Daggers concede late leveller
17:20 20 September 2014
Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu
Sky Bet League Two: Cheltenham 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 1
A goal three minutes from time prevented Dagenham & Redbridge earning all three points at Whaddon Road, as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Cheltenham.
Jamie Cureton had put the visitors ahead with a stunning finish but Joe Hanks scored for the Robins, following a goalmouth scramble, in the 87th minute to prevent the Victoria Road side earning a second away win of the season.
Wayne Burnett made one change to the side beaten at Portsmouth on Tuesday night as Joss Labadie replaced the suspended Andre Boucard, meaning Mark Cousins kept his place in goal for the visitors.
The Daggers manager was able to call upon Scott Doe and Christian Doidge, both took up positions on the bench -the latter for the first time this season.
John Marquis signalled his intentions in the third minute by firing tamely at Cousins before getting in behind the Daggers back four but firing over and the hosts continued to press.
A running battle started to develop between Marquis and Cousins with the latter again coming out on top in the ninth minute as the forward headed a cross from the left towards goal but the Daggers keeper tipped away brilliantly to ensure it was goalless.
Nine minutes later and again the Cheltenham forward tried to find a way past Cousins, but failed. Craig Braham-Barrett got past Damian Batt and cut back for Marquis but his low, hard drive was pushed away by the Daggers keeper.
The visitors started to settle after that opportunity and passed the ball about well in midfield, although they failed to show any real conviction.
Ashley Chambers did have two opportunities to help Burnett’s side find a breakthrough, but his two crosses from free kicks were both over hit.
Marquis came close again seven minutes before the break when Byron Harrison brushed past Brian Saah and crossed into the box. Batt was only able to clear to the Cheltenham forward, but after cutting inside twice, he dragged his effort wide.
Three minutes before the interval and Daggers came alive when Chambers latched onto a stray pass and the winger raced into the box before his deflected effort was just tipped away from the Cheltenham goal by Trevor Carson, and the home keeper was able to block George Porter’s rebound with his feet to stop the away side taking the lead.
Labadie earned the first yellow card of the match a minute before half time for a succession of fouls as Daggers went in level at the break.
Cheltenham started the second half strongly and mounted more pressure on Cousins goal but didn’t test the Daggers keeper seriously.
And then in the 58th minute, Cheltenham’s sloppiness in front of goal was punished by their former player Cureton.
Daggers number seven showed all his experience to outsprint Matt Taylor, following substitute Ashley Hemmings intelligent reverse pass. Cureton nodded across the defender before smashing past Carson from 16-yards-out to give the visitors the lead.
It was a stunning finish by the former Robin and rewarded Daggers first half resilience.
Cheltenham, as expected, responded but Marquis couldn’t convert Vaughan’s centre before he headed Matt Richards cross straight at his nemesis Cousins.
Brian Saah was next to thwart Marquis, blocking his goalbound effort after the Robins striker had skipped past two challenges – before Jordan Wynter scuffed the rebound wide.
Wynter was significantly more involved following that chance and nearly set up Cheltenham substitute Zack Kotwica for the equaliser.
Nathan Green was outmuscled on the left by Wynter, he cut back for Kotwica, but the youngsters effort from outside the box smashed off the crossbar before Daggers cleared.
Daggers boss Burnett introduced Jack Connors and Christian Doidge, the latter making his debut, soon after to try and ensure they held on for a vital three points.
However, three minutes from time Cheltenham finally found a way past Cousins through substitute Joe Hanks.
Wynter smashed a centre from the left against the crossbar and with Cousins still trying to get up, Hanks was able to scuff into the bottom corner to level the game.
It was particularly cruel on the Daggers keeper, who was fantastic throughout and Hanks had another opportunity deep into injury time but his free kick was cleared away before the full time whistle followed to give Burnett sides a point, although they would have been bitterly disappointed not to hold on for all three.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Cousins, Batt, Green, Saah, Partridge, Howell, Ogogo, Boucaud, Chambers (Connors 85), Porter (Hemmings 51), Cureton (Doidge 85).
Unused substitutes: O’Brien, Doe, Goldberg, Yusuff.
Cheltenham Town: Carson, Vaughan, Brown, Taylor, Braham-Barrett, Richards, Sterling-James (Hanks 71), Wynter, Black (Kotwica 64), Harrison (Gornell 84), Marquis.
Unsused substitutes: Haworth, Gould, Deaman, Lawrence.
Attendance: 2597 (103 Daggers supporters)