Home V Orient
Home V Orient - National League
It was a cold New Year’s Day in Essex as the return fixture between east London rivals Dagenham and Leyton Orient was highly anticipated. Orient got proceedings underway at Victoria Road and it was them who had the quicker start despite not playing too well. Cousins received a scare early on as Koroma’s volley from the edge unexpectedly led to Cousins tipping it over the bar. Bloomfield tried to get some life into Dagenham’s play as his run led to a throw in the visitors’ half. Clay went in late on Trinidad & Tobago international Andre Boucad however escaped a booking.
A good move from the hosts led to an Orient goal kick and another good passage of play led to Sparkes’ effort going straight into the hands of Brill. Up the other end however Bonne looked 1 on 1 but a great piece of defending by Robson prevented the Orient attacker from putting it past Cousins. Dagenham looked under the cosh but that pressure was relieved when Dayton was penalised for a dive on the edge of the Daggers box. After the referee brandished a yellow card, A good lengthy spell of possession from the home side led to an ambitious effort from Luke Howell which missed the target by quite a way.
Dagenham continued to knock it around but couldn’t break the Orient defensive line. The visitors refused to be dominated and they looked to find a breakthrough goal; but again Craig Robson stopped them from taking the lead by cutting out a through ball. A great delivery by Dayton forced Cousins to punch it away; Brill was called into action when he tipped Bloomfield’s header over the bar. The Daggers then looked in control until Cousins pulled off a fantastic save to keep it level as he stopped Clay from close range. The away side netted just before half time but Clay’s goal was disallowed due to a foul after a scramble in the box. Both sides would’ve looked to be more clinical in the final third going into the break after a series of missed chances. Despite that neither side will be disappointed with their performance as a whole.
The home side got the game back underway and it was then who had the first attack of the half as Okenabirhie’s effort was held by Brill. However, Orient started the better of the two and came closest to scoring early on, but that man Cousins again denied them the lead as he stopped a close range header. Dagenham responded with a double substitution as Cheek and Whitely came onto the scene looking to break the deadlock. The final product just lacked still for the home side however there was more creativity in attack mainly down to the impact of the subs.
On the other hand, Orient had an attempt as their corner came out to Lawless, who should have done better, as he put the ball wide of the mark. A series of set pieces followed for the visitors but the Daggers defence did well and stopped the ball from bulging the net. Clay began to worry about Whitely’s threat of pace therefore he professionally fouled him to bring the counter to a halt; he received a booking as a result. The hosts foresaw scenes of jubilation in their minds as Ferrier‘s low cross was just too early for the runs of his teammates who looked to poke it past Brill to give the Daggers the lead.
Orient looked to get a goal as they won a free kick in the closing stages of normal time but that threat petered out. Up the other end, not too dissimilar to the earlier chance, Ferrier’s low cross was met by Okenabirhie but hit well over.That was the last real chance of the game however and it ended honours even in the east London derby that entertained but didn’t see a goal. The Daggers must have seen this as an improvement from Boxing Day; but no doubt they were looking for the win and bragging rights in the east of London.