Dover earned a creditable point with a battling performance at Meadow Lane on Saturday.
Andy Hessenthaler’s men, well marshalled by man-of-the-match Oscar Gobern in defensive midfield, restricted their opponents to few chances and almost snatched the win late on when Ade Yusuff saw a shot blocked.
But the visitors almost left Nottinghamshire pointless when Enzio Boldewijn smacked a free-kick against the base of the post eight minutes into injury-time.
Earlier, Will De Havilland’s miscontrol in the penalty area almost let in Kyle Wootton, but the forward lobbed harmlessly over
Strike partner Wes Thomas then had a good chance as he slotted Boldewijn’s ball wide of the mark.
County’s best chance in the match so far came just before the break when visiting keeper Lee Worgan saved Boldewijn’s low drive with his leg, before recovering well to clutch onto the rebound from Thomas.
Following the restart, Shadrach Ogie, signed on loan from Leyton Orient the day prior to the match, curled just wide with his weaker right foot after cutting inside.
Worgan was then called into action to rescue his side.
Striker Thomas sprinted clear, but Dover’s stopper stood up well and turned his shot away.
After robbing Alex Lacey, Effiong ran towards goal before laying the ball on for Bobby-Joe Taylor, only for the midfielder to volley off target.
Home stopper Sam Slocombe had to be alert to turn Taylor’s free-kick over the bar.
With the clock running down, Wootton rose highest to meet sub Nathan Tyson’s cross, but headed well over.
Athletic almost snatched victory when Michael Woods robbed Danny Rose and passed to Ade Yusuff, but the sub saw his shot blocked.
There was late drama when Boldewijn struck the woodwork, but Whites held on to hold their play-off hopeful rivals to a draw.
Earlier, boss Andy Hessenthaler made two changes to the side that started against Hartlepool, with Rigg and Ogie starting in place of Anthony Jeffrey and Jack Munns.
Whites next host Aldershot Town on Saturday 25th January, kick-off 3 pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
NOTTS COUNTY REACTION