Daggers beaten but not disgraced

  DAGGERS BEATEN BUT NOT DISGRACED



Away V Boreham Wood                                                                        Saturday 4th August 2018

There was a buzz around Meadow Park as the National League season commenced, with Dagenham & Redbridge contesting Boreham Wood in one of the 12 fixtures on Saturday 4th August. 833 supporters travelled to the home of The Wood 315 of them being Daggers, it was the away side that got the game underway. However, Boreham Wood started on top, despite neither side causing any real threat in the attacking third in the opening stages of the game. After a slow start Dagenham began to have a few short spells of possession where they looked to spread the ball across the pitch. But, it was a familiar problem for the visitors as their final ball to Elliot Romain never actually reached the striker, as he wasn't strong enough on and off the ball; he failed to compete physically.

There was also a constant threat posed by Boreham Wood from the wings however anything that came over the Daggers area was dealt with well; either by the heads of Wright & co at the back or by the safe hands of Elliot Justham. Another example where the final ball failed was when Donovan turned it round the corner to Kandi, who was eager to get in behind, as a result Chike was flagged offside.  Soon after, Liam Gordon began another Dagenham attack as his strong tackle and pass saw the visitors advance up the pitch but it again broke down in the final third. Some frustration began to creep into the minds of the young Daggers side and Boreham Wood free kicks became more frequent as time went on.  That frustration grew bigger for academy product Liam Gordon as every time he looked to play the ball down the line he found a white shirt. New signing Phipps continued to impress as he did in pre season which awarded him a contract, his strength and ability to hold off players proved vital as he bossed the centre of the park - his power helped the quick transition from defence into attack.

Elliot Justham was called into action near the end of the half as he won the ball in the air time and time again. There was a scare late in the half for the away side as former Dagger Femi Ilesanmi looked to go into the break in front. However, his powerful effort went wide damaging the SSE advertising board and hitting the net from behind prompting cheers from one end of the crowd and jeering from the away end. So it was all square at the break with Boreham Wood maybe the slightly happier side considering their performance and overall mood about the game.

After the advertising board had been given the duck tape treatment, the hosts resumed play and again started the stronger side, forcing a number of consecutive corners to be conceded. This prompted impressive shot stopping from Justham who tipped the ball over the bar on one occasion. On the fourth corner the ball found its way into the back of the net, the ball came out to The Wood attackers, who passed it around outside of the box, before Angelo Balanta drove his effort into the bottom corner past Justham. Woodards was close to putting the game to bed as he tried to replicate Balanta's shot but his effort dragged wide. Taylor thought it was time for him to make his influence on the game, he brought off midfielder Harfield for attacker Lamar Reynolds. Boreham Wood were awarded another corner and the ball was met by the head of Stephens but his effort sailed over the bar. Soon after that set piece, Garrard made his first substitution bringing off Ash for number 12 Thomas. Debutant Will Wright came close as his unusually good strike for a centre half troubled Huddart who spilt the ball before bringing it into his grasp. 

Midfield powerhouse Phipps was subbed off for number 18 Blanchfield. Reynolds nearly came on and made the difference however his run and great strike was not enough to equalise for the visitors. There was no natural striker instinct as Huddart fumbled that effort and Kandi was slow in his attempts to poke it home. Since Reynolds came on the scene Dagenham were going all out for that equaliser as Romain had finally sparked into action come the 75th minute as his great play saw him play through Reynolds whose effort was blocked. Nothing came of the corner that followed however they won a free kick to the side of the box, Lamar Reynolds went for goal but his curling effort didn't curl soon enough and went for a goal kick. Again The Wood keeper fumbled, this time Wright was there but again they couldn't capitalize on the mistake.

Debutant Goodliffe was given a straight red card for a rash two footed challenge on Boreham Wood's Ricky Shakes in the 89th minute. This didn't help the visitors who were staring defeat in the eye, when the fourth official put up his board for 6 minutes added time you felt there had to be one more chance in it for Dagenham. And there were in fact a couple more chances resulting in sky high shots. It was a frustrating day for the Daggers who are capable of more however with Reynolds not being fit enough to start and Romain not being clinical it wasn't to be for the visitors. Their next game is their first at home against Maidstone on Tuesday, this is a game where they can pick up a good 3 points.


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