Craig Harrison’s side lost out to a first-half goal as Dover Athletic left Victoria Park will all three points this afternoon.
Pools failed to get going in the first half and, despite an improved second-half showing, they failed to find their way back into the game.
It wasn’t the introduction to the National League for Pools who struggled to find their stride in the first forty-five minutes here at The Vic.
Padraig Amond got on the end of a training-ground move from a corner kick to test Mitchell Walker for the first time after ten minutes but the visiting keeper held the shot.
And from the on, it was Dover Athletic who grew in stature in this first half; Jamie Allen in particular enjoying space down the right for the Whites.
Femi Ilensanmi fed the ball up field for Kane Richards who got into the box to send a low shot at Scott Loach but it was easy for the Pools keeper on this occasion.
The increasing Dover pressure paid off just before the half-hour mark as Jamie Allen was given the space inside the box to turn and fire a shot past Loach to make it 1-0.
With Pools still failing to put any real pressure on the opposition, Dover dominated much of the remainder of the half and could well have made it 2-0.
A decent cross in from the right picked out former Pools’ loanee Ryan Bird but fortunately his header went just wide of the far post.
Harrison’s side showed a glimpse of what they had to offer just before the break as Louis Laing sent a freekick long upfield where Padraig Amond held it up and played in Liam Donnelly. The full back in turn fed it into the box for the arriving Jack Munns but he just lost out to the defender and Pools got the corner.
Two changes at half time, and a switch in formation, gave Pools more of a bite in the second half and both Jake Cassidy and Rhys Oates got involved in the early exchanges.
Cassidy won a freekick for his side just over the half-way line; the ball picked out Ryan Donaldson in the box but he skewed his shot, allowing the ball to go into the middle where Oates tried his luck with a header on goal, which went over the bar.
But Pools were given a scare at the other end as a Dover counter attack caught the hosts out; the visitors burst down the right and when Kane Richards picked up the ball inside the box, he had Loach in his sights. The Dover winger sent his shot high over the bar when a second goal looked on.
There were more chances on goal in this second half and Pools were soon back on the attack; Donaldson played a short corner to Oates who thundered a strike right through the area but, even with Amond trying to force it over the line at the far post, somehow Dover kept it out. Any shouts Pools had for handball in the scramble were ignored by the official.
Dover sub Tobi Sho-Silva should have doubled his side’s lead on 70 minutes when he picked up the ball in a great position but he sent his close-range effort wide of Loach’s post.
Pools put together their best move so far on 78 minutes as Ryan Donaldson, Carl Magnay and Padraig Amond all combined to play Conor Newton into the box but his shot on goal was held by Walker in the Dover goal.
With just over 10 minutes to go, Harrison’s side needed to find a breakthrough quickly if they were to get anything from this opening match of the 2017/18 season.
Laing tried to grab a late goal as he fired a shot in from distance but again Walker was there to hold the shot and Pools had to start again in their search for an equaliser.
Ryan Bird went close again for Dover, throwing himself full-stretch to send a header towards goal, meeting a good cross in from Mitch Pinnock, but the header went just wide of the far post.
The four minutes of added time lead to some frantic defending from Dover as Pools threw everything forward, and a strong shout for a penalty waved away after Amond was flattened inside the box.
But Pools’ first outing in the National League ended with a 1-0 defeat, as Dover Athletic took victory.
Full Time: Pools 0 Dover Athletic 1.
Attendance: 3954 (106 Dover Athletic)
Pools: Loach, Magnay, Laing, Harrison, Donnelly, Newton, Woods (Cassidy 46), Hawkins (Deverdics 81), Munns (Oates 46), Donaldson, Amond.
Subs Not Used: Catterick, Richardson.
Dover Athletic: Walker, Passley, Ilesanmi, Gallifuoco, Parry, Essam, Richards (Daniel 82), Brundle, Allen (Sho-Silva 64), Bird, Nortey (Pinnock 80).
Subs Not Used: Essuman, Adebowale.