Dagenham & Redbridge 1-3 Dover Athletic

Tuesday 26th March 2019
Dagenham & Redbridge 1 – 3 Dover Athletic
Location Victoria Road, Dagenham, Essex RM10 7XL
Kickoff 26/03/2019 19:45

Vanarama National League
Tuesday 26 March 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Victoria Road

DOVER ATHLETIC eased their relegation fears by beating Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Road.

Andy Hessenthaler’s men leapfrogged over Boreham Wood into nineteenth-place in the Vanarama National League table with 46 points and are now eight points clear of the relegation zone with six games left to play.

Dover Athletic took the lead through striker Jamie Allen’s swept bottom far corner finish to score his sixth goal of the season, before they doubled their lead just seven minutes later through a Bedsente Gomis header.

Dover Athletic striker Alfie Pavey made it five goals in five games with a sublime back-healed finish to give the Kent side a 3-0 lead five minutes into the second half.

Peter Taylor’s Daggers dominated the final 25 minutes of the game and pulled a goal back through substitute Will Wright’s volley.

This game was originally scheduled for the weekend but three of Dover’s players were called up to international duty so this fixture was put back three days.

Kadell Daniel and Anthony Jeffrey both started for Guyana as the Golden Jaguars created history by qualifying for the Gold Cup for the first time by beating Belize 2-1 on Saturday evening.

Ricky Modeste played 90 minutes for Grenada in their 2-0 win in Puerto Rico, although the win was not enough for the Spice Boys to progress to this summer’s tournament.

Dagenham & Redbridge created the first opening in the 12th minute after Dover Athletic played out from the back and lost possession.

Centre-half Kevin Lokko clipped the ball forward, which was controlled by Doug Loft’s chest in midfield and he fed Angelo Balanta, who released Connor Wilkinson in behind Scott Doe but his attempt sailed behind the near post.

Dagenham & Redbridge went into this game in sixteenth-place in the table with 47 points from their 38 games and after beating Bromley 3-0 here on 9 March, they have now suffered back-to-back defeats, having lost to struggling Havant & Waterlooville 3-0 in Hampshire.

Gomis drove at the Dagenham & Redbridge defence down the left touch-line and cut inside to float in a cross into the penalty area.  Mitch Brundell chested the ball down for Pavey and his right-footed half-volley was destined for the bottom right-hand corner, only for Daggers’ keeper Elliot Justham to dive low to his left to tip the ball around the post, in the 18th minute.

Dagenham & Redbridge immediately went up the other end and called Lee Worgan into action.

Right-back Ben Nunn played a cross-field-pass over to left-back Liam Gordon, who cut the ball back to Angelo Balanta, whose right-footed drive from 14-yards, was beaten out by Worgan at face height and striker Balanta wasted the second bite of the cherry.

Dover Athletic deservedly took the lead with 20 minutes and 33 seconds on the clock.

Centre-half Scott Doe clipped the ball over the top and found Josh Passley down the right channel.

He played the ball inside to Stuart Lewis’ feet inside the Daggers’ penalty area and he played a first time pass into Allen, who took a touch before sweeping a right-footed shot across Justham to find the bottom far corner of the net from 14-yards.

Dover Athletic doubled their lead with a simple goal, timed at 27 minutes and 23 seconds on the lock.

Allen was bundled over by Dagenham & Redbridge left-back Nathan Smith.

Dover Athletic left-back Bobby-Joe Taylor swung in a left-footed free-kick from just outside the corner of the box on the right-hand side and Gomis rose to plant his free-header into the right-hand corner of the net from 16-yards.

The Daggers’ defensive weak links were down the left with full-back Smith and Gordon in front of him and it was no surprise when Smith was withdrawn by Peter Taylor after half-an-hour after he was given a torrid time by Passley.

Gordon slotted in at full-back, while substitute Wright was deployed in front of the back four in a holding midfielder role.

Dagenham & Redbridge created an opening in the 39th minute but Worgan was hardly tested as Lokko and Doe slammed the door shut in front of him.

Robinson floated in a cross from the right and Wilkinson knocked the ball down inside the penalty area and Nunn latched onto the ball to hit a right-footed first time drive over the crossbar from 20-yards.

Dover Athletic were full value for their two-goal lead but Pavey maintained his impressive run of scoring form, with his sixth goal for the club, timed at four minutes and 17 seconds on the clock.

Mitch Brundell launched his fourth long throw into the Dagenham & Redbridge box, the ball was flicked on by Lokko at the near post close to the by-line and Pavey’s sublime back-heal flashed across Justham and nestled inside the bottom far corner, six-yards out, which sealed a back-to-back win for his side.

