Deserved Daggers dig deep

It was always going to be a close match but possession wise that wasn't the case as Dagenham dominated for the majority. However, it got to around the 80th minute 0-0, the hosts were throwing everything at it in order to come away with all three points. It was these sort of moments that decide a season I was thinking to myself and then the whistle blew and he pointed to the spot...

The summer was coming to an end and so was hopefully The Daggers' winless run. There was a sense of optimism in the air and a feeling of today had to be the day - if not now, when? The Iron brought 61 supporters hoping that they could give them their first win of the season. The home side got the game underway but had the slowest start after conceding two corners one of which was cleared off the line it didn't bode well for The Daggers.

Balls out wide to Harfield were poor as Dagenham looked to spread the play, poor touches leading to throws and overhit balls summed up their start. However, some inspiration from Reynolds got things going winning a corner, then from another he got it on the edge of the box and his shot went just over. The No.11 sparked another opportunity after a great run but the attack ended after a series of crosses before it was cleared. They had the right ideas but those ideas couldn't be executed as passes had been intercepted and misplaced.

Dagenham looked vulnerable however when Braintree broke, this was shown as a shot from out wide found Justham who was called into action. The referee didn't seem to like any physical contact whatsoever as he continually pulled Romain up for the slightest physicality. Dagenham had another chance with Robinson but his tamed low driven effort didn't trouble Killip. The home side won a free kick on the halfway line but it was dealt with by The Iron defence however hesitantly as loanee Webber cleared it for a throw.

The hosts really weren't making the most of their dominance as each attack ended in a Dagenham throw that was launched in by Pennell. One chance that came then went was Adeloye's, his ambitious header from outside the box went wide not causing a danger to goal. It was Tomi again soon after who saw his chance go to waste, as he looked to bring it down the ball was snatched from his feet and cleared for a throw. Another big chance involved Adeloye as he missed from point blank range, it was brave keeping from Killip as he conceded a corner but nonetheless a poor miss.

It just didn't seem to be his night as just before the break another one of his efforts after great work from Romain hit the crossbar! After the three additional minutes of added time was up the players headed down the tunnel. The Daggers again must have thought they should be in front with Adeloye wondering if he would get a goal. On the other hand Braintree would have felt they still had more to give in the second half and they would certainly have to improve their performance.

The visitors got the match back underway but didn't start the better of the two sides as the first chance of the half was from that man Adeloye again. His strike didn't seem to cause Killip any discomfort as he got the basics right to make a routine save. The second chance was again one that could have put the hosts in front but Tomi's header forced a save from Killip and nothing more. Despite their slow start Braintree got into the game, as they got a shot off even though it hit the side netting - it was something. A Bettamer free kick caused no threat either from 20 yards out but at least the away side were venturing into the opposition half more so than they did in the first 45.

However Justham was eventually called into action when he had to pull off a top draw save to stop Amaluzor from just a few yards out. Taylor felt it was his time to influence the game in the 60th minute as Kandi replaced Reynolds whose efforts allowed Dagenham to break on the flanks. His second sub was just a minute later as he brought on Gavin Hoyte for McQueen. There were a couple of mistakes that started to creep into the Daggers defence as first Robinson then Gordon lost the ball in dangerous areas. Thankfully nothing came of them the latter resulting in a goal kick as Amaluzor's effort dragged wide.

Up the other end another promising chance materialised but there was no significant ending after Harfield's effort ended the same place as Amaluzor's - wide! Both sides opted for change at this point with the former Fulham man Della - Verde replacing Crooks for The Iron. As well as bad luck boy Adeloye being replaced by Noel Leighton for Dagenham. The Daggers deserved three points at this stage but it was déja vu for the home side who were on top but continued to waste their chances. This was obviously much to the annoyance of the home crowd as each heavy cross was met with groans.

The Iron's supporters were doing their bit as their 'Barmy army' chant went on for 6 minutes at the very least to agitate the home fans even more. However the players on the pitch didn't have that same desire as they had their backs against the ball trying to hold out for a point. After a series of set pieces Dagenham still couldn't find a way of getting the ball in the onion bag despite their best efforts. You felt something had to give, you could see with the players' attitudes it wasn't going to happen again.

Then at long last their luck finally changed as Leighton and the Daggers' hard work was rewarded when the referee pointed to the spot after a foul on the substitute. Kandi was the man who was over the ball, phones were at the ready and everyone held their breath. He stepped up and put it to the right of Killip, there were jubilant fans and players everywhere you looked except for those in orange. The Daggers were on the verge of their first win this season but it wasn't over yet with the goal time being the 84th minute.

The hosts weren't going to let this slip now as they were about to get their first win of the season, the Iron then began throwing everything at it. Chance after chance followed for Braintree and when they won that free kick the home supporters had their hearts in their mouths as Killip came up. But they shouldn't have been concerned as Justham collected it, he then held it for a long while not caring about the open goal up the other end. By holding onto the ball he held onto the three points as Dagenham & Redbridge registered their first win of the season. It was all smiles as 'happy Daggers' exited Victoria Road, relief was the main feeling around the place though.

Here are some of the player's thoughts:


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