Dagenham & Redbridge 3 Gateshead 1: Morgan Ferrier helps Daggers maintain unbeaten start to campaign
PUBLISHED: 16:52 02 September 2017
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Vanarama National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 3 (White 13, Ferrier 80, Romain 88) Gateshead 1 (Lokko OG 24)
Dagenham & Redbridge returned to the top of the National League with a fine 3-1 win at home to Gateshead.
Joe White put Daggers ahead in the first half on his full debut, but the sides went into the break level after Kevin Lokko had turned the ball into his own net.
Goals in the final 10 minutes, though, from Morgan Ferrier and Elliott Romain ensured Daggers maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign.
Daggers were given a boost on the morning of the match, with boss John Still having been named National League manager of the month for August.
Daggers made three changes for the clash, with Oliver Hawkins, who joined Portsmouth on Thursday, replaced by White, who was making his first start.
Corey Whitely was also absent having injured his ankle in Monday’s draw at Maidstone United and was replaced in the starting XI by Jake Howells.
Sam Ling was sent off in that stalemate and missed the Gateshead match through suspension, with Ben Nunn coming in for his first appearances as a Dagger since joining in the summer.
With 11 minutes on the clock, Daggers came close to taking the lead in somewhat calamitous fashion.
Ferrier raced through on goal, but Heed defender Theo Vassell’s efforts to tackle the striker saw him divert the ball towards goal, with Dan Hanford saving.
The ball, however, still looked destined to loop into the net, only for Vassell to recover and clear off the line.
The clearance fell kindly at the feet of White on the penalty spot, but with the Gateshead defence having recovered, the teenage forward saw his effort blocked.
White did find the net two minutes later, though, for his first goal in a Daggers shirt.
A free kick into the box found Ferrier, who headed at goal, but drew a good save from Hanford.
However, the Heed stopper could only palm the ball into the path of White, who was only too happy to convert the chance and fire the hosts ahead.
With 24 minutes on the clock, the Heed were level after defender Kevin Look had turned a Jordan Preston free kick into his own net.
Eight minutes later, Preston nearly added a second for the visitors, but lobbed over the bar after Richard Peniket’s shot deflected kindly into the Gateshead man’s path.
Daggers were granted a fine chance to retake the lead from 12 yards in the 42nd minute when Ferrier was pulled back by visiting defender Neill Byrne in the box.
The home forward dusted himself down to take the spot kick, but hit the bar after attempting a Panenka chip, before having a shot blocked in the ensuing melee.
That proved to be the last piece of goalmouth action of the half as the sides went in level.
Ten minutes into the second half, though, Daggers nearly fell behind for the first time when Luke Hannant flashed the ball across the face of goal from the right, but no Heed player was able to reach the pass.
Six minutes later at the other end, Ferrier showed good strength to fashion room for an effort on the edge of the area, with his powerful shot pushed over by Hanford for a corner that came to nothing.
Ferrier continued to hustle and harry, having another effort deflected behind for a corner in the 64th minute.
Three minutes later, Daggers were indebted to stopper Mark Cousins for keeping it level, denying Gateshead substitute Robbie Tinkler with a header from six yards.
Daggers, though, should have retaken the lead in the 69th minute when a long punt forward resulted in Ferrier rounding the Heed keeper, only for his effort to be blocked on the line by Byrne.
With 10 minutes to go, though, the former Boreham Wood man finally got his goal.
A cross into the box from Matt Robinson was nodded back across goal by skipper Craig Robson, with Ferrier applying the finishing touch from six yards.
The win was completed with two minutes remaining when replacement Elliott Romain also netted his first club goal, rounding off a fine run forward by thumping the ball into the net.
Daggers (4-2-3-1): Cousins; Nunn, Robson, Lokko, Pennell; Robinson, Boucaud; Okenabirhie (Wheeler 64), White (Romain 64), Howells; Ferrier.
Subs: Justham, Adams, N’Gala.
Gateshead (3-5-2): Hanford; Vassell, Byrne, Fyfield; Williams, Penn (Burrow 81), Hannant, McLaughlin, Mellish (Tinkler 16); Preston (Johnson 64), Peniket.
Subs: York, Green.
Referee: Neil Hair.
Attendance: 1,358 (including 21 Gateshead fans).