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Daggers suffer defeat at Maidenhead United

PUBLISHED: 22:41 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 22:41 27 October 2020

Sam Deering of Dagenham during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Hartley Wintney, Emirates FA Cup Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 24th October 2020

Sam Deering of Dagenham during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Hartley Wintney, Emirates FA Cup Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 24th October 2020

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National League: Maidenhead United 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

Abu Ogogo of Dagenham during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Hartley Wintney, Emirates FA Cup Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 24th October 2020Abu Ogogo of Dagenham during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Hartley Wintney, Emirates FA Cup Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 24th October 2020

A Dagenham & Redbridge side who were buoyed by a Sam Deering wonder-goal to open his Daggers account were left bemused - throwing away a lead in Berkshire to a clinical Maidenhead United as they lost 2-1.

Both sides not having the greatest start to the season were eyeing the encounter as a chance to take all 3 points.

The Daggers registering only four points and their opponents with just the six going into the match at York Road. It was the hosts who would have the brighter start but even then, that was quite dim.

The Magpies winning a corner early on but causing no real danger with both sides unable to get settle in the game after five minutes.

Charlee Adams of Dagenham and Annis Nuur of Hartley Wintney during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Hartley Wintney, Emirates FA Cup Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 24th October 2020Charlee Adams of Dagenham and Annis Nuur of Hartley Wintney during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Hartley Wintney, Emirates FA Cup Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 24th October 2020

A first chance came for the home side soon enough though, as Blissett headed just over from a good cross - following a good move.

A similar move came up the other end, only for Deering’s cross to be met with the cold air of Berkshire and little else! Breaking the lull in play, Coley stole the ball off Wright with the former’s cross met - the weak header though collected by Justham.

A little more end-to-end action as the 20-minute mark approached as Deering found himself with the ball at his feet - crowded out - he couldn’t make use of the position he was in.

The Daggers, finally settling down after 20 minutes, took control of possession but were yet to fashion a clear-cut chance. However, Coley was still able to find joy down the right of Dagenham’s defence, even if Justham was the one receiving his crosses.

Luke Croll of Dagenham during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Hartley Wintney, Emirates FA Cup Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 24th October 2020Luke Croll of Dagenham during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Hartley Wintney, Emirates FA Cup Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 24th October 2020

The only other outlet was Blissett up top for Maidenhead but for the third time in 27 minutes he fell victim to the away side’s offside trap.

As for Dagenham, their attacking players were just unable to penetrate the opposition defences as they were on the same wavelength - reading the game well.

A rather dull affair as many predicted, after a 10 minutes with nothing worthy of note, it wasn’t long until the close of the half. Neither side had threatened to score in the opening 35 and not did they look like doing so.

Ogogo looked to create something for his side in the form of winning a free-kick around 30 yards out - driving forward. However, the set-piece was wasted and subsequently dealt with by Devonshire’s men.

Balanta has his first shot in a bid to break the deadlock after a well-worked move; the Colombian was too far out though it proved - his effort sailing over. A minute to play in the opening ‘45, the hosts won a corner, but it was a familiar story and the ball was cleared.

An anomaly would soon come out of nowhere though as sublime technique - in terms of a volley - would bulge Ashby-Hammond’s net. A quick move and thinking from Wright saw him ping it to Deering who was alone, just inside of the box - the mini magician hitting a first time volley right into the top corner.

A goal of the season contender for sure. And, if it wasn’t for that, you’d have to say it was a lifeless ‘45 minutes and you couldn’t see where a goal was coming from. But, with Deering having breathed life into the encounter, providing that moment of brilliance, the Daggers were in pursuit of more goals in the second half.

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The East London side nearly broke through the hosts’ defence as Ogogo fought and won the ball in the middle of the park. However, his ball through to Wilson just made its way to Ashby-Hammond in the Magpies’ goal.

The away side picking up where they left off, with Deering exchanging passes in the final third but the final ball he was just unable to execute. McMahon’s men were also picking the tempo up a little, in comparison to the first half.

However, that tempo counts for nothing when defending corners when the Daggers again just switched off! Nathan Blissett turned the ball home after an initial Justham clearance was knocked back into the box.

The visitors had played well up until that point and looked very comfortable, but the game was suddenly all to play for - Devonshire’s side back in it. Frustrated, the Dagenham manager made his first change with Saunders making way for Eleftheriou.

There was no real response to the equaliser from his side as any move petered out in the final third - a game many had down as a ‘must win’ for the visitors. They do nearly did go in front just inside 70 minutes but Balanta and Deering both had shots blocked in the box - the ball loose.

After a few last-ditch fouls, the reds were finally awarded a free-kick, Will Wright winning a corner from it. The away side now gaining some much-needed momentum as moments later Clark’s header glanced wide.

These missed chances would soon prove costly as a calamitous error from Justham at the back - caught out of goal - saw Coley chip it into the net.

A man who had made not one notable mistake last season had made yet another error in the 2020/21 campaign which hasn’t been too kind to him.

Questions were to be asked of Dagenham’s defence as another soft goal had been conceded and they were behind. It was so nearly three as matters looked to get worse for the visitors, but Justham redeemed himself to an extent with a top drawer save - a free-kick that was destined for the top corner.

A big ten minutes were ahead as McMahon’s men seemed to have thrown away a lead in 30 minutes - the Irishman opted to introduce Darren McQueen to the field in a bid to salvage something.

A half-chance came but went begging for the side who were pleading for a leveller - Balanta turning the ball just over the bar from 10 yards.

Another opportunity cane in the added time, as Will Wright looked to earn his side a point from a free-kick - he went for goal but his effort too ambitious.

Bemused as the final whistle blew, both fans and players, as to how their side had gone from a comfortable position - albeit a one goal lead. To then, defeat at the hands of, at most stages in the game, inferior opposition.

The Daggers still with just one win and another disappointing defeat in Berkshire will only add to the frustration.

Injury-stricken, low on confidence, poor performance are all possible reasons for the inadequate start to the season for McMahon’s side - it’s a complex issue though that needs to be solved.

Dagenham & Redbridge XI: Justham, Wright, Croll, Clark, Johnson, Ogogo, Brundle, Balanta, Deering, Saunders Wilson

Maidenhead United XI: Ashby-Hammond, Massey, Wells, Parry, Sheckleford, Sparkes, Comley, Coley, Upward, Donnellan, Blissett


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