Daggers pay penalty in cup defeat to Heybridge
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Essex Senior Cup: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Heybridge Swifts 1 (Heybridge win 2-1 on penalties)
Dagenham & Redbridge crashed out of the Essex Senior Cup on penalties after a 1-1 draw at home to Heybridge Swifts in the third round.
Daggers boss Peter Taylor opted to watch the game from the stands, with assistant manager Terry Harris on touchline duty.
Gavin Hoyte, Alex Davey and recent addition Conor Wilkinson were among those given a chance to show why they should be in the starting XI.
The Victoria Road club breathed an early sigh of relief in the sixth minute when stopper Lewis Moore saved on the line after Alieu Njie flicked a Luke Wilson header from a corner towards goal.
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Daggers then took the nine minutes later through Shamir Mullings, who showed good technique to control a long ball over the top from Moore, before powering a shot into the net from 18 yards.
Mullings should have doubled his lead when intercepting a loose pass from Swifts skipper Kreshnic Krasniqi in the 25th minute, but shot straight at Haigh with only the keeper to beat.
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With 14 minutes remaining in the half, a dinked ball back across goal from the left by Daggers winger Chike Kandi was headed wide at the back post by Will Wright.
Wilkinson went close to doubling the lead for the National League outfit in the 52nd minute, but saw his effort from 10 yards pushed behind for a corner by Haigh.
Harfield was next to try his luck for Daggers, forcing Haigh into a good stop with an 18-yard shot 10 minutes later after initially playing a one-two with Mullings.
Despite having the majority of the chances, only a fine save from Moore to deny Reuben Mudd in the 64th minute kept the home team in fornt.
The Daggers stopper was not so fortunate a minute later when Krasniqi drew Swifts level Moore had blocked the away skipper’s initial effort.
The National League outfit had a glorious chance to regain the lead with 15 minutes remaining when Kandi found Noel Leighton in the box, but the replacement fired straight at Haigh.
With no winner forthcoming from either side, the match went straight to a penalty shoot-out to decide the victor.
After some pretty poor penalties from both sides, Joe Gardner stepped up to take the winning spot-kick to send Daggers crashing out of the cup.
Daggers (4-4-2): Moore; Hoyte, Davey, Wright, Gordon; Kandi, Bonds (Bellamy 46), Harfield, Reynolds; Wilkinson (Leighton 61), Mullings.
Subs: Najia (GK), Salis, Hirst.
Heybridge: Haigh; Ramon-Carreno, Njie, Wilson, Sivapathasundaram; Clark (Chatting 46), Krasniqi, Craddock (Martin-Sorondo 42), Gardner; Walker, Mudd (Price 74).
Referee: Craig Barnett.