But what, initially at least, did come as a shock was the size of the crowd.
Sure, attendances have been on the slide for some time now.
But not since the club's reformation has there been a lower attendance for a league game at the Swansway Chester Stadium.
Just 1,182 supporters watched on as the Blues slipped to a defeat that edged them closer to relegation.
That broke the previous low of 1,392 that attended the 3-0 home win over North Ferriby United on a freezing cold night in November 2016.
Chester FC's lowest league crowds since reforming
|2017/18: Dover Athletic, Tuesday, March 6||1,182|
|2016/17: North Ferriby United, Tuesday, November 29||1,392|
|2015/16: Aldershot Town, Tuesday, March 8||1,425|
|2014/15: Lincoln City, Tuesday, January 27||1,569|
|2013/14: Tamworth, Tuesday, March 25||1,731|
|2012/13: Harrogate Town, Wednesday, December 19||1,803|
|2011/12: Kendal Town, Wednesday, September 14||2,029|
|2010/11: AFC Fylde, Wednesday, January 12||1,740|
There were mitigating circumstances.
Dover, despite their high placing in the National League, are hardly the most attractive of opposition and, given they had to make a 10-hour journey on a weeknight, they were able to bring only 17 hardy fans of their own.
That Chester supporters in their hundreds will be forking out their hard-earned for tickets for Sunday's cross-border derby at Wrexham will also have had an impact.
But there is no getting away from the fact that the club's wretched record at the Deva, stretching back 15 long months, is the biggest reason for the alarming drop in crowds.
Since the start of 2017, the Blues have lost 19 of their 28 league games at home, winning just four.
Little wonder supporters are staying away.
Those that did stay away last night will have missed, up until Dover's opening goal, another improved performance from a young, inexpensively assembled side that, against the backdrop of off-the-field uncertainty, are showing plenty of fight. They are not to blame for the club's plight.
But defeats to teams like Dover will do nothing to bring the fans back.
That's not to sound arrogant. Chester have neither the resources or the divine right to be at the top end of the National League.
But it's all relative and seeing the Blues surpassed by clubs like Dover, Sutton United, Boreham Wood, AFC Fylde and Ebbsfleet United is hard to take.
The passion for Chester FC remains strong. That has been underlined in recent months by the fantastic fundraising efforts to keep the club going until the summer and beyond.
Securing the club's long-term financial future is the most important issue at hand. However, with gate income essential to that, building a team that can win at home is paramount. It's been too long since supporters have had one of those.