Dover 2 Imps 0Jack Muldoon for Harry Anderson was the only change to the City starting line-up for this Vanarama National League match at Dover Athletic.
The hosts kicked off and they had an early half-chance when a ball from the left was squared for Ricky Miller who blazed well over the bar and after a brief spell of City pressure Sammy Moore forced Paul Farman to tip a low effort behind for the game's first corner.
When the ball was curled in from the quadrant, up rose Jamie Grimes and the home skipper headed his side in front with less than four minutes played.
City suffered a further blow a couple of minutes later when Farman and Sean Raggett collided as the pair went for a long ball over the top under pressure from Miller. Although Raggett got back to his feet he was clearly in some trouble and was replaced by Lee Beevers.
A second Dover corner was dealt with by the Imps whilst at the other end Macauley Bonne whipped in a cross which was flicked off Muldoon's head by a covering defender for a City corner which saw Rhead head across goal before the ball was cleared.
As the half approached its midway point there was half a chance for Nathan Arnold after he was set free by Rhead but a heavy touch gave home stopper Steve Arnold the chance to smother at his feet.
Farman claimed a fourth Dover corner in the 25th minute and four minutes later a swift City attack down the left ended with a Sam Habergham cross being deflected for a corner which came to nothing.
A scrappy spell ensued before Moore curled well over for the hosts five minutes before the break. The only further action before the half-time whistle went saw Muldoon hacked down by Moses Emmanuel after Bonne had a shot blocked. The resultant free-kick, taken by Habergham, came to nothing though.
HT: DOVER 1 IMPS 0
Both teams emerged unchanged and the start of the second half followed the pattern set at the end of the first in that play was very bitty with chances at either end at a premium.
This changed 10 minutes after the restart though and when City were hit on the counter-attack, Emmanuel doubled his side's lead with a clinical finish after cutting in from the left.
On the hour mark Rhead was grabbed around the neck and dragged to the floor by Grimes as he went up for a Habergham throw-in. Nothing was given though by referee Rock, much to the annoyance of the City striker who was replaced by Adam Marriott shortly afterwards.
Champion was cautioned for pulling back Miller and Dover's Tyrone Sterling joined him in the book for dissent towards the referee before Mitchell Pinnock replaced Emmanuel for the hosts and Harry Anderson came on for Jack Muldoon for City.
A Grimes header from a Moore free-kick bounced across the City box as the home side searched for a third. City were then briefly down to 10 men as Arnold was forced off the pitch for treatment but play was halted with Champion also grounded and holding his head. Both players returned to the fray.
With eight minutes remaining Bonne had a header saved before Marriott fired a free-kick straight at the Dover wall. City kept pressing forward with a Bonne header deflected wide for a corner but the home defence stood firm.
The only action during four added minutes saw home stopper Arnold pull off an excellent save to tip behind a powerful Bonne drive.
FT: DOVER 2 IMPS 0
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Bradley WOOD
3 Sam HABERGHAM
5 Luke WATERFALL
7 Jack MULDOON
9 Matt RHEAD
25 Sean RAGGETT
26 Tom CHAMPION
28 Nathan ARNOLD
29 Macauley BONNE
30 Alex WOODYARD
8 Alan POWER
10 Adam MARRIOTT (for RHEAD 61)
11 Terry HAWKRIDGE
12 Harry ANDERSON (for MULDOON 70)
18 Lee BEEVERS (for RAGGETT 10)
BOOKING: CHAMPION (62)
18 Steve ARNOLD
2 Sam MAGRI
3 Aswad THOMAS
8 Jim STEVENSON
9 Ricky MILLER
15 Jamie GRIMES
16 Tyrone STERLING
17 Moses EMMANUEL
21 Sammy MOORE
23 Jack PARKINSON
25 Ross LAFAYETTE
4 Chris KINNEAR
5 Ayo OBILEYE
11 Mitchell PINNOCK (for EMMANUEL 69)
12 Loui FAZAKERLEY
19 Ira JACKSON
GOALS: GRIMES (4), EMMANUEL (55)
BOOKING: STERLING (66)
REFEREE: David Rock
ASSISTANTS: Kieran Bailey & Paul Saunders
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Oliver Jackson
ATTENDANCE: 1,209 (150 City supporters)