Home V Guiseley
National League - Home V Guiseley
Guiseley, the relegation strugglers, clashed with promotion hopefuls Dagenham at Victoria Road on Saturday afternoon. The Lions got proceedings underway in Essex and it was Fondop – Talom who was caught up in the first piece of action; as amid his elbow on the Daggers defender the referee was surrounded. Luckily for him he escaped with a booking within the first 6 seconds, he was on thin ice for the next 90+ minutes now. Two fouls in quick succession conceded by the visitors followed however nothing came of them; as Whitely’s delivery from the edge was too close to the keeper.
The Daggers were the quickest out the blocks in this match however, the conditions already looked like they would have an impact on the game. As Ferrier looked to get the better of Palmer and through on goal he was pulled up for a grappling with the Guiseley defender. Ferrier was involved again as he won a corner, but the defender did enough on the near post, the second cross from Ferrier had no challenge. A poor Maxted kick went straight to Whitely; no doubt he’d have blamed the conditions. A Guiseley corner was whipped in by Hurst, but that set piece caused no threat whatsoever.
The Daggers weren’t picking up the loose balls and as a result the Lions had a lengthy spell of possession. Guiseley’s spell turned into a goal as Molyneux’s low cross towards goal was helped in by a deflection, and it bobbled in as Cousins had already gone down. It was a scrappy goal but nevertheless it put the visitors on the front foot in the 18th minute of the game. It got more frustrating for the Daggers as Cheek was clearly fouled in a dangerous position however Alan Dale waved play on. Holden’s launch of a throw caused a threat to Dagenham as Cousins was taken off his line to contest with Fondop -Talom; the hosts keeper punched it away. However, it wasn’t enough as things went from bad to worse for the home side; it was that man again Fondop -Talom who nodded down and converted a cross.
This early two- goal deficit certainly influenced Morgan Ferrier as he gave up on a ball that he could have got to. Molyneux nearly put the visitors out of sight as he broke through the Daggers defence and shot at the side netting. Dagenham began to go direct from there on in and it paid off as Whitely’s clever ball to Cheek triggered a move that ended with, Cheek squaring it to Ferrier who smashed it home. That goal gave the home side momentum and confidence as they looked well in control, Whitely’s free kick won a corner and from his delivery Ling’s header into the ground bounced just over. As another shocking goal kick was taken by Maxted the Dagenham attack that followed saw several shots blocked. Dagenham continued to mount the pressure and despite being in front the visitors began to look under the cosh. They made the most of it and drew level as Howell won a corner in added time and Whitely drove it low at the near post for Doe to flick home.
It was an amazing comeback by the hosts as they somehow pulled it back from two down, they would no doubt have been the happier side going into the break. Guiseley would have been hoping to pick up some momentum and have more of that brief spell where they netted twice. The hosts got the second half underway, but it was Guiseley who began with most of the possession, despite not doing anything with it. The Daggers began to find their feet however as Whitely’s effort went just over after a well worked move by the home side. From there on in the hosts looked the likelier to score with a few close chances including ling’s effort that was cleared off the line.
After three consecutive corners conceded by the visitors, one consisting of Maxted turning it over the bar, the sides remained on level terms. Hurst led a counter which unsurprisingly came to nothing, while Dagenham continued to dominate despite finding no breakthrough in the process. Whitely’s deliveries were just not being met as he put one in just too early for Cheek’s run into the box. The Daggers finally got the beating of Maxted as Whitely’s shot was parried and Luke Howell was in the right place at the right time to tap it home; it was a well-deserved goal, what a comeback! They then had to sustain some light pressure for the remaining ten minutes, this included Hurst’s effort which looked like going in the roof of the net past Cousins however it went just over. The promotion hopefuls continued their pursuit, with a well-deserved and hard-fought win as they came from 2-0 down to beat Guiseley. John Still’s men have now moved up to eighth in the table with the play- offs still very much in their sights.