Wilkinson on target as Daggers draw with Moors
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Vanarama National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Solihull Moors 1
Dagenham & Redbridge ended the Vanarama National League season with an impressive 1-1 draw against Solihull Moors.
Despite Solihull needing a sizable victory to have any chance of winning the title, the opening half was a cagey affair with Daggers blunted in attack.
The second half was a complete contrast as the two teams went hammer and tong, while there was even a missed penalty.
As expected, Daggers made 11 changes to their XI following Monday’s defeat at Braintree Town with a much-changed side.
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The likes of Elliot Justham, Kenny Clark, Angelo Balanta and Conor Wilkinson were all recalled to the line-up for the final game of the campaign.
Elliot Justham was another back in the XI and made a good save to keep out Liam Daly’s header following a free-kick in the 10th minute.
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It took the Essex club until the 32nd minute to register their first shot of the match, but Balanta wildly fired high and wide from 20 yards.
That was the final sight of goal in a dull first half that saw more bookings than shots on target.
Daggers, however, made a lightning start to the second half with Wilkinson putting the hosts ahead inside a minute of the restart.
Moors stopper Ryan Boot raced out to beat Balanta to a long ball forward from defence, but his clearance was tame.
The ball only made it as far as Wilkinson, who was able to calmly chip the ball into the net from 25 yards.
Wilkinson nearly had a second six minutes later when getting in behind the away defence, but saw another dinked effort hit the bar from a tight angle.
In a frantic period, Solihull then drew level in the 55th minute when Nathan Smith turned the ball into his own net.
Jermaine Hylton got in behind the home defence and as he tried to square the ball to Nathan Blissett, Smith’s attempts to block the pass diverted the ball into the net.
The Essex club were then awarded a penalty two minutes later when Wilkinson was bundled over by Harry Flowers in the box.
Balanta stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick, but saw his effort brilliantly saved down low by Boot.
Justham was then needed to produce sublime reaction stop in the 63rd minute to keep out a deflected free-kick from Terry Hawkridge
With 10 minutes remaining, Balanta went close to restoring the hosts’ lead with a curling effort from 20 yards that was well held by Boot.
Tyrone Williams so nearly put Solihull ahead in the 87th minute, but his header from a corner went just over the bar.
Ollie Harfield thought he had won the game for Daggers in stoppage time, but was denied by a superb goalline clearance from Liam Daly.
That was the last sight of goal for either team as the season ended for Daggers with a point against the team who would finish second.
Dagenham (4-4-2): Justham; Wright, Onariase, Clark, Smith; Kandi, Loft, Robinson, Harfield; Balanta, Wilkinson.
Subs: Moore (GK), McQueen, Goodliffe, Adeloye, Munns.
Solihull (5-3-2): Boot; Vaughan, Williams, Daly, Flowers, Carline; Hawkridge, Maxwell, Sbarra; Blissett (Stenson 70), Hylton.
Subs: Agboola (GK), Gudger, Carter, Wright.
Referee: Chris Pollard.
Attendance: 1,370 (including 154 Solihull fans).