Dagenham & Redbridge held to draw
PUBLISHED: 16:58 29 August 2015 | UPDATED: 17:04 29 August 2015
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Sky Bet League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Stevenage 1
Dagenham & Redbridge’s wait for a first win this season goes on as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Stevenage.
Ashley Hemmings fired Daggers in to the lead with a sensational strike midway through the first half.
But slack defending allowed Boro to haul themselves back in to the game and earn a point on a wet afternoon in east London.
The hosts made just one chance which was enforced with Jamie Cureton, who turned 40 on Friday, replacing the suspended Matt McClure.
But the positive team news came from the bench, with Zavon Hines named in a matchday squad for the first time since March 2014.
Dagenham began the match brightly, with their first chance falling in just the second minute.
A long ball forward was headed in to Cureton’s path by Christian Doidge and the evergreen frontman burst in to the box.
Cureton then slid the ball back across the area to Doidge on the penalty spot but his effort was blocked by Mark Hughes.
Less than a minute later, Jodi Jones was hacked down on the right corner of the area and was awarded a free kick.
The youngster picked himself up to take it and flighted it over the wall well but into the grateful arms of Stevenage’s debutant goalkeeper Jesse Joronen.
Daggers were creating the best of the chances but nearly had their hands burned for not taking them with 23 minutes gone.
Boro’s Chris Whelpdale cut in from the right and crossed in the box, only to see the ball deflected high by Joe Widdowson.
It drew Liam O’Brien out of his goal but the keeper was beaten to the ball by visiting striker Brett Williams, who thankfully headed wide to keep the scores level.
Thankfully, though, the hosts were able to take the lead with 16 minutes left in the first half through Ashley Hemmings.
Andre Boucaud passed to the winger in the middle of the park 25 yards out who dummied past two defenders.
With nothing seemingly on, Hemmings left fly and the ball zoomed in to the top left corner with his trademark somersaults following.
The hosts were looking comfortable in the lead and could have doubled their advantage.
But with five minutes left in the half, they had O’Brien to thank for keeping them ahead with an unreal stop.
Diving to his left to save a shot, Williams prodded to his right just in front of the keeper who somehow got a hand to it before Widdowson cleared off the line.
Cureton nearly gave himself the perfect birthday present in the dying minutes of the first half.
The veteran forward met Jones’ cross from the right well but could only head on to Hughes and the ball went over for a corner.
After a somewhat slow start to the second half, the East Londoners had two efforts in quick succession cleared off the line.
Jones passed to Cureton 10 yards out who struck low at goal but his effort was rebounded in to his path by a defender.
With his second effort, Cureton tried to curl one in with his left foot only to see the ball headed off the line by Fraser Franks.
Those misses proved costly as Stevenage pulled themselves with 15 minutes to go in the match.
A ball in to the box was headed back across goal by Williams and turned home from six yards by Tom Hitchcock past a despairing O’Brien.
Daggers had chances to net a winner late on but they fluffed their lines as the wait goes on for the Football League’s second-bottom club.
Daggers: O’Brien; Passley, Nosworthy (Dikamona 64), Obileye, Widdowson; Jones (Hines 79), Boucaud, Ferdinand, Hemmings; Doidge, Cureton
Unused subs: Cousins, Connors, Chambers, Richards, Hamalainen
Attendance: 1,653 (including 320 Stevenage fans)
Referee: Tim Robinson