Daggers spirit frustrates Spireites
There was a positive and optimistic buzz around Victoria Road after news during the week of an investment. The other positive was the club's recent form, that form meant a win would be a third in three games and a draw would extend their unbeaten run to four games. Dagenham got the game underway but it was the visitors who had the first major chance as 6ft 7in Denton put his first attempt for his new club over the bar.
He was second in the air soon after as Reid crossed it in but Robinson beat him to it, much to the frustration of Chesterfield who thought they'd be winning 99% of their aerial duels now - with Denton. Dagenham had an opportunity up the other end when Harfield whipped in and Romain headed it behind. That missed opportunity proved to be costly as below average defending saw Shaw play it across the face of goal to Weston who tapped it home in front of the Bury road end!
That goal was undeserved in some respects considering how the two sides started but from that move the Spireites may have deserved to get their noses in front as they took their chance. The Daggers again won it in the air but failed to capitalize on it as Pennell's launch of a throw was met only for it to be turned behind by Adeloye. Weir was yellow carded as his side conceded another free kick but this time there was no attempt on goal as it was headed clear.
Zavon Hines helped start up the attack which led to the goal and he was at it again but solid defending from Wright prevented him from getting a shot off. Despite looking to exploit Dagenham in wide areas Chesterfield's play was predominantly in the air as they looked to get it to their big man up top. This time The Spireites won a set piece, in a dangerous position at that, as Reid was fouled to the side of the box - but it was well cleared. Again Dagenham had the ball in the right areas but couldn't make use of it as Hoyte's superb delivery was misjudged by Romain.
It was a rare shot on goal that saw Jalal introduced to the game as the ball was worked through to Kandi who tested the Chesterfield keeper. Up the other end there were dramas of a different kind as Pennell found himself the wrong side of the advertising board. One confused fan shouted ''easy Luke!'' who was puzzled like everyone else in view how the Daggers man had got into such a peculiar position. Well it didn't get much better for Pennell's side Kandi found himself in a great position, but playing it back to Robinson was never going to end well, as The Daggers skipper put it over the bar.
So the hosts were heading into half time under the cosh but there was a late push for an equaliser as Dagenham won a corner. The home fans were on the edge of their seats as there were two attempts on goal - both were blocked. The ref blew his whistle after that phase of play and Dagenham went into half time knowing they could get something out of the game it was just a question of, how? Chesterfield on the other hand will be looking for more of the same after a first half display that could only be described as 'a classic away performance'.
Peter Taylor made a change at half time bringing on Lamar Reynolds for the ineffective Adeloye. The visitors got the game back underway but this time it was the home side who made the better start with a couple of successive chances. One of them was an effort from Robinson which excited a few in the crowd as his curling effort ( meant to be a cross) nearly got the beating of Jalal. Reid had his side's first chance of the half but he didn't trouble Justham as his effort sailed over. Romain won a free kick up the other end in a bid to find an equaliser but nothing came of the subsequent ball in.
Hoyte denied The Spireites a second as his block stopped Talbot in his tracks but there was a lack of clinical finishing from the home side as another effort sailed over! Tom Denton was winning more in the air as well in the 2nd half as he headed away two corners in quick succession. A big call was to be made in the area as Romain was clearly fouled no matter what way you looked at it, but the ref didn't want to impact the close encounter. The referee didn't want to impact the game but Taylor did bringing on McQueen for Ollie Harfield.
Chesterfield were also lacking quality in the final third as they looked to extend their lead Reid's effort was parried into the path of Shaw, whose sitter from 7 yards out angered his manager. There was then a collision in the air Pennell coming off worse as he stayed down - the physio ran on and dropped his bag which was less than ideal. That ended Luke's game as he went straight down the tunnel to receive further treatment, The Daggers were down to ten men for as long as two minutes before Phipps finally came on.
Soon after he came on the scene the equaliser Dagenham had been looking for had been found, as Kandi did superbly to keep his composure and hook a bobbling ball over Jalal's head! The suspense as the ball was in mid air was tense but as soon as the ball hit the net there was a real belief around the ground they could go on and win it. But it was Chesterfield who applied the pressure for the next five minutes, Justham denied them the opportunity to get back in front with his superb challenge on Hollis.
A series of set pieces followed but Dagenham seemed to be weathering the storm, then they had a chance of their own but McQueen was at too much of a tight angle that he couldn't squeeze it in. The last attack of the game was a Dagenham corner but Justham was taking no chances as he stayed at home. It finished honours even as the referee blew for full time, the game improved in quality as it went along but it was a classic non - league encounter. The Daggers continued their unbeaten run whilst Chesterfield continued their winless run - it finished Dagenham 1-1 Chesterfield.
Here are some of the players' thoughts: