DAGGERS DENIED BY THE WOODWORK!
With the American owners in attendance and the Bury Road End newly decorated with some great banners; The Daggers hosted Barnet. In terms of the starting XI, a notable absence was Captain Kenny Clark who apparently didn’t feel 100% - Taylor wasn’t prepared to take the risk. Therefore Gordon and McQueen started as full backs with Wright and Onariase making up the rest of the back four. Odametey started in the midfield and Graham was preferred to Spaniard Luque.
The sides switched ends and the game got underway with The Daggers kicking towards the Bury Road End - they had the first chance. A corner was won by Dobson however Balanta’s glancing header went just wide of the mark!
It was an encouraging good start from Dagenham but what happened next wasn’t so encouraging as eyes were rolled in The Sieve. Wright took a whack to the head as Clark did a week ago but luckily there was no blood and the No.2 was able to continue.
Matt Robinson was leading the attacking surge getting the ball out wide to Dobson but, ultimately crosses into the box weren’t getting any response. Will Wright was controlling the skies up the other end but he was on the floor again - due to an awkward landing.
He was back on his feet again as Dagenham continued to dominate: Barnet posed no threat. That dominance was so nearly rewarded with a goal but Dobson was denied by the crossbar!
The No.20 beat Loach with his effort following a great lofted ball from Robinson but he couldn’t hit the back of the net. Craig Unger thought it was a certain goal as he got up to celebrate!
Frustration grew as Will Wright was fouled again, this time by Sweeney, but the referee kept his cards pocketed. That frustration so nearly turned to jubilation as the ball fell to Balanta on the edge of the box but he too was denied by the crossbar!
Two corners came and went for the home side as they pushed for a breakthrough but The Bees nearly took the lead. Great defending from Odametey and Onariase denied Currie’s side as they stopped Walker in his tracks. The Daggers were let off moments later as Mason-Clark had all the time in the world but his awful effort trickles past Justham’s near post.
Taylor’s men were in front moments later though as their dominance was rewarded through a beautiful Balanta strike. The Colombian showed great technique to hit it sweetly from the edge of the box after a great Graham cut-back.
Though that lead lasted just three minutes as Walker took advantage of Wright’s indecision to put it beyond Justham. That proved to be the last action of the half following an uneventful seven minutes additional time. The lengthy additional time came about after the officials had a substitution - the linesman was replaced by the fourth official.
Taylor and The Daggers would no doubt have been kicking themselves at the break not least because of the instant equaliser. More the fact that the hosts had missed a hatful of chances. The Bees on the other hand would have been delighted with the goal before half time. However Currie would have been expecting an improved performance in the second 45 as they had been under the cosh for most of the half.
The second half got underway with both sides looking to grind out a result - it was a slow start to the second half. Currie made his first change following a rather uneventful first 15 minutes as Wesley Fonguck replaced Mason-Clark.
Bagasan Graham looked to break the deadlock as he found a burst of pace cutting it back to Quigley who saw his effort rise over the bar. After seeing two corners come to nothing Currie opted for a second change - introducing Pavey to the match.
Both sides had great chances as they approached the 70th minute with Taylor missing a glorious opportunity at the back post. That came just before Robinson overhit his pass after finding himself in a dangerous position!
Neither side looked like scoring as Taylor made a double substitution with Graham and Dobson making way for Reece Grant and Eleftheriou. The striker got injured almost straight away and received treatment giving both sides time to regroup.
Balanta almost found another piece of magic to put his side in front as he brought it down exceptionally - laying it off to Gordon. However the latter lost possession following a good Dagenham spell; time was running out for both sides.
Grant was beginning to get on the ball as he and his side pushed for a late winner, he played through Quigley but he was flagged offside. With teams around Dagenham and Barnet dropping points a win would have been huge as the game entered the last few minutes.
Reece had the last real chance of the game as he was played in behind but he dragged his effort wide! Applause rung round Victoria Road but frustration was still present and it felt like two points dropped.
Nonetheless Dagenham were 11 unbeaten and still in the play-offs going into Tuesday. They travel to Notts County for what will be a tough yet enjoyable game in a great stadium.
Thanks for reading,