Too little too late for Dagenham

                           Too little too late for Dagenham                            

Home V Maidstone 

It was a pleasant evening in Essex as Dagenham & Redbridge hosted Maidstone in the Vanarama National League fixture. Dagenham defender Alex Davey made his debut as he stepped in for the suspended Goodliffe at centre back. The visitors got the match underway and almost instantly won a free kick on halfway, however they didn’t get that very early lead. Up the other end Romain was fouled closer to the danger area and was awarded a free kick. Reynolds whipped it in and it went behind for a corner but  lead to no goal threat. The Stones had a good spell of possession but they were ultimately dispossessed. Kandi raced away from his man before putting in a poor cross that went straight to Worgan. 

The Daggers started the livelier of the two sides however moves broke down in the final third frequently again as there was no real physical presence up front. Maidstone struggled to break the host's back line as they were closing down well the Stones couldn't adavance into the box. Taylor seemed to have  played a wider more attacking brand of football from the off compared to Saturday, previously they didn't show any real attacking threat until the latter stages. 

Will De Havilland then went down injured with a blow to the head and was later subbed off early on for Wynter. Stones' No.6 was then booked for a reckless foul on Romain after he pulled him down to halt a Dagenham counter, he was lucky getting away with a yellow. The home side nearly saw themselves in front as they went close through that free kick, Hoyte floated it in and it was headed down by Phipps. After a scrap in the box the move resulted in Romain heading the ball just over the bar. This was followed by a Maidstone attack which then turned into a Daggers counter seeing Kandi race away and win another Dagenham corner. However, it was a poor corner in truth as Worgan easily collected.

The home side began to commit numerous fouls this escalated on Saturday so Taylor had to tell the young side to calm down slightly. Maidstone's first real opportunity came as Turgott stood over a free kick outside the box, however his floating ball in floated for a goal kick. Neither side looked like scoring as their final ball and shot was on the whole poor. A nice move followed from Dagenham but it didn't materialise into a chance or shot. The home side finally gave Worgan a real test as Reynolds cut in and run at the defence eventually forcing a save from Worgan. The Daggers again came close as Wright's long range header from a corner was tipped over by Worgan. Then what happened next was completely out of the blue, Wright's mistake saw Quigley get away from him and play it into Turgott who took struck it well past Justham. Dagenham must have felt hard done by as they were now behind, totally against the run of play. 

Dagenham had suffered a sudden collapse just before the goal as they lowered the intensity allowing Maidstone to attack. Leading up to the goal The Daggers were dominant, therefore they must have been hugely frustrated by that goal. The penultimate chance before half time was a free kick won by clever play from Donovan outside the box, Reynolds floated it into the back post but it was too deep and Wright struggled to meet it. Their last chance came as Reynolds' effort was denied by the outstretched foot of Worgan. After the two additional minutes of the first half was up Dagenham walked down the tunnel dejected as their hard work was sabotaged by a Turgott goal. However their performance in the first 30 minutes was encouraging and they had to take that into the second half.

 Dagenham got the second half underway but neither side looked on top in the opening stages as again any moves resulted in poor finishing in the final third. Donovan's effort was the first of the half  but it was another poor one. Up the other end Turgott's effort was blocked by his own player leaving him frustrated. However, that chance didn't prove costly as they found a second, this time more deservedly than the last goal. Shocking defending lead to the goal as Quigley ran through and hit the post, it was a terrible shot in truth, but Turgott was there to get his and Maidstone's second of the game. The hosts began to pile on the pressure from there on in looking to get back into the game, but their final ball was poor. Many low half hearted crosses were hit into the box and time and time again they were cleared by Maidstone. 

Taylor then made a change with Phipps coming off for Blanchfield. A series of corners were won by The Daggers but every time the ball was either too deep or into the hands of Worgan, no one ever looked to attack the ball. The home side lacked goal threat it seemed and as Reynolds struggled to get into the game in the second half there was next to nothing up front. A real chance for Dagenham to get right back into the game came about in the 78th minute as Gordon played a ball across and after a deflection it came to Kandi on the far post. But his effort was a poor one around 7 yards out he puts it right into Worgan's grasp, there was a lack of power in the strike, he had to score! 

Soon after, they got a breakthrough as finally Gordon put in a fabulous cross that was met by Elliot Romain. This brought some belief back into the players and supporters that they could find an equaliser in the last ten minutes. The Daggers went all out attack searching for an equaliser but at every corner they won there was a poor delivery. The final chance of the match came from Maidstone as Turgott forced Justham to tip it over the bar. As the final whistle blew there were seens of celebration and frustration as after a hard working performance from Dagenham, Maidstone were the ones that came away with all three points.

On Saturday, Dagenham face Maidenhead and even this early on it is a huge game for The Daggers! 


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