A PENALTY from Reece Grant 12 minutes from time saw Whites slip to last place on the National League ladder in their bottom-of-the-table clash in Essex on Saturday.
Grant slotted down the middle of the goal after Mitch Walker had upended Lyle Della-Verde in the penalty area, leaving Andy Hessenthaler’s men six points from safety.
Kevin Lokko had headed Athletic back on level terms 11 minutes earlier to cancel out Justin Amaluzar’s 13th-minute opener for Town.
Whites almost made the ideal start, however, Inih Effiong was unable to convert Bobby-Joe Taylor’s pinpoint cross.
Instead, it was the hosts who went ahead with their first shot on target.
A corner from the right was met by Amaluzar, with the ball finding the bottom corner via a deflection.
Connor Essam tried to level but was unable to beat home keeper Ashley Jones with his downward header.
And the score was almost doubled when Grant pounced on hesitation by Josh Passley, but his angled drive was pushed behind by Walker.
Following the restart, Virgil Gomis wasted a good chance for the home side, blasting over from the edge of the area from a quick throw-in.
Another corner from Town almost snuck into the bottom corner of Walker’s goal, but a combination of Dover’s goalkeeper and Stuart Lewis were able to clear the danger.
Amaluzar went close to grabbing his second of the afternoon, tricking his way into the area and sliding wide of the mark. At the other end, Effiong sent a shot whizzing just over the crossbar.
And it was Dover’s new signing, introduced from the bench just moments earlier, who conjured up the equaliser.
Signed from Chelmsford the day before, Jai Reason crossed with his first touch for Lokko to power a header into the far bottom corner of Jones’ net.
But Whites’ lead only lasted for ten minutes after a penalty was awarded to the home team after A race to the ball ended with Walker fouling Della Verde in the penalty area.
Grant duly converted from 12 yards, but Dover were able to muster one more chance.
Effiong turned and fired goalwards with time running out, but his effort was straight into the clutches of Jones.
Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made one change to the side that started last week’s FA Cup win against Concord Rangers. Taylor started in place of the injured Jamie Allen.
Whites next host Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday 30th October, kick-off 7:45 pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION