Published: 16:50, 04 December 2021
| Updated: 17:05, 04 December 2021
A messy goal from a corner with six minutes left saw Dover beaten at home by Wrexham.
Defeat was hard on Whites, who weathered first-half pressure from the promotion-chasing visitors before having a right good go after the break.
Wrexham survived and missed a couple of big chances before scoring from a Jordan Davies corner with time running out.
The visitors made most of the running in a goalless first half but Dover stuck to their task, defending well, working hard and making life difficult.
Seth Nana Twumasi was outstanding on his return from injury in central defence alongside big Jake Goodman as Whites defended a number of crosses and long throws.
There were a couple of decent chances for the visitors, making their longest trip of the season, including an early opening for Aaron Hayden who volleyed a cross tamely into the arms of Josh Bexon when well-placed to score.
Bryce Hosannah, largely kept quiet by on-loan Millwall man Junior Tiensia, clipped the post from a tight angle while Ryan Hanson headed off the line before half-time, after Bexon had pushed Paul Mullin’s cross over for a corner.
The half was mainly about keeping Wrexham at bay but Dover, who saw Ben Williamson’s shot blocked around the quarter-hour mark, enjoyed a couple of nice spells of possession in the final third, albeit without an end product.
Whites also saw a penalty appeal turned down when TJ Bramble went down under challenge from Wrexham captain Luke Young after breaking into the box.
Aaron Cosgrave’s trickery won a couple of corners as Dover started the second half on the front foot, while on-loan striker Alfie Pavey’s thumping header hit the bar just as the linesman’s flag went up for offside.
Whites struck the woodwork twice more in a matter of minutes, first in a goalmouth scramble from Sam Wood’s corner and again when Goodman met a free-kick from the right, with Hessenthaler’s side transformed as an attacking force.
It had been all Dover but a huge chance fell to the visitors just past the hour but Hayden managed to scoop the ball over from a couple of yards out following a corner.
The introduction of Jordan Ponticelli in a change of shape saw Wrexham grow into the half and they had another good chance when Bexon palmed a corner straight to Harry Lennon but the big man was taken by surprise and couldn’t finish.
They were in again when Davies squared to Reece Hall-Johnson in the six-yard box but the full-back fired over under pressure from Wood.
Wrexham finally took the lead in the 84th minute. It was cruel on Dover, and a soft goal to concede as a low corner from Davies found its way in, with the taker claiming the goal.
Bexon made a fine save from Jake Hyde as Wrexham threatened a second goal soon after.
Hanson headed wide in added time as Whites went close to an equaliser.
Dover: Bexon, Wood, Bramble, Goodman, Williamson (Caton 80mins), Cosgrave, Twumasi, Woods, Tiensia, Hanson, Pavey. Subs not used: Carney, Arthur, Andre, Moses.
Attendance: 838 (198 away).
Referee: Daniel Middleton.