Eastleigh 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 2: Whitely doubles up for Daggers
PUBLISHED: 17:12 12 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:12 12 August 2017
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Corey Whitely scored twice as Dagenham & Redbridge earned a share of the National League spoils at Eastleigh.
A draw makes it seven points from nine so far for John Still’s men, which is a decent return ahead of their home match with Ebbsfleet United in midweek.
Kick-off on the south coast was slightly delayed, but Oliver Hawkins headed into the hands of Graham Stack in the first minute, with the keeper tipping Whitely’s free-kick over on six minutes.
But the visitors got their noses in front in the 12th minute when Whitely went through and slotted past Stack for his third goal of the campaign.
Craig Robson headed away the danger as the hosts looked to respond, then nodded wide at the other end after Hawkins had seen another effort blocked.
Eastleigh had a couple of openings midway through the half, but were forced to replace Paul McCallum with Chris Zebroski on the half hour.
Daggers had to send Kevin Lokko on for Scott Doe on 36 minutes, but they thought they had doubled their lead when Morgan Ferrier found the net, only to be denied by an offside flag.
It was all square two minutes before the break, though, as Ben Williamson beat Mark Cousins to level.
And things got worse for Daggers in stopage time as Easleigh were awarded a penalty at a corner and Williamson converted from the spot to put them in front.
After a fairly even opening to the second half, Daggers saw Fejiri Okenabirhie force a save from Stack on 61 minutes, before some great work by Whitely almost created an opening for Hawkins.
Andre Boucaud then had a shot tipped over the bar by Stack, before Daggers were awarded a penalty at a Whitely free-kick and he stepped up to score his second goal of the game from the spot.
And they went close to a winner when Robson and Ling combined to find Whitely, whose cross was just beyond subbstitute Michael Cheek.
Elliot Romain saw a low shot go wide in the last minute of normal time, while Cheek fired into the side netting from Ling’s long throw-in.
Eastleigh forced two late corners in stoppage time, though, and also forced Cousins to save low down before the ifnal whistle.
Daggers return to Victoria Road to host Ebbsfleet on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Dagenham: Cousins, Pennell, Doe, Robson, Hawkins (Cheek 77), Ferrier, Okenabirhie (Romain 70), N’Gala, Boucaud, Ling, Whitely. Unused subs: McNamara, Lokko, Howells.
Attendance: 1,614 (including 131 Daggers fans).