Dagenham & Redbridge 2 Boreham Wood 3: Michael Cheek goal in vein as Daggers go down to Wood
PUBLISHED: 21:43 09 January 2018
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Vanaram National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 2 (Cheek 55, Sparkes 90+1) Boreham Wood 3 (Andrade 12, 48p, Balanta 59)
Dagenham & Redbridge suffered a 3-2 defeat at home to Boreham Wood in the National League, despite goals from Michael Cheek and Dan Sparkes.
Despite enjoying plenty of possession, Daggers were unable to fashion many openings in the first half and trailed to an early goal for Wood.
In the second half, both Cheek and Sparkes netted for the hosts, but the visitors also netted twice to triumph.
Daggers boss John Still made just one change following the win at home to Hartlepool United on Saturday.
Morgan Ferrier, who impressed after coming on as a substitute against Pools, came in for Sparkes, who dropped to the bench despite scoring twice at the weekend.
The Essex club started brightly, with both Ferrier and Luke Howell going close in the opening five minutes.
The duo then combined in the 11th minute, with a delightful through ball from Howell playing Ferrier in one-on-one with Wood stopper Grant Smith.
However, the striker, playing against his former club, produced a tame effort that Smith easily collected.
It proved a costly miss as less than a minute later, Luke Garrard’s men took the lead through Bruno Andrade.
After breaking down the left through Ricky Shakes, Andrade swept home from close range to put the Hertfordshire outfit ahead.
Wood nearly added a second in 20th when a Kane Smith cross from the right found the head of Joe Quigley just a few yards out.
However, a fine save from Mark Cousins kept the hosts just a goal behind, with the stopper clawing the header off the line.
With 14 minutes left in the half, a glorious ball from Ferrier on the left of the box found Howell, but the midfielder mishit his effort.
Despite the scuff, the ball was collected by striker Cheek, who was also unable to get a clean effort on goal, allowing Garrard’s men to clear.
Seven minutes later, after winning a corner, a superb delivery from the right by Jake Howells found Daggers defender Kevin Lokko at the back post.
With the goal at his mercy, Lokko, on loan from League Two side Stevenage, narrowly headed off target.
That seemed to give the Essex club renewed hope, with Ferrier drawing a good save from Grant Smith after a strong run down the left in the 40th minute.
The save, though, took the ball into the path of Fejiri Okenabirhie, who played it across the face of goal, but no team mate was able to tap home the equaliser.
No further chances were forthcoming for Still’s men before the interval as they went into the changing rooms trailing by a goal.
Just three minutes into the second half, the Victoria Road outfit conceded a second when Andrade converted a penalty.
Daggers midfielder Matt Robinson was adjudged to have fouled Kieran Murtagh from behind in the box, with Andrade tucking away the spot kick.
In need of a quick response, Daggers almost pulled one back in the 53rd minute when Howells crossed from the left.
Cheek rose highest to head at goal, but a good save from Grant Smith at full stretch kept the ball out of the net.
Two minutes later, though, Cheek was able to get the better of the Wood stopper, nodding home a Howells cross from the left to cut the gap to just one goal.
However, the Hertfordshire outfit soon regained their two-goal lead with Angelo Balanta netting a farcical goal in the 59th minute.
After Quigley played the ball across goal, Howells’ clearance smacked Lokko square in the face.
The ball rebounded into the path of Balanta who, after taking a touch to set himself, rifled home from 12 yards.
Quigley himself nearly got among the scorers two minutes later, forcing Cousins into a low save following a swift counter attack.
Balanta could have had a second just over 60 seconds later, but saw two efforts cleared off the line by first Howells and then Sam Ling in quick succession.
Wood were keen to add a fourth, with a diving side from Cousins preventing Andrade from completing his hat trick in the 74th minute.
The Essex club spent the closing moments putting pressure on the visitors’ goal, but were again unable to create much in attack.
Daggers were given hope again, though, when substitute Sparkes found the net in stoppage time.
Two minutes later, a corner from the left by replacement Corey Whitely was nodded wide of goal by Lokko as the hosts looked for an equaliser.
However, Daggers were unable to find one in the time that remained as Wood held on to win.
Daggers (4-2-3-1): Cousins; Ling, Robson, Lokko, Howells; Boucaud, Robinson (Doe 66); Ferrier, Howell (Whitely 58), Okenabirhie (Sparkes 66); Cheek.
Subs: Moore (GK), Kandi.
Wood (3-4-1-2): G Smith; Davey, Champion, Turley; K Smith, Ricketts, Murtagh, Shakes; Balanta; Andrade (Woodards 77), Quigley (Jeffers 80).
Subs: Turgott, Chesmain, Jarvis.
Referee: Gary Parsons.
Attendance: 1,117 (including 47 Wood fans).