A late double from substitute Alfie Pavey handed Dover a winning start as Andy Hessenthaler’s men came from behind to win their opening match of the National League season.
After Scott Boden had fired the hosts ahead with 18 minutes remaining, Pavey scored a brace of headers to hand Athletic a first ever win against Chesterfield.
Whites were twice thwarted early on by home keeper Shwan Jalal, with Michael Woods and Jack Munns seeing their efforts tipped over the crossbar.
Kevin Lokko then dived towards Bobby-Joe Taylor’s free-kick, but was unable to connect with his head.
Another Taylor set piece caused more problems, but Jalal beat his vicious shot away.
Following the restart, Liam Mandeville’s cross-cum-shot almost caught out visiting stopper Lee Worgan.
Dover’s keeper was then the hero, stooping low to paw away Boden’s drive and then was up quickly to brilliantly deny Mandeville following up from six yards.
Oscar Gobern went close with a 25-yard effort just over the bar, however, it was the home side who went ahead on 72 minutes thanks to their top scorer last season.
Boden turned in the box after receiving Joe Rowley’s pass and coolly slotted past Worgan to open his account for the campaign.
But Dover were behind for only five minutes.
Pavey, who had come on a minute before Boden struck the opener, rose highest to send a bullet header past Jalal from Josh Passley’s cross.
Boden almost grabbed his second, with his header well tipped over by Worgan.
But it was Pavey who sent himself joint-top of the goalscoring charts with seven minutes remaining, firmly heading Taylor’s ball past Jalal.
Athletic held on to win their opening match for the second time in three past seasons.
Earlier, boss Hessenthaler handed four debuts with Steven Rigg, Woods, Gobern and Munns given starts.
Whites next host Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday 6th August, kick off 7:45 pm
DOVER ATHLETIC REACTION