Whites started the New Year with a disappointing defeat at promotion-chasing Bromley on the opening day of 2020.
Frankie Raymond’s penalty on the stroke of half-time and further strikes from Josh Rees and Michael Cheek saw Andy Hessenthaler’s men lose a third match of the campaign on the road.
The 3-0 score was an exact reversal of Dover’s win at Crabble on Boxing Day against Neil Smith’s team.
Earlier, Dover players cried out for an early penalty for a handball against Sam Wood, but referee Carl Brook waved away their protests.
However Athletic should have been ahead moments later when Inih Effiong was found in space in the penalty area.
Earlier, Dover’s top scorer Inih Effiong collected Bobby-Joe Taylor’s pinpoint cross, but curled the ball around the wrong side of home keeper Ryan Huddart’s goal.
Cheek connected with Chris Bush’s long throw-in, only to direct his header straight at visiting keeper Yusuf Mersin.
Wood’s slip let in Ricky Modeste out wide, but the winger’s cross into the area was just behind Effiong.
Dave Winfield blasted Luke Coulson’s ball goalwards, only for the ball to strike a Bromley teammate a fly over the crossbar.
At the other end, Whites went closest to opening the scoring.
Nassim L’Ghoul headed Jack Munns’ set piece high towards goal, with the bouncing off the top of the bar and bouncing behind for a goalkick.
With Ravens centre-back Winfield forced off with injury, Jai Reason sent a teasing cross into the penalty area, a cross that Rees nearly flicked into his own net.
Rees was almost scoring at the right end just before the break. Spinning his man and shooting into the side netting via a deflection.
However, there was still time for the hosts to take the lead from the penalty spot.
Following Effiong’s push on Joe Kizzi in the area, Raymond fired past the outstretched arms of Mersin to give Bromley the lead.
Following the restart, Taylor’s wicked cross almost caught out Huddart with the giant Bromley stopping the ball from flying into the top corner.
That save proved crucial as the home team doubled their lead.
A swift counter-attack ended with Rees slotting the ball past Mersin and the midfielder almost added to his tally moments later as Dover’s keeper dived low to keep out the attacking midfielder’s 25-yarder.
With the away side seemingly shell-shocked, Billy Bingham sent a effort from the edge of the box over.
The home team were off target again when Rees volleyed into the ground and narrowly above the bar.
With Dover looking to halve the deficit, Taylor’s deep cross bounced off Modeste and into the arms of Huddart.
Will De Havilland stayed forward from a foraying run and headed Taylor’s centre wide.
Rees blazed over sub Reeco Hackett-Fairchild’s pass over, however, the Ravens didn’t have long to wait before sealing their win.
Cheek latched onto Wood’s ball over the top and placed the ball past Mersin to confirm the home side’s win.
Jeffrey fired a late effort at Huddart, but it was too little too late as Whites started the New Year with a loss to drops them two places in the table to 13th..Earlier, boss Hessenthaler named the same side that started at Ebbsfleet on Saturday, with Oscar Gobern named as a substitute following an injury.
Whites next host Hartlepool United on Saturday 11th January, kick-off 3 pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION