Wilkinson secures hard fought victory

A must win game for The Daggers as they faced a Sutton side who were going well in the National League. The gap between Dagenham and the drop is narrowing so wins are a must if they are to stay out of the relegation battle. The return of Adeloye saw the fans' wishes answered but could he deliver on his return?

 The Daggers got the game underway and it was them who had the first chance as McQueen's cross was spilled by Worner, but the Daggers couldn’t find an end result. The visitors’ first chance came from a set piece as Sutton advanced and win a corner but Justham dealt with it calmly and comfortably. 

Kenny Clark was soon to show his class and commitment as he launched himself in front of the ball denying Collins from close range. Soon after Craig Eastmond had a chance on the volley in the Daggers area, but it was hit into row Z of the A13 Steel stand. 

Although The U’s were on top they hadn’t yet directly threatened Justham’s goal, that being said The Daggers were still under the cosh. Under the cosh, yet not being dominated as they came close to breaking the deadlock after Mcqueen was denied by Worner following brilliant link-up play between Loft and Tomi Adeloye. 

The striker, looking to make a statement on his return to the side, nearly made the perfect statement as Adeloye cut inside of Deacon before hitting a shot just wide of the near post. The Daggers began to control the game going into the break when Munns got on the end of the pre- rehearsed corner from McQueen hitting the post.

After being arguably wrongly booked for a foul on Bennett Liam Gordon looked to get onto the scoresheet as he also was denied by the woodwork. The academy product’s effort hit the post from an acute angle in what proved to be the last action of the half. A half that Dagenham would have been fairly happy with but Peter Taylor would have no doubt demanded more attacking flair and urgency in the next 45. Much like the last five minutes of the first half as they were at home after all.

The away side kicked off the second half and it was them who went close early on as Toure saw his effort go just wide. Adeloye continued in his pursuit for to break the Sutton back line as he clipped in a decent ball that the visitors had to head behind. The forward went down after being tripped by Bennett but was ready to continue after treatment.

Minutes later the hosts were at it again and they in fact netted but The U’s were saved by the linesman’s flag. Liam Gordon had headed past Worner but failed to watch the line as groans rung round Victoria Road. After Wilkinson saw his effort sail wide Davis scuffed his effort as Sutton struggled to get a foot hold in the second 45. 

Alex McQueen looked to reflect the dominance in the score line as he whipped it in but that resulted in a goalmouth scramble where Worner took control. The Daggers couldn’t give the visitors too many opportunities as Loft gave away a free kick needlessly; fortunately it came to nothing. The home side’s front line continued to cause problems but couldn’t score as Adeloye was swarmed out by Sutton defenders. 

However that was all about to change as deservedly Dagenham took the lead through a Connor Wilkinson header. A great goal capped off by a celebration that was sure to silence the away fans of the goal hadn’t already. Despite having dominated in the second half you felt the home side had to find another as the one  goal lead was a slender one. They looked to add to it with a superb delivery by Munns that was headed just over by Ben Goodliffe. 

After a fairly calm five minutes the visitors had won a set piece but Elliot Justham took charge plucking the ball out the air - something he does so well. You felt the home side had worked too hard to let go of their lead in the dying stages and they held on as the referee signalled the end of the match. 

It was a hard fought yet deserved victory in the end for The Daggers who took ownership of the match in the second half. That victory put them seven points clear of the drop zone as they had halted their mini slide.


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