Dagenham get back to winning ways at home to Grimsby

Dagenham captain Angelo Balanta on the ball

Dagenham captain Angelo Balanta on the ball - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Dagenham & Redbridge got back to winning ways in an entertaining 3-2 triumph over Grimsby Town thanks to goals from Dean Rance, Ibby Akanbi and Angelo Balanta.

The Daggers looked impressive from the start, with the first chance of the game falling to Angelo Balanta, who sliced his half volley wide of the mark following a looping ball from Myles Weston.

Matt Robinson was keen to ensure that we didn’t let our dominance slip, pulling off abrilliant sliding tackle to deny Harry Clifton the chance to break away out wide. 

The Daggers should have taken the lead 12 minutes in after George Saunders beat four Grimsbymen and put in a well weighted ball which bounced into Balanta’s path, but the club captain couldn’t convert from close range.

However, the Daggers did break the deadlock through Dean Rance, with the midfielder’s looping header nestling into the back of the net after a Myles Weston cross. 

Matt Robinson tried to join his midfield partner on the scoresheet, but Robbo’s driven effort from range was kept out by Grimsby ‘keeper Max Crocombe.

Crocombe was again called into action after Myles Weston beat his man with a few stepovers before unleashing an effort towards the near post, which the Grimsby man was able to keep out. 

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The Daggers did let their concentration slip just moments before the end of the first half, with Jordan Maguire-Drew teeing up John McAtee for a poachers' finish to level the scoring.

The Daggers began the second half with a bang with Ibby Akanbi firing the hosts back in front with a vigorous effort, unleashing a strike into the roof of the net after collecting the ball inside of the area. 

Angelo Balanta extended that advantage just moments later after playing on the shoulder of the last defender and timing his run to perfection, which was enough to allow him to slot past the Grimsby ‘keeper and into the back of the net.

We were inches away from being three in front if it wasn’t for the quick reactions of Max Crocombe after a Will Wright free kick, which he looked to have crossed, was headed for the back of the net. 

Wright was determined for that goal, with an in-swinging corner ricocheting off the post and eventually being cleared by Grimsby. 

The drama didn’t stop there, with Grimsby’s leading marksman John McAtee being given his marching orders for a very late challenge on Mauro Vilhete.

The scoreline was shortened for the second time after substitute Sam Bell made an impact from the bench, scoring what would only be a consolation for the visitors.

Balanta nearly doubled his tally for the afternoon after his curling shot was well saved by Crocombe and out for a Daggers corner. 

The last bit of the action came after substitute Ryley Scott was played in by Balanta, but the former's cross for Ibby Akanbi was a looping one which the forward couldn’t connect with.

Dagenham & RedbridgeJustham, Wright, Reynolds, Ling, Saunders, Rance, Weston, Robinson, Vilhete (Scott, 73’), Balanta, Akanbi.

Unused subs:  Lawlor (GK), Obi, Taylor, Blair

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