Oliver Hawkins’ goal for Dagenham & Redbridge proved crucial, admits Wealdstone boss Gordon Bartlett
PUBLISHED: 18:30 18 October 2016
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Early second half goal for Daggers proved difference according to Stones manager
Oliver Hawkins’ goal early in the second half for Dagenham & Redbridge was the turning point in the game during their 3-1 FA Cup fourth qualifying round win at home to Wealdstone, says Stones boss Gordon Bartlett.
Hawkins nodded Daggers back in front in the 50th minute at Victoria Road after Fejiri Okenabirhie’s opener for the Essex club had been cancelled out by a deflected Matty Whichelow strike on the stroke of half-time.
Jordan Maguire-Drew later added a third for Daggers with 15 minutes remaining, but Bartlett believes it was Hawkins’ header that proved a killer blow to the west Londoners’ hopes of causing an upset.
“To go 2-1 down five minutes into the second half, it made it very difficult and from there, they were the better side,” said the Wealdstone manager.
“We had a couple of opportunities and did hit the woodwork twice, but we gave a decent account of ourselves.”
Stones had also been hampered in the first half when goalkeeper Jonathan North was forced off with injury shortly after Okenabirhie had found the net to be replaced by Greek futsal international Paschalis Xanthos.
And Bartlett admitted that was a far-from-ideal situation for Wealdstone to find themselves in so early in the match away to a Daggers side pushing for promotion from the National League.
“The last thing you need after coming to a side near the top of the National League is to lose your keeper after 20, 25 minutes,” he added.
“Up until then, we were the better side. Dagenham scored within two minutes of him getting injured, then he had to come off.
“We dragged ourselves back into it and deservedly went into half-time level.”