Boss Chris Kinnear claims Dover lost Tuesday's game to Boreham Wood and top-spot in the National League for 'mental reasons.'
The 1-0 defeat at a windswept Crabble meant Whites have taken just five points from as many home games in the division - though their superb away record had taken them top leading up to the game.
Dover were frustrated by the visitors for long spells, unable to find a way through a well-drilled Wood defence and with no real plan B.
Chris Kinnear. Picture: Gary Browne.
It was not until Mitch Pinnock's superb curling free-kick two minutes from time was superbly tipped over by a flying Grant Smith that the visiting keeper had a save to make.
The difference in the end was Blair Turgott's goal just before half-time, which came after Connor Essam had failed to clear his lines and then saw his attempted clearance hit the ex-Bromley striker who strode through to beat Mitch Walker at the second attempt.
Kinnear claimed: "I think we probably deserved a draw - I think it was a 0-0 really - but they did a job on us.
"That's going to happen. The lads are going to have to learn that if you're top of the table people are going to come, pack their defence and try to hit you on the break.
"One bad defensive mistake and it's 1-0. It made it difficult. It wasn't a great night at all."
He added: "The mental side is probably mostly to do why we didn't win. We're learning.
"It's the first time most of these lads have been top of a league at this level. They have got to learn to cope with it. We're going to play against sides that are going to make sure that Dover don't beat them now (we) have got a bit of credibility."
The lack of chances created from open play remains a cause for concern, particularly at home, where Chester are the visitors on Saturday (3pm).
Kinnear said: "It's always hard playing against struggling sides. They'll probably have a new manager by Saturday and then we have Guiseley after that who have just had a new manager. it's not easy, but we've got to keep a clear head.
"We're going to have to find ways (to break teams down). They played with five and sat in and we couldn't get it wide, they stopped us, they knew that's what we've been doing.
"There a lot of clubs that would love to be in that position. For us it's disappointing but we mustn't get down, and I'm sure the lads won't."