There were three changes to the City starting line-up for this Vanarama Conference match at Dover Athletic with Tom Miller, Ben Tomlinson and Delano Sam-Yorke all returning. They replaced Charlee Adams, recalled by Birmingham City in midweek, Marcus Marshall and Jordan Burrow.
City kicked off with Miller partnering Nat Brown in the centre of defence meaning Hamza Bencherif was pushed forward into a central midfield position.
After a scrappy start, Dover took the lead from the first attack of the match; this coming in the seventh minute. Stefan Payne got the better of Brown on the right and with Ricky Modeste up in support he duly picked out his team mate who calmly swept the ball past Paul Farman.
An offside flag robbed Payne of another break forward as the home side pressed for a quick second whilst the Imps' first spell of action saw Alan Power drill an effort wide after good work by Sam-Yorke and Conner Robinson created the chance for the skipper.
At the other end a hopefuly Modeste lob looped over Farman before the ball hit the bar and Tom Murphy hooked out for a goal-kick whilst City's response saw Brown get on the end of a long Farman free-kick only to see his header bounce just wide.
Both sides had half-chances either side of the 20 minute mark with a quick Dover attack ending with Payne curling wide from the edge of the box whilst for the Imps, Robinson got in a low effort which forced keeper Andrew Rafferty to go down to his right.
An end-to-end half continued with Tomlinson having a snap-shot held by Rafferty before a spectacular overhead kick from Connor Essam was superbly tipped over by Farman who dealt with the resultant corner.
City's heads hadn't dropped following the early blow though and deservedly levelled nine minutes before the break. DELANO SAM-YORKE was the scorer with the striker holding off and getting the better of his marker before beating Rafferty at his near post.
Three minutes later a foul on Robinson earned Sean Raggett a yellow card and when ALAN POWER curled in a deep free-kick, Rafferty dropped the ball before it nestled in the bottom corner of the net.
The double salvo seemed to knock the stuffing out of the home side whose frustrations saw Raggett appear to stamp on Tomlinson. Referee Rob Whitton spoke to both players but no punishment was handed out.
The half ended following an additional two minutes of play.
HT: DOVER 1 IMPS 2
Both teams emerged unchanged for the start of the second half with City restarting proceedings.
Five minutes into the second period Caprice won a corner for City but Power's delivery went out before coming back in; at the other end a Nick Deverdics free-kick caused problems before Bencherif hacked off the line. City attacked at pace following this scare but the final touch saw Robinson head Caprice's cross wide of the target.
In the 55th minute Payne headed over after he was picked out by a Modeste cross whilst at the other end an offside flag denied Tomlinson after Nolan. Murphy then fired well wide following a long ball over the top of the City defence.
Shortly before the hour mark Sam-Yorke was flattened by Sean Francis but Power could only curl the free-kick over the bar. Five minutes later Sam-Yorke held off his marker before curling an effort just wide on the turn.
At the other end Farman got down to push away a Murphy effort before Caprice cleared for a corner whilst shortly afterwards Tomlinson had a great chance to extend the advantage after Power and Nolan opened up the home defence but his final touch saw him fire against the woodwork.
Another swift break ended with Jordan Cranston drill a right-footed effort wide before Sam-Yorke got in a dipping volley which went just the wrong side of the same upright.
Dover made a double change in the 77th minute with Adam Mekki and James Poole replacing Modeste and Payne whilst two minutes later the advancing Caprice tested Rafferty with a 20-yard drive.
With seven minutes on the clock Barry Cogan replaced Chris Kinnear for the hosts and after Power cleared a corner with a near post header the skipper was booked for a mistimed challenge on the substitute. The resultant free-kick was tipped behind by Farman who then claimed a Raggett header from the corner.
Marshall's first taste of the action saw him pick up a booking for a trip on Deverdics before John Marsden came on for Jon Nolan.
Marsden was involved in a move in the first of four additional minutes which ended up seeing Sam-Yorke win a corner before the substitute won a throw-in following a quick break which saw a few more seconds ebb away.
FT: DOVER 1 IMPS 2
9 Jordan BURROW
10 John MARSDEN (for NOLAN 89)
18 Kegan EVERINGTON
22 Marcus MARSHALL (for ROBINSON 86)
30 Aidan GRANT
GOALS: SAM-YORKE (36), POWER (40)
BOOKINGS: POWER (85), MARSHALL (88)