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Colin Munford at Victoria Road
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Southend United 1
Luke Norris was again the hero as he helped the Daggers pick up their second draw in a matter of four days.
After a goalless first half, Kevan Hurst gave Southend the lead with a low scuffed shot, but Norris, scorer of the equaliser in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Scunthorpe United, popped up again with a 20-yard strike.
Daggers boss Wayne Burnett made two changes as Scott Doe replaced Brian Saah and Norris came in for the injured Luke Howell.
In front of a 2,624-strong crowd it was an even start, though the first chances of the night came the way of the Shrimpers as skipper Ryan Leonard fired one effort over and Kevan Hurst drilled another straight at Chris Lewington following Anthony Straker’s centre.
And for the second game on the trot Jack Connors almost inadvertently put the ball into his own net as he headed a Straker cross just past the far post with Lewington stranded.
The Daggers hadn’t created much up to that point, but had the best chance of the game at the time on 29 minutes as Medy Elito played a lovely throughball for Rhys Murphy.
The striker was in on goal but Southend ‘keeper Daniel Bentley came out and did well to block the effort.
Bentley failed to hold a Murphy shot from 25 yards out four minutes later, but Luke Prosser was on hand to put the ball behind for a corner.
And the Southend stopper was in action once again right at the end of the half as he did well to tip over a Hines shot following a throughball from Elito.
Daggers thought they had taken the lead three minutes into the second half, when Hines got the better of Adam Thompson before delivering in a low ball for Murphy to tap home, though the striker was deemed to be in an offside position.
But it was the visitors who broke the deadlock and it came from yet another set piece on 53 minutes.
A corner in wasn’t dealt with and it fell for Kevan Hurst and his fluffed effort took a deflection on its way past Lewington.
The torrential rain returned from Saturday to make conditions difficult once again at Victoria Road, and Norris saw one effort deflected but it was safely gathered by Bentley.
However, the Brentford loanee tried again on 68 minutes and this time the deflected effort proved too much for Bentley as he found the top corner of the net.
Daggers went gung ho for the winner with Chris Dickson, a scorer in the 3-3 draw on Saturday, brought on for Elito.
But it was Norris who was proving to be the main danger and he let fly from 25 yards and Bentley was equal to the effort.
Both goals led a cherished life at times though, with goalmouth scrambles just a few minutes apart at either end, however it was Phil Brown’s side which would come closest to taking all three points.
Doe brought down Leonard on the edge of the area and substitute Connor Clifford saw a deflected effort skim the roof of the net.
But that was the closest either side would came to take all three points and in truth a point apiece was a fair result.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington, Connors, Doe, Wilkinson, Hoyte, Ogogo, D’Ath (Saah 90+5), Elito (Dickson 78), Hines, Murphy, Norris.
Unused substitutes: Seabright, Ilesanmi, Bingham, Obafemi, , Shields.
Southend United: Bentley, Thompson, Coker, Leonard, Phillips, Prosser, Hurst, Timlin (Woodrow 72), Corr (Barnard 72), Atkinson, Straker (Clifford 84).
Unused substitutes: Laird, Eastwood, Gomis, Edward Smith
Attendance: 2,624 (1,306 Southend United fans)