Development coach Clive conceded the lads weren't at their best as goals in the 81st and 88th minutes ended our unbeaten record in pre-season.
It might have been a different story had efforts from Anthony Gardner and Reto Ziegler not cannoned back off the woodwork and home keeper Darren Smith not fingertipped away Tom Huddlestone's goalbound chip from the edge of the box.
However, Dover were always in it and as Clive explained afterwards, the longer the game went on, there was a feeling that a surprise result might be on the cards.
"We didn't reach the levels that we've set ourselves and I felt we let ourselves down a little on this occasion," said Clive. "The result of all that was a defeat but perhaps that's not a bad thing.
"The lads have spoken about it, they are all very upset and disappointed and it's important they study the negatives.
"A number of times last season we didn't play well but won games. On this occasion, for the first time in a very long time, we didn't feel like we were going to win it.
"There was so much we didn't do that we have been doing and if the lads can identify that as individuals we'll come out stronger.
"We don't like losing so we'll go back to work, analyse the performance over the next few days and I will use it as a positive in terms of learning from it."
Clive Allen was determined to use a rare defeat for our Spurs XI at Dover Athletic in a positive way.