Daggers begin the Easter weekend with a defeat away to Hartlepool United

Dagenham & Redbridge midfielder Matt Robinson

Dagenham & Redbridge midfielder Matt Robinson had a header cleared off the line at Yeovil - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Dagenham & Redbridge crashed to a 2-1 defeat away to second-placed Hartlepool United.

The hosts started brightly, forcing an early corner in the second minute but striker Paul McCallum cleared it away.

Dagenham had their first real chance of the match in the eighth minute of play when defender Joey Jones done well to pinch the ball and play it up to forward Angelo Balanta, but his subsequent shot went just wide.

Shortly after Rhys Oates had an effort blocked by Daggers right wing-back Myles Weston.

In the 21st minute Oates picked up the ball down the right and his low, deflected shot flew past goalkeeep Elliott Justham for his eighth goal of the season to make it 1-0 to the hosts.

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Weston crossed to Balanta as Dagenham looked to bounce straight back in the game, but the latter couldn’t direct the header on target.

Midfielder Matt Robinson marked his 150th appearance by nabbing an equaliser in the 32nd minute of play.

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Weston beats his man on the right and former Luton Town man Robinson was there to head the ball past Ben Killip.

Balanta then had a chance early in the second-half as they looked to grab the lead but his effort was denied by the former Braintree Town shot-stopper.

The Pools restored their lead in the 60th minute of play as Gavan Holohan powered a header home from a set-piece.

The visitors then to strike right back but Liam Gordon was forced into an acrobatic shot but his effort went wide moments later.

Mauro Vilhete struck one well after a good passing move from the Daggers, but Killip got down and held onto it in the 71st minute.

Manager Daryl McMahon rolled the dice to try getting Dagenham back into the contest by bringing on George Saunders and Darren McQueen to spark a new lease of energy.

It was however the hosts who continued to cause danger as loan striker Richie Bennett looked for a penalty but the referee waved it away in the 83rd minute.

Holohan then tried to lob Justham after a good counter attack by the Pools in the dying stages but his effort went wide of the post.

Daggers went for it late on as goalkeeper Justham rushed forward for a corner in stoppage time where he almost headed home from a corner.

Hartlepool United: Killip, Sterry, Cass, Liddle, Odusina, Ferguson, Featherstone, Holohan, Shelton (Williams 56), Oates (Bennett 74), Armstrong (White 85).

Unused subs: Donaldson and Molyneux.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Weston, Wright, Clark, Jones, Gordon, Vilhete (Saunders 72), Rance, Robinson, Balanta, McCallum (McQueen 75)

Unused subs: Reynolds, Sagaf, Khan.

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