Kandi penalty fires Daggers to sweet success over Braintree
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Vanarama National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 (Kandi pen. 84) Braintree Town 0
Dagenham & Redbridge collected their first Vanarama National League win of the season at the ninth attempt with a 1-0 win at home to Braintree Town.
The first half was not one that will live long in the memory, with both sides struggling to keep the ball for long periods.
The game appeared to be heading for a draw, but a penalty from Chike Kandi in the final 10 minutes secured a win for the hosts.
Daggers boss Peter Taylor made two changes for the visit of the Iron, one of which was enforced.
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Alex Davey picked up a knock in Saturday’s draw at home to Salford City and was replaced in the XI by Lamar Reynolds, prompting a change in formation.
Tomi Adeloye, meanwhile, came in for fellow striker Noel Leighton, who dropped to the bench, in a like-for-like swap.
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Braintree made a bright start to proceedings and nearly took the lead in the third minute when a corner to the near post was backheeled towards goal by Patrick Webber, but the hosts were able to clear the effort off the line.
From there, however, there was little of note with both sides unable to string passes together and, ultimately, develop good periods of play.
Daggers, though, went close to an opener in the 30th minute when a long throw from Luke Pennell sailed all the way to the back post, where Adeloye’s effort from a tight angle was blocked at close range by Town stopper Ben Killip.
An error from Pennell led to a chance for the Iron four minutes later when Justin Amaluzor robbed the defender of the ball, but his low pass across the box evaded a colleague when any touch would surely have resulted in the opener.
With six minutes remaining in the half, only the crossbar prevented Adeloye from grabbing the first goal, with a powerful effort from 25 yards clipping the woodwork on its way over.
The miss meant the sides went into the break goalless, but Daggers made a bright start to second period.
Five minutes into the second half, a cross from the right by Will Wright found Adeloye, whose resulting header drew a fine save from Killip at full stretch.
A minute later, a quick break from Braintree ended when skipper Ricky Gabriel fired into the side netting from 25 yards.
The Essex club should have taken the lead in the 60th minute when a quick counter-attack down the right by Ollie Harfield saw the midfielder find Reynolds at the back post.
The winger took one touch to set himself and looked odds-on to find the back of the net, but instead blazed over.
It was a miss that nearly proved costly, with only a fine save from Elliot Justham denying Amaluzor from just inside the area a minute later.
A poor touch in midfielder by home skipper Matt Robinson in the 65th minute allowed Town to break, but mercifully Cameron James fired straight at Justham from 12 yards.
Daggers, though, were given a chance to take the lead in the 83rd minute when substitute Leighton was fouled in the area when trying to control a cross from the left.
Fellow replacement Kandi stepped up to take the spot kick and slammed the ball home from 12 yards.
The Victoria Road outfit nearly below their lead in the 86th minute when a corner came in from the right, but Reece Grant put a free header at the back post wide for the visitors.
Daggers, though, held on for their first league win of the season and will look for a second at Barrow on Saturday.
Daggers (4-4-2): Justham; McQueen (Hoyte 61), Goodliffe, Pennell, Gordon; Reynolds (Kandi 60), Robinson, Wright, Harfield; Romain, Adeloye (Leighton 70).
Subs: Moore (GK), Donovan.
Braintree (3-5-2): Killip; Lyons-Foster (Rowe 86), Nieskens, Webber; James, Allen, Sagaf, Crook (Della-Verde 65), Gabriel; Bettamer (Grant 79), Amaluzor.
Subs: Clark, Pattison.
Referee: Paul Howard.
Attendance: 1,081 (including 61 Braintree fans).