DISAPPOINTED BUT NOT DEFEATED
After a hectic August which saw The Daggers play eight fixtures in four weeks September was now here and so was Dagenham’s first TV appearance of the season. Bromley went into this one undefeated and The Daggers went into this one in search of all three points to meet their target of four points from two games.
Taylor’s lineup was one I didn’t have too many issues with - in fact just the one. I would like to have seen Eleftheriou in at RB ahead of Wright.
The Daggers got the game underway and lofted it forward losing possession as usual - ex Dagger Cousins got his first touch of the ball. His next touch saw him pick the ball out of the net in what was a dream start for The Daggers! They had got a very early breakthrough as Angelo Balanta flicked Dobson’s delivery into the far corner - a beautiful goal!
The Visitors seemed rattled not playing football instead booting it long to Michael Cheek. This wasn’t working however, as Clark and Manny remained composed in playing it simply back to Justham. The Ravens did manage to win themselves a corner on the tenth minute but they didn’t pose any threat to Justham’s goal.
The Daggers’ game plan on the other hand looked to be high press and offensive - keeping the ball in attack. Matt Robinson was the talisman winning the ball back in the midfield and spraying it out wide. Two chances came for The Daggers after nice play however the first saw Angelo Balanta caught offside. The second attempt saw the Colombian play fans’ favourite Luque through but Cousins did enough to deny him.
A first chance eventually came for The Visitors on the 27th minute but it was a half chance at that; Justham watched a rocket of an effort fly past his post. The Ravens were settling down at this point beginning to play their more familiar style of football along the floor - though they were doing little with it.
On the other hand, excellent pressing from Balanta and Luque caused Bromley issues defensively; forcing them to smash clear as oppose to play out from the back. Joe Quigley made a nuisance of himself frustrating defender Okoye who in turn frustrated Daggers supporters - virtually handling Quigley though the ref turned a blind eye.
Luque and Balanta continued to cause problems with their quick thinking and quick feet, as the Spaniard found Balanta out on the left with a disguised pass. But the forward's ball into the box was inches away from Luque, who had continued his run. That final ball just wasn’t coming off as Robinson revived the attack finding Dobson - his delivery was just beyond Quigley.
The game seemed to open up just before the break as The Ravens one a free kick; the dangerous looping ball was well watched and collected by Justham. The Daggers were in search of a second as Luque whipped a ball in up the other end - it was met by Clark but not well.
The referee signalled for half time as the pitch-side cameras came back out for some quick analysis - the Hosts were a goal to the good. Neil Smith would no doubt have demanded more from his side whose unbeaten record was under threat - they didn’t look a threat going forward.
Bromley resumed play and started the brighter of the two sides troubling Dagenham’s defence early on. Justham was called into action, tested for the first time as he did well to tip the ball behind for a corner. The first Bromley substitution and first of the game saw Coulson make way for Clifton as Smith looked to get his side in level terms.
Their deficit nearly doubled as Luque was given space to get a shot off though it was just wide of the mark. The game began to open up yet again come the 62nd minute as both sides looked to get the crucial next goal; Clark did well to clear before Justham ensured the danger was cleared using his fist to do so. Bromley looked the more likely of the two sides to get that crucial next goal.
It was end to end stuff as Justham did excellently to close down danger man Hackett before Dobson forced Cousins into a great save. Dobson was again involved in a scintillating Daggers attack which saw Joan Luque shoot narrowly over!
James Dobson then made way for pacy Bagasan Graham as Taylor looked to see our the lead on the 75th minute. The next ten minutes saw Bromley’s goal under siege; a goalmouth scramble saw Mitch Brundle shoot just wide of the post! Then minutes later substitute Graham went on a powerful run getting the better of two opponents before testing Cousins.
There were penalty appeals as time was running out for The Ravens after the forward got the better of Will Wright entering the box. He then fell to the floor in the box after minimal or no contact from the right back. The Visitors unbeaten record was in jeopardy as they were behind with five minutes to spare.
Brundle had an opportunity to seal it for the home side but Cousins denied his half volley. A soft free kick was given in a dangerous position up the other end - would that be the moment? It turned out it wouldn’t be as Elliot Justham did excellently to deny a perfect free kick that looked to nestle into the top corner.
The fourth official indicated four minutes of additional time prompting groans from home supporters who were still on edge. Substitute Harry Phipps showed excellent game management shielding the ball in the corner but for some reason a foul was given against him! The ball was hoofed long and Hackett brought it down and got a shot off - far too easily - which nestled into the far corner. Elliot Justham got a touch but it wasn’t enough - Bromley’s unbeaten record was still in tact as it proved to be the last kick of the game.
Overall, there is a sense of deep frustration and disappointment but as MOTM Elliot Justham said; when we look back at it ‘it’s another point’ and we’re now unbeaten in five! You can’t say that Daggers performance didn’t warrant a victory against a decent side in Bromley. I reckon if we keep up that level of performance we will no doubt be in and around the play offs come April.
Thanks for reading,