, Greenhalgh
Attendance: 2,369 (509 from Maidstone)