Dagenham held to goalless draw by 10 men Yeovil Town
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Yeovil Town 0
A frustrated Dagenham & Redbridge were held by 10-men Yeovil Town with familiar faces returning to Victoria Road this afternoon.
The boys in red returned home to Victoria Road to take on Yeovil, the home side’s squad though injury stricken, only able to name four substitutes.
Both sides seeking a victory with some of the visitors, ex-Daggers, returning to prove a point: Quigley, Staunton, Wilkinson and Murphy notably.
Onto the game, and it was an exciting start from the Daggers who won a corner early on from a free-kick in the first knockings of the encounter but that wasn’t where the first chance came. Mitch Brundle nearly found the net but his effort was fired low and just wide of the mark.
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The greater danger though early on did come from The Glovers who registered the first shot on target from a corner. Elliot Justham was called into action as he was forced to tip Charlie Lee’s effort over - the No.22 managing to find space in the box.
Many players with a point to prove we’re out on the Victoria Road turf as they returned to face their old club - some strong challenges going in. The visitors nearly going down to ten men though, as a rash challenge from skipper Collins on the rapid McQueen saw him be the first to enter the ref’s book.
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It was the high press, reviviscent of pre-Lockdown Dagenham which impressed the most - a real sign of attacking intent. Sam Deering so nearly getting a reward for his side’s hard work, but Luke Wilkinson had other ideas - denying his former side an opener.
Another chance was created in the form of a set-piece within the ‘D’ of the Yeovil box as McQueen was again brought down. Mitch Brundle stepped up to take it but as he tried to get it under the wall - it was blocked.
A much better start from the Daggers who were quick out of the blocks and attacked with purpose in the first 20 minutes. But still a goal alluded the home side who began to dominate in possession.
Cross after cross was going into the Yeovil box as the Daggers midfield dictated the play - the visitors holding strong at the back though. The men in green also breaking forward occasionally, not as frequently as Dagenham, but nonetheless a threat to look out for were the Somerset side.
The away side growing into the game nearly found a breakthrough with Rhys Murphy getting in behind but a man back on top of his game was Elliot Justham. After a mistake in midweek, he proved just why he’s the best in the business at this level keeping a certain goal out.
Another let off for the Daggers who were now wanting half time to come just to regroup as they conceded a free-kick in a good position. Luke Wilkinson fancied it and he nearly scored it, rattling the crossbar, so nearly putting his side in a great position going into the break.
It came in the nick of time as it was all-square at the break: a good start, bad end for the Daggers. A couple of half-chances for McMahon’s men but there was nothing in the way of clear-cut chances.
Elliot Justham was to thank for keeping it 0-0, more than redeeming himself. The Dagenham midfield was also a lot stronger than previously but there was little danger in the final third.
It was the Glovers who got the second half underway, a big ‘45 for both sides but the away side started the brighter. McMahon looked to make a change after 5 minutes, few players to choose from, but he opted to give George Saunders his debut. He replaced Kai Brown who hadn’t had the best of games - the man coming on a player Dagenham fans have been itching to see in action.
After a rather uneventful opening 15 minutes things were soon to get a whole lot more interesting. Darren McQueen has been causing havoc all game and he looked through on goal did the pacey striker.
Therefore Luke Wilkinson decided to take him out, last man, and was dismissed - a big blow for Yeovil.
Despite the advantage, the hosts were by no means dominating as Rogers tried his luck from distance - forcing Justham to concede a corner.
But, even though there wasn’t an immediate response, McMahon’s men began to look dangerous on the break - but still no breakthrough.
Sam Deering driving the attack for the reds as he sprayed the ball out wide to McQueen, Wright getting a great ball in eventually - winning a corner.
Will Wright has replaced Andrew Eleftheriou five minutes prior and had impressed since he was introduced.
With an advantage in terms of numbers, the hosts needed to capitalise with 10 minutes remaining in the game. A great opportunity came for Dagenham but Will Wright couldn’t find the net from a 25 yard free-kick.
The hosts were on top though as Yeovil looked to see out the last 10 to nick a respectable point.
Yet another set-piece was won around the box as Deering this time was fouled, he was the one to play it to Saunders but he was crowded out in the area.
The latter was unable to find that moment of quality to get his side in front since coming on.
However, it was the opposition who had a couple of opportunities late on, piling men into the box, but Justham commanded his box well. The Daggers had plenty of possession towards the end but the Glovers worked hard at the back - crowding out the likes of Balanta in the final third.
That crowding out was ultimately good enough to see out the game as Yeovil hung onto a point in spite of a one man disadvantage - extremely frustrating for Dagenham.
McMahon’s men were unable to take the golden opportunity dealt to them in the end as they didn’t test keeper Smith at all in the Yeovil goal with the final, slide-rule pass just not there.
As well as McQueen did up top, man of the match and rightly so, the physical presence of Paul McCallum was gravely missed as the Daggers attackers couldn’t get a shot off.
The Daggers frustrated but with a point after today and they now look to progress to the first round proper of the FA Cup next weekend - a break from the league fixtures which have come thick and fast - taking their toll on McMahon’s men.