DOVER suffered their second consecutive National League defeat on the road after losing 2-0 at table-topping Lincoln City on Friday night.
Tyrone Sterling’s early own goal and Terry Hawkridge’s second-half strike secured the three points for the Imps at Sincil Bank.
Lincoln increased their lead at the top to five points with the win while Whites stayed fifth ahead of Saturday’s fixtures.
Dover goalkeeper Steve Arnold had not even touched the ball before he was beaten in the ninth minute.
Sam Habergham’s cross was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Sterling to give the Imps, beaten 2-0 at Drabble in September, a dream start.
And Habergham, Lincoln’s left-back was at it again soon after – his dangerous cross cannoned into Richard Orlu and behind for a corner.
Arnold made his first save of the night in the 20th minute, going low to deny Hawkridge.
Dover’s first attempt on goal saw Lincoln keeper Paul Farman easily gather Sam Magri’s effort from range.
The hosts replied with Matt Rhead heading a Hawkridge corner wide before Nathan Arnold fired well over his Dover namesake’s goal.
Ricky Miller had a free-kick charged down before Jamie Grimes headed another Miller free-kick wide.
Back at the other end of the pitch, Luke Waterfall’s header from a corner hit former White Sean Raggett before Arnold saved on the line.
Miller, the league’s leading goalscorer with 25 to his name, then saw his shot saved at the second attempt by Farman just before half-time.
While Dover threatened at the end of the opening half, it was Lincoln who did at the start of the second.
Reading loanee Sean Long hit the bar with Arnold beaten with a cross-cum-shot seconds after the restart before Adam Marriot turned half-time substitute Theo Robinson’s cross wide from close range.
Joe Healy came on to replace James Hurst in midfield 10 minutes into the half as boss Chris Kinnear made his first change.
Dover went close to getting back on level terms when Miller’s 30-yard free-kick hit the post with Farman beaten.
Some nice work by Aswad Thomas ended with Moses Emmanuel seeing his shot deflected wide.
Healy’s corner was turned goalwards by Thomas before being cleared off the line.
Hawkridge finally ended Dover’s hopes of getting back on level terms when he found some space and fired home low past Arnold.
The final piece of action on the night saw Connor Essam seeing his shot saved by Farman with almost the last kick of the game.
Earlier, Kinnear made one change to his starting side from the 2-1 loss at Macclesfield last time out, with Eastleigh loanee Essam replacing Ricky Modeste.