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Colin Munford at the Proact Stadium
Sunday, December 29, 2013
League Two: Chesterfield 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 1
Abu Ogogo’s fine 58th minute strike ensured Daggers picked up a point against 10 men Chesterfield.
It could have been so much more for the visitors, with Zavon Hines missing a penalty before Sam Hird was sent off for the Spireites for denying Rhys Murphy a goalscoring opportunity.
But the hosts took the lead from the spot after Brian Saah handled a Nathan Smith cross, only for Ogogo’s sixth of the season to ensure a share of the spoils.
Boss Wayne Burnett made three changes from the 1-0 loss at Portsmouth on Boxing Day with the biggest call of all seeing Sean Shields come in for his first start for the club, while Jack Connors and Lawson D’Ath were also introduced, with Chris Dickson, Femi Ilesanmi and Medy Elito making way.
The early pressure came from the hosts and Luke Howell was on the line to block an effort from Sam Togwell after a corner was cleared straight into his path, while Chris Lewington tipped Armand Gnaduillet’s long distance shot behind for another corner.
Daggers were limited once again going forward but some nice play from Murphy down the left forced a corner.
And from that dead ball came the visitors first real chance as Shields’ dangerous delivery found Scott Doe at the near post, but his glancing header across goal fell narrowly wide.
The Daggers began to work their way into the game, getting much more time on the ball than in the opening stages and one such move gave them the ideal opportunity to take the lead.
A lovely ball over the top from Reading loanee D’Ath found Hines in the box, and he was hauled over by Ian Evatt and referee Richard Clark pointed to the spot.
Hines got up to take the spot kick but he dragged it horrendously wide.
That brought about the start an action packed final 15 minutes of the opening period as Murphy was played through on goal and was tripped by Spireites defender Sam Hird on the edge of the box.
Clark was left with no choice but to send him off for denying a goalscoring opportunity and Daggers now had to seize the opportunity.
They spent the rest of the half on top and Howell missed another glorious chance to give his side the lead in first half stoppage time as Hines’ byline ball in found the midfielder two yards out but he somehow failed to get the decisive touch.
But the action continued early in the second half, and the home side were awarded a 49th minute penalty when substitute Nathan Smith’s ball into the box was handled by Brian Saah, and Clark pointed to the spot again.
Marc Richards made no mistake despite Lewington guessing right and Daggers would have it all to do despite the numerical advantage.
But that didn’t deter them and after Murphy headed over from a Connors ball in, they levelled on 58 minutes.
And it came via the boot of skipper Abu Ogogo, who delightfully curled an effort into the top corner past Spireites goalkeeper Tommy Lee.
Chances continued to come thick and fast, and Lewington was twice called into action, firstly smothering a Jay O’Shea shot and then pushing Richards’ header away from point blank range.
Both sides went in search of a late winner and it was Daggers who had the best opportunity as a through ball found Murphy who beat Evatt to the ball but delicately chipped his effort against the post with Lee beaten.
Hines picked up a late booking for a supposed dive, and it proved a crucial one which means he misses the Wimbledon game after accruing five up to this stage.
Chesterfield: Lee, Talbot, Evatt, Hird, Humphrey, Darikwa (Cooper 39), Banks (Smith 46), Togwell, Doyle, Richards, Gnaduillet (O’Shea 61).
Unused substitutes: Mason, Devitt, McSheffrey, McFadzean.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington, Connors (Ilesanmi 69), Doe, Saah, Hoyte, Howell, Ogogo, D’Ath, Hines, Murphy, Shields (Elito 63)
Unused substitutes: Seabright, Wilkinson, Edgar, Dickson, Scott.