Two goals in second-half stoppage time consigned us to our first defeat of the season.
Cedwyn Scott had finally broken the deadlock for us, cancelling out James McShane's opener after Matt Palmer slipped when trying to reach Sam Slocombe's pass, presenting him with an easy lob.
On the balance of play it looked like we would go on to win the match but, inside nine added minutes, McShane scooped a shot on to the post and couldn't believe his luck when the ball bounced straight back to him to finish into an open net.
And McShane completed his hat-trick minutes later, arriving first to the loose ball inside the area and applying the simple finish to consign us to our first defeat of the season.
Luke Williams was forced to make one change to the side that defeated Aldershot in midweek, with Richard Brindley - injured in that game - making way for Connell Rawlinson to make his first start of the season.
We came into the game in terrific form but could consider ourselves fortunate to see out the opening two minutes unscathed, with Sam Slocombe called upon to make two saves from shots inside the area – the first from Harry Ottoway and the second from Nicky Wheeler.
Our response came from Ruben Rodrigues, who showed great feet in the area before seeing his shot blocked by a sprawling defender.
Moments later, space opened up for Palmer 25 yards out but he couldn’t get hold of his shot and was unable to trouble the keeper.
Jim O’Brien was next to test Lincoln, firing goalwards with the outside of his boot only to see the keeper dive to his left to push the ball away.
Seconds later, Lincoln was involved again as he made an outstanding low save to keep Macaulay Langstaff’s first-time shot out following more brilliant work from Rodrigues.
It was all us but, out of nowhere, we found ourselves a goal down on 19 minutes when Palmer's footing gave way as he tried to reach Slocombe's pass, allowing McShane an easy lob over the stranded keeper into the empty net.
We took a little while to regather our composure but had our first chance of an equaliser on 29 minutes when Rodrigues won a free-kick in a dangerous position. He could only shoot straight at Lincoln.
Five minutes later, Matt Palmer picked out Kyle Cameron from a wide free-kick but the defender could only glance his header across goal and wide of the far post.
Pressure was mounting on the Dorking defence and we should have had a big chance for the equaliser after Bajrami burst forward into midfield and spotted Scott’s run into the area. The defender overhit his pass, though, and the chance was gone.
Scott didn’t have to wait much longer to be played into the area, though, O’Brien doing the honours a few minutes later, but the forward snatched at his shot and the ball was parried away by Lincoln.
We showed no signs of stopping in our pursuit of a leveller and had another big opportunity on 40 minutes when Slocombe picked out Adam Chicksen in acres of space. Lincoln raced off his line to give the wing back something to think about and saw the ball lobbed over his head. Langstaff raced towards the high-bouncing ball in the area but a defender got there first to make a heroic clearance.
It was beginning to feel like it may go on to be ‘one of those’ days after Lincoln made two more strong saves from Bajrami and Langstaff before the referee called time on a frustrating half.
We resumed our pressure early in the second half and had a big opportunity to equalise within two minutes of the restart when Chicksen’s cross dropped at Aaron Nemane’s feet at the back post. The wing back could only cut the ball behind Langstaff and the chance was gone.
Two minutes later Nemane was involved again, Rodrigues diving in to meet his header at the near post but not managing to guide the ball on target.
The breakthrough finally came moments later, though, when Scott showed excellent feet in the area to work space for a low shot which evaded a defender and beat Lincoln at his near post.
With such momentum behind us it felt like a Notts win would be the only outcome, but a lengthy stoppage to allow Lincoln to be treated for a head injury seemed to somewhat disrupt our flow.
It didn’t stop Langstaff from trying his luck shortly after the restart but he couldn’t keep his effort down from the edge of the area.
Scott, showing signs of cramp, made way for Quevin Castro in our first change and, moments later, Cameron’s forward run was matched by O’Brien’s through ball into the area only for a Dorking defender to make a crucial challenge.
Seconds later, the loose ball from Castro’s cross took an age to drop for Langstaff six yards out and his eventual shot was diverted behind.
We then found joy down the left as Chicksen got the better of his full back to supply Rodrigues who was crowded out in the area, moments before Kairo Mitchell, on for O’Brien, fired a shot over under pressure from several defenders.
Mitchell was involved once again as the clock ticked down, linking up nicely with Langstaff only for the latter to send his shot straight at the keeper.
And our day was summed up on 88 minutes when Lincoln dived towards his top right-hand corner to push Chicksen’s goalbound shot behind.
Nine added minutes gave us hope of finding a thoroughly deserved winner but, incredibly, it was Slocombe’s net that was breached next as McShane’s shot looped beyond the keeper, on to the post and back to the striker who had the easy job of tapping home from a couple of yards out.
Stunned, we had to throw caution to the wind to get back on level terms but our approach only served to provide Dorking with opportunities on the counter-attack – Slocombe making two excellent saves to keep the score at 2-1.
And the hosts had their third when Slocombe could only parry another shot into McShane’s path for him to score his hat-trick.
STARTING XI: Slocombe; Cameron, Rawlinson, Bajrami; Chicksen, Nemane; Palmer, O'Brien (Mitchell 71'), Rodrigues; Scott (Castro 66'), Langstaff
UNUSED SUBS: Young, Adebayo-Rowling, Francis
BOOKINGS: Bajrami (37')