A WONDERFUL solo goal from Anthony Jeffrey saw Dover maintain their winning start to 2019.
With three minutes of normal time remaining, the substitute picked the ball up out wide and after cutting inside, fired an unstoppable shot out of reach of home keeper Rob Lainton.
The victory for Andy Hessenthaler’s side saw Whites’ continue their unbeaten run at the Racecourse Ground, which now extends to five matches in Wales.
Earlier, Paul Rutherford shot from 20 yards early on but fired wide of the mark.
Bobby Grant then tried from ten yards further out, but his low drive flew wide of visiting keeper Mitch Walker’s post.
Rutherford then found himself with a clear sight of goal but was denied a shooting opportunity by Kevin Lokko’s recovery tackle.
Following the restart, Luke Summerfield headed over when well placed following good work out wide by Wrexham.
Substitute Ben Tollitt then fired goalwards for the Welsh side, however, Walker dived onto his bouncing shot.
Tranmere loanee Tollitt continued to be the dangerman and set up Summerfield to shoot goalwards, but Walker beat away the winger’s effort.
Akil Wright smashed a ball across the Dover penalty area, but no player in a red shirt was on the substitute’s wavelength as the ball rolled harmlessly out for a throw-in.
Walker was then called into action to deny the hosts their best chance of the match.
Athletic’s keeper saved from Wright after the midfielder burst through on goal, with Scott Doe on hand to clear any oncoming danger from the rebound.
And that save proved crucial as Jeffrey won it with his late scorcher.
Earlier, boss Andy Hessenthaler made one change to the side that beat Maidstone on New Year’s Day with Jamie Allen in to replace Bedsente Gomis.
Whites next travel to Havant & Waterlooville on Tuesday 8th January 2018 in their Buildbase Trophy first round replay, kick off 7:45 pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
WHITES continued their unbeaten run against Wrexham with a goalless draw at the Racecourse ground on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams led the way in the National League goals conceded column prior to kick off and that trend continued in a match of few opportunities.
The first chance of note fell to George Miller, but the Middlesbrough loanee sliced horribly wide after Connor Essam misjudged a long ball.
Minutes late, home keeper Chris Dunn was at full stretch to turn away Nortei Nortey’s speculative twenty-yard effort.
Dragons fans celebrations were cut short as Scott Boden was unable to connect to Miller’s dangerous cross.
And Miller almost gave the Welsh side the lead on the stroke of half-time with a header, only for Femi Ilesanmi to flick the ball away for a corner before the striker could make contact with the ball.
The resulting set piece saw a clash of heads between Essam and Manny Parry, leaving both defenders sprawled on the floor needing treatment after the referee signalled for half-time.
Both players eventually made their way down the tunnel to join the manager’s teamtalk, but only Parry returned for the restart with Essam unable to continue. Loui Fazakerley came on to take the place of Dover’s sweeper.
Both Gallifuoco and Shaun Pearson flashed headers wide at the break, with Marcus Kelly curling a free-kick straight into the arms of Mitch Walker shortly afterwards.
And Dover’s stopper was then called into action as Wrexham fashioned their best chance of the match.
James Jennings’ pinpoint cross was directed goalwards by Miller, but his header lacked the power to truly test Walker, who comfortably dived onto the ball.
Athletic’s number one was far more concerned by Jennings’ drive, flinging himself across his goalline as the fullback fizzed a twenty-yard shot narrowly wide.
The home side fashioned one more chance late on, but Walker was well placed to hold onto Paul Rutherford’s volley after Kevin Roberts’ attempted shot cannoned towards the midfielder.
Earlier, boss Kinnear made one change to the side that beat Eastbourne in the FA Trophy last week. Josh Passley returned in place of Ejiro Okosieme, who is injured.
The point sees Athletic rise one place to third in the table, three points behind current leaders Macclesfield Town.
Dover next host Maidstone on Tuesday 26th December. Kick off 3 pm.
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION
DOVER earned a point in the National League season opener against Wrexham – it could have easily been three.
Boss Chris Kinnear’s side created most of the chances only to be denied by the woodwork, a stunning goal-line clearance and some top-class goalkeeping.
The result remains Dover remain unbeaten against Wrexham, winning three while drawing two.
But it was not through a lack of trying that Whites tried to win their first opening day fixture since joining the top-flight after losing at Barrow last season and at home against FC Halifax Town the previous campaign.
Summer signing Jim Stevenson almost marked his Whites debut with a goal after his 73rd-minute shot crashed into the crossbar.
Tyrone Marsh had earlier seen his goal-bound shot headed off the line while Wrexham goalkeeper Chris Dunn had to be at his best to deny Ricky Miller and Ricky Modeste.
After a quiet opening by both sides, Miller created Dover’s first opportunity, with the striker seeing his shot easily saved by Dunn, one of nine players making their Wrexham debuts, in the 19th minute.
Dunn then produced a stunning double save to keep out Modeste’s shot and Miller’s effort from the rebound.
Wrexham did put the ball in the net just before half-time, but Shaun Harrad’s headed goal was ruled off-side.
Just seconds later, Dover almost scored as Marsh could only watch in disbelief as his shot was headed off the line in spectacular fashion by Reds captain Sean Newton with Dunn well beaten.
The second half started with Dover continuing to ask the questions and Dunn safely gathered another Modeste, who had scored on his previous two trips to North Wales, shot 10 minutes in.
Jack Parkinson’s long-range effort flew over seconds later before Whites debutant goalkeeper Steve Arnold dived low to keep out Wrexham substitute Michael Bakare’s shot in a rare bit of action for him.
Whites continued to press for a winner after Stevenson went close and Richard Orlu tried his luck from distance, but his volley flew high and wide.
Miller almost won it at the death when it needed a finger-tip save from the impressive Dunn to turn his shot away for a corner.