Tiny midfielder Jack Munns swung a free-kick into the Dover Athletic box and Balanta’s near post header looped over the crossbar from 15-yards.

Bobby-Joe Taylor found oceans of space down the left as he joined a Dover Athletic attack and his cross flashed across the penalty area but Pavey’s left-footed shot on the turn was straight at Justham, who made a comfortable save.

Nunn was getting forward at any given opportunity for Dagenham & Redbridge and his cross from the right was met by Balanta’s weak header from 16-yards, which sailed into Worgan’s gloves for a routine catch.

Matt Robinson fed the ball into Munns, who took a touch before drilling a right-footed shot just over Worgan’s crossbar from 25-yards on the hour-mark.

Dagenham & Redbridge were the dominant side during the second half and Lokko pressed Balanta just as he was going to shoot and did enough as the ball rolled into Worgan’s gloves after the home side turned the screw.

With 65 minutes on the clock, Hessenthaler put 10 men behind the ball, leaving Pavey – and then Inih Effiong when he replaced Pavey – as the lone striker and this tactic invited pressure.

Dagenham & Redbridge pulled a goal back with 23 minutes and 43 seconds on the clock, courtesy of Wright’s maiden goal for the Essex club.

Nunn’s clever through ball put Robinson in behind Gomis down the right and his cross was headed away by Bobby-Joe Taylor at the near post.  Wright was lurking on the edge of the penalty area and hit a sweet right-footed volley into the bottom right-hand corner.

This was the signal for intense Dagenham & Redbridge pressure for the rest of the game.

Loft released Gordon on the overlap down the left and his cross bounced off the top of the crossbar and fell nicely for Nunn, who smacked his right-footed volley well wide when well placed.

Nunn fed the ball inside to Loft, who drilled a right-footed angled shot from 25-yards, which forced Worgan to use both of his raised arms to ensure he pushed the ball up and over his crossbar in the final 10 minutes.

The 35-year-old goalkeeper then pulled off a worldie save as Dagenham & Redbridge kept knocking on the door.

Balanta floated in a cross just outside the penalty area on the left-hand side towards the far post for his strike partner, substitute Chike Kandi, who buried his header from a couple of yards out towards the bottom right-hand corner. 

Worgan produced a brilliant save, moving to his left and grabbing hold of the ball at the last moment and holding it in his grasp.

The Daggers squandered another glorious chance inside the final six minutes but it was a case of falling to the wrong man.

Balanta and Kandi linked up well before Robinson played the ball in behind Jeffrey to put Nunn through on goal but the right-back lost composure eight-yards from goal and instead of shooting flashed a low curling cross towards the far post but a sliding Munns couldn’t apply the finish.

Dover Athletic hit their hosts on the break through Brundell’s first time pass that had centre-half Kenny Clark chasing shadows as Effiong galloped towards goal.  Faced with only the Dagenham & Redbridge keeper, Justham rushed off his line and pushed the ball behind as he tried to grab hold of the ball low to his right.

With a month of the season left to play, tonight’s win was vital for Dover Athletic.

Braintree Town remain rooted to the foot of the table with 28 points from their 40 (of 46 games); with Maidstone United (29 points from 39 games); Aldershot Town (35 points from 40 games) and Havant & Waterlooville (38 points from 40 games) all in the drop zone.

Boreham Wood have slipped into danger and are just above the line with 45 points on the board from 40 games, followed by Dover Athletic and then Maidenhead United and Dagenham & Redbridge on 47 points.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Elliot Justham, Ben Nunn, Nathan Smith (Will Wright 30), Matt Robinson, Emmanuel Onariase, Kenny Clark, Liam Gordon, Jack Munns, Angelo Balanta, Connor Wilkinson (Chike Kandi 46), Doug Lott (Ollie Harfield 87).
Subs: Lewis Moore, Tomi Adeloye

Goal: Will Wright 69

Booked: Jack Munns 51, Kenny Clark 90

Dover Athletic: Lee Worgan, Josh Passley, Bobby-Joe Taylor, Stuart Lewis, Kevin Lokko, Scott Doe, Jai Reason (Anthony Jeffrey 65), Bedsente Gomis (Nortei Nortey 88), Alfie Pavey (Inih Effiong 70), Jamie Allen, Mitch Brundell.
Subs: Mitch Walker, Kadell Daniel

Goals: Jamie Allen 21, Bedsente Gomis 28, Alfie Pavey 50

Booked: Inih Effiong 81

Attendance: 1,084 (89 away)
Referee: Mr Paul Howard (Bermondsey, London SE16)
Assistants: Mr Ricky Adams (Northfleet) & Mr Scott Williams (Hackney, London)
Fourth Official: Mr David Harrison (Wickford, Essex)