Daggers unable to get the better of Aldershot despite Wilkinson goal

Conor Wilkinson of Dagenham & Redbridge scores the first goal against Aldershot Town (pic: Gavin Ell

Conor Wilkinson of Dagenham & Redbridge scores the first goal against Aldershot Town (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Vanarama National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 (Wilkinson 49) Aldershot Town 1 (Mensah 64)

Dagenham & Redbridge were held to a 1-1 draw at home to strugglers Aldershot Town in the Vanarama National League.

The sides played out a drab first half which saw very few chances created and the keepers rarely troubled.

Conor Wilkinson put the Essex club ahead in the second half, but his goal was cancelled out by the Shots.

Peter Taylor made two changes to his Daggers XI and also altered his formation despite beating Maidstone United 3-0 last time out.

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Doug Loft, who joined in the week on loan from Gillingham, and Lamar Reynolds both came into the starting XI as the hosts switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Wing-back Liam Gordon dropped to the bench, while forward Angelo Balanta missed out all together after picking up an injury last Saturday.

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For Aldershot, former Daggers midfielder Luke Howell skipped the visitors on his return to Victoria Road.

The Essex club began brightly and could have taken the lead in the seventh minute when Matt Robinson played in Alex McQueen inside the area.

The midfielder opted against shooting first time, instead taking a touch which allowed the Shots to recover and block his effort before clearing their lines.

Four minutes later, Aldershot’s Regan Booty went close from 15 yards, but Daggers stopper Elliot Justham was well behind the effort.

Bernard Mensah was next to go close for the visitors, heading a cross from the left just past the far post in the 13th minute.

Taylor’s men thought they had taken the lead in the 21st minute when Jack Munns ball across the face of goal was deflected towards the net, but the away side scrambled it away before it crossed the line.

Chances, though, were at a premium from then on as the two sides went into half-time without troubling the scorers.

It took just four minutes of the second half, however, for the deadlock to be broken thanks to Wilkinson.

The ex-Gillingham man went close again in stoppage time with a dipping half-volley that only just cleared the bar.

Out of nothing, the forward fired home from the edge of the area to put the Essex club in front with their first shot on target.

The Shots almost produced an immediate response when Mensah acrobatically shot at goal three minutes later, but was denied by Justham.

Mensah did get his goal in the 64th minute, heading home unmarked from six yards after Lewis Kinsella crossed from the left.

With five minutes remaining, the Shots nearly scored a carbon copy of their first when Adam McDonnell crossed from the left for substitute Luke Wanadio to head at goal, but the effort was straight at Justham.

Wilkinson nearly had a brilliant second in the 88th minute when firing at goal from some 25 yards, but away stopper Will Mannion did well to keep the shot out.

There was a hairy moment with the final action of the game as an Aldershot ball from the left went across the face of goal, but no visiting player was on hand to turn the ball in.

Daggers will hope to return to winning ways next Saturday when they make the trip to Maidenhead United.

Daggers (4-2-3-1): Justham; Nunn, Clark, Onariase, Smith; Loft, Robinson; McQueen, Munns (Kandi 69), Reynolds (Gordon 77); Wilkinson.

Subs: Moore (GK), Goodliffe, Wright.

Aldershot (4-3-3): Mannion; Bernard, Lelan, Finney, Kinsella; McDonnell, Howell, Booty; Goddard (McClure 90+3), McDonagh, Mensah (Wanadio 73).

Subs: Gallagher, Bozier, McCoy.

Referee: Paul Howard.

Attendance: 1,652 (332 Aldershot fans).

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