Daggers stung by Bees

PUBLISHED: 16:55 29 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:55 29 December 2018

Cheye Alexander of Barnet and Angelo Balanta of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Cheye Alexander of Barnet and Angelo Balanta of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Vanarama National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Barnet 1 (Coulthirst 34)

Dagenham & Redbridge endured a disappointing end to 2018 with a 1-0 defeat at home to Barnet in the Vanarama National League.

Despite the first half lack much in the way of action, Daggers trailed at the break to a soft goal scored by the Bees from a corner.

Try as they might, the hosts could not find an equaliser in the second half as they saw an eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions come to an end.

Daggers boss Peter Taylor was forced to make two changes to his starting XI following the win over Leyton Orient.

Alex McQueen and Jack Munns were both unwell, with Will Wright and Ollie Harfield both coming in for their first starts since October 13.

For the visitors, former Daggers Mark Cousins, Craig Robson, Charlee Adams and Medy Elito returned to their old stamping ground.

After a fairly dull opening, the first real shot at goal came in the 20th minute with Daggers stopper Elliot Justham well behind a 20-yard half-volley from Adams.

Home forward Angelo Balanta showed good strength to create room for an effort from the edge of the box six minutes later, but shot straight at Cousins.

The Essex club, though, fell behind in the 34th minute when Shaquile Coulthirst diverted Callum Reynolds’ header from a corner past Justham to give Barnet the lead.

Daggers nearly produced an immediate response when Balanta danced through the away defence four minutes later, but saw his effort blocked by the onrushing Cousins.

That, though, proved to be the last real goalmouth action of the half as the Victoria Road went in to the break a goal down.

The hosts suffered a further blow during the interval with skipper Ben Nunn going off and being replaced by Lamar Reynolds.

Daggers went close to an equaliser in the 49th minute when Wright dinked the ball into the box, but Balanta’s resulting header was tame.

Three minutes later, Wilkinson tested Cousins with an effort from the edge of the box that was well saved.

In moment of dominance for the away team, Reynolds then fluffed a one-on-one less than a minute with a heavy touch allowing Cousins to rush out and take the ball.

With 17 minutes remaining, Justham was at full stretch to prevent Jack Taylor from doubling the Bees’ lead with an effort from 18 yards.

Daggers missed a glorious chance to equalise in the 80th minute when a cross by the right from Wilkinson found replacement Shamir Mullings six yards out, but the latter somehow headed over when it looked easier to score.

With four minutes remaining, another smart save from Justham prevented substitute Simeon Akinola from adding a second for Barnet after playing a one-two with fellow replacement Byron Harrison.

In the second minute of stoppage time, Mullings went close again with another header from a free-kick, but there was no power on an effort that was comfortable for Cousins.

With no goal forthcoming, Daggers saw their final game of 2018 end in defeat and Taylor’s men will hope for better at Leyton Orient on New Year’s Day.

Daggers (3-1-4-2): Justham; Goodliffe, Onariase, Clark; Wright; Nunn (Reynolds 46), Phipps (Blanchfield 65), Harfield (Mullings 71), Gordon; Balanta, Wilkinson.

Subs: Moore (GK), Hoyte.

Barnet (4-3-3): Cousins; Alexander, Reynolds, Sweeney, Johnson; Adams, Robson, Taylor; Elito (Harrison 78), Coulthirst (Tutonda 87), Mason-Clark (Akinola 59).

Subs: Matrevics (GK), Fonguck.

Referee: Adrian Quelch.

Attendance: 1,775 (including 301 Barnet fans).

